6 Types of Aerobic Workout Routine To Lose Belly Fat

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: March 11, 2024
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You’ve probably heard that the recipe for weight loss is to burn more calories than you’re taking in. But the human body quickly puts you in a place where even a good diet and workout routine stall your progress.

And just doing more of the same won’t make a huge difference.

For most of our clients, the solution to burning fat comes through a switch to aerobic exercise plans that change workouts and intensity levels to trick your body into burning more calories from fat.

Let me show you what that means.

Quick Summary

  • The best aerobic workout routines for burning belly fat include elliptical training, sprint jogs, stair climbers, kettlebell swings, swimming, and rowing.
  • These aerobic exercises provide metabolic and cardiovascular boosts, enhancing overall health and fitness.
  • Research indicates that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can increase the resting metabolic rate within four weeks, aiding in continuous calorie burn and fat loss.
  • Personally, I believe incorporating a mix of different aerobic exercises is key to breaking through weight loss plateaus and achieving more effective fat burning.

What Aerobic Exercise Burns The Most Fat?

A group of woman doing an aerobic exercise

The trick to fat burning once you’ve hit a plateau is to make sure your body doesn't get used to the same resistance training on the same days.

For example, if you run 3 miles every evening after work, that'll add up to a lot of aerobic exercises.

Or if you do the same combination of jump rope and jumping jacks exercise, you’ll build up a sweat, but maybe not the results you need.

In other words, your body will come prepared with plenty of blood sugar and glycogen reserves.

That means it won’t burn calories from fat.

The solution is to have a wide range of different weight loss exercises with different intensities that you constantly switch around to boost your cardio health and fitness.

And these are the exercises we recommend.

1. Elliptical Training

Young girl doing elliptical training

We’ll start with getting you on an elliptical for a very good reason.

Unlike just heading for the treadmill or going for a run, an elliptical machine will get you moving your legs and arms. And the movement will engage your core as well.

What do you think happens when an exercise causes more muscles to work?

Right, you’ll burn more calories in the same amount of time and attack those fat stores with more energy needed.

Related:

2. Sprint Jogs

Woman doing sprint jogs outdoors

Going for a jog is a great form of exercise for getting some cardio training in. But steady state running at a monotonous speed doesn’t challenge your metabolism enough.

That’s why we recommend going through a routine of jogging for 3 minutes and then sprinting for 20 to 30 seconds and repeating the cycle.

Combining jogging and sprinting is the easiest way to transform a treadmill into a higher intensity exercise and an excellent way to burn extra calories.

The result is more oxygen required per hour of training and your body works harder.

3. Stair Climber

A person using stair climber machine

The movement on a stair climber machine is similar to an elliptical, but it doesn’t involve your arms.

I often recommend adding wrist weights or small dumbbells to your routine to introduce additional resistance, enhancing the effectiveness of your arm movements.

And if you live in a building, you can use these stairs to work out, instead of a stair climber machine.

4. Kettlebell Swings

Holding a kettlebell swing

Kettlebell swings are ideal to lose belly fat and overall fat because the action targets every possible muscle group.

And if you have a set of different weights, you can gradually increase the power during each resistance training session.

It’s an effective way to burn extra calories and do some weight training to tone up your muscles.

5. Swimming

Man swimming in the middle of the ocean

Swimming is an often overlooked form of exercise that is ideal for people who want to raise the force of their resistance training without putting additional strain on joints.

You move every part of your body in all types of swimming styles.

And once you can push yourself to go faster and longer distances, you’ll notice some effective fat loss.

6. Rowing

An athletic person using a rowing machine

And our final recommendation for a relatively low risk and low-impact aerobic exercise is to get on the rowing machine.

It’s a form of resistance training with a focus on your legs, arms, back, shoulders, and core to increase the number of calories you burn and get you into the fat loss territory sooner with a big health and fitness boost.

