Its time to lose belly fat during this Covid lockdown period.
With the gyms and indoor studios closed, many of us are yet again hitting tracks and roads to get our 30 minutes of exercise a day. Oh, how we just miss the smell of metal, sweat, and the grunting noises at the gym.
Sick and tired of running? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! (and legs and arm) Check out these 10 simple exercises designed to work your entire body! Combine the exercises for an effective yet simple workout.
Pressed for time? Fret not. Just complete one set for each exercise.
For seasoned gym-goers, throw in some weights or repeat the entire workout twice for an ultimate sweat-dripping session. For the beginners out there, I’ve included a modified version of each exercise.
So, what are you waiting for, grab a towel and let’s get started. (trust me, you’ll need the towel)
Firstly, let’s get started with a quick warm-up. Do the exercises at 40%-50% intensity, the idea is to prepare your muscles for the workout. Read more about warming up here.
- 20 jumping jacks
- 20 high knees
- 20 butt kicks
1. Squat and lunge
Our first exercise is a squat and lunge. Start with a squat and proceed to do a reverse lunge before going back into a squat. Alternate between your left and right leg. Do this exercise for 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes
How to do:
With your feet shoulder-width apart. While maintaining a straight back, push your hips back and bend your knees into a 90-degree squat position. Staying in your squat position, take a step backward with your right leg until it is parallel to the ground without the knee touching the floor. Return to the squat position and repeat with your left leg. Ensure that your knees are behind your toes and your back should be straight and upright while performing the squat and lunge.
Tip: keep your core tight to help with your balance.
2. Burpees with push ups
Next, we have a burpee with push-ups added. Burpees are one of the best exercises to include in your home workout as they work your entire body even your heart! Complete 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Glutes, Quads, Core, Calves, Shoulder, Chest, Triceps
How to do:
With your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down and place both hands on the floor. Kick back into a push-up position. Complete a push-up. Note that while lowering your body keep your elbows close. Return to the pushup position and bring your knees back into a squat position. Jump with both hands up and land softly. Repeat.
Modified Version: drop down to your knees for push-ups.
Tip: when kicking back into the push-up position maintain a neutral back by keeping your core tight.
3. Up-down plank
Next, we have the up-down planks. This is great for a core exercise as well as keeps your heart pumping. The key here is to perform this movement in a controlled manner. Complete 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Core, Lower back, Triceps
How to do:
Begin with both palms on the floor facing front, in a high plank position. Make sure to keep the core tight and back straight. Bend the right arm and place the right elbow on the mat followed by the left elbow. Try to keep your hips from swaying as much as possible when going down. Next, straighten your right elbow followed by your left elbow to return to the high plank position. Repeat this movement while alternating elbows.
Modified: drop to your knees if it is too hard.
4. Lunge jumps
Next up, lunge jumps. start with a lunge and jump while switching feet mid-air. This exercise is great as it trains not only your leg muscles but your stabilizer muscles as well. Complete 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Hip flexors, Calves
How to do:
Start off in a lunge. Have your front leg at a 90-degree angle and back leg parallel to the floor. Have your arms bent 90 degrees beside your body. For example, if your right leg is in front your left hand should be in front of your body and your right hand at the back and vice-versa. Sink your weight down and lean slightly forward as you prepare for your jump. Next, jump up explosively and launch your body upwards straightening your knees. As you jump, switch your feet and arms position. Land softly back into a lunge position with bent knees and hips. When landing, be sure to not let your knees go over your toes or go inwards. Repeat.
Modified: perform alternating lunges without the jumps
5. Inchworm to push up
Next, we have the inchworm with push up. This exercise works the entire body while working on your mobility and flexibility as well. Complete 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Deltoids, Trapezius, Chest, Triceps, Core
How to do:
Stand feet shoulder-width apart, reach down and slowly walk your hands in front until you reach a high plank position. Slowly bend your elbows and keep them close to your body. Lower yourself to a push-up and back into a high plank position again. Walk your hands backward now until you reach your toes and straighten your back. Repeat.
