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10 best stomach exercises for 6 pack abs

Muscular man with 6 pack absTwo things are essential to get a six pack – diet to reduce total body fat and exercise to strengthen and develop the abdominal muscles. However, losing your belly fat and getting a six pack is one of the hardest goals to achieve. We have already talked about how to lose belly fat, so here we shall mostly focus on the exercises that best develop your abdominal muscles.

Remember that there are no specific exercises to lose belly fat. Spot reduction, or targeting stomach fat, does not work. You may have been brainwashed by infomercials that abs toning devices will melt away your stomach fat and reveal 6 pack abs, but this is all just a clever bit of marketing. The adverts never show the fitness models drenched in sweat, gasping for breath after an intensive workout. The people that demonstrate ab toning devices do not actually use those devices to get the fit body they have, they really are all just fitness models.

The 10 Most Important Abdominal Exercises

As any bodybuilder knows, building muscle requires lifting increasingly more weight (progressive overload). The abdominals follow the same rules as any other muscle. Generally muscle growth (in terms of size, not functional strength) is most successful when lifting 10-12 rep sets. Therefore, maximum weight is not used, but also the weight should not be so light that you can easily perform more than 12 reps per set.

For this abs training routine you will require some free weights (discs and a dumbbell, plus ankle weights) and a bench that can be set at a slight incline. You can see instructional videos for some of these exercises on Abdominal Exercises to Tone and Strengthen Your Stomach. Here are the most important exercises to do to get six pack abs:

1. Bicycle Crunches


Considered by some trainers to be the most important abdominal exercise. Perform crunches with your hands lightly touching your forehead and as you raise your torso, twist so that your leading elbow meets the opposite knee. Alternate each side.

2. Incline Reverse Crunch

We start on the bench, which is set to its first incline position. Put on your ankle weights, lie back and grab the bench behind your head with both hands. Raise you knees so that they are above your waist, and then lift your hips off the bench, towards your head. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

3. Weighted Crunch

The crunch is the classic stomach exercise. Simply lie back and hold a weight disc to your chest. With your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, lift your shoulders off, hold, and lower. 3 sets of 10 reps.

4. Weighted Russian Twist

Sit upright on the floor with your legs out in front, but legs slightly bent. Lean back approximately 45 degrees while holding a dumbbell in both hands straight out in front of you. Then twist your torso to the left, keeping your back straight, hold for 2 seconds, then return to face forward. Repeat on the right side. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.


Adding weight should mean that you are working your abs harder, and result in better muscle growth. Do not try building abs with 200 sit-ups every day, do it the proper way with bodybuilders weight training exercises.

5. Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises target the “lower abs” and are much more effective than laying leg raises, which mostly target the hip flexors. You need good grip strength to perform them as you hang on a high pull up bar and then lift your legs up with knees bent as far as you can.

6. Front Squats

Front squats are performed like a standard back squat, but instead of supporting a barbell across your shoulders you hold a weight tight to your chest. This moves the focus of the squat to the core region, thus creating a good abdominal workout.

7. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a great way to combine muscular endurance exercise with cardio. The dynamic swings increase heart rate while working the glutes, thighs and core. They are useful in developing the core region.

8. Side Bends

The classic dumbbell side bend is often neglected these days. However, it was one of the exercises that Bruce Lee performed to supplement his abs routines. The most important rule in side bends is to ensure that you keep your lower body solid and only move your torso. Also avoid leaning forward or backward. Start in an upright position, inhale as you lower the dumbbell along your thigh, then inhale as you lift.

9. The Plank and 10. Side Plank

The Plank and side plank are static exercises. You support your body on your forearms and toes while keeping your body straight and your abdominals engaged. If you are not feeling a burn in your abs then you are not performing the plank correctly. You can also support your weight on your hands and feet, in a classic press up position. Keep the back straight at all times. If the back starts to sag slightly, this is because you are tiring, so stop. Abdominals must be engaged and if you do not quickly feel your abdominals tiring then you are not doing the plank properly.

The side plank can be performed in either a half or full position. The side plant is performed by supporting the body on just one hand, with the feet close together. The other hand is held up vertically. To perform a half side plank, you support the body on one elbow with the forearm on the ground, with the feet together.

Abdominal Muscles Need Recovery


Remember that like your other muscles, the abdominals require adequate rest to ensure that the muscles recover after the exercise. Do not perform these stomach exercises daily. Arnold Schwarzenegger worked his abs everyday, and Bruce Lee’s abs were also training often. However, we do not all have the same genetic advantages, so do not over train. They also had the advantage of being able to take extra care to optimize their nutrition and rest to prevent overtraining problems.

Fat Reduction Diet

As we have covered diet already in the article “how to lose belly fat” we do not need to go into detail here. The number one rule is CUT OUT SUGAR. Sugar is the reason why most people are overweight. Ignore all those people that tell you the problem is too much fat. Saturated fat is unhealthy, it clogs your arteries and leads to coronary heart disease. There is no dispute about that. But did you know that sugar also does this? And excess sugar is converted to fat very quickly.

