Exercises to Get Rid of Spare Tire

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HIIT is a great way to burn calories.
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Spare tire fat in a woman's body is more than just an aesthetic concern. If left unaddressed, it can put you at risk for diabetes, heart disease and premature death. Although you cannot spot-reduce fat, you can get rid of it through diet and regular exercise.

Dangers of Spare Tire Fat in a Woman's Body

Abdominal fat consists of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Subcutaneous fat lies under your skin, so you can actually pinch it with your fingers. Visceral fat, on the other hand, surrounds your internal organs and can affect metabolic health. This type of adipose tissue has been linked to cardiovascular problems, breast cancer and other disorders, explains Harvard Health Publishing.

According to a September 2019 review in PLOS One, visceral fat may significantly increase the risk of cardiometabolic disorders in obese women. Over time, it may lead to high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Women are more likely to experience these side effects than men.

As the researchers note, visceral adipose tissue is metabolically active. Unlike subcutaneous fat, it releases cytokines and hormones that promote the onset of cardiometabolic diseases and may lead to sudden cardiac death. Diet alone isn't enough to banish belly fat, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. You also need to engage in regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training.

Read more: The 12 Best Moves to Bust Fat Under the Belly Button

Beware that spot reduction is just a myth. Sit-ups, crunches and other ab exercises can strengthen your core, but their effects on body composition are negligible. What you need is a well-rounded workout plan that targets all of the major muscle groups. The more lean mass you have, the more calories you'll burn throughout the day.

Lose Belly Fat With HIIT

High-intensity interval training has emerged as a time-efficient training method for those with a busy lifestyle. A typical workout takes as little as 10 to 30 minutes, alternating between short, intense bursts of physical activity and rest periods. What you may not know is that it's also a great way to burn fat and get rid of love handles.

A November 2017 review featured in Sports Medicine assessed the effects of HIIT on body composition. Researchers have found that high-intensity interval training can significantly reduce total, abdominal and visceral fat in both sexes.

Due to its intense nature, HIIT causes your body to consume more oxygen after training to return to its pre-exercise state, increasing the calorie burn. At the same time, it stimulates the release of testosterone and other hormones that influence physical performance and body composition. According to the American Council on Exercise, this training method may also improve muscle definition and cardiovascular fitness.

Depending on your preferences and fitness level, you may combine HIIT and strength training, cardio or body-weight exercises. Each high-intensity interval can last about 30 seconds or less.

Read more: This Tabata-Inspired Workout Blasts Fat in Just 4 Minutes

Tabata, for example, is a more advanced form of HIIT that involves eight 20-second high-intensity intervals with 10-second rest periods in between. In a small study published by the American Council on Exercise in October 2013, subjects burned 240 to 360 calories during a 20-minute Tabata workout.

The beauty of HIIT is that you can customize it according to your needs. If, say, you don't have a gym membership, you can exercise at home with little or no equipment. Use this HIIT workout for inspiration:

  • Burpees: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Plyo push-ups: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Plank jacks: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Burpees: 30 seconds
  • Butt kicks: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Squat jumps: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Plyo push-ups: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Plank jacks: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Burpees: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Mountain climbers: 30 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Butt kicks: 30 seconds

If you have a stationary bike at home, you can increase the speed or resistance for 30 seconds, slow down for another 30 seconds and repeat. The same goes for treadmills and other cardio machines.

Weight Training Improves Body Composition

Strength training may improve body composition and reduce spare tire fat in a woman's body, suggests a February 2015 review published in the journal Obesity. As the scientists note, there is a significant inverse dose-response relationship between weight lifting and waist circumference. This form of exercise increases lean mass while reducing adipose tissue. When combined with moderate to vigorous cardiovascular training, its benefits are even greater.

Lean mass decreases as you age, which in turn, may slow down your metabolism. Strength training helps build and preserve lean mass, keeping your metabolism up.

Compound, or multi-joint, exercises are particularly beneficial as they engage multiple muscle groups at once. Additionally, they get your heart rate up and may improve cardiovascular fitness, states the American Council on Exercise. Your workout may include squats, military presses, chest presses, lunges, deadlifts, push-ups and other compound movements that hit all of the major muscles and build core strength.

Combination workout routines are a good choice for those who are short on time. Kickboxing workouts, for example, combine squats, presses and other strength exercises with heart-pumping cardio, martial arts techniques and core work.

Try Suspension Training

Weight training is great, but you may not have enough space for barbells, dumbbells and gym machines. This doesn't mean you should skip your workouts, though. You can either perform body-weight exercises or use suspension training to work your muscles. The latter strategy uses your own body weight and a suspension trainer. Exercise balls, resistance bands and other accessories are suitable for at-home workouts too.

A small study conducted at Western State Colorado University in November 2016 and sponsored by the American Council on Exercise confirms the efficacy of TRX suspension training. Subjects burned around 400 calories per one-hour session. They also experienced significant reductions in body fat, waist circumference and blood pressure, as well as an increase in muscle strength in just eight weeks.

Read more: 16 TRX Exercises for a Full-Body Workout

Another small study, which was published in the International Journal of Sports Science in July 2017, reports similar findings. Overweight women who used this training method experienced improvements in body composition, or fat-to-muscle ratio, and lower body strength within eight weeks.

This training method is ideal for those who work out at home. All you need is a suspension training kit. It requires a learning curve, but so does any other type of exercise. You may use your training kit for chest presses, rows, squats, atomic push-ups, triceps extensions, lunges, core work and much more.

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