When it comes to losing your “jelly belly,” few tools in the arsenal come close to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style workouts. That’s why we rounded up five of the absolute best and quickest HIIT workouts to melt belly fat for good. Gear up to sweat and say goodbye to your jelly belly.
If you’re unfamiliar with this workout style, it uses multiple different exercises in a circuit format with intense “on” cycles followed by “off” cycles where you rest. The intensity of the “on” cycles allows you to push much harder than you would if you were simply performing the exercises nonstop. However, the relatively short rest periods mean your heart rate stays elevated throughout. Effectively, you get a combination of muscular strengthening, power improvement, definition, and calorie burning, which is the perfect combination for melting your jelly belly for good.
The following are five of our favorite workouts for individuals who are short on time but need to blast stubborn belly fat. You can perform each workout one day per week, or pick one to two of your favorites and stick with them. Try to get at least three workouts per week in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle for best results.
Keep reading to learn more about our five quick HIIT workouts to melt belly fat for good. And when you’re finished, don’t miss the 4 Top-Ranked Workouts To Deflate Your ‘Belly Bounce’.
This workout will get your blood flowing with a combination of explosive and static movements. Between the calorie burn and core activation, it will work wonders to tighten up your midsection. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat for at least five rounds.
Burpees are a full-body explosive movement that elevates the heart rate quickly, enhancing cardiovascular health and aiding fat burn. This exercise works the chest, triceps, core, glutes, and legs.
To perform a burpee, start in a standing position, then squat down placing your hands on the ground. Jump your feet back, landing softly in a plank position. Complete a pushup. Jump your feet back toward your hands. Explode up into a jump, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat for the target time.
2. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a great core exercise that also works the cardiovascular system.
To perform mountain climbers, begin in a plank position with your wrists under your shoulders. Engage your core, and pull your right knee toward your chest. Switch legs, pulling the left knee toward your chest. Alternate legs at a fast pace, as if climbing. Repeat for the target time.
3. Plank Holds
These enhance your core stability and strength, which is foundational for other exercises. This exercise works the core, shoulders, and glutes.
To perform a plank, start on your forearms and toes, keeping your body in a straight line. Engage your core, and squeeze your glutes. Keep your chin neutral, and ensure your hips aren’t sagging. Maintain this position. Repeat for the target time.
You’ll be on your feet for most of this workout, so expect some challenge. For this workout, you’ll hit 20 seconds on, 10 seconds of rest, and complete 10 or more cycles of the circuit.
1. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks elevate your heart rate while promoting coordination. Overall, they work the shoulders, calves, and inner and outer thighs.
To perform jumping jacks, start standing with your feet together and your arms at your side. Jump your feet apart, and simultaneously raise your arms above your head. Quickly jump your feet back together, and lower arms to your side. Continue the movement in a rhythmic pattern. Repeat for the target time.
2. Alternating Lunges
Alternating lunges promote enhanced leg strength and balance. This exercise works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
To perform alternating lunges, start in a standing position with your hands on your hips. Take a step forward with the right leg, and lower into a lunge. Rotate your left foot inward slightly as you lower your left knee. Push through the full foot of the right leg to return to standing. Repeat with the left leg forward. Repeat for the target time.
Sit-ups target your abdominal muscles while promoting core strength. Overall, they work the rectus abdominis and obliques.
To perform sit-ups, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head. Engage your core, and lift your upper body off the ground, curling up. Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat for the target time.
For this workout, perform 10 repetitions of each exercise with little rest between exercises. Then, take a full 60-second rest to recoup for the next round. Repeat for a minimum of five rounds.
1. High Knees
High knees work the cardiovascular system and promote agility. Muscle-wise, this exercise targets the hip flexors, core, and quads.
To perform high knees, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Drive your right knee up toward your chest. As you place your right foot down, drive your left knee up. Continue alternating at a fast pace. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Pushups enhance upper-body strength and core stability. This exercise works the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
To perform pushups, begin in a pushup plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Engage your core, and keep your spine in a braced neutral position. Lower toward the ground by bending at the elbows and shoulders. When your chest is roughly one inch above the ground, push evenly through both hands to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
3. Squat Jumps
This exercise builds leg power and enhances cardiovascular health. Squat jumps work the quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
To perform squat jumps, begin in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core, and explode upward into a jump. Land softly, immediately transitioning into the next squat. Continue the movement in a rhythmic pattern. Repeat for the target repetitions.
This workout is particularly challenging and will give you a solid metabolic boost while improving your explosive power and core definition. Repeat each exercise for five repetitions, then rest for 10 seconds, and move to the next exercise. For the side planks, hold each side for 15 seconds. Repeat for five or more rounds.
1. Tuck Jumps
Tuck jumps enhance explosive power and cardiovascular health. This exercise works the quads, glutes, calves, and core.
To perform tuck jumps, start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a slight squat, engaging your core. Explode upward, tucking your knees toward your chest. Land softly, and immediately prep for the next jump. Repeat for the target repetitions.
2. Side Planks
The side plank improves oblique strength and overall core stability. This exercise works the obliques, shoulders, and glutes.
To perform a side plank, lie on your side, stacking your legs and resting on your forearm. Engage your core, and lift your hips off the ground. Keep your body in a straight line, squeezing the glutes. Maintain this position. Repeat for the target time.
3. Pendulum Lunges
Pendulum lunges offer a dynamic movement to challenge balance and leg strength. This exercise hits your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
To perform pendulum lunges, start standing with your feet together. Step forward into a lunge with the right leg. Rotate your left foot inward slightly as you lower your left knee. Push through the full foot to return to standing. Now, step backward into a reverse lunge with the same leg. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Round out your HIIT workouts to melt belly fat with this offbeat routine that gives a combination of upper and lower-body workout action. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then move into the next exercise. Repeat for five or more rounds.
1. Butterfly Sit-ups
Butterfly sit-ups emphasize core strength, particularly the rectus abdominis. This exercise works your core and inner thighs.
To perform butterfly sit-ups, lie on your back with the soles of your feet touching each other and your knees splayed out to the sides. Extend your arms behind your head. Engage your core, and use your abdominal muscles to lift your upper body, reaching your hands toward your feet. Slowly lower your torso back to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
2. Ice Skaters
Ice skaters challenge lateral movements, improving agility and balance.
To perform skaters, begin standing with weight on your right leg. Leap to the left, landing softly on your left foot, while swinging your right leg behind you without touching the ground. Push off with your left foot, and leap to the right, landing on your right foot and swinging your left leg behind. Continue this side-to-side motion in a rhythmic pattern. Repeat for the target repetitions.
3. Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are a must-do exercise for improving your tricep and arm definition.
To perform tricep dips, sit at the edge of a sturdy platform, bench, couch, or chair with your hands next to your thighs. Slide off the platform, supporting your weight with your hands. Lower your body by bending your elbows until they form a 90-degree angle. Push through your palms, extending your arms to lift yourself back up. Squeeze the end range for about one second. Repeat for the target repetitions.