To make changes as quickly as possible adopt a sugar free diet for 2 weeks. It is extreme, but essential. Sugar is everywhere, especially in “healthy” breakfast cereals, white bread and junk food. Are you planning to eat low fat yogurt? Don’t! Low fat yogurt contains additional sugar to make it taste nice.

The second rule is to eat more protein and more healthy fat. These food groups help build muscle and boost your metabolism. Just make sure you are eating healthy forms in all cases. No processed meats, limit red meat and other forms of saturated fat. It is also important to remember that you need to reduce your total calories as well to help weight loss.

Ultimately to lose fat requires a daily calorie deficit by combining a healthy and balanced diet with regular exercise.

Increase Your Metabolism

There are two ways to increase your metabolism: diet and exercise. The longer you go without eating, the more your metabolism slows down. So to counter this effect, eat more often, but obviously eat less. Many professional athletes eat 6 to 8 times a day, with each meal being a small portion of protein, fat and carbohydrate (low GI diet) in a perfect balance to keep fat content minimal while building muscle tissue.

The other way to increase your metabolism is through exercise. Whenever you exercise you start burning calories quicker. Also as you build more muscle, your metabolism also increases. So exercise is essential.

Exercise Like Your Life Depends On It – Because It Does!


Finally, the exercise component. Exercise is essential, and you need to learn to exercise properly to lose weight in the most efficient way. OK, ab exercises will help you get a six pack in the long run, so do not abandon them. But while you have a layer of fat over your stomach you will never see your abs or reduce that fat by just doing ab exercises.

Several years ago someone came up with the idea of the “fat burning zone” which involves working out at a relatively easy pace for a long time. It turns out that this idea was incorrect. However, fitness machines all over the world are still plagued with this “fat burning zone” scale. You need to workout more intensively to effectively lose weight and get fit.

This does not mean that you have to try to exercise like an athlete though, as this is also not going to be possible. Just push yourself as hard as you can for 30-45 minutes every day. 45 minutes is best as 45 Minutes of Intensive Exercise Raises Metabolism for 14 Hours. In short, if you can do 45 minutes of exercise at a reasonably intensive level (more than just walking or a slow jog) then your body will continue to burn extra energy for 14 hours. This is often called the afterburn effect.

So why do we say that your life depends on it? Well, simply, it does. Excess stomach fat is a sign that visceral fat is building up around your internal organs. This fat actively harms you and leads to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is also fast becoming one of the leading causes of cancer. Belly fat reduction is not just about aesthetics, it is about your health and longevity. Learn more about the Health Benefits of Losing Weight here.

The Best Forms of Exercise to Burn Fat

So what workouts should you do? There are really no best exercises for burning fat, the key is to work as hard as you can to increase your calorie deficit so that you start breaking down fat stores. These exercises are all good options:

  1. Running
  2. Swimming
  3. Cycling
  4. Walking
  5. Dance workouts
  6. Martial arts
  7. Intensive Interval Training
  8. Compound Weight Training
  9. Full Body Workouts
  10. Plus many more!
Note that burning belly fat (or any fat, remember that spot reduction is not possible) is the first step. The key to any exercise session is that you absolutely must work yourself hard. You should be sweating well and also panting during the intense intervals. If you are not, then you are simply not working yourself hard enough.

Many of the old school approaches to exercise are very effective, especially the circuit training exercises and compound weight training sessions. This is why military style boot camps and martial arts classes are so good at helping people get fit and lose weight – they use tried and tested methods that strengthen the body, improve muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

However, as good as a particular method of exercise or a new diet designed to aid weight loss is, the real ingredient that is required for success is you. You need to want it, and you need to work hard to get it.

The Science of Burning Fat and Building Muscle

Effect of a 1-Week Diet and Exercise Program on Weight and Limb Girth, by Jerrold S. Petrofsky et al – The Journal of Applied Research • Vol. 4, No. 2, 2004.

This research paper confirms that daily exercise will reduce stomach fat effectively, when combined with a diet plan, and therefore eventually reveal a 6 pack.


Comparison Between an Abdominal Curl with Timed Curls on a Portable Abdominal Machine by Petrofsky et alThe Journal of Applied Research Vol. 3, No. 4, Fall 2003

This paper concluded that abdominal exercise equipment can help increase muscle gain by encouraging subjects to exercise harder – “subjects are forced to work hard with this machine as they fatigue whereas with crunches, as fatigue approaches, people work faster and at less of an angle of flexion

Core Strength Training by Skip Allen et al, Sports Science Exchange Roundtable 47, VOLUME 13 (2002) NUMBER 1

“Keys to successful core strengthening programs include selecting sport-specific
exercises that overload both anterior and posterior muscles of the trunk and pelvis
and emphasize repeated explosive movement”.

More like this in the Strength Training section

  294 comments for “10 best stomach exercises for 6 pack abs

  1. MotleyHealth
    February 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Jack, if you want to up cardio but have a dodgy ankle then I would suggest using an elliptical, rower, bicycle or go swimming. More cardio / longer workouts really is the key to losing that fat though.

