For many people, it’s a big struggle to lose excess fat around the midsection, no matter how hard they try. Unfortunately, a balloon belly is not only frustrating to deal with when squeezing into tighter pants, but it can also predict future health issues. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, research links a bloated waistline to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The best way to burn fat isn’t by doing cardio; it’s resistance training. So we’ve put together some productive free weight exercises to help you get rid of your balloon belly for good.
By working out with weights, you’ll burn calories and build lean muscle, which will increase your metabolism and burn more fat throughout the day. For best results, ditch machine exercises and use free weights – dumbbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, etc. This way, you’ll use a full range of motion and activate more muscles as you balance and stabilize your body with weights.
The result? Better fat loss to deflate your balloon waistline. Here are some great free weight exercises, regardless of your experience, to get rid of your balloon belly and improve your overall health.
The Goblet Squat is one of the best full-body exercises. It’s not just a lower body movement; you even target your upper body as you hold the weight and stabilize your core throughout the exercise.
To prepare for the exercise, grab the end of a dumbbell with both hands and hold it against your chest with your elbows under the weight. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly apart. Begin the movement by sitting back and spreading your knees. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom of the movement, cross your heels and keep your knees apart.
The key to burning lots of calories is to target lots of muscles at once – and the Bench Press does just that by blasting your entire upper body. Best of all, it’s a little easier on your shoulders than a traditional barbell bench press.
Lie on a bench with your chest up, shoulders tight, and feet flat on the floor. Drive the dumbbells up, keeping your shoulders back. Drive through your heels as well, keeping your glutes on the bench.
Rows are a great exercise for strengthening your upper back and arms. By leaning in at the hips, your core has to work much harder – and your lower body has to sink in too – for you to get even more out of a single movement.
Grab a dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees slightly, and bend your hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Keeping your lower back flat, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and row.
This is another amazing full body exercise to help you lose weight. It trains so many muscles in the back of your body from head to toe and improves your posture so you don’t overdo your belly. By using a kettlebell, you learn how to properly deadlift so that once you get stronger and more advanced, you can try dumbbells, trap bars, and more.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a kettlebell in the middle between your large ankle bone (medial malleolus). Bend your hip to grab the handles with both hands. Keep your back straight, knees slightly bent and shoulders tight. To perform the exercise, press your heels into the floor and push your hips forward. Then reverse the movement and repeat.
Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Learn more about Anthony
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