Blog Fitness Workouts Abs Workouts 11 Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat: Female Edition

11 Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat: Female Edition

Losing belly fat has always been a primary goal for many women, and it’s not just about looking good in a swimsuit. Beyond aesthetics, carrying excess abdominal fat is linked to serious health risks, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers (8). Women, in particular, may struggle with stubborn belly fat due to factors like hormonal fluctuations, stress, and genetic predisposition (1). The struggle is no less easier with slew of diet fads and extreme workouts out there that often falsely promise fast and easy results. The truth is, lasting fat loss takes time and commitment to a comprehensive plan which includes regular physical activity. The good news, there are exercises that can help you target belly fat and get the results you want. In this article, we’re diving into the science-backed world of fitness and unveiling the 11 best exercises specifically designed to help you shed that pesky belly fat while also improving your overall health.


What Is The Fastest Way For A Woman To Lose Belly Fat?

The fastest way for a woman to lose belly fat is by combining aerobic exercise with strength training. Research has shown that creating an energy deficiency through diet and exercise is the best way to reduce body fat, including belly fat (5, 9).

Note this, losing belly fat can be a challenging task for women due to various biological and hormonal factors. Understanding these factors and adopting a science-backed approach can help women overcome these challenges and achieve their fitness goals.

Hormonal Factors That Contribute To Storing Belly Fat

Women have a higher estrogen level than men, which plays a crucial role in fat distribution.

Estrogen encourages the storage of fat around the hips, thighs, and buttocks, making it more difficult for women to lose belly fat. Moreover, during menopause, estrogen levels drop, causing fat to redistribute and accumulate around the abdomen (3).

Cortisol is a stress hormone that contributes to the accumulation of visceral fat (deep abdominal fat). Women tend to have a higher cortisol response to stress, which can lead to increased fat storage in the belly area (14).

Biological Factors That Make It Difficult For Women To Lose Belly Fat

Women generally have a higher body fat percentage than men due to differences in hormones and reproductive functions (6). This higher body fat percentage can make it more challenging for women to lose belly fat.

Genetic predisposition can also influence fat distribution in women (1). If a woman’s family has a history of carrying excess weight in the abdominal area, it may be more challenging for her to lose belly fat.

Read More: Blast Away Belly Bulge: A Guide To Yoga For Belly Fat Reduction

best exercises to lose belly fat female

Why Fad Diets And Extreme Workouts Aren’t An Ideal Belly Fat Solution

Fad diets open up a world of yo-yo dieting, and extreme workouts can lead to burnout or injury. In the long run, neither of these approaches will help you achieve your health.

See also
Planks For Abs: Exercises That Will Set Your Core On Fire

While these approaches may offer short-term results, they may have long-term consequences:

Slowed Metabolism

Drastic calorie restriction can cause the body to shift into “starvation mode,” slowing down metabolism to conserve energy. This reduced metabolic rate can make it harder to lose weight in the future.

Loss Of Muscle Mass

Rapid weight loss often involves losing muscle mass along with fat, which can further slow down metabolism and make it harder to maintain weight loss (16).

Nutritional Deficiencies

Extreme diets can lead to inadequate nutrient intake, affecting overall health and well-being (16).

Increased Risk Of Weight Gain

Yo-yo dieting has been linked to an increased likelihood of future weight gain, making it counterproductive in the long run (11).


Intense workouts without proper recovery can lead to overtraining, causing fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injury (10).

Elevated Cortisol Levels

Excessive exercise can raise cortisol levels, leading to increased belly fat storage.


Extreme workouts are often difficult to maintain in the long term, leading to inconsistency and reduced effectiveness.

best exercises to lose belly fat female

How Can A Woman Lose Belly Fat In 2 Months?

Losing belly fat in 2 months is achievable with a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, and lifestyle changes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help women lose belly fat in a manageable time frame:

Set Realistic Goals

Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week, which is considered a healthy and sustainable rate of weight loss (17). In 2 months, you can expect to lose 8-16 pounds.

Follow A Low-Calorie, Nutrient-Dense Diet

Focus on consuming whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-calorie beverages.

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Control Portion Sizes

Eating smaller portions and avoiding second servings can help you reduce your caloric intake. Using smaller plates and paying attention to hunger cues can also be helpful.

Eat Mindfully

Chew your food slowly, savor each bite, and avoid distractions while eating. This helps you enjoy your meals more and prevents overeating.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water throughout the day can aid in digestion, prevent overeating, and contribute to overall weight loss.

See also
The 20-Day Abs Challenge: Get Sculpted In Less Than 3 Weeks With This Exercise Routine

Incorporate Regular Exercise

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week (7). Include strength training exercises at least twice a week to build muscle and increase metabolism.

best exercises to lose belly fat female

Target Belly Fat With Core Exercises

While spot reduction is not possible, including exercises like planks, leg raises, and bicycle crunches can strengthen your core muscles and improve your overall appearance.