If you are up for the real game of rowing, Petra Amara – a rowing expert and CEO of Rowing Crazy – says that it provides the ideal workout routine for beginners and for those seeking whole-body fitness.

Instead of concentrating on a single muscle group, rowing trains every muscle in the body. For those who are just starting, 15-20 minutes of this workout routine is enough.

What Happens During Aerobic Exercise?

A group of women having fun while doing aerobic exercises together

Aerobic is a technical term that means “with air” and essentially refers to physical activity that requires increased levels of oxygen (often called the EPOC effect).

Compare that to anaerobic exercise, which means physical activity where your breathing and heart rate both stay relatively unchanged.

And here are two things that happen to your body under aerobic strain.

Cardiovascular Boost

When you go for a run or jump on an elliptical, you’ll immediately notice that you’ll start breathing deeper and faster and that your heart rate will increase.

And when you exercise regularly for an extended period, your heart will become stronger and more effective, just like strength training makes muscles more effective.

And it can lead to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has further cardiovascular benefits.

Metabolic Boost

The real magic happens when you push your aerobic training far enough to use up all your muscle glycogen and readily available blood sugar.

When this happens, your metabolism has to resort to targeting body fat to keep basic functions going and allow you to continue with the same or higher intensity.

And when you constantly change how hard you train and what exercises you do, you make it more difficult for your body to be prepared, allowing you to target belly fat more effectively.

Improved metabolic rates also impact insulin resistance in a positive way to further stabilize your blood sugar.

Is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Good For Burning Fat?

A woman outdoor doing a leg lunge

Yes, high-intensity interval training is good for burning fat, and it is much more effective than low-intensity cardio.

High-intensity aerobic exercises in short bursts demand more energy, pushing the body to quickly replenish its energy stores.

The key? Keep rest periods brief — just enough to catch your breath. When blood sugar and glycogen run out, the body turns to stored fat for fuel.

We've noticed clients breaking through weight loss plateaus with shorter HIIT sessions compared to longer runs. Regular cardio can become less effective as the body adapts, but HIIT keeps challenging it.

Research by the National Institute of Health shows HIIT can boost resting metabolic rate in just  four weeks, meaning you're burning calories and shedding belly fat even at rest [1].

Other Ways To Make Your Aerobic Training More Effective

Heavy metal dumb bells on the rack used for weight training

Here are two tips that some of the performance athletes we work with use regularly to speed up their cutting phases.

Fasted Resistance Training

Aerobic exercise will force your body into reducing belly fat when blood sugar and glycogen run low.

If your stomach is full of food, especially processed carbs, your body will do everything possible to get that energy first.

But, if you exercise first thing in the morning before breakfast, there won’t be any food reserves to fall back on, and you could be heading for a belly fat-burning mode a lot faster.

Weight Training

This might seem like something you’d only do for muscle growth, like a bodybuilder. But the advantage of some additional lean muscle mass is not just a toned appearance.

That extra muscle tissue will require more energy even when resting, which can help raise your resting metabolic rate and increase the calorie burn.

Add Plyometric Exercises

Incorporate plyometric exercises like jump squats or box jumps into your routine.

These explosive movements increase heart rate and improve power, agility, and aerobic capacity.

Incorporate Yoga or Pilates

Adding yoga or Pilates to your routine can improve flexibility, core strength, and breathing efficiency, all of which can enhance aerobic performance.

Mindful Movement

Focus on the quality of each movement rather than just going through the motions.

Being mindful during exercise can improve form, increase the efficiency of the workout, and reduce the risk of injury.

FAQs

Is Aerobics Good for Losing Belly Fat?

Yes, aerobics is good for losing belly fat. A typical aerobic exercise will burn three or four times more energy than walking, given the same amount of time.

Does Cardio Burn Fat?

Yes, a cardio workout will burn fat within about 30 minutes of starting to exercise. Depending on how far you push yourself, you’ll burn more fat in a shorter period and gain cardio fitness.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28633001/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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