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What Classes at the Gym Are Good for Burning Belly Fat?

author image Nina Makofsky
Nina Makofsky has been a professional writer for more than 20 years. She specializes in art, pop culture, education, travel and theater. She currently serves as a Mexican correspondent for "Aishti Magazine," covering everything from folk art to urban trends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.
What Classes at the Gym Are Good for Burning Belly Fat?
People are in a zumba class together. Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Targeting your abdominal area with resistance machines and core strength classes does little to burn belly fat. The best gym classes for addressing your belly focus on aerobic activity. You should exercise at a challenging pace to raise your heart rate. Maintain an elevated heart rate for about 60 minutes, and you will burn more than 500 calories per hour -- enough to lose 1 lb. a week if you exercise daily.

Step Aerobics

Step aerobics involve moving up and down as well as laterally. You target your lower body muscle groups when ascending and descending the step. Raise your heart rate higher and burn more body fat by using arm movements during step aerobics class. Raise your arms overhead and swing them side to side. Depending upon your weight, level of fitness and exercise intensity, you can burn 500 to 790 calories an hour in step aerobics class.

High-Impact Dance

Aerobic dance, Zumba, hip-hop and any other dance workout that involves high-impact moves, such as jumping, skipping, leaping and galloping, will burn belly fat at a rapid pace. Lift your knees higher, squat lower, cover more area when moving laterally and use vigorous arm movements to burn belly fat quickly. Moves that require moving your limbs in opposing directions or using balance will make you contract and stabilize your core, strengthening your abdominal area. You can burn 410 to 650 calories an hour doing high-impact dance.

Boot Camp

Boot camp and functional fitness classes combine intense cardiovascular exercise with moves that improve flexibility, endurance and strength. Take advantage of the cardiovascular portions of the workout by doing them at your highest capacity. Top fat-burning exercises include jumping rope, boxing, kickboxing, sprinting and climbing. Calisthenics, such as jumping jacks, deep squats, lunges, burpees and pushups, keep your heart rate high but also build muscle. The denser your muscle mass, the more calories your body burns to support it.

Classes with Cardio Machines

Circuit training, indoor cycling and other classes that incorporate cardiovascular machines offer a distinct advantage for burning belly fat. You can adjust weight, resistance and speed to make your workout more challenging and analyze your results. If you do a circuit class that involves the treadmill, setting it at a steep grade while you run burns more calories and builds your lower body muscles. Equipment such as a rowing machine and elliptical trainer offer full-body workouts that burn calories and engage every major muscle group.

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