Easy Exercises to Quickly Lose Belly Fat for Women

Belly fat is a common problem for women. Female hormones cause women to carry more fat around the pelvic area. This is great for pregnancy, but not so hot otherwise. In addition to the obvious self-esteem concerns, carrying excess weight in your midsection poses serious health risks such as heart disease. Fortunately, there are some easy exercises you can do to get rid of belly fat and tone and tighten the abdominal muscles. Combine these exercises with a healthy diet of lean protein, leafy green vegetables and healthy carbohydrates for maximum results.

Cardio is Key 

Excess belly fat requires full-body weight loss through cardiovascular exercise along with exercises that target your core. If you only do abdominal exercises and neglect cardiovascular exercise, you will end up with strong abs under a layer of fat. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 to 250 minutes of cardiovascular exercise weekly to lose weight. You can break this into five days of 30 minutes, three days of 50 minutes, or even 10 15-minute sessions. Some examples of activities you can do to lose weight are walking, running, dancing, bike riding, team sports, step aerobics and kickboxing.

Planks

In addition to cardiovascular exercise, you need to work the muscles in your core for a firm belly. Planks are one of the most effective core exercises because they require you to engage your entire core in order to stabilize your body. The basic plank is easy to do. If your core muscles are weak, you may need to work up to holding the position for 30 seconds. Start by lying face down with bent arms under you and palms flat on the ground. Push yourself up so only your hands, forearms and toes are touching the floor. Focus on using your core muscles to keep your body stable. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat two or three times and move on to the next exercise.

Walkout From Pushup

The walkout from pushup is an effective core exercise that uses your body weight to provide resistance for your core. Get into the pushup position with your hands about 2 inches wider than your shoulders. Walk your hands out as far as you can and then walk them back to the starting position. To make this exercise easier, keep your knees on the ground. Do 10 to 12 repetitions of this exercise. After completing two or three sets, move on to the next exercise.

Bicycle Maneuver

The American Council on Exercise named the bicycle maneuver one of the top three best abdominal exercises. It's a simple exercise, but very effective at targeting your obliques -- the side muscles. To do this exercise, start by lying down with your hands behind your head and bring your knees to your chest. Bring your right knee to your left elbow as you straighten your left leg. Switch sides as if you're pedaling a bicycle for 20 repetitions. Do two to three sets and move on to the next exercise.

Vertical Leg Crunch

The American Council on Exercise named the vertical crunch one of the most effective exercises for targeting the rectus abdominis -- your lower abs -- and the obliques. Vertical crunches are done just like basic crunches, except your legs are straight in the air. Lie down on the floor with your legs straight in the air, knees crossed and hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor, keeping your legs in the same position. Complete 15 to 20 repetitions and two to three sets.