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Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat: Exercises for Men and Women

Excess side belly fat can be frustrating and difficult to tackle. For individuals seeking the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, this comprehensive guide will provide top exercises and tips specifically targeting side belly fat reduction for both men and women. From understanding the causes of side fat to learning at-home workout moves, exploring additional non-exercise approaches, acknowledging the benefits of trimming your waist, and addressing frequently asked questions, this article covers everything you need to know about safely and effectively reducing pesky side belly fat. Whether you are a man or a woman, you will find practical advice and exercises tailored to your specific needs and goals.

The Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat: Tips for Females

Female bodies naturally tend to store more fat around the hips, thighs, and waist. This is largely influenced by hormonal fluctuations, genetics, stress, and dietary choices. In light of this, it’s crucial to engage in the best exercise to reduce side belly fat. Below, we delve deeper into effective workouts that serve as the exercise for reducing side belly fat for women.

What is Female Body Fat Distribution

Before diving into the exercises, it’s crucial to grasp why women accumulate fat around the waist. A combination of estrogen effects, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle factors, like stress and dietary choices, often lead to the storage of fat in the lower abdomen and obliques, forming the “muffin top”.

8 Best Exercises to Reduce Side Belly Fat for Females

When searching for the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, variety is key. Here are eight exercises that are particularly effective for women:


Regular planks engage the core while side planks specifically target obliques. For optimal results, hold side planks for 30-60 seconds per side for 3-5 sets. This is often recommended as the best exercise to reduce side belly fat due to its efficiency in engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Bicycle Crunches 

Start by lying down with your hands behind your head, then bring one knee towards the opposite elbow while extending the other leg. Alternate sides for 12-15 reps to effectively trim the obliques.

Side Plank Circles

Engage in side planks and rotate your top arm in controlled circles. Complete 12-15 reps before switching to the other side. Maintain stacked hips throughout the exercise.

Windshield Wipers

While lying on your back, lift your legs and move them side to side in a windshield wiper motion. This engages the obliques and helps in slimming down the waist.

Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat

Russian Twists

Seated on the ground, lean back at a 45-degree angle, raising your legs slightly. Holding a dumbbell or simply clasping your hands together, twisting your torso, touching the ground beside you alternately.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

This yoga pose is excellent for trimming side belly fat. Stand straight, separate your feet wide apart, and stretch your arms parallel to the floor. Bend on one side, touching your foot, and hold.

Leg Lifts

While lying down, lift your legs without bending the knees and then lower them without touching the floor. This works the lower abdominal muscles and obliques effectively.

Heel Taps

Lie on your back and lift your shoulders off the floor. Reach for your heels alternatively, engaging the obliques.

Dietary and Lifestyle Adjustments for Females

Besides engaging in the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, women should also adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Stress reduction through yoga and meditation is essential, as is choosing a diet rich in lean proteins, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Staying hydrated and securing 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night is also crucial for overall health and well-being.

Consistent exercise, coupled with dietary and lifestyle adjustments, can lead to significant improvements in reducing side-belly fat in women. The exercises listed above not only serve as the best exercise to reduce side belly fat but also promote overall health and wellness for females. Incorporate these into your routine for a stronger, healthier, and more confident you!

Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat for Males 

Genetics, hormonal changes, and lifestyle habits contribute to side-belly fat accumulation in men. As men age, they tend to carry fat in the abdominal region as dangerous visceral fat, causing a protruding gut and love handles along the obliques. Here are six of the top exercises that stand out as the best exercise to reduce side belly fat for males, helping them sculpt a trimmer waistline:

Windshield Wipers

  • Lie on your back with legs extended straight up towards the ceiling and arms stretched out wide in a T shape. Engage your core.
  • Keeping legs together, slowly open your legs out to the side as far as comfortably possible.
  • With control, close your legs back to the centerline.
  • Continue opening and closing your legs side-to-side in a controlled “windshield wiper” motion.
  • Complete 15-20 reps for 2-3 sets. Remember to keep breathing and keep abs engaged throughout the motion.

Windshield wipers target the obliques remarkably well. The side-to-side leg movement forces your abdominal muscles to fire eccentrically and concentrically while keeping your core stabilized. This unique exercise slims love handles and trims the waistline.

Russian Twists 

  • Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet flat. Extend your arms straight in front of your chest with palms together.
  • Engaging your abdominals, slowly rotate your torso as far as possible to the right, aiming to touch your right hand outside the right knee.
  • With control, twist back through the center and to the left, aiming left hand outside left knee.
  • Continue rotating side-to-side in a controlled manner for 12-15 reps on each side.
  • For added difficulty, hold a medicine ball or weight plate at chest height when twisting.

The dynamic rotational movement of the Russian twist massively engages the obliques to flatten side belly fat. executing them properly and adding resistance over time enhances effectiveness.


  • Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a cable pulley handle or resistance band at shoulder height.
  • Brace your core and pull the handle diagonally across the front of your body with control. 
  • As you pull, rotate your torso and aim to drive the handle down towards the opposite hip.
  • Slowly return back to the start position.
  • Complete 12-15 reps on each side. 