Modified: perform the push-ups on your knees.
Tip: keep your core tight while inching your hand forward and backward.
6. Side Glutes raises
This exercise works on both your obliques and glutes which can help prevent injury. Complete 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets on each leg.
Muscles worked: gluteus Medius, obliques
How to do:
Elbows on the floor get into a side plank position, push your hips up. Lift up the top-facing leg making sure there is a gap between both legs. Lift the leg up to slightly above your shoulder level and back down again all while maintaining the side plank. When lowering the leg back down, do not rest your working leg and repeat this movement. Take note that your legs should be straight and your shoulder, hips, and ankles should be in a straight line. While doing this activity you can place your hands on your hips for added balance.
Modified: bend your bottom leg 90 degrees below you
7. Squat jumps with 3 second hold
Next up, squat jumps. This is a killer exercise that works your heart and legs to the max. Push and try to reach as high as possible for each jump. Here, there is an added 3 seconds hold before each jump for that added burn. Complete 10 repetitions and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Quads, Glutes, Hamstring, Calves
How to do:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, push your hips back and go down to a 90- degree squat. Hold for 3 seconds. Swing your arms back and drive through your feet to explode into a jump. Simultaneously swing your arms forward to help generate momentum. Land softly on the ball of your feet and go back into a 90-degree squat. Repeat.
Modified: for a low-impact version, skip the jump and instead finish with a calf raise at the end.
8. Mountain climbers
Next, we will climb some mountains. Mountain climbers are a great compound exercise as they work several muscles while keeping your heart rate up to help you burn those stubborn belly fat. Complete 45 seconds of mountain climbers and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscle worked: core, back, shoulders
How to do:
With your palms facing the ground directly under your shoulders get into a high plank position. Keep your weight mostly to the center and front of your body and keep those toes light. Maintain a neutral spine and do not push your hips upwards during this exercise. Next, bring your knee to your elbows and go back into a plank position. Switch legs and continue until the timer goes off.
Tip: keep your core tight and toes light to bring those knees in faster. Try to go as fast as you can while maintaining good form.
9. On the spot sprinters
For our second last exercise, we have on-the-spot sprinters. Try to go all out for these as they really work your heart. Complete 45 seconds of sprints and repeat for 3 sets.
Muscles worked: Quads, Calves, Core
How to do:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring your right knee up to slightly above the hips level, bring it down, and switch legs. Note that your back should be straight and not bent over while performing this exercise. The idea is to explode the leg up when switching to stimulate sprinting. Use the opposite hands to help with momentum when driving up. For example, when the right leg goes up the right hand is in front. Try to sprint as hard as you can for 45 seconds.
Last but not least, Plank! A simple yet effective exercise when done right. Perform a plank for 1 minute and repeat for 3 sets. Want to challenge yourself? Try holding the plank for as long as you can while maintaining good form.
Muscle worked: Core, Deltoids, Shoulder, Lower Back, Quads, Glutes
How to do:
With your arms shoulder-width apart place your elbows on the floor directly under your shoulder and lift your knees off the floor. Ensure that your spine is neutral, head facing down, hips are not sinking down or lifted too high. Tighten your core (you can do this by imagining pushing your belly button to your lower back). Hold this position for 1 minute.
Tip: put equal weight on your arms and feet. Engage your core to not slide.
And that’s it! 10 simple exercises You can do at home. Remember to take a 15 seconds break in between sets and a 30-second break between exercises or when needed. Each exercise consists of 3 sets but you can always do more. No pain, no gain right?
The key to losing belly fat?- Well, there’s no shortcut to it. Keeping to a balanced diet and eating food in moderation coupled with physical activity and resistance training can help you reduce overall body fat.
Remember, our fitness goals are not something that can be achieved overnight but is an accumulation of consistent efforts. Here’s to wishing you all the best in your fitness journey!