We know that everyone wants to know what exercises are best for burning fat, and especially in specific areas of the body.
The only problem with this is that you can’t target fat loss by performing certain exercises. So while we can show you some moves (like the following exercises) that will contribute to building strength and muscle in the areas around your waistline while also allowing you to burn calories, just know that performing this routine isn’t the only factor that will lead to fat loss around your waist.
What will lead to fat loss is incorporating these five moves into your strength training routine, combined with following several other important steps, including high-intensity cardio, getting adequate amounts of sleep, cutting back on alcohol and eating mostly whole foods.
That said, Courtney Prather, a trainer with the BeFit Network, a one-stop shop for free, high quality fitness programming on YouTube, suggests getting your sweat on with the following five moves, which target important muscles surrounding your waist and core, and will aid the fat burning process while also helping you to build lean muscle mass.
1. Side Lunge with Leg Lift
The Benefits: This multitasking move strengthens your legs while toning your outer thighs and butt. Building lean muscle in your legs and butt while burning fat is the key to targeting that ‘love handle’ area.
The move: Stand with feet hip-width distance apart; hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms straight and palms facing in. Step your right leg out to the side, bending at the knee to lower into a side lunge. Keep your left knee behind your toes and hinge slightly forward at the waist keeping your back flat. Straighten your right knee to stand as you lift your left leg straight out to the side. Make sure you engage your glute as you lift your leg, keeping your torso long. Return to the starting position and step out with your left foot, repeating on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
Reps/Sets: 3 sets of 12 to15 reps
2. Sliding Leg Curl
The Benefits: This is an advanced exercise that can be done anywhere, since all you need is a slick surface (such as hardwood floor) and a towel. This move targets your butt and hamstrings.
The move: Lie face up on the floor and place your heels on a towel with your legs out straight. Push your hips up while sliding the feet toward your butt in one slow, controlled movement. Pause at the top, squeezing your glutes and then slowly reverse the movement by sliding the towel back until you reach the starting position.
Reps/Sets: 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps
3. Sprinter Hops
The Benefits: This plyometric move is a great burst of cardio and will sculpt a round booty and flat abs.
The Move: Start in a sprinter position, crouched down with weight in your front foot and knees bent at 90 degrees. Keep your chest up and your fingers touching the ground on either side of your foot with your back leg bent behind you. Pressing through the heel of your front foot, jump straight up as you drive the back knee to the ceiling in a controlled motion. As you land, return to the starting position by swinging your leg back behind you and touching the floor with your hands. Immediately jump back up and repeat on the same side for 10 reps (or 30 seconds) before switching sides.
Reps/Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps each side
4. Side Plank Rotations
The Benefits: This move targets your waistline and helps you get the flat abs and tiny waist you’re after!
The move: Get into pushup position on the floor arms straight and body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your body straight as you pivot to one side, raising that arm vertically above you as you twist. Pause, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Make sure your abs are tight and you are controlling the motion.
Reps/Sets: 3 sets of 10 reps on each side
5. Star Jumps
The Benefits: The star jump is one of the most challenging plyometric moves. This is a calorie torcher that engages the entire body and will help you burn fat.
The Move: Stand with knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width distance apart. Your arms should be bent at your sides in a ready position. Bend your knees and squat down as low as you can. Without pausing, jump vertically as high as you can, extending your legs and arms fully out to your sides so your body is in a “star” shape. Bring your arms and legs inward as you begin to descend and land softly with your knees bent in the starting position. Continue jumping in a quick but controlled pace.
Reps/Sets: 3 sets of 30 to 60 seconds (start with 30 seconds and work your way up to 60)
Get more moves from BeFit...
Courtney Prather is a rising star in the fitness industry who brings excitement and passion to everything she does. In addition to her career as a fitness model and bikini competitor, she works as a host for online/DVD fitness productions, is a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a sponsored athlete with BSN and has recently launched her company Fitness Life Adventure.
All photos courtesy of BeFit.