Stop doing ab exercises, people. If you want to get rid of your unbudging belly fat, the answer isn’t how many crunches you can do. Jade Jenny, head CrossFit coach and owner of Champlain Valley CrossFit says, “there are really no exercises to reduce belly fat, unfortunately this is the age-old myth. People think they can get abs, and just abs.”
It may surprise you to hear a CrossFit coach say that “reducing belly fat ultimately comes down to how you eat,” but it’s true. You can’t exercise away a bad diet, and abs truly are made in the kitchen. And you can’t pick and choose where you want fat to disappear from your body. In order to lose belly fat, you need to reduce your overall body fat percentage by dialing in your diet, eating whole foods, ditching the junk, and creating a calorie deficit.
Jade says, “The other thing that will help aside from losing weight is also putting on muscle.” Even if you don’t change your diet and you “maintain the same amount of fat on your body and add muscle, you’ll effectively decrease the percent of fat on your body, which will ultimately help you look slightly leaner.” What’s more, muscle also burns more calories, “so if you’re keeping your food intake the same, and you put muscle on, there is a good chance you’ll lose a little fat at the same time.”
How do you put on muscle? Jade recommends large compound barbell movements. We’re talking squats, lunges, deadlifts, thrusters (squat-to-overhead press), shoulder presses, barbell rows, as well as bodyweight exercises like strict pull-ups and push-ups. Don’t be afraid to go heavy on the weights! Instead of doing tons of reps with five-pound dumbbells, using a barbell will save time and get results faster and more effectively.
Aside from putting on muscle, as most experts agree, high-intensity interval training will also burn up calories and fat. In the CrossFit world, that includes beloved burpees, 400-meter sprints, jumping rope, box jumps, and kettlebell swings.
Here are some examples of CrossFit-inspired workouts you can try at home:
- 4-Move CrossFit Ab Workout
- 10-Minute Cardio, Butt, and Arm CrossFit Workout
- 2-Move 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout
- 10-Minute AMRAP Workout
- 30-Minute Jumping Rope and Strength Training Mashup
- 10-Minute CrossFit Bodyweight Workout Video
- 100-Burpee Workout
- 15-Minute Burpee and Strength Training Workout
- 200-Rep Total-Body Workout