In 2018, 45% of all Americans who made a New Year's resolution set out to lose weight or get in shape. Given the worldwide obsession with washboard abs, it's a safe bet to assume that many who are out to lose weight are also targeting the tummy.
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But remember this: No matter how much attention you focus on the gut, spot reduction is still an exercise myth. To flatten your belly, your cardio routine should focus on overall weight reduction — get ready for high-impact cardio that offers a lot of calorie burn.
Before you see that six pack, you've got to burn away belly fat — that means that low-impact crunches aren't on the agenda. Sprinting it not only simple, but it also burns a huge number of calories.
Sprints require no equipment, and you can encourage calorie burn with high knee lifts. Engage in interval training by all-out sprinting for 30 seconds then jogging for a minute or so before repeating.
Read more: Running 101: Getting Started with Sprints
Here's a happy trend: High knees are another high-impact fat-burner that you can do just about anywhere, with no equipment to speak of.
Thirty seconds of raising those knees up to your chest in rotation — targeting the same spot on the ground with your feet — and in training intervals particularly works the lower abdominals while yielding a plentiful calorie burn. Pump the arms for additional calorie burn.
Read more: High Knee Exercises
Rowing incorporates both the upper- and lower-body muscles in a relatively low-stress manner for your joints and ligaments. If you want to melt your muffin top with lower-impact exercise, rowing might just be your ticket. For a 180-pound person, an hour of rowing burns more than 800 calories; switch over to intervals, and you can push that number over 1,000.
You may have noticed a pattern among the most effective fat-burning exercises — they tend to get even more effective when they're done in intervals of high intensity and low intensity.
This type of training is called high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. These workouts range from about 20 to 60 minutes, in which you switch between periods of exercise where your heart beats at about 80 to 95 percent its maximal rate down to a recovery period of about half the intensity.
Incorporating one or two HIIT workouts into your routine each week can result in 6 to 15 percent greater calorie burn than steady-state exercise, and actually encourages your body to burn more calories in the 24 hours after your workout.