  2. Marc
    February 24, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Hey Motley
    Really great thread you have here and still replying after 3 years, fair play to ya, you sure are helping a lot of lost souls out. Anyway here’s my dilema, I have skinny arms and skinny legs and a guess what (belly) I have finally realised that I had to cut the sugar down/out (2 or 3 lucozades a day was not helping) well, they are now cut out completely I want a 6 pack and 10% body fat before im 40 so I have nearly 2 years to sort it. I also love bread (white) but have now cut that out and gone on to granary. 1. is eating 4-6 slices of granary bread still bad for me? 2. I dont like hardly any Veg or Fruits, so I am at a loss what to eat, I’m very fussy, although im going to start to try more f&v now.

  3. MotleyHealth
    February 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Hi Marc, 4-6 slices is OK so long as you are active. You really should try to eat more fruit and veg. Stews are a great way to get lots of veges. Lucozade – designed for endurance athletes! Sounds like you need to git the gym and get squatting, deadlifting and working the upper body too with bench press, rows and curls. Do cardio on the ellipticals or rower to work upper and lower body too. This will help burn fat and get those muscles moving.

  4. Marc
    February 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for the reply, yup good idea with the stew. Well im now making sure I do minimum 30 mins cardio per day eg. 5k Jog 2 days ago and 1 hour soccer yesterday. Now my legs are aching and not sure if I should have a days rest or just crack on with another 5k jog tonight regardless? Also, Im about to buy some weights and a bench so will try to do that too 4-5 times a week. I will do the squats but whats best for calf muscles? Cheers

  5. MotleyHealth
    February 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Calf muscles – calf raises!

  6. Arthur
    February 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Hey, 16 here. I don’t have much stomach fat, but what I have I do want to lose, I excersize once a week intensely (hoping to go up to three times a week) doing stuff such as Zumba and spin classes at my local gym, and I walk about a mile to school everyday at least, is this enough to begin losing weight if I start watching what I eat? I do eat quite a lot of sugary foods – if I do cut them out of my diet is there any ‘sweet’ alternatives?

  7. MotleyHealth
    February 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Arthur, if you exercise 3 times a week then a good diet will help you to lose weight.

  8. Sadaf
    March 4, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Heeyyy, I am 28 female, I am nearly 12 stone, trying to lose wait about 2 stone or more, in 3 months time, I want to ask about fresh or not from concentrate orange juice, what does it has effect on diet, if I drink around 1 Litter a day.
    And my second question is about liquid diet is it good idea to do?? And how??

  9. MotleyHealth
    March 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    If you are hoping to lose weight, why do you want to consume 1 liter of orange juice a day anyway? This seems a bit excessive. Liquid diets are useful if you cannot eat! Soup is good as it helps you to stay full for longer. What is important is not eating too much, being active and getting plenty of exercise. Read our article on how to lose weight, this will teach you more.

  10. Lindsay
    March 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Hi, I am a 13 year old girl and I am like110 lbs. I really want to try sports next year in high school but I always get tired when I run. I can’t run very fast either. How can I run faster and not get so tired? And what exercises should I do in order to get a six pack? Thanks so much! :)

  11. MotleyHealth
    March 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Lindsay, the way to run faster without getting tired is simply to run more! Run every day and you will get fitter and increase your endurance. Regarding the 6 pack – read the article.

  12. Jo
    March 6, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I am way overweight, I have a big stomach and butt. I don’t mind excercising at all, however ; I have asthma and am really having issues breathing after I walk just a very short distance!! I am really frustrated!! What do you suggest to loose this fat stomach and butt?

  13. MotleyHealth
    March 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Jo, well, for most asthmas sufferers exercise helps to reduce attacks. As we learned recently in the Truth About Exercise documentary the key really is to get more active in general, and consume fewer calories. Walking is a good form of exercise so I suggest that you start by trying to walk further / faster each day. Take your medication with you and consult your asthma nurse or doctor if in any doubt. Maybe you could try to get out for a walk a few times a day? And also eat less.

  14. Phoenix
    March 23, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Hi, im Phoenix, I am 14 years old and I have belly fat. I have tried working out and doing sit ups and planks, but I can only loose about 2-3lbs. I weigh about 124 and I want to at least loose 10lbs, but gain muscle. I am tired of leaning over and having my stomach crunch up and push out making me look like I weigh more than I do. Please help!!

  15. MotleyHealth
    March 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Phoenix, you need to do more that just a few crunches and planks. Get exercising every day, go running, join a martial arts club, take up a sport – just be more active more often. Also, cut out all junk food. Now is the time for action.

  16. Barb
    March 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I am thin, 32 years old, never had children, i weight 120 pounds and i’m 5’7. but i have a belly, i look like i am 2 or 3 month preggers, so i have changed beer for wine :) what do you recommend? I have 2 options, Dancing or going to the Gym with the option to play squash a few times a week.
    in how many months will i get rid of this hideous belly and the love handles as well?
    Please advise

  17. Cory
    March 26, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Hey, I’m 20 years old and been working out for about 2 years now. Unfortunatley I haven’t seen much progress in my pecs of abs but everything else is getting pretty big. What can I Do? Thanks

  18. MotleyHealth
    March 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Hi Barb, up to you which option you take. Gym and squash may be a good way to go, but then again, if you like dancing ….
    Diet is as important as regular exercise though, so look to cut out those unnecessary snacks and reduce the staples (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes). Eat more protein too to help muscle grow. One advantage of going to the gym is that you could do more resistance exercise to build some muscle tone.

