Q: I’ve been working hard and building muscle, but I still have too much body fat. Is there a workout I can do specifically to burn fat in my mid-section?

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The Kavadlo brothers (Al and Danny) are acclaimed fitness trainers and authors of the new book >Next Level Strength.

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A: First of all, congrats on the gains! You should be proud of your hard work, but despite what you may have heard, there is >no way to spot reduce fat. Targeting the belly area will not eliminate belly fat. That happens from expending energy, consuming fewer calories, and building muscle (thus increasing metabolism). Therefore, you must continue to train your whole body. Though we can’t predict from where the fat will come off first, we can include some abs-specific exercises so that your tummy is toned when the fat does come off.


  1. Squat
  2. A) Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart.
  3. B) Bend your hips, knees and ankles, lowering until your hamstrings make contact with your calves. Pause briefly at the bottom before standing back up to the top position.


  1. Push-up
  2. A) Place your hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your feet together and your body in a straight line.
  3. B) Bend your arms and lower your chest toward the floor. Pause briefly with your chest approximately one inch from the ground, then press yourself back to the top.


  1. Chin-up
  2. A) Hang from a bar with an underhand grip.
  3. B) Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar, without using any momentum.
  4. C) Lower yourself all the way back to the bottom position with control.


  1. Jackknife Sit-up
  2. A) Lie on your back with legs extended and arms straight overhead.
  3. B) Simultaneously raise your legs and upper body off the ground, contracting your abs so that your hands and feet meet. Pause at the peak contraction, then return to starting position.


  1. Bicycle Crunch
  2. A) Lie down with your knees bent to ninety degrees and shins parallel to the ground.


  1. B) Use your abs to curl your shoulders off the ground and rotate your trunk, bringing your left shoulder to the right. At the same time, bring your right knee toward your left elbow. Repeat on the other side in a continuous motion. This “pedaling” of the lower body is said to resemble the act of riding a bicycle.


The Workout

Squat – 3 x 30

Push – 3 x 20

Pull-up – 3 x 10

Jackknife sit-up– 4 x 20

Bicycle crunch – 4 x 20 (alternating sides)