Sculpt your midsection and shed belly fat with these effective at-home workout exercises and lifestyle tips from personal trainer Nolan Sunnassee

Firstly, we’re not trying to shame anyone into thinking they have to lose weight, and loving yourself is a must whatever your shape.

However, most health experts agree that carrying excess weight around the midriff increases your risk factor for disease, namely metabolic syndrome, which is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease too.

Fat stored around your stomach is more of a health hazard than fat stored on your bum and hips, where it’s further away from your organs.

Build a stronger core and target belly fat with these simple at-home workout exercises…

At-home workout to target belly fat

belly fat workout


  • Take feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  • Hold a weight in both hands, close to the chest.
  • Keep your back flat, head up and eyes forward.
  • Squat low to the ground and push back up, arms reaching above your head, then lower.

TIP: If doing 10 reps, you need to use a weight heavy enough so that the last one is a struggle.

WHY IT WORKS: Lifting a weight above your head is similar to doing a crunch, as the abs have to stabilise your body so you don’t fall over.

belly fat workout


  • This move is also known as a dead lift but this one has a press to the ceiling added on the end.
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, chest up, keeping your back flat.
  • Holding a barbell, a single weight or a slam ball close to your chest, squat back and stick your bum out as you go down, then push quickly up through your heels.
  • Push the bar/weight/ball up above your head and bring back to your chest. Repeat 10 times.

WHY IT WORKS: This targets all of your stomach muscles as you’re having to stabilise and generate force, so it gives the core muscles a good workout. The larger the weight, the harder you have to work.


  • Go onto your knees. Put your hands on the ball at 45 degrees, so they’re not on top and not on the sides, but halfway between the two.
  • Roll the ball forward, but keep your hips down towards the ball – don’t let your bum stick up in the air.
  • Only go as far as you can – it should not hurt your lower back. You don’t have to go too far before you really feel it!

WHY IT WORKS: This directly utilises your core muscles, both the deep and the more superficial ones. You’ll feel it more in the lower half.


  • Hold the plank position for as long as you can, keeping good form, ie not letting your bum come up or letting your head drop down.
  • You can modify this by going on your knees if it’s too difficult, or make it harder by taking one foot off the ground.

WHY IT WORKS: As with the Swiss ball exercise, this targets all your abdominal muscles.

More ways to target belly fat…

While the exercises here will help you to create a stronger core (and if you do them regularly they will help whittle your waist) they won’t do the whole job as it’s essential to look at other lifestyle factors…


There are more cortisol receptors around the belly area, meaning that high levels of stress are more likely to lead to you storing fat on your stomach. Reducing stress is therefore a good place to start.


People with “love handles” tend to either eat too many carbohydrates or they don’t process those carbs very well. Too many refined carbs can therefore potentially lead to them becoming prediabetic and then diabetic, because their bodies aren’t as efficient at converting glucose into energy. Try cutting out refined carbs for two to four weeks to see how you feel.


This is an amino acid that can help you burn fat and which has been found to help people with high blood sugar levels. It’s naturally present in meat, but you can also get it in supplement form.


Consume wholefoods, fresh veg, nuts and seeds and also increase your intake of high-quality fish oil.


Alcohol turns to sugar when you drink it, so won’t help if your aim is to reduce belly fat.

Nolan Sunnassee is a personal trainer and lifestyle consultant, helping people lose weight and recover from injury. You can find him at and on Discover his weight loss plan at

Click here for some top tips on finding fitness motivation during winter!