  19. MotleyHealth
    March 26, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Hi Cory, work the pecs and abs harder. Use more weight, do different exercises. Burn more fat.

  20. ZeroG
    March 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm


    What do you recommend to start with for someone who hasn’t moved a muscle in 7 years? I was in a coma for 6 years and havent had much strength for a year staying home. I tried to work out, but my mucsles just don’t work and when they do, I seem to always pull muscles. I use to be very strong. I’m 32 now, and just had a knee incident, so I cant really stand now or run or do anything really intensive. I need to start somewhere. Can you help me please?

  21. MotleyHealth
    March 28, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Hi ZeroG. Didn’t the doctors provide an advice on rehab? Can you swim? Swimming is good, just make sure you are supervised to start with. Other than that. walking with some gentle weight training will be good. Work all the muscles but with light weights to start with, to get the body used to moving again.

  22. ZeroG
    March 30, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Thanks! Yes, I was in rehab for 2 weeks until I was ready to go home. I’ve been home for 15 months now, havent gone outside a day in that time. My bones we so bittle, my right knee gave way when I tried to stand up from trying push ups. So I have to get that looked at before I can walk properly again. Then Ill try walking and weights. Swimming is not an option. I need to find things to do to help me in my home first. I have two 3kg bells I can use to walk around with when my knees better though, guess I’ll give that a try instead of trying to go hard like I thought I could.

    I appreciate your help!

  23. Sharan
    April 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Hello, I started a healthy lifestye in january consisting of walking/jogging 2 miles 6 days a week and a body pump class everyother day in the evening. My diet is good but always room for improvement. My question is, I have a fat stomach and need to know how to get rid of it. I started s weight training regime 3 days now. Do you think this will help with my belly fat? I and going to tweak my diet to make it leaner.

  24. MotleyHealth
    April 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Sharon, tweaking the diet is the key. Keep tweaking and keep working on your fitness levels too, and hopefully by the summer you will be there.

  25. dave
    April 7, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I am a person with normal stature, but I have either a belly weight or bulging belly. I am doing cardio with running almost 7 miles/week (a year). I also do some reverse crunches for some time (one month). However, my belly does not seem to go flat yet. Can you advise me how to improve my strategy ?

  26. MotleyHealth
    April 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Dave, you need to exercise more and eat less! For fitness you need to do more than 1 mile a day (average) and some reverse crunches. Build up your running and do a more complete circuit training workout. Healthy diet is VITAL too. Cut out all the snacks, junk, beer etc.

  27. Nena
    April 8, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Hi am 26 I have 3 kids n I have big stomach n currently am using the slendertone belt I would like to know if that’s going help me….?

  28. MotleyHealth
    April 8, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Hi Nena, you need to eat a healthy and portion (calorie) controlled diet and get fit to lose weight. Wearing a belt is not going to help combat those issues really.

  29. dave
    April 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I tried your suggestion with circuit training which include reverse crunches, captain’s chair and bicycle crunches. I feel that after excercise, my upper and side muscles on abdomen are showing more than lower middle ones. would these slowly build up as my belly seem more concentrated in this area. while i am relaxed, belly is still loose. how much time I expect for it to go tight in mid and lower belly section without overdoing it.
    Another question is about diet that I am trying to focus on more skim milk in order to get more protein intake apart form whey and fat free ricotta cheese. I donot know how to avoid sugar present in these sources. I have almost eliminated over the counter sugar in my diet. is it ok to have only 20% fat in the diet.

  30. MotleyHealth
    April 20, 2012 at 12:17 am

    20% fat is fine Dave. So long as you are not consuming too many calories.

  31. Rio
    April 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Just came across this website. Thanks for the useful information. Due to personal reasons i turned to exercising to help cope and that was the best decision i could have made. I started at about 216 with a 38 inch waist size. After a year now I’m down to a 32 inch waist and my weight down to 170 pounds. I do high intensity cardio and weight training targeting a different muscle group every day. My diet is strict and I dont compromise on it. My body fat percentage is down to 13% fro 29% when I started. My aim is to increase my muscle mass now and this has steadily been increasing. Guys make no mistake, this is a lifestyle choice and change with no quick fixes. It takes a long time to get the results you want but hang in there and it will come. Still have some belly fat to get rid but hopefully that will be gone. The most amazing thing that I have discovered is how great you feel after training and being fit helps me keep up with my kids :)

  32. MotleyHealth
    April 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Rio, that is just awesome. Well done! I am going to post a few bits of this to our Facebook page – great tips and motivation here.

