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What Non-Cardio Exercises Will Burn Belly Fat?

By Ollie Odebunmi ; Updated July 18, 2017

The way to a trim tummy isn't always by treadmill. There are gentle, cardio-free ways to melt mid-section cellulite. If you're recovering from an injury or have health conditions, you may want to avoid cardiovascular workouts. Many trainers today believe that isometric exercises combined with weight training and changing your diet can help you lose those love handles. Consult your doctor or personal trainer to create a program tailored to your specific weight loss needs.

Isometrics: Moving beyond conventional belly wisdom

Isometrics are static exercises that strengthen specific muscles without engaging them in a range of motion. While running five miles might burn more calories than doing crunches, you'll burn some. Also, rigorous cardio workouts raise your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, leaving you craving comfort foods that add calories. Isometric exercises involve less movement, which means less carb intake, ultimately resulting in weight loss. So while you're toning your tummy, you're burning a few calories. A few examples of belly isometrics are the plank, the roman chair, the V-sit, suspended leg raises and crunches. Exercises should be done in reps, and can be modified using resistance bands and exercise balls.

Exercise your abs doing everyday things

According to wellness author Mark Sisson, you don't have to hit the gym to amp your abs. Performing regular tasks can do that too. Like isometrics, tightening and releasing your ab muscles while driving or sitting at your desk may not burn tons of calories, but will gently sculpt your mid-section without depleting your energy, making you hungry. You can vary the exercise by tilting slightly to one side to target the obliques, or side muscles.

Can weight training burn belly fat?

Weight training is a great way to work your abs and burn extra calories too. And it's good for your respiratory system. Though many consider it an aerobic or cardiovascular activity since it works the heart and lungs, weight-lifting is really anaerobic, meaning it uses less oxygen than say, running. Even low-impact weight training can burn belly fat by increasing your movement, provided you aren't replacing your caloric expenditure with more calories. There are many ways to use free weights, exercise balls, and machines to tone your tummy. For the best results, consult your personal trainer.

Modifying your diet. Treat your abs to fabulous foods

Many trainers agree that by far the most effective way to zap unwanted belly fat is by changing your diet. Since most weight loss stems from how you eat, diet is an essential part of your program. Here's why: Ab exercises mainly work the muscles underneath the fat, whereas a complex carbohydrate diet rich in whole grains, proteins, fruits and veggies work to lower your fat percentage. 'White foods', such as white flour, white rice, and sugars that convert into energy too quickly, leave you feeling tired, hungry, and craving more fast-acting carbs. The key to weight loss is burning stored body fats, not creating fat by replacing calories with more calories. Gentle, non-cardio exercises help you lose weight by reducing your carb cravings after a workout.


Isometrics, combined with weight training and a proper diet, can be a very effective non-cardio alternative to burning belly fat. Consult your doctor or personal trainer to create a program tailored to your specific fitness goals.

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