6 Intermediate Level Exercises to Lose Belly Fat

Intermediate level exercises to lose belly fat

Belly fat has a tendency to stand out. When it starts to become noticeable, we start wearing baggier clothes to hide the unappealing curves, and it’s all downhill from there.

A disproportionate waist to height ratio is indicative of poor body health. In fact, excess belly fat can lead to substantial health problems in both men and women. It can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver, and more. It also leaves one susceptible to malnourishment as excess fat also hinders nutrient absorption.

Excess fat can also lead to the development of hormonal imbalances in both men and women and leaves women at a higher risk of developing polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS). Men, too, experience reduced testosterone production and lower libido. Honestly, the list of problems it can cause is endless, and if you find yourself with excess fat around your stomach area, you need to do something about it.

Getting rid of belly fat can be tricky because it truly is notoriously stubborn. If you’ve been trying to get rid of it for a while, you probably know that truer words have never been spoken. It is often the first to come and the last to go, and many give up halfway, which is counterproductive.

If you have been exercising regularly for a couple of months and following our 6 Easy Exercises for Beginners Looking to Lose Belly Fat, you’ve probably made a dent in the amount of abdominal fat you have. However, the majority of the change probably happened by the end of the first month, and now you don’t seem to be making any progress.

If your hips, thighs, and abdominal measurements haven’t changed for about two weeks, it means you’ve reached a plateau because of metabolic adaptation.

Now is not the time to get disheartened and give up. Now is the time to increase the intensity of the workout and switch from beginner to intermediate-level exercises to help get rid of that stubborn belly fat.

Here’s how you can make an effortless transition from beginner to intermediate level exercises to lose belly fat, followed by a few extra tips to ensure speedy fat loss.

1.     Weighted Bicycle Crunch

We all know crunches are an effective fat burning exercise; thus, they are present in almost every weight loss exercise routine. However, basic crunches are only good for beginners as they get your muscles moving, and the fat loss process started.

Once you’ve been doing basic crunches for a month or so, you are no longer a beginner to abdominal exercises, and now you need to increase the intensity of the workout – this is where the weighted bicycle crunch comes in.

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent as you would for a bicycle crunch and hold a medicine ball over your chest. Raise both legs off the ground, bringing one knee towards your chest and extending the other leg out long. At the same time, lift and twist your upper torso to touch your pulled-in knee with the alternate elbow, while holding the ball straight over your chest.  Repeat the movement on the other side and continue lifting and extending your legs in this alternating pattern.

For optimal results:

  • Reps: 10-15
  • Sets: 2-3

The weighted bicycle crunch is an excellent exercise that targets your obliques, hips, and the rectus abdominis. The added weight of the medicine ball helps improve core strength and stability.

2.     Reverse Fly + Prone Cobra

The Prone Cobra is another very efficient exercise for belly fat loss. However, a simple cobra pose isn’t enough to get rid of the fat loss plateau. Here, you will incorporate the use of a stability ball and weights to restart the fat loss process.

Place a stability ball under your belly, and extend your legs out long as if in a pushup pose. Hold 2 to 5 kg dumbbells in each hand and lift your arms to make a wide arc, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Once your hands are at shoulder level, or as high as they can go, hold this position for a second before slowly lowering them, bringing both dumbbells together.

Here, you will use your core for stability, ensuring your body stays upright, and your upper torso extends out straight with your neck and spine in one straight line. The exercise may sound simple but requires a lot of core strength and gives the abdominal muscles a deeply invigorating workout. It also helps improve your posture by strengthening the spine and the anti-slouch muscles in the body that help keep your back upright.

For optimal results:

  • Reps: 10-15
  • Sets: 2-3

3.     Reverse Plank + Leg Raise

To overcome the plateau, you will need to rely on multiple bodyweight and weighted exercises. The reverse plank with leg raise is a bodyweight exercise that focuses on enhancing muscle strength. To get into a reverse plank position, sit down with your legs extended out long. Place your hands behind your butt and lift your body so that your body is in one straight line from head to toe, supported by your arms and your face looking skywards.

Slowly lift one leg up as far as you can with your hips, spine, and neck still in one straight line. Try not to thrust your hips upward or forward. Hold your leg at the top for 3 seconds before slowly lowering it back to the ground.

Repeat the movement with the other leg, holding each leg at the top for 3 seconds before lowering it to the ground. Make sure you keep your hips stable and your neck and spine in one straight line to keep the tension concentrated in the core. Here, we suggest you repeat each movement slowly and concentrate on getting the posture right to ensure the best results.