  33. Nancy
    May 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    For the past 11 weeks I have been working out 6-7 times a week using Jillian Michaels DVD’s. I am varying DVD’s between her Fat Burner, Trouble Zones, 6 wk 6 pack, Ripped in 30. Along with the exercise I have been closely monitoring my diet. I have eliminated as much sodium as possible, eliminated most sugar (every once in awhile I do treat myself with something that has sugar in it), eliminated soda, eat ample fruits and veggies, only eat lean protein. I watch my portions very closely. I have lost a lot of inches however very little weight. During the exercise I am pushing myself as hard as I can so I think I’m giving it everything I’ve got. I am discouraged with the lack of weight loss. I have lost about 5 lbs, and started at about 28% body fat. I expected to start seeing a more rapid weight loss after the first 4 weeks, most of my weight loss has occurred between weeks 4-7. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong? Areas I could tweak to see better results?

  34. MotleyHealth
    May 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Nancy. Well, firstly, well done. 5 pounds and inches lost is good. Now, I suspect that while your diet is healthy, you may still need to reduce portion size more. Sounds like you have made a lot of excellent changes, but if you are not losing weight and are exercising 6 times a week, then there is still too many calories going in (assuming you have not packed on loads of muscle of course).

  35. Alexander
    May 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I need help,
    I am 100 lbs, and i’m 6’3″ (yeah i’m tiny, but still growing up since i’m 15)
    I burn around 300-500 kcal in my Elliptic bicycle. /day
    And my walking burns me around 200 to 600 kcal /per day

    I usually eat for breakfast one cereal bar or yogurt with one rice cake.
    At meal time i eat an apple, a carrot or 3 nori sheets.

    And then i take dinner: around 100 to 250 gramm of protein (white fish usually) with some olive oil (virgin extra)
    A lot of vegetables: on hot vegetables i put vinegar or tomato sauce and on my salad i put vinegar.

    But i have a lot of belly fat!
    I’m wondering what can i do to lose belly fat, i burn all my daily calorie intake,
    but i don’t know how to lose that belly fat…
    I lost 7 pounds this week, gained muscle but still don’t know why my belly is so fat!

    help please!

  36. MotleyHealth
    May 10, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Alexander. First, do you mean 100 pounds or 100 kilos? If you are 100 pounds your BMI is 12.5 which will make you extremely underweight. 100 kg will give you a BMI of 27.6, meaning that you are indeed overweight. Please confirm your weight.

  37. Yvette
    May 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hello, I am 24 years old and weigh about 115 pounds. I am most uncomfortable with my belly fat and love handles. I simply want to reduce a couple of inches and tone my stomach. I normally eat yogurt or fruit for breakfast, for lunch I eat a salad, chicken, or fish with veggies, for dinner a salad or cereal and during meals I eat fruit. However, I feel like I am starving every hour of the day. For exercise I do 30 minutes of the Brazil but lift and at times a 15 minute ab workout. I wanted to know if there is anything else I can do for quicker results or if I am doing anything wrong? I have a month to loose inches and tone my stomach.

  38. MotleyHealth
    May 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    How often are you exercising? Are you gaining strength, improving fitness? If you feel like you are starving then you may not be getting enough food which means that you will not be able to recover from workouts so quickly. Your breakfast seems too light really. Vary your workouts, rather than do the Brazil Butt Lift every day do some running, swimming, resistance training etc. Mix it up.

  39. dinesh
    May 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    hai i have big belly but slim body my weight is 50kgs and my height is 5’5 please give some ideas for reduce my belly size

  40. MotleyHealth
    May 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Dinesh, sounds like you need to get fitter. Start working out 4-6 times a week, work on your fitness and strength.

  41. Jenny
    June 4, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Hi, I am 46 YO female. I have lost 35 lbs. my goal is 150 lbs total. I have RA, OA & Fibromyalgia. It is under control but I have a lot of problems with my knee. What type of exercises would you recommend. I currently walk around 3 miles a day, I ride my stationary bike 3-4 times a week and I also use 8 lb dumb bells 2 times a week. It’s hard for me to do almost anything that would require me to bend my knee. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!!

  42. MotleyHealth
    June 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Jenny, if you can cycle and walk then you should be OK on an elliptical machine too. Also swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise.

  43. sasi
    June 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Hi, iam 19 my weight is 97kgs and height is 5’7 i want to reduce my weight and also iam having huge thigh and back buttocks fat and belly fat,so iam requesting you to say a diet and weight loss action plan…..please help me witing for you reply

  44. MotleyHealth
    June 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Sasi, read this article, and follow the rules: How to Lose Belly Fat. More on diet can be found here; A Healthy and Balanced Diet. A good daily workout to start with: 20 Minute Home Workout

  45. Stella
    June 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hi! I,among the many others here have arrived here seeking a solution to my belly. :) I’m 21 yrs old, 5’3 inch tall, 140 pounds with quite lean body overall and no problem areas anywhere. I just have a bit of a pouch going on with my belly, its not too noticable but its just a bit more fat than I’d like. Was wondering what I can do to actively lose it. I pretty much bike 15 mins or more every day and more on the weekends, but I still can’t seem to lose my belly fat. I eat moderately healthy, mostly random healthy food with protein, potatoes,and such lately. I do go to the gym, but not regularly due to my intense school schedule. I’d love some advice, thanks.