Woodchoppers involve rotational and anti-rotational contractions for tremendous oblique and abdominal activation to reduce side belly fat. Add resistance gradually once form is mastered.

Side Plank Hip Dips


  • Start in a side plank position, balancing on your right forearm with feet stacked. Engage your core.
  • Maintaining a straight line from head to feet, lower your hips towards the floor by bending your right leg.
  • Raise your hips back up to return to the starting side plank position. 
  • Perform 10-12 controlled hip dips. Then repeat on the left side.


The hip dip motion in this exercise forces the obliques to fire to stabilize your torso during the up and down motion. The side plank position maximally works the abdominals isometrically. This combination delivers an intense contraction to shrink love handles.

Side Lunges with Rotation

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a large step sideways with your right leg into a wide-side lunge.
  • As you lunge, rotate your torso over the right thigh. Place hands behind your head.
  • Use your obliques and abdominals to rotate back to the center as you push off your right foot to return to the starting position.
  • Complete 10-12 reps then repeat on the left side.


The rotational component during the side lunge provides excellent oblique engagement to reduce side belly fat. Make sure to move slowly and keep your core braced. Add side lunges with rotation to your routine 2-3 times per week.

Dumbbell Side Bends

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in your right hand down at your side. 
  • Initiate the motion using your obliques as you bend sideways from your waist towards the right. 
  • Keep your back straight as you reach the dumbbell down towards the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes to come back up to the start position.
  • Complete 10-12 controlled side bends on each side.


The unilateral side bending motion coupled with the dumbbell resistance isolates the obliques remarkably. Focus on slow, full range of motion stretching and contraction. Increase weight over time once you build core strength.


Nutritionally, men should also consume antioxidant foods like berries, oily fish, avocado, and walnuts to support belly fat reduction. Reducing beer and alcohol intake is crucial, as they contribute to abdominal fat gain. Effective stress management through meditation, massages, and adequate sleep is also vital in achieving a trim and healthy physique.

The Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat at Home

Amid the comfort of your home, you can significantly mitigate side belly fat by engaging in bodyweight exercises and employing simplistic equipment. The guide below delineates a series of exercises constituting the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, particularly tailored for both women and men.

Women’s At-Home Regimen for Side Belly Fat Reduction

For women who are on the quest for the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, there are various accessible exercises that can be conducted right at home. Each exercise targets the obliques and abdominal area efficiently, and when combined, they offer a comprehensive side belly fat reduction routine.


  1. Plank Knee to Elbow:

Engage your core in a high plank position, bringing your knee outside the elbow and back to the plank, making it a candidate for the exercise for reducing side belly fat. With 10-12 reps on each side for 1-2 sets, you will notice increased strength and endurance in your core area.


  1. Heel Taps:

Heel Taps is another excellent addition to your regimen. While lying on your back, engage your abs and tap your heels on the floor, alternating sides. Ensure that your hips are stable to maximize the benefits of this exercise.


  1. One-Hand Toe Touch:

One-Hand Toe Touch helps to enhance your balance and core stability. Starting in a plank position, lift one arm and touch your toes, alternating sides for 8-10 reps.

Men’s At-Home Regimen for Side Belly Fat Reduction

Men can also incorporate the best exercise to reduce side belly fat into their home workout routines. These exercises are designed to target the obliques and abdominal area efficiently, assisting in carving a more defined waistline.

  1. Crab Kicks:

Engaging the core in a crab position, lift and kick one leg at a time, making this a potent contender for the best exercise to reduce side belly fat. With 20 alternating kicks, you’re not only working your obliques but also improving your overall body coordination.


  1. Leg Lifts:

Leg Lifts offer an effective way to engage the obliques. Lying on your side with legs straight, lift the top leg, performing 12-15 lifts before switching sides.


  1. Triangle Pose:

The Triangle Pose not only provides a stretch along the side waist but also contributes significantly to side belly fat reduction when held for 30 seconds on each side.


By consistently incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, both women and men can work towards reducing side belly fat effectively at home. These exercises, when performed correctly and consistently, can indeed be classified as the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, aiding individuals in achieving a toned and sculpted physique.

The Benefits of the Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat

Engaging in exercises that target side belly fat is not only crucial for aesthetic reasons but also offers myriad health and well-being benefits. Below, we delve into the advantages one can reap from the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, providing insights into the transformation that your body undergoes during the process.

Improved Core Strength

Committing to the best exercise to reduce side belly fat unequivocally leads to heightened core strength. When you work on eliminating side belly fat, exercises used in this process inherently tone and fortify core muscles. This encompasses the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and the obliques. An enhanced core is pivotal as it acts as a sturdy axis in your body, aiding in better posture, improved stability, and augmented sports performance. Moreover, a robust core safeguards you against potential lower back injuries, providing a foundation for stronger, more efficient movements in everyday life.