For optimal results:

  • Reps: 10 – 15
  • Sets: 2-3

The reverse plank leg lift works the full body. It helps build core strength, works out the arm muscles, and strengthens the hips and the glutes. It will help fix the waist to height ratio in no time.

By now, you are probably dying, and your core is on fire, but that’s exactly what you need, so don’t give up. Take a deep breath and keep working out to get rid of YOUR belly flab, muffin top, love handles, and all sorts of award belly bulges.

4.     Pike with Stability Ball

Intermediate level exercises to lose belly fat

The Pike with Stability Ball might really push your limits, but it’s an incredibly effective exercise, so make sure you give it your all. Get into a plank position with your feet on the stability ball. Make sure a small portion of your shins is in contact with the ball to aid your movements.

Take a deep breath and use your core muscles to slowly pull the ball towards your arms as you lift your butt to come into a pike position. Hold for a couple of seconds before slowly pushing the ball back and lowering your butt at the same time to come back into plank position.

You will have to do this movement slowly so that you don’t lose control over the ball and end up flat on your face. It gives the abdominal muscles, arms, and shoulders a good workout and also works on increasing core and upper body strength and stability.

For optimal results:

  • Reps: 15-20
  • Sets: 2-3

5.     Reverse Crunch + Leg Extensions

Reverse crunches are better than basic crunches, and when combined with leg extensions, they give the abdominal muscles an invigorating workout. Lie flat on the floor with your arms at your side and not under your butt.

Raise both legs up at the same time to form a 90 degree angle between your thighs and lower back. Take a deep breath, and on the exhale, lift your tailbone off the floor with your legs extending above your hips. Then, slowly lower them down until they are just above the ground before raising them up again.

You will have to use your core strength to lift your tailbone off the ground and hold your core tight as you lower both legs out long without letting them touch the ground. The movement requires a substantial amount of core strength. If you are unable to keep your legs hovering above the ground, you can place your hands underneath your butt to give your legs a little extra support.

We suggest you try to rely solely on your core strength and keep your arms at your side to give the belly fat and core a strong workout.

For optimal results:

  • Reps: 15 – 20
  • Sets: 2-3

6.     V Up – In & Out + V hold

We know V hold is hard enough, and when combined with V in and out, it can be really challenging. However, that’s what we are here for. We need to challenge ourselves and put in a little extra effort to get rid of the stubborn belly fat. The V In and Out + Hold combination can really help you do that.

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet lifted off the floor like you would when doing Russian twists. Extend your arms out long and hold them at your side with your palms facing upwards.

Slowly extend both legs out long, keeping them hovering above the ground, and use your core strength to pull them back in towards your torso and hold your legs there for three to five seconds before repeating the movement.

V up – in and out with V hold is not an easy exercise to do. Try controlling your breathing and aligning your movement with each inhale and exhale to make sure you get through each rep.

For optimal results:

  • Reps: 8-10
  • Sets: 2-3

Nutrition and Lifestyle

Increasing the intensity of the workout is a must, but so is improving your lifestyle. You can’t expect to continue to consume saturated fats, consumer calorie surplus, and yet expect to notice favorable results. You have to adopt some lifestyle changes if you want to see serious progress and if you want to see it fast.

Your body goals should dictate your diet. If you want to lose belly fat, you need to increase your fiber intake. They help keep the body full, improve metabolism, which in turn speeds up the fat burning process and lowers fat pileup. No, we aren’t asking you to eat plants and fruits and vegetables alone, we want you to focus on creating a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced meal plan to help speed up your metabolism. But there’s a catch!

Losing weight and burning fat is not as simple as that. Not every body functions the same, and you will have to take into account your body’s reaction to insulin, your weight, BMI, weight goals, and many other factors. Where studies suggest that a high-fiber diet can, in general, aid fat loss, real-life examples show that it doesn’t work for everyone.

Make sure you monitor your progress continually and make relevant changes accordingly. Here are a few tips you can use to get started on your fat loss journey.

  • Limit your animal fat intake
  • Control your portion sizes
  • Include variety in your food
  • Increase low calories foods in your diet – fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Increase intake of lean meats
  • Avoid food with additives and preservatives
  • Focus on increasing intake of whole foods.

Lastly, make sure you stay clear of diets that require you to avoid one category of food completely. Such diets are unhealthy and lead to multiple nutritional and vitamin deficiencies. Keep in mind that the goal is to be healthy and fit and not just thin.

You can also increase the number of meals you have throughout the day and reduce the portion size of each meal. It keeps you feeling full, allows you to incorporate more variety in your food and also aids fat loss. With these exercises and a healthy, nutritious diet, you can get rid of that belly flab in no time. However, if you want quicker results, you can also try one of these fat burners to aid your fat loss journey.