  46. MotleyHealth
    June 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Stella, double your time cycling for a start, and make sure it is intensive. If you are just counting the time cycling to work then this is not optimum exercise. If you have access to a gym make it a habit to go – find an exercise class to join and go each week. Ideally you should exercise every single day – this is the only way really.

  47. Emily
    July 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hi, I’m 5’2 and weigh a little less than 50kg. I understand I have to burn off the fat stored around the abs, so I’ve been doing just cardio (jogging, alternated with brisk walking) for 20 mins, 3 times a week, for the past 6 weeks. I’d also do some ab exercises after every workout to strengthen them.

    I changed my diet to fruit salad for breakfast, eating anything for lunch & a high fibre dinner or maybe a fruit salad again. In total I just eat 3 times a day.

    I do feel I’m losing weight but that’s not my goal. I want to lose my stomach fat. In the morning its nice and lean, but after every meal I feel so bloated and it shows.

    The exercise & dieting has helped abit, but its still bulging, especially when I sit! I’m not fat but there’s plenty of it stored in my abdomen area. The less I eat the less energy I have to exercise, which is counterproductive!

    Have I been doing something wrong? I want to lose all these flab desperately! I’ve been living with it for the past 20 years and I’m tired of being so insecure about it. I’d love some advice regarding my diet & exercises I could do to hasten the stomach fat loss process.

  48. MotleyHealth
    July 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Emily, it sounds like you need to do more exercise. 20 minutes of jogging / walking is a good start, but you need to get much more intensive to get fit, and to show your abs, you need to be fit. Really you should be doing cardio everyday of the week, not just 2 days a week too. Your lunch could be a problem, you say “eating anything for lunch” – what does this involve? Eating too much just a few times a week is enough to prevent fat loss. If you want to maintain your weight but lose your stomach fat you should also start to exercise your whole body with a combination of bodyweight exercises and some weight training. Jogging is a good way to burn fat and get fit, but to tone up you need resistance exercise combined with a healthy, balanced diet (too little protein will make it harder to tone up). As for no energy to exercise – when do you eat and exercise? Have a banana 20 minutes before exercising and you will have more energy.

  49. Emily
    July 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Thank you for your advice! And to answer your questions, for lunch I try to have some protein, vegetables and a little rice. Not a large portion because I’m a small eater, & I stop eating before I get too full. Is it also safe to exercise everyday? I’m worried my knees might give way from too much running. I’m still studying and its only convenient for me to jog than to swim or go to the gym. I eat lunch at noon and exercise at around 5pm or right before dinner. Having a banana would be a good idea. Also, any advice on my stomach bloating problem? Is that normal or do I have a condition that needs to be checked? I dont think its serious, but a little odd since my friends dont seem to be facing that problem. What should I do to help my stomach from bloating after every meal?

  50. MotleyHealth
    July 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Hi Emily. Yes, exercising daily is fine. How far are you running? Really, each person is different, some people run all their lives and have no problems. Bananas are great, eat them. Stomach bloating could be caused by food intolerance. Maybe cut out the rice for starters and see how you go. If concerned you should get it checked out by a doctor.

  51. sasi
    July 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    i am working out with gym from 1 month ….my weight is getting increasing and decreasing with out any stability….please give me advice to attain stability in my weight. Thank u

  52. MotleyHealth
    August 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Sasi, assuming that you are currently overweight, then the problem most likely lies in a poor / unhealthy diet that is too high in calories. Follow a diet plan, do not snack, exercise every day.

  53. Mohamed
    August 22, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Hello Sir,

    First of all, I dont have words to express how much I want to thank you :)
    My Problem isn’t about belly Fat,I have a flat Stomach, But I have tried Cardio workout, and so many abs excersices with no Result, Just a Strong Stomach not more than that.. My Stomach get stronger, But No Abs appears, Is it my Body nature ?? :(

    Best Regards,
    Mohamed ElNaggar

  54. MotleyHealth
    August 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Hi Mohamed, losing all the fat that covers your stomach is really hard. Athletes manage it because they do a lot of exercise, vary their workouts and eat really healthy. Same rules apply to everyone though, athletes, teenagers, celebrities and you. Start performing a combination of weight training, bodyweight exercises and interval sprints. Try this routine every other day for a week, and do the normal cardio on the other days:

    After a warm-up (skipping, 5 minutes gentle jogging), run 400 meters, then 10 burpees, 5 pull-ups, 15 sit-ups. Repeat 4 times. Should take around 20 minutes. This will get your body burning more fat.

  55. Mohamed
    August 22, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Many Thanks for ur great advice, Good luck in every thing you want to acheive :)

  56. Aryan Gaikwad
    August 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Are they suitable for a 12 year old. If not then what diet should I follow with right form of exercises?

  57. MotleyHealth
    August 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Aryan, speak with your PE / gym teacher at school, they can guide you best.

  58. sasi
    August 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

    respected sir,

    my age is 19 and my height is 5.6 and i want to increase my height upto 5.9 or5.10 plz suggest me the exercise and diet to increase my height

  59. MotleyHealth
    August 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hi Sasi, sorry, but this is not possible. You cannot force your body to grow taller.

