How to burn belly fat and get abs

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I have tried and failed with a number of methods to burn belly fat and get abs or a ‘six-pack’ over the years and only achieved this in the last 8 months or so.

I am not one of those annoying people that ‘naturally’ has a small waist or a six pack!

I have to work really hard at making sure the right workout and meal plans are in place to reveal anything near a flat belly.

Melissa Neill in workout clothes

Sometimes it’s felt like a real up-hill struggle and I wasn’t getting anywhere despite spending hours and hours working on my abs. Have you had the same experience?

I remember a personal trainer told me years ago (who was also a bodybuilding competitor) that in fact, you don’t have to spend too long training your abs as the other exercises you perform in the gym (or at home) like deadlifts, squats and pull-ups work your abs.

But I didn’t listen and now I know he was right!

I have spent years chasing getting an elusive ‘six-pack’ and ‘ab crack’ and I have finally cracked the code, so I would like to share my experience with you.


I’m not going to cover diet too much in this blog, as that’s already covered in my earlier blog about how to beat menopause belly fat. But needless to say diet is VERY important.

You may have heard the phrase: ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. So before you go ahead and start using the methods I am going to outline below if you want to get the most out of it, then do start focussing on eating a healthy wholefoods diet.

You can download my FREE meal plan to lose body fat and work your way towards a flatter belly from today.

Strength Training

The first thing to understand about your belly is that you can give the ‘illusion’ of having a flat tummy or small waist by having a tapering shape upwards towards your back and shoulders and then downwards towards your hips.

What I would call an ‘hourglass’ figure.

So it’s really important to exercise your back, shoulders and glutes (which also includes legs), in addition to your waist.

So if you haven’t done already, take up a weight or resistance training program around three times a week. These workouts have the added benefit of working your core. The exercises I would recommend are as follows:

Back: Lateral pull-downs, Seated rows and pull-ups or chin-ups. If you can’t do unassisted do assisted pull-ups using a machine in the gym or resistance bands at home.

Shoulders: Overhead dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raises and front raises are great for shoulders. You can also use a resistance band for this.

Glutes: Squats using a barbell or dumbbells, Hip thrusts using a barbell or some gyms have a hip thruster machine, glute kickbacks and hip abductors.

You can do squats and hip thrusts without equipment at home with or without resistance bands. You can watch my video here to see how you can workout your glutes from home:

YouTube video

Wear a Waist Trainer

The next step is that I would highly recommend wearing a waist trainer when you’re working out. However, if you have a lot of body fat to lose (say 100 pounds or 50 ish kilos), it may not be beneficial at this stage.

The waist trainer will help you get that extra 1 or 2 inches from your waist.

I browse the internet looking for the BEST fitness and weight loss products so that I can share that with you. When you buy through links on this site I may earn a commission.

To buy the waist trainer if you live in the USA follow this link to the Amazon USA websiteIt’s $23.99

If you live in the UK you can buy the waist trainer by following this link to the Amazon UK website. It’s £15.99

This is the one I have been using and I would recommend it, as its nice a tight and has withstood many washes and uses over 8 months. I have lost 2 1/2 inches off my waist since using one.

I have gone from a 27-inch waist to 24 1/2-inch waist over 3 months (from 4 June 2019 to 4 Sept 2019).

Ab Workout

So finally I am going to talk about what ab or core exercises to do! Sorry, it’s taken so long to get to this but it’s really important to emphasize the other stuff as that is normally what people AREN’T doing!

In my opinion, many people do far too many ab exercises and it’s not beneficial at all if you don’t have the right diet and other things in place.

I did exactly this myself, loads of sit-ups, rollouts, weighted ab exercises and it was fruitless!

In fact, it is pointless doing lots of ab exercises if you have a layer of fat, because the muscles on your stomach are not going to show through however hard you train them.

Your main core exercises should not be weighted and I would recommend doing them 3 times a week at first and when your body gets used to this you can adjust to up to 4-5 times a week.

You don’t do any weighted ab exercises as they will just make your ab muscles grow bigger, like any other weighted exercise. The exercises you can perform are:

  • 10 – 20 sit-ups, 3 to 5 sets
  • Planks for one minute 3 to 5 times

When you get better at this you can add either 10 to 20 knee raises holding on to a bar 5 sets or swiss ball tucks or a TRX ab crunch.

You can also watch my video here which explains everything I’ve told you and demonstrates how the exercises are performed:

YouTube video

That’s it. You don’t need to spend a great deal of time. Just 10 to 15 minutes on your abs.

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