An increasing waistline in the body bothers most of the individuals because a huge belly does make them look awkward. This increase in the belly size is because of the excessive fat accumulation in the upper belly fat. To get rid of this upper belly fat, a proper diet plan, along with physical activity, is required. Some exercises are primarily meant to reduce the upper belly fat. In this article, we will discuss the various exercises to reduce upper belly fat. Also, we will know how these exercises help in reducing the upper belly fat and toning the abdominal muscles making you look handsome and healthy.
Causes Of Upper Belly Fat:
There are various causes for the increase of this belly fat. Some say that it is because of genetics or because of the hormones, etc. Here are some of the causes of the increase in upper belly fat.
- Calorie Intake: We need to eat daily for the proper functioning of the body. This does not mean that we overeat. Even though we eat excessively, we should perform some physical activity to burn down the calories. If the calories don’t get burnt, they get accumulated and convert into fats resulting in unnecessary abdominal weight gain.
- Age Factor: The muscle mass present in the body gets diminished gradually with the increasing age. Because of this, the physical activity gets reduced, resulting in healthy weight gain, most importantly, the fat gain.
- Lack Of Sleep and Stress: Some studies revealed that lack of sleep could cause weight gain because of the hormonal changes. Sleep deprivation causes hormonal imbalances that regulate appetite and hunger. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases hunger; sleep deprivation increases the release of this hormone. During this time, the brain tends to choose junk food more, which may result in an increase in fat content in the abdominal region.
Effective Exercises To Reduce Upper Belly Fat:
Here we enlisted 12 simple and best exercises to reduce upper belly fat. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Russian Twists:
This is one of the simplest exercises to perform, but you will feel the fat burn in the upper belly portion after some repetitions. This exercise works well for the abdominal muscles. For more effectiveness, you can carry some weights in your hands.
How To Do:
- Sit on a mat with your hips on the ground. Bend your knees, and move your feet flat on the floor.
- Tighten your abs by keeping your butt pressed to the floor, slowly lean back until you’re at a 45-degree angle with the ground.
- Now, bring your hands together away from the body in a straight fashion. Slowly turn your body to one side, carrying the weight across one side of the body.
- Turn back over to the other side of your body. Cross the ankles if you feel like you’re losing the balance.
- Twist front and back quickly if you can, by maintaining the legs at a 45-degree angle.
- Aim to keep doing for a full minute before you stop. Repeat this process for 5-6 reps for effectiveness.
2. Upward Plank:
This exercise is the same as that of the regular planks except for the front portion does not face the ground as in the case of the regular plank position. In yoga, this exercise is called Purvottanasana. This exercise helps to tone the abdominal muscles by burning the fat accumulated in that region. it is one of the best exercises to reduce upper belly fat.
How To Do:
- Initially, sit on the ground with your legs stretched out and place arms straight and palms on the floor.
- Brace your ab muscles and slowly lift the body upwards as if someone is pulling you with a cord around your waist. Use your palms to lift the body and use your feet to reach upwards as much as you can.
- Hold on with this position for at least 30 seconds before returning to the ground. Repeat 15 to 20 times for one set.
3. Side Planks:
This is one of the exercises which puts pressure on the abdominal portion of the body, thereby reduces the belly fat. This exercise also helps in strengthening the oblique abdominal muscles by burning the excess fat content present.
How To Do:
- Firstly, lay flat on one side of the body, with an arm out. Then bend your knees and place your legs over each other at a 45-degree angle with the ground.
- Rest your whole body’s weight on the forearm that is placed on the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to squeeze yourself up into a sideways plank position.
- Now, slowly lift the other arm up towards the sky and hold this position for as much time as you can.
- Slowly come back to the initial position. Perform this 10 to 12 times for one set.
4. Boat Pose:
In yoga, this exercise is called as Navasana, Nava means boat and asana is the pose. In this pose, the body comes to V shape, balancing entirely on the hips. The legs are lifted upwards to 45 degrees and the arms parallel to the ground. When the legs are raised, the abdominal muscles come into play, and they get strengthened by burning the belly fat.
How To Do:
- Firstly, sit on a yoga mat and move your feet forward on the ground. Make sure that both the feet are close to one another.