  60. sasi
    August 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    What was the maximum age for the males to grow ?

  61. natasha
    August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    m 22 and my belly fat is very embarassing for me. I had gained this because of my bad eating habits and tiring schedule.. i work for 12 hrs a day and so didnt get time for exercise. please give me some effective tips to reduce my tummy…

  62. MotleyHealth
    August 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    It varies really Sasi, men tend to stop growing between the late teenage years and early 20’s. The main driver of how tall you are is your genetics. A healthy diet and exercise will help you to reach your genetic potential, but nothing will magically make you taller. Getting plenty of sleep is important too. If anyone sells a product that claims to make you taller, it is a scam. Do not buy it.

  63. MotleyHealth
    August 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Natasha, you need to stop the bad eating habits – eat 3 small meals a day, no snacks. Make time to exercise – everyone has time. Most important is to be more active in general and control the diet though.

  64. Dean
    August 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I am 44yrs, 173lb, 5’9. I too have lower belly stubborn fat and side fat. I am lean and well defined on my entire upper body and lower body. I am an old body builder mentality type of person when it comes to workkouts. Having family history of heart disease I take my nutrition seriously. I work out with weights 4x/wk, 120min cardio/wk, core training & ab exercise/3wk. What i can’t overcome is the last layer of belly fat i have. Sugar intake eliminated, processed foods eliminated, white carbs eliminated, hydrogenated oils eliminated, fruits/veggies up, lean protiens up, increase in healthy fats (such as avacado, almonds, olive oil), Whey protein shake 2 servings/daily and water consumption at 100oz/daily. Its really frustrating having a ripped body except in my mid section. What the heck am I missing?

  65. MotleyHealth
    August 29, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hi Dean, a tricky one. It is possible that you need to restrict calories much further to lose the fat on your stomach. This may not be something that is sustainable though. More cardio may help too, maybe some intensive interval training to encourage additional fat burning (increasing those metabolic pathways).

  66. Essie
    October 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I am 35yrs old with 1 child.
    I trained boxing nearly for a year and a half,which helped me to lose 7kg in two months without making any hard diet.While i really loved boxing,i am wondering if this sport can make my torso larger than what is already.It is ok to tune and to lose the fat on my back but i don’t want bigger torso.
    My second question is : When i went to a dietitian she told me that i can not lose more than 8kg otherwise i will lose muscle.
    Now,i still need to lose another one kilo but i feel like i need to lose more because of my belly and stomach doesnt seem flat enough meanwhile i dont want to lose muscle either.What am i suppose to do?

  67. MotleyHealth
    October 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Essie, if you are still training those muscles and eating a healthy diet with plenty of protein your muscles will not waste away. As for boxing training and developing a larger torso, you will get a bigger upper body as boxing exercises the back, shoulders and arms. A lot of the training is focused on developing these areas. However, it is unlikely you will bulk up a huge amount, and if you are still carrying a little extra fat then this will make a bigger difference anyway. What are your measurements at the moment? Is your waist a healthy size already?

  68. Anjali
    October 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    i had gained too much waith with in 2 3 months coz i am suffering from typhoid,, my tummy especially has increased much,, doctors suggest me not to excercise as my health is not well,, i feel hungry too much,, plz help me

  69. MotleyHealth
    October 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Anjali, listen to the advice of your doctors. Concern yourself with recovering from typhoid before anything else.

  70. Juan Carlos
    November 1, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Hi, So i have fast metabolism and it’s hard for me to gain weigh. What kind of protein shakes, should i take? I’m also a swimmer, but i want to gain muscle, since I’m a very skinny guy. I’m 5’9’1/2″ feet tall and i weigh 145Lb. What should i do? It’ll be nice if my chest get bigger lol.

    Thanks, JC

  71. MotleyHealth
    November 1, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Juan, eat more food – more healthy carbohydrates, more lean proteins. Take a whey shake after your weight training workouts.

  72. Travis L.
    November 6, 2012 at 12:15 am

    hi i am 16 im starting out doing intesive workouts should i do cardio one day then weights the next to give my muscles a chance to rest? and does supplement drinks like six star nutrition help or any of the powder stuff? and what are some good lean protien sources to eat. Thanks…

  73. MotleyHealth
    November 6, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Hi Travis. Yep, alternating cardio and weight training is a good way to go. Here is some info on lean protein sources. Powders are good too, just be careful to monitor how much extra energy you may be consuming. If you are exercising hard it should not be a problem though.

  74. shamseer
    December 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    i have a normal body , and i am working in office
    you know 99% of time am staying in front of my pc
    and my belly fat is keep growing , i need to remove it
    what is the best and quick way to do it please please help me
    i am 25 years old and 5.3 hight 62 kg weight

  75. MotleyHealth
    December 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Shamseer, exercise everyday and stop eating junk food. 3 meals a day, keep them small and healthy.

  76. sarah
    January 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm


    Ive decided i need to lose a little weight and tone up. Im 26, 5 ft 4 inch and weigh around 11 stone.

    What would be the best sort of exercises to do as ive had 3 children by c section… last one 3 years ago… and want to lose weight and get rid of some of my tummy flab. I start my diet Monday, and already have an exercise bike to help with fitness. Can you point me in the right direction please?

