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APR 3, 2024

Hanging Belly Exercises: Effective Workouts to Reduce Belly Fat at Home

Discover effective exercises to target and reduce hanging belly fat. Tone your midsection with our expert tips and workout routines.

Read time: 8 minutes

It’s amazing how the world of fitness has names for parts of your body that somehow perfectly describe the issue, as well as how it feels. Sure pannus stomach or abdominal pannus sounds scientific and fancy but hanging belly just gets straight to it.

So, say you’ve got a hanging belly that you’re looking to get rid of and tone up. What’s the best route? Well, when paired with a proper balanced diet, regular exercise that focuses on the lower abdomen (such as leg raises, reverse crunches, and mountain climbers to engage your core) can help tighten the muscles beneath that hanging belly.

Additionally, to further enhance your results, it’s worth looking into full core-targeting workouts. Planks, Russian twists, bicycle crunches, they all play a significant role in transforming your rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis as well as reducing that hanging belly. So let’s get straight to it.

Best Hanging Belly Exercises

When targeting your lower abdomen and toning the muscles beneath your hanging belly, we need to focus on exercises that provide a deep, intense workout. As such, these exercises are designed to engage and strengthen your core muscles - which is essential for creating a more contoured abdomen.

  • Leg raises are an excellent exercise for targeting the lower abdominal area. This is because you're working against gravity when performing leg raises, which engages the lower abdominal muscles. This helps to tighten and tone the area beneath the hanging belly. To perform leg raises, lie on your back, keep your legs straight, and raise them upward while keeping your core engaged.

  • Another effective exercise is the reverse crunch. This exercise specifically targets the lower abs and helps in toning and strengthening the muscles beneath the hanging belly. To perform reverse crunches, lie on your back, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and lift your hips off the ground by bringing your knees towards your chest.

  • Mountain climbers are also excellent for engaging the core and targeting the lower abdominal area. This dynamic exercise helps burn calories and strengthens the core, which can help reduce belly fat and tone the muscles beneath a hanging belly.

It's important to remember that consistency is key. And when it comes to exercising for any fitness goal, including reducing belly fat, you have to keep at it! What’s more, these exercises should be complemented by a well-rounded fitness routine that includes cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises to have the biggest and best impact on your overall health and wellbeing.

Strengthen Your Core at Home

Core strength will help get you a set of coveted six-pack abs but it's also key in reducing that hanging belly fat. And when you strengthen the muscles in your core area, especially the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis, you're effectively working towards toning and tightening that whole midriff area.

And yeah, we all want a visible six-pack to show off all the hard work, but the benefits go beyond aesthetics. A strong core means better posture, improved balance, reduced risk of injury, and enhanced overall body stability. It also helps reduce other problem areas like love handles or muffin tops, which start out as a cosmetic concern but can have long-term detrimental side effects.

A strong core is the foundation for your body's movements and maintains structural integrity, especially as you age. So, let's get into some effective exercises that work wonders for the entire core.


Planks are the perfect exercise for engaging both the surface and deeper core muscles. They also activate almost every muscle in your body - especially targeting those lower abs and obliques to help reduce belly fat.

Russian Twists

Russian twists are a great dynamic exercise that primarily engages the obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen) to slim down your waistline.

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches work your entire midsection, including upper and lower abdominals and obliques. Subsequently, this exercise is fantastic for working off that hanging belly fat while simultaneously toning your midsection.

Pair these exercises with a well-rounded fitness routine and a balanced diet to see noticeable improvements within weeks!

Benefits of Focused Workouts

  • These exercises specifically target the muscles in and around your lower abdomen, promoting muscle strength and endurance.

  • As you consistently work these muscles, they become firmer and better defined, contributing to a more toned appearance. Also, building muscle through targeted workouts can help increase your metabolic rate, reducing overall body fat - including the pesky hanging belly fat.

  • For instance, exercises like leg raises, reverse crunches, or planks are designed to engage the lower abdominal muscles. These not only help in toning and strengthening those muscles but also work towards reducing excess fat around the hanging belly area.

  • It's important to understand that while these exercises are significant in toning and strengthening, they’re most effective when combined with a wholesome lifestyle. A balanced diet, sufficient rest, and overall physical activity complement the impact of focused workouts on your hanging belly area.

Understanding Resistance Levels

We usually have a strong focus on numbers of reps and sets, as well as the types of routines when working out. But what about the equipment used? Resistance level is a fascinating area that can significantly impact your workouts. So let's quickly delve into the importance of understanding resistance levels and how they can elevate your hanging belly exercises.

