The Best Exercises to Do Before Bed to Help Burn Belly Fat

If you can't squeeze in a workout during the day, exercising before bed can help promote good sleep and burn fat.
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With constantly overflowing to-do lists, some days it can feel impossible to squeeze in a workout until late in the evening.

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Luckily, you can rest assured (pun intended) that working out a few hours before bedtime can torch calories and likely won't affect your sleep too much — just don't do it ‌right‌ before hopping in bed. (It's also important to avoid pre-workout drink mixes if you're exercising close to bedtime.)

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What Can I Do Before Bed to Lose Belly Fat?

If you're looking to break a sweat before bed, certified personal trainer SJ McShane has some quick exercises for you to try. This sequence will bring your heart rate up with some high-intensity moves, followed by some more calming moves to help you de-stress before bed. But first, let's clear up a few questions about belly fat and exercise before bed.

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Does Exercise Before Bed Help Burn Fat?

While you can't spot reduce belly fat for good, incorporating some exercise before hitting the hay can help reduce body fat all over. Not only can your workout torch calories, but it may also improve your sleep, which can promote further fat loss.

Is It Good to Work Out Before Bed to Lose Weight?

When it comes to weight loss, working out at any time of day can help. (There is little research suggesting a correlation between time of day and weight loss.) It really all depends on your individual preferences and factors like your overall health, sex assigned at birth and metabolism.

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As far as sleep goes, it's usually not recommended to exercise at night (as the increased energy may keep you awake).

But, a February 2019 meta-analysis in ‌Sports Medicine‌ found the opposite may be true. After reviewing 23 different studies, researchers found no hard evidence to suggest evening exercise negatively affects sleep.

Note: You'll still want to avoid exercise less than an hour before bedtime.

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Can You Burn Fat While You Sleep?

The short answer: Yes. Although diet and exercise are the keys behind losing weight, your sleep plays a big role in regulating body weight, according to the American Council on Science and Health.

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Not only does sleep affect your total weight but also your body fat percentage, according to a February 2018 study in Sleep. In the small eight-week study, individuals were assigned a 1,450-calorie diet (down 325 calories from their usual). While all 36 participants lost weight, those who got more sleep lost more fat, while those who got less sleep lost more muscle.

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Exercises to Try Before Sleep to Help You Lose Belly Fat

If you're looking to burn some fat and improve your sleep, try this quick HIIT workout before you power down for the night. It starts off with some high-intensity moves and transitions to lower-impact ones to help you nod off later, McShane says.

1. Lunge Jump

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Sets 3
Time 1 Min
  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Step one foot forward and bend at the knees, lowering until both are bent to about 90-degree angles.
  3. Using your arms to gain momentum, jump up into the air and switch legs before landing.
  4. As you land, your opposite leg should be in front.
  5. Do as many reps as possible for 60 seconds. Rest for a minute and repeat for a total of 3 rounds.

2. Jump Squat

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Sets 3
Time 1 Min
  1. Stand with your legs about shoulder-distance apart.
  2. Hinge at your hips and lower into a squat as if sitting into a chair.
  3. Keep your head up, chest out and shoulders back.
  4. Using your arms to gain momentum, jump up as high as you can.
  5. Land back into a squat and repeat, rebounding quickly.
  6. Do as many reps as possible for 60 seconds. Rest for a minute and repeat for a total of 3 rounds.

3. Body-Weight Squat

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Reps 12
  1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart and toes pointed forward.
  2. Stretch your arms at shoulder length in front of your body.
  3. Take a deep breath in and squat with your back straight until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as you can comfortably go with good form).
  4. Exhale and reverse the motion, coming back to standing.
  5. Repeat for 15 reps.

4. Forward Lunge

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Reps 15
  1. Start standing with your arms by your sides.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right leg, and lower into a lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Keep your right knee over your right toes.
  3. Press through the right foot to stand back up and bring your legs together.
  4. Repeat with the left leg. That's 1 rep.
  5. Continue for 15 reps total.

5. Plank

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Time 20 Sec
  1. Plant your hands directly under your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body. You should form a straight line from your head to hips to heels.
  3. Keep your neck and spine in alignment by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds.

Tip

If you are too tired to complete this routine, there are some exercises you can do in bed or while sitting at your desk on a break at work that will help improve sleep.

End With Some Stretches to De-Stress

As with any workout, after you get your heart rate up, it's important to cool down and let your body slowly come back down to a resting state. You might want to walk around for a bit until your heart rate comes down, then do some of these stretches.

Focus on deep breathing in and out through your nose. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

1. Seated Forward Fold

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Time 30 Sec
  1. Sit with your legs crossed or extended straight out in front of you.
  2. Reach for your toes (or ankles or shins) to stretch the backs of your legs.

2. Supine Figure 4

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Time 30 Sec
  1. Lie on your back and cross your right ankle over your left knee or thigh, depending on what's most comfortable for you.
  2. Grab your left thigh and pull it gently toward your chest.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

3. Child's Pose

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Time 30 Sec
  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Shift your weight back so your butt rests on top of the bottoms of your feet.
  3. Reach your arms in front of you and press your chest and forehead toward the ground.

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