A Fat Burning Workout to Strengthen Your Core

Strengthen Your Core

Everyone wants a flat stomach but we don’t always get what we want, such is life: we have to hustle for the muscle. To get rid of excess body fat and lose unsightly belly fat, it is important to do both conditioning as well as weight training exercises. Stubborn belly fat cannot be targeted by spending extra time on ab exercises. Instead, you need to focus on how to strengthen your core and build up the supporting foundational blocks to influence the aesthetics of your v-shaped, chiseled midsection.

Of course, nutrition is responsible for 75% of your fat loss results, but you still need to strengthen your core by performing the exercises below. Perform all the exercises in a single day by pairing larger muscle groups (chest, back, legs) with smaller muscle groups (shoulders, triceps, biceps, abs), or spread them out across the week, adding additional exercises to further target a specific muscle group pairing each day, for example:

  • back, bis, abs
  • chest, tris, abs
  • quads, hamstrings, calves, abs

Now, let’s take a look at our 7 awesome exercises and variations for strengthening your core, and how to use them together in a circuit to bring out those six-pack abs.

1. Shoulder Press

Performing these standing is a 2-fold benefit of added core stability as well as widening the shoulders to make the core appear

  • This exercise can be performed while standing or sitting on a workout bench – arms at shoulder length apart with palms facing the body.
  • Exercise type – weight lifting
  • Muscles targeted – deltoids (shoulders), pectoralis major (upper chest), triceps (back of arms)


Lower the bar to upper chest level and then raise it above your head keeping your elbows close to your body. Ensure that you keep the core tight and stable throughout. Lower the weight and bring it down to your upper chest level before repeating the motion.

Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing forward throughout the exercise. Try varying the hand position for a new stimulus.

Repetitions: 15 repetitions for beginners, 12 reps for intermediate, and 10 reps for the pros.

2. Barbell Squats

Another excellent exercise to build core stability as well as the supporting muscles below the core, to fortify the aesthetics.

  • This exercise can be performed with the bar behind the neck, in front of the next (front squats), with dumbbells or kettlebells, or with no weight adding a jump at the end (squat jumps).
  • Exercise type – weight lifting
  • Muscles targeted – legs, hips, and glutes (buttocks)


Start with the bar lying on your upper back and across your neck. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, toes pointing forward and out ever so slightly. Next, it is recommended to look up at a 30-45 degree angle to keep your back straight and tight.

Now, bending at the knees and pushing the buttocks back (picture sitting in a chair), squat down very slowly until your bum drops below the level of your knees; your upper legs should drop slightly lower than parallel to the floor.

Finally, pause for a split second in the hole, then explode back up into a standing position taking care not to lock the knees at the top. By maintaining constant tension in your torso you will strengthen your core and your lower body at the same time.

Repetitions: 10 reps for beginners, 15 reps for intermediate, and 20 reps for pros.

3. Triceps Dips 

Triceps dips are one of the most effective exercises to get rid of jiggling arms – strengthening your triceps will give you a more swole appearance in general and helps tighten up your upper body.

  • Execute this exercise on a dip station if available, but otherwise, you can use any flat, low object such as a bench as we mention below.
  • As you get better at this exercise, consider adding weight using a weight belt or a weighted vest.
  • Exercise type – weight lifting
  • Muscles targeted – triceps (back of arms)


Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and then place them on a stable bench – keep your legs together, bent at the knee. Inhale as you slowly lower yourself into a 90-degree angle with arms holding you steady.

Exhale as you use your triceps to push back up to starting position. Ensure that you keep your core tight and stable throughout the exercise.

Repetitions: 15 reps for beginners, 12 reps for intermediate, and 10 reps with added weight for pros.

4. Dumbbell / Kettlebell Farmers Carries or Side Bends

This exercise is great to target oblique muscles and slim down your waistline.