Importance of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands come in different colors, each representing a specific resistance level. The color indicates how much resistance the band provides when stretched. For example:

Resistance Band Color

Resistance Level (In Pounds)

Recommended Exercises


2-4 lbs

Bicep curls, lateral raises, standing chest press


4-6 lbs

Squats, upright rows, bent-over rows


10-12 lbs

Deadlifts, shoulder presses, tricep extensions


These bands are incredibly versatile and can add resistance to various exercises, including leg raises and lower abdominal workouts.

Customizing Your Workout

Customizing your workout by selecting the appropriate resistance level can have huge advantages. Resistance bands allow for progressive overload - that’s basically where you can gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves. This steady progression encourages muscle growth and strength development over time.

Engaging Muscles

Using resistance bands during hanging belly exercises effectively engages the muscles. For example, when performing leg raises with resistance bands, the added resistance challenges the lower abdominal muscles, leading to greater muscle activation. And this increased engagement contributes to enhanced strength and definition in the targeted area.

Ankle Weights for Added Challenge

In addition to resistance bands, ankle weights can be incorporated into hanging belly exercises to provide an extra challenge. Ankle weights add resistance to exercises like leg raises, making them more demanding and effective at building strength in the lower abdomen. Utilizing ankle weights allows for a gradual increase in intensity as your abdominal muscles adapt and grow stronger over time.

Customizing Your Workout

When performing hanging belly exercises, it’s important to ensure your body is adequately hydrated. Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining energy levels and supporting muscle function during workouts.

  • Shaker bottles are a convenient and easy way to keep water within reach while you perform your hanging belly exercises.

  • And for the ideal recovery tool, a good electric shaker bottle allows you to mix in supplements or protein powders to increase your water intake and boost recovery.

  • Proper form and breathing go hand in hand when it comes to exercise. Focus on maintaining correct posture and alignment throughout the entire duration of each movement. Hanging belly exercises involve engaging the core muscles, so be mindful to keep your back straight, and avoid excess arching or rounding of the spine.

  • Additionally, pay attention to your breathing patterns, as this will enhance the effectiveness and safety of your workout routine. Controlled breathing helps oxygenate the muscles and provides stability and support during challenging movements.

  • When performing a hanging knee raise, exhale as you lift your knees toward your chest to engage the deep abdominal muscles, then inhale as you slowly lower your legs. Focusing on your breath can help you control your movements and prevent unnecessary strain on the body. It's essential to synchronize your breath with the exertion phase of each exercise to optimize performance and minimize the risk of injury.

Ultimate Effective Routine for Belly Fat Reduction

Your workout routine should include a combination of hanging belly exercises, core-strengthening movements, and resistance-based workouts to target belly fat and strengthen the core effectively. Combining these elements can help reduce body fat and build muscle in the abdominal area. Here's a structured plan with sets, reps, and rest periods to achieve your fitness goals effectively.

Hanging Belly Exercises

  1. Hanging Leg Raises:

    • 3 sets of 10 reps

    • Rest: 90 seconds between each set

  2. Hanging Knee Raises:

    • 3 sets of 12 reps

    • Rest: 60 seconds between each set

Core-Strengthening Movements

  1. Plank:

    • 3 sets of holding for 30-60 seconds

    • Rest: 60 seconds between each set

  2. Russian Twists:

    • 3 sets of 20 twists (10 on each side)

    • Rest: 45 seconds between each set

Resistance-Based Workouts

  1. Dumbbell Side Bends:

    • 3 sets of 15 reps (each side)

    • Rest: 60 seconds between each set

  2. Weighted Cable Crunches:

    • 3 sets of 12-15 reps

    • Rest: 75 seconds between each set

These exercises have been carefully selected to specifically target the muscles in your abdominal area while also engaging the entire core. So, by implementing these curated hanging belly exercises, core-strengthening movements, and resistance-based workouts you’ll see a reduction in that hanging belly fat and the promotion of muscle development in your midsection.

By sticking to this routine and maintaining dedication, you’ll make meaningful strides in reducing your hanging belly fat and achieving a stronger, more toned core. And don’t forget, even small progress is still progress. So keep at it.

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Written by Matthew Stogdon

Matt has been writing for two decades, across print and digital media. He is also an accomplished filmmaker, with several accolades under his belt.


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