- Slowly lift both the legs till they reach 45 degrees or even more as much as you can by balancing the whole body on the buttocks.
- Now, extend your arms parallel to the ground, touch your knees, and hold this position for 45 seconds, and then slowly come back to the normal position. Repeat 10-12 times for one set.
5. Twist Crunches:
This exercise is very similar to the bicycle crunches except that the lower body, i.e., the legs remain unmoved. In this exercise, one side of the upper body is lifted and twisted, making the abdominal muscles squeeze, thereby burning the upper belly fat.
How To Do:
- Lie on the mat on your back, bend the knees and place your hands back of the head. Make sure the feet are placed flat on the ground.
- Lift one side of the body and twist it to the other side. Lower your back to the floor.
- Repeat the same with the other side of the body. Continue doing this for 20-25 times on both sides.
6. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation):
Surya Namaskar is one of the primary and effective exercises that help in the reduction of the upper belly fat. This yoga pose helps in the control of the blood pressure. The stretching done in this exercise burns the excess fat present in the abdominal region.
How To Do:
- Stand on the mat, keeping your feet together, and then expand the chest and relax the shoulders.
- Take a deep breath in and lift both the arms from your side, and when you exhale, simultaneously bring both the palms together in front of the chest.
- Now inhale and lift the arms up and back; in this posture, try to stretch the body as much as you can.
- Next, breathe out and bend forward by touching the feet with your hands. Ensure that the knees are not bent.
- Then exhale and place the left leg back, touching the knee to the ground and stretch your body upwards. Make sure that the right leg is in between the hands.
- Again take a deep breath in and place the right leg back adjacent to the left leg, place the arms perpendicular to the floor. Ensure that the whole body is in a straight line.
- Now slowly move the body forward without moving the hands and legs. The chest should be placed between the arms and then stretch the body upwards as much as you can.
- Next, slowly move the body backward without moving the hands and legs so that the back portion of the body is stretched. Then come back to standing position with the hands touching the feet without bending the knees.
- Come back to the prayer position and repeat the same process with the other leg.
- Do this asana for five times for effectiveness.
7. Abdominal Plank:
The abdominal plank exercise is considered one of the best activities to reduce belly fat. This exercise is widely practised in every gym and workout sessions. This workout drastically helps in reducing the upper belly fat and tones the abdominal muscles. While doing this workout, you can feel the fat burning sensation in the abdomen.
How To Do:
- Initially, lie down on a mat on your belly.
- Now, place the forearms on the ground and the wrist and palms in the perpendicular posture with shoulders.
- Slowly exert pressure on the forearms and lift the entire body above the floor with the help of toes.
- Remain in this posture for 45 seconds and return to the initial position.
- Repeat the process three times for effectiveness.
See More: Exercises to Get Rid of Visceral Fat
8. Bicycle Crunches:
Bicycle crunches are not the most straightforward exercises like that of the others. This exercise helps in reducing not only the upper belly fat but also the lower belly fat. The cycling movement, along with the alternate upper body swing, helps the belly fat gets burnt.
How To Do:
- Lie down on a mat in a perfectly straight position.
- Lift your head, bend both the arms, place them at the back of your head, and interlock the fingers.
- Lift both the legs, bend the knees, and bring them near to the stomach.
- Now, bring your right side of the body and your bent left leg near to each other by swinging the body, then do the same thing with the left side of the body and bent right leg. You should feel the pressure on the upper tummy.
- Repeat this process for 20 times with each leg and do three repetitions for a day.
9. Side Bend With Dumbbells:
The side bend exercise reduces the upper belly fat, tones your waistline and abdominal muscles.
How To Do:
- Stand on the ground with feet apart and hold some weights in both of the hands.
- Bend on the left side as much as possible until you feel the strain on the right side, hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Ensure that the shoulders, back, and legs are perfectly erect.
- Come to the initial position and repeat the same on the other side.
- Perform this exercise 20 times on both sides to achieve desired results.
10. Lunge with Twists:
This exercise works exceptionally well in reducing the upper belly fat very smoothly by exerting pressure on the abdominal muscles.