Prioritize Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, as lack of sleep can negatively affect weight loss efforts and contribute to weight gain (13).

Manage Stress

Practice stress-reducing techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises, as high stress levels can lead to increased cortisol production, which is linked to belly fat accumulation.

Stay Consistent And Patient

Weight loss takes time, and it’s essential to remain committed to your goals, even if progress seems slow at times. Remember, losing belly fat in a healthy way is more likely to result in long-term success.

Read More: 9 Intermittent Fast Belly Fat Burner Hacks That Are Science-Backed

Which Exercise Burns The Most Belly Fat?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best methods to burn belly fat quickly.  It involves alternating between short periods of intense exercise and active rest, such as sprinting for 30 seconds followed by walking for 90 seconds.

The intensity of HIIT can help you burn more belly fat, as it requires your body to work at a higher intensity for a longer period of time.

That said, comparing the effectiveness of different exercises is difficult since everyone’s body responds differently to different types of activity. Furthermore, the effectiveness of any exercise is dependent on consistency, intensity, and proper form.

Here are some activities that have been shown to be particularly effective for burning fat:

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT workouts involve alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and rest or low-intensity recovery periods.

This type of workout is excellent for burning belly fat because it increases your heart rate, boosts metabolism, and helps you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

HIIT also provides an afterburn effect, known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which means you continue to burn calories even after the workout is over (4).

How To Perform HIIT

  1. Choose an aerobic exercise you enjoy, such as running, cycling, or jumping jacks.
  2. Warm up for 5-10 minutes with light cardio and dynamic stretches.
  3. Perform your chosen exercise at maximum intensity for 20-30 seconds.
  4. Follow with a low-intensity recovery period, such as walking or slow cycling, for 40-60 seconds.
  5. Repeat this cycle for 20-30 minutes, depending on your fitness level.
  6. Finish with a cool-down of 5-10 minutes, including static stretches.
See also
7 Chair Exercises For Abs Of Steel: Beginner Workouts

best exercises to lose belly fat female

Strength Training

Strength training exercises, such as weight lifting or bodyweight exercises, help build muscle mass, which in turn increases metabolism and promotes fat loss, including belly fat.

Women with more muscle mass tend to burn more calories at rest, making it easier for them to maintain a calorie deficit and lose fat.

How To Perform Strength Training

  1. Choose compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and deadlifts.
  2. Warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretches.
  3. Perform each exercise for 8-12 repetitions, ensuring proper form and technique.
  4. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.
  5. Complete 3-4 sets of each exercise, targeting all major muscle groups.
  6. Finish with a cool-down of 5-10 minutes, including static stretches.

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Strength Training: 8 Exercises To Lose Belly Fat

The exercises below are highly effective for targeting the abdominal muscles and burning belly fat. They also strengthen other core muscles and build overall functional strength.

While spot reduction is not possible, incorporating these 8 strength training exercises can help strengthen and tone the core muscles, contributing to a toned and defined midsection for women.


Planks are an excellent isometric exercise that targets the entire core, including the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back muscles. Strengthening these muscles can help improve posture, reduce the risk of back pain, and create a toned appearance (2).

How To Perform A Plank

  1. Start in a push-up position with your forearms on the ground and elbows aligned under your shoulders.
  2. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core muscles.
  3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds or as long as you can maintain proper form.
  4. Repeat for 3-4 sets.

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Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunches target the rectus abdominis and obliques, helping to sculpt and define the waistline. This exercise also engages the hip flexors and improves overall core strength.

How To Perform Bicycle Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, elbows pointing outwards.
  2. Bring your knees towards your chest and lift your head and shoulders off the ground.
  3. Extend your right leg as you bring your left knee towards your right elbow, twisting your upper body.
  4. Switch sides by extending your left leg and bringing your right knee towards your left elbow.
  5. Continue alternating sides for 12-20 repetitions per side, maintaining a controlled movement.
  6. Complete 3-4 sets.
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Russian Twist

Russian twists target the obliques and help develop rotational strength, contributing to a toned midsection and improved core stability.

How To Perform Russian Twists

  1. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and lift your feet off the ground.
  3. Hold a dumbbell or weight plate with both hands at chest level.
  4. Twist your torso to the right, bringing the weight towards your right hip.
  5. Twist your torso to the left, bringing the weight towards your left hip.
  6. Continue alternating sides for 12-20 repetitions per side.
  7. Complete 3-4 sets.

