It's the end of the year, and a few extra pounds have made their way onto our waistlines for many of us. We've all been there – those holiday cookies, eggnog lattes, and festive meals can quickly add up to leave you with what feels like an unavoidable Santa Claus-like belly (if you're anything like me!).
But don't worry – while we may not be able to undo them completely in just one day or week, engaging in specific exercises has been known to help melt away a pesky belly bulge quickly!
This blog post will discuss the seven best exercises to help you melt away and tone up your midsection. We'll provide detailed instructions for each exercise and highlight their benefits in helping to target those hard-to-reach abdominal muscles.
These exercises are covered whether you're looking for something light and easy or full-on intensive abdominal strength training. So let's get started burning off that extra holiday cheer!
7 Best Exercises to Melt Away Your Santa Claus' Belly
While it's a time to relax, treat yourself and share gifts with your loved ones, the accompanying merry feasting could also leave you feeling a little bit like Santa Claus!
If you've been packing on the holiday pounds around your waistline, it might be time to dust off those gym clothes and start shedding that belly 'fluff.' Here we'll be exploring seven of the best exercises to help melt away those extra festive inches - so let's get started!
1. Hanging Leg Raise
The hanging leg raise is an effective exercise for strengthening, toning, and tightening the core muscles.
It engages several muscle groups simultaneously, including your abdominals, rhomboids, trapezius, and lower latissimus dorsi. This compound movement will help improve your abdominal strength while also helping to straighten and support your spine.
- To perform the hanging leg raise correctly, grip a horizontal bar or another surface above you with an overhand grip.
- Then lift both legs toward your chest while keeping the legs in front of you.
- Hold this position for at least one second before slowly returning to the starting position.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Related Article: 6 Best Leg Exercises for Strong and Slim Legs
2. Mountain Climber
Mountain Climber exercise is an excellent option for burning fat and getting lean abs. An additional advantage to Mountain Climber exercises besides melting away belly fat is that it also strengthens your arms, legs, core, and entire upper body at the same time!
- To do this exercise, you should get into a plank position with your hands and feet on the ground, shoulders under your wrists, and core tight.
- Make sure to keep your back straight to avoid straining the muscles.
- Then, alternate bringing each of your knees up towards your chest while keeping the rest of your body steady and in place.
- Keep engaging your abs and maintaining proper form throughout the movement with quick movements.
- Each time you raise one knee to chest level counts as one rep.
- Do three sets of 5-10 reps, with 30 seconds of rest between each set.
3. 90 Degree Crunch
90 Degree Crunch is an effective exercise that helps melt away belly fat and tone your abdominal muscles. This exercise requires you to use only your body weight, making it a great home workout.
- To get started, lie on the floor with your legs bent at 90 degrees.
- Place your hands behind your head, elbows out wide.
- Then tuck your chin to engage the abdominals as you raise yourself off the floor by flexing through the upper back while keeping the abs active.
- As you crunch up, press your lower back into the mat while curling under the ribs and squeezing at the tops of each repetition.
- Do this 10-15 times for one set, then rest for 30-60 seconds before beginning another set of repetitions.
4. Spiderman Pushup
The Spiderman Pushup is a great exercise for strengthening your core and melting away the fat from your belly. It helps to engage your abs, hips, and shoulders while giving the chest an added strength boost. Incorporating Spiderman pushups into your daily routine can help strengthen your abs and increase coordination and balance.
- To perform the Spiderman Pushup, start in a standard pushup position and slowly bring one knee forward and up toward the same side elbow as you descend into a pushup.
- Hold it for a second before returning your leg to the starting position.
- Repeat by alternating legs, and keep your core tight throughout each repetition.
- Perform 3 sets of 6-8 reps per side.
Related Article: 8 Awesome Benefits of Doing Push-Ups Every Day
5. Medicine Ball Slam
A medicine ball slam is a powerful exercise that provides tremendous abdominal benefits. It requires you to explosively move the ball's weight from overhead to chest height, engaging your abs to stop and control its momentum.
Doing multiple reps of this effective ab burner movement helps your core muscles contract, chisel away at belly fat, and tone your midsection.
This dynamic rotation engages many muscles as it challenges stability and strength - perfect for melting away. Enjoy toning throughout all layers of abdominal muscle and aiding in achieving ultimate body fat loss goals!
- To perform it correctly, lift the medicine ball, so your hands are resting above your head, and then lean back slightly while bringing your hands together at the top.
- Explosively throw the ball down toward the floor below you without crossing your legs and catch it gently close to the ground with bent knees.
- When you stand up, snap both arms straight downwards toward the floor, so you return to your starting stance.
- Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
6. Side Plank With Knee Tuck
The Side Plank with Knee Tuck is a great abdominal strengthening exercise that attacks the love handles and obliques while also targeting the deep core muscles that help melt away your belly. It's the perfect workout for anyone wanting to slim down their waist and tone up.
- To begin, start in a side plank position on your right side.
- Put your legs together, prop yourself up on your forearm, and ensure your right elbow is directly below your right shoulder and your hip is high.
- Then, tuck your top knee towards your midline, contracting your abdominals.
- Slowly return it back to the starting position.
- Make sure to keep a straight line from head to toe while driving your knee in and out.
- Perform 10-15 reps on each side for best results.
7. Toe Touches With Dumbbells
Toe touches with dumbbells are an excellent way to help reduce your belly fat. It is a perfect workout for all levels of fitness. The exercise primarily works your abdominal muscles and helps to develop a stronger core and lower back muscles, which are essential for improved balance, posture, and flexibility.
When done correctly, toe touches with dumbbells will help strengthen and burn calories in your midsection—allowing you to melt away that stubborn belly fat!
- To perform the move, lie down on the ground with your legs straight up in the air.
- Support a dumbbell in your hands and reach the dumbbell up towards your toes.
- Crunch your abdominals hard before slowly returning to the start position.
The Bottom Line
These seven exercises are an excellent starting point if you want to lose that 'Santa Claus' belly and gain a stronger core. But remember: exercise is just one part of the bigger picture of health and fitness! Be sure to properly fuel your body with healthy foods while giving it the rest it needs to recover and restore.
When achieving the results you want, there's no magical quick fix—it'll take dedication, hard work, and consistency to see lasting change in your physique. Even so, don't be too hard on yourself, either! Exercise should ultimately be fun, and it's always important to find activities that leave you feeling energized rather than drained. With enough practice, effort, motivation, and a lot of sweat, you'll be on your way to shedding those extra pounds in no time.