  77. MotleyHealth
    January 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Hi Sarah, if you are planning to exercise at home, then start with 30 minutes on the exercise bike and then do our 20 minute circuit afterwards, which will help to strengthen your muscles (and burn more calories).

  78. sarah
    January 5, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Thanks…thts brill!

    With the circuit can i just take my time and work up to doing the full 20 mins?
    Im an asthmatic and the last exercise class i did didnt end well so i just wanna build myself up and take my time until my body and health can handle the full workout.

    The advice is so much appreciated!

  79. MotleyHealth
    January 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Yes, always work at your own pace, but always try to increase your fitness.

  80. ali
    January 7, 2013 at 9:39 am

    i am 26 male, my waight is 80KG and i want to lose like 7KG, i have belly fat, my waist is 40inch i need to reduce it less than 35inch. I was in trying this for the past 4years but it is like i am just maintaining my condition no change at all. So can PLZ you give me advice, i do swim and go jogging during the weekends. PlZ HeLP

  81. MotleyHealth
    January 7, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Hi Ali, start by exercising every day, just exercising at weekends is not enough. You also need to change your diet, you are obviously eating too much food throughout the week. You should be able to lose 7 kg in 14 weeks on a healthy (but low calorie) diet and daily exercise regime.

  82. ali
    January 8, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Thank you so much for your advice, but I do exercise almost every day, I swim during the weekdays and jog during the weekends but I am feeling like I am not losing any thing no change at all, and I of course I do it less but what how much less should I eat ? Do u mean it will take me to lose 7kg within 14weeks?
    Thanks again for your advice.

  83. MotleyHealth
    January 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Hi Ali, if you are overweight, doing a lot of exercise and not losing weight, then you are certainly eating too much. How much should you eat? To lose 1/2 kg a week you need to have a daily calorie deficit of about 500 Calories (3500 Calories a week). If you go over this it is unlikely you will lose fat. Counting calories does work, but it is easy to miscalculate. Better to follow a simple meal plan. You will be surprised at how little you really need. Take a look at the simple meal plans here. This is an area we may expand on, as so many people ask.

    The best way to really lose weight is to keep a diary of all you eat and all your exercise. Omit nothing. Then measure your weight and waist circumference weekly. If you do not lose weight, look at your diary and highlight snacks, refined carbs etc. and eliminate these. Some as simple as halving the portion of rice with a meal and stopping soda and snacks in between meals may make the difference.

  84. ali
    January 9, 2013 at 3:44 am

    thank you so much for your beneficial advice i will start doing what you said, and i hope it will work. once again thanks

  85. Chandish
    March 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I am 63 yrs old. my wt is 64 kg. I am doing 45 mints workout including dumbbell exercises. but I am unable to reduce belly fat. another thing is that I get tired after 3 to 4 hours. I drink water in between exercise. please advice ! any wrong doing? have a nice day!

  86. MotleyHealth
    March 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Chandish, what are you eating? And when? Do you mean you are getting tired 3-4 hours after exercising, or after waking up?

  87. Chandish
    April 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I wake up at 8 am .after tea at 9 am i do workout for 45 mints. then i eat one boiled egg two slice of bread ,3 dates ,and about 25 grams nuts. i took about 1 teaspoon of honey with water in between exerciser. after 3 to 4 hours of work out i get tired. i took lunch after 5 hours of workout. please advice about my tiredness.thanks.

  88. MotleyHealth
    April 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    How much sleep are you getting Chandish? What are you doing after working out?

  89. Chandish
    April 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    i had a disturbed sleep for 6 hours. i just do little light work after workout.i drink lot of water. now i have started daily walking for 15 mints in the evening.had i have a vitamin deficiency ? or excess work out as compare to age ? or diet problem? .pl guide me. Thanks a lot !

  90. MotleyHealth
    April 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Chandish, if you are concerned about tiredness and possible nutritional deficiencies, you should speak to a doctor. 15 minutes of walking is not going to cause over training problems at any age. One option is to have some breakfast before you exercise. Something easy to digest such as a banana is a good idea.

  91. Chandish
    April 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    thanks a lot !let u know in future.bye!

  92. Vikraman
    July 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Hi am trainer from India I need some support and guideline for me and latest updates so can u guide brother
    Fitness trainer
    Fitness one group India ltd

  93. miriam chimoyo
    September 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    My weight is too much and l am having problems with the exercises. Please assist starting with the easiest. Walking is now a problem esp my back and legs are a problem.

  94. MotleyHealth
    September 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Miriam, if walking is a problem then I strongly suggest that you seek a personal trainer who has experience in helping people with back problems. We cannot really give you specific exercises to do if you are not able to walk comfortably.

  95. kase
    December 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

    hi.. i am a teenager. i want to exercise for 6 packs abs.i am 17 years old and my height is 5’7.will exercising stops my growth of height. what you suggest, i should exercise or not. i want a good height.

  96. MotleyHealth
    December 29, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Hi Kase, exercise will not stop you growing. Exercise is good, it will make your body stronger.

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