  • Stand up straight, holding the weight, then walk. If you can’t walk/carry consider bending to one side in a ‘side-bend’ as we mention below.
  • Exercise type – weight lifting
  • Muscles targeted – obliques (sides of the waist)


Stand up straight with knees slightly bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold two dumbbells in your hands, palms facing forward – arms extended by sides. Bend to one side using abs to support you while keeping your back straight throughout.

As you bend to one side, one weight descends while the other rises. Ensure that you do not twist or rotate your lower body as you perform this exercise. Also, keep the core tight and press your shoulder blades together – maintain a stable upper body throughout.

If you’d prefer to carry rather than bend, we suggest holding the weight in just one hand. Now walk, keeping your body as straight as possible – don’t let that weight pull you over.

Repetitions: 10 reps for beginners, 15 reps for intermediate, and 20+ reps for pros.

5. Reverse Flys

Isolating the upper back muscles will give your shoulders a tighter look.

  • This exercise can be performed with a flat bench as mentioned below, an incline bench, standing bent over, or with a TRX strap (called shoulder T’s).
  • Exercise type – weight lifting
  • Muscles targeted – rear delts (shoulders), trapezius (upper back)


Lie face down on a workout bench with arms straight out at chest level holding dumbbells, palms facing each other. Keep your feet together and lift them off the floor as you raise both dumbbells towards the ceiling – arms straight.

Exhale as you bring them back to starting position while keeping your core tight throughout. Move slowly and remember to breathe.

Repetitions: 10 reps for beginners, 15 reps for intermediate, and 20+ reps for pros.

6. Supermans

Isolating the lower back muscles will further solidify the core by strengthening the typically unseen and oft underused side of your abs.

  • You’ll be laying on the floor looking and feeling like Superman. Move both sides together or choose to alternate opposite arm and opposite leg.
  • Exercise type – body weight
  • Muscles targeted – erector spinae (lower back)


Lie face down on the floor or on a workout bench. Hold your arms straight out, parallel to your upper body. Raise your upper chest off the surface slightly, raise your legs straight up behind you, and raise your arms straight up in front of you. You should feel like the shape of the surface of a bowl – nearly the opposite of a hollow hold or flutter (which by the way is another great exercise to add to this list). After holding this position for a couple of seconds, return everything to the floor and repeat.

If you would rather alternate, raise the left arm and right leg simultaneously, then the right arm and left leg. This can also be performed on a TRX strap, but we prefer the floor version.

Repetitions: 15 reps for beginners, 20 reps for intermediate, and 25+ reps for pros.

7. Abdominal Roll Outs

This exercise strengthens the core immensely and can be varied with 100s of angles, equipment, and body positions.

  • This exercise can be preformed with an ab wheel, swiss ball, medicine ball, barbell, or even with tennis balls if you’re creative. Typically easier performed kneeling some times attempted from a standing position for added challenge.
  • Exercise type – body weight
  • Muscles targeted – obliques (sides of waist)


Start from a kneeling position with arms straight down, hands-on the device. Allow the wheel or ball to roll out straight in front of you, extending your hips and straightening your knees. At the furthest position that is safe for you (see below) pause for a second, then use your core to roll the device back to the starting position.

Never over-extend your lower back – always try to keep a straight line from hip to neck. Don’t go too low at first, make sure to test your range or you could hurt your lower back. Try standing or using a weighted vest for an added challenge.

Repetitions: 10 reps for beginners, 15 reps for intermediate, and 20+ reps for pros.

Final Thoughts 

Incorporating this fat-burning workout into your weekly routine will help burn belly fat while solidifying your abs and core. This will help give you that toned look if that’s what you’re after, or a solid core foundation if you’re more of a strength and performance athlete. Always experiment with the number of reps, sets, weight, angles, and equipment to find what works best for you and to force a fresh stimulus for better muscle development.

Hustle today, muscle tomorrow!

girl with strong core

#Remember to consult your doctor before starting any new workout program.

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