How To Do:
- Initially, stand on both the legs, place your left foot forward and bend it with knees, and you can feel the stretch at right leg hamstring.
- Carry a light weighted ball in your hands and lift it parallel to the floor so that it’s in front of you.
- Take a plunge with the left leg and sit as you are sitting on a chair, and the left leg should be placed backwards and use your toes for supporting the leg.
- Then swing the waist and place both the hands with the ball on the left side and feel the stretch on the upper belly.
- Come to the initial position and repeat the same workout with the other leg.
- Repeat this exercise for at least 15 times on both the legs.
11. Ardha Matsyendrasana Posture:
This asana increases the elasticity of the spine and relieves from back pain. This asana also helps in the reduction of belly fat by exerting pressure on the abdominal muscles.
How To Do:
- Sit on a mat, keep both the legs straight and then bend the right leg and place the foot on the floor over the left knee.
- Then fold the left leg with knee, so that it’s touching the ground and place it next to the right buttock.
- Place the left hand over the right leg and catch hold of the big toe of the right foot.
- Take a deep breath and turn the body as much as possible and even turn the neck so that you can see the right shoulder and encircle the waist with the right hand with palm facing outwards.
- Take rest for 10 seconds and come to normal posture and repeat the same on the opposite side. Repeat this five times for achieving desired results.
12. Tiger Pose:
This pose stretches the back muscles and spine along with burning the fat off upper belly.
How To Do:
- Initially, place both your knees and hands on the ground with palms on the floor.
- Then lift the right leg and hold it straight in the air and, at the same time, lift the left hand stretching it forward without bending the elbow to feel the pressure on the tummy.
- Hold this tiger pose for five breaths and come back to the initial position.
- Perform the same with the other leg and hand, exercise this ten times on both sides.
Best Tips To Reduce Upper Belly Fat:
The upper belly fat exercises mentioned above will definitely help in reducing the upper belly fat. Along with these, there are also some tips you can follow to enhance the reduction of belly fat.
- Drink Water: Drinking plenty of water increases the speed at which the weight is lost. Drinking plenty of water helps in proper digestion, flushes out toxins from the body, hydrates the muscles for better performance during the performing of exercises.
- Follow Proper Diet: Diet plays a vital role in the reduction of fat from the body. A proper diet plan, along with the workouts, will enhance the fat reduction from the body. Avoiding sugar-based products, excess fat-containing foods should be done. Also, having breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the right times is mandatory to help the process of fat reduction.
- Cut Down on Stress: Stress is one of the leading causes of weight increase even if you perform the exercises religiously. Eliminate the stress by practising yoga, or breathing exercises, or meditation. These also help in getting better sleep.
- Limit Alcohol and Smoking: Alcohol and tobacco can cause an adverse impact on the body health. Excessive consumption of alcohol will increase fat deposits in the body. Hence alcohol intake should be limited or, if possible, should be avoided.
- No Hard Exercising: Initially, go slow on the exercising. Do not rush into performing all the exercises right from day 1. This may cause an adverse impact on the muscles in the body. Aged people should be very cautious in performing such exercises; it is advisable to perform easy exercises in more reps.
Belly fat on the body looks irritating, and it completely changes the way you look. This has been a primary concern in many individuals, and they started to take artificial medications to lose fa quickly. One thing to understand is that fat burning does not happen overnight or in a week. Regular exercise, along with a proper diet, helps in achieving the target. The upper belly fat workouts, as mentioned earlier, are so effective that many people have given positive feedback after performing these exercises regularly. One thing to remember is that different people have different bodies, hence choose the exercises that best suit your body and that are easily performed by you.
1. Why Is My Upper Stomach Bigger Than My Lower Abdomen?
Ans: This is because of the result of the body storing water weight. Dehydration, lack of electrolytes, and excessive sodium consumption cause the body to retain the water in the stomach. This makes the upper belly look swollen than that of the lower part of the abdomen.
2. What Is The Best Exercise for The Upper Abdomen?
Ans: All the exercises mentioned above help in the reduction of the upper abdomen. It depends on the individual which exercise he/she chooses. The best ones would be the crunches and plank workouts. This is because the abdominal muscles directly come into action in these exercises.