Dead Bug

Dead bugs engage the deep core muscles, particularly the transverse abdominis, helping to create a strong and stable midsection while reducing the risk of back pain (15).

How To Perform Dead Bugs

  1. Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Engage your core, pressing your lower back into the ground.
  3. Slowly lower your right arm and left leg towards the ground, keeping your lower back pressed down.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left arm and right leg.
  5. Continue alternating sides for 12-20 repetitions per side.
  6. Complete 3-4 sets.

Leg Raises

Leg raises target the lower abdominal muscles, which can be challenging to engage in other exercises. This exercise also helps improve hip flexor strength and flexibility.

How To Perform Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and your hands placed under your glutes for support.
  2. Engage your core and lift your legs off the ground until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Slowly lower your legs back down, stopping just before they touch the ground.
  4. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.
  5. Complete 3-4 sets.

best exercises to lose belly fat female

Side Plank

Side planks target the obliques and help improve overall core stability and balance. This exercise also engages the glutes and shoulder stabilizers, promoting a strong and toned midsection.

How To Perform A Side Plank

  1. Lie on your right side with your right forearm on the ground and your elbow aligned under your shoulder.
  2. Stack your left foot on top of your right foot or stagger them for more stability.
  3. Lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds or as long as you can maintain proper form.
  5. Repeat on the left side.
  6. Complete 3-4 sets per side.

Reverse Crunch

Reverse crunches target the lower abdominals, helping to create a strong and toned lower belly. This exercise also engages the hip flexors and improves core stability.

See also
The Best Ab Workouts For Women: Strengthen Your Core And Get The Midriff Of Your Dreams

How To Perform Reverse Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your hands by your sides or placed under your glutes for support.
  2. Bend your knees and bring them towards your chest, keeping your feet together.
  3. Engage your core and lift your hips off the ground, bringing your knees closer to your chest.
  4. Slowly lower your hips back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.
  6. Complete 3-4 sets.


Supermans target the lower back muscles, which are essential for maintaining a strong and balanced core. Strengthening these muscles can help improve posture and reduce the risk of back pain (6).

How To Perform Supermans

  1. Lie face down on the ground with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight.
  2. Engage your core and lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground simultaneously.
  3. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds before slowly lowering back down.
  4. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.
  5. Complete 3-4 sets.


Running is an effective aerobic exercise that helps burn calories and reduce overall body fat, including belly fat. It can be easily adapted to suit different fitness levels and requires no special equipment, making it accessible to most women.

How To Perform Running

  1. Choose a comfortable pair of running shoes and suitable clothing.
  2. Warm up with 5-10 minutes of walking or light jogging and dynamic stretches.
  3. Start running at a moderate pace, focusing on maintaining proper form and breathing.
  4. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your runs as your fitness level improves.
  5. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of walking and static stretches.

best exercises to lose belly fat female


Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that burns calories and helps with reducing belly fat. It is suitable for women of all fitness levels and those with joint issues, as it puts less stress on the knees and hips compared to high-impact exercises like running.

How To Perform Cycling

  1. Choose a stationary bike or a regular bicycle, ensuring it is the right size and adjusted correctly for your body.
  2. Warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cycling and dynamic stretches.
  3. Cycle at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes, adjusting the resistance or incline to match your fitness level.
  4. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of light cycling and static stretches.


Incorporating a combination of high-intensity interval training, strength training, and targeted core exercises into your fitness routine can help women effectively lose belly fat and achieve a toned midsection.

Remember that a balanced diet, proper hydration, stress management, and sufficient sleep are also crucial factors in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

By adopting a holistic approach to fitness and health, women can overcome the unique challenges they face in losing belly fat and enjoy long-lasting results.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Belly fat in women: Taking — and keeping — it off (2002, 
  2. Effects of High Intensity Plank Exercise on Physical Fitness and Immunocyte Function in a Middle-Aged Man: A Case Report (2021, 
  3. Estrogen Deficiency and the Origin of Obesity during Menopause (2014, 
  5. Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, 
  6. Got Back Pain? Try Doing ‘Superman’ and 3 More Exercises (2015, 
  7. How much physical activity do adults need? (n.d., 
  8. Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer Risk (2020, 
  9. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2020, 
  10. Overtraining Syndrome (2012, 
  11. Potential Long-Term Consequences of Fad Diets on Health, Cancer, and Longevity: Lessons Learned from Model Organism Studies (2007, 
  12. Sex differences in human adipose tissues – the biology of pear shape (2012, 
  13. Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2022, 
  14. Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women (1994, 
  15. The effect of trunk stabilization circuit exercise using a rubber mat on the thickness and white area index of transverse abdominis in healthy young adults (2018, 
  16. The Health Risks of Fad Diets (2020, 
  17. Weight loss: 6 strategies for success (2021,
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