Enhanced Body Shape

Engaging in the best exercise to reduce side belly fat not only eliminates the excess flab around your waist but also contributes significantly to refining your overall body silhouette. These exercises sculpt your waistline, accentuating the natural curves and providing you with a desirable “hourglass” or “V-shaped” silhouette. This newfound physique can be a substantial confidence booster, fostering a positive body image and self-esteem, making you feel comfortable and confident in your skin.

Increased Metabolic Rate

Participation in high-intensity exercises such as hover planks, side lunges with rotation, and Russian medicine ball twists — which are integral parts of the exercise to reduce belly and side fat — necessitate engagement from your entire core and demand total body fitness. These activities not only burn calories during the session but also increase your metabolic rate post-exercise due to EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). A more rapid metabolism is indispensable for shedding overall body fat, making your workout regimen more effective in the long run.

Enhanced Physical Endurance

Engaging regularly in the best exercise to reduce side belly fat enhances your body’s endurance levels. With a stronger core and heightened metabolic rate, your body becomes more efficient at performing various physical activities. You’ll notice increased stamina and endurance during workouts and daily activities, allowing you to perform better and for longer periods without fatigue.

Prevention of Health Issues

Consistent practice of the exercise to reduce side belly fat is also linked with the prevention of several health issues. Reduction in belly fat lowers the risk of health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. By maintaining a healthy waistline, you not only improve your physique but also foster a healthy internal system, promoting long-term well-being and health.


Incorporating the best exercise to reduce side belly fat into your daily routine offers benefits that transcend aesthetic appeal. From enhanced core strength to prevention of health issues, these exercises are crucial for anyone looking to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Safety Precautions While Engaging in the Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat

Safety should be your foremost consideration when embarking on any fitness regimen, including when you engage in the best exercise to reduce side belly fat. The efficacy of your workout plan is significantly bolstered when you practice it safely and consistently. Below, we provide essential safety tips to ensure that your side belly fat reduction exercises are effective while minimizing the risk of injury.


Maintain Proper Form

While the best exercise to reduce side belly fat is designed for efficacy, maintaining proper form is crucial. Any exercise can become detrimental if performed incorrectly. Avoid jerky, forced twisting motions that can put undue strain on your lower back. Instead, focus on controlled, deliberate movements to engage the abdominal muscles effectively.

Start Slowly

If you’re a beginner, it’s imperative to start slowly. Engage in basic exercises first before gradually progressing to more advanced moves. Initiating complex exercises can increase the risk of injury, derailing your fitness journey before it even begins. Gradual progression allows your body to adjust and become accustomed to the physical activity, enhancing your strength and endurance over time.

Mind the Duration of Static Poses

Static exercises, like planks and side planks which are part of the regimen of the best exercise to reduce side belly fat, should be held only for durations that you can handle while maintaining perfect form. As you build strength and endurance, you can gradually extend the duration of these exercises.

Begin With Lighter Weights

When incorporating weights or resistance bands into your routine, start with lighter weights. Focusing on form and technique should be your priority. As you become more comfortable and your strength improves, you can gradually increase the resistance to continue challenging your muscles.

Allow Rest and Recovery

Muscle recovery is an integral part of any exercise routine. Your muscles need time to heal and strengthen after a workout. Incorporating rest days between your abdominal workout sessions will aid in recovery and prevent overtraining, leading to better results in the long run.

Consultation and Professional Advice

Before embarking on a new intensive exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions, it is wise to consult with a healthcare provider or a fitness expert. They can provide personalized advice and guidelines based on your health status and fitness level.

Heed Your Body’s Signals

Listening to your body is non-negotiable. If you experience sharp, unusual pain or discomfort while performing an exercise, it’s imperative to stop immediately to prevent aggravating a potential injury. Understanding the difference between the usual muscle soreness and pain that signals injury is crucial.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration plays a vital role in your exercise performance and recovery. Ensure you are well-hydrated before, during, and after exercise to support your body’s metabolic processes and aid in recovery.


This comprehensive guide provides the top exercises, dietary strategies, lifestyle changes, and motivational advice tailored specifically for reducing unwanted side belly fat for both men and women. With commitment and consistency, you can safely trim your obliques, tighten your waist, and achieve a slimmer, more toned physique. Don’t get discouraged if progress is gradual. Regularly implementing the best exercise to reduce side belly fat along with proper nutrition and self-care will transform your body over time. Use this guide as your roadmap towards confidence in your appearance and improved health.


FAQs about Best Exercise to Reduce Side Belly Fat

  • How long does it take to reduce side fat?

    Most people begin to notice improvements in side belly fat within 4-6 weeks of consistent training and proper dietary changes. However, the amount of time it takes to lose side fat depends on your body composition and the volume of fat to be lost. Be patient and keep at it to maximize results over months.

  • What are the primary causes of excess side fat?

    Genetics, gender differences, aging, poor diet and eating habits, stress, and lack of exercise contribute to excess side belly fat accumulation over time. An underlying medical condition or hormonal imbalance may also cause abdominal weight gain.

  • Can genetic factors influence side fat?

    Yes, genetics can play a role in your propensity to store fat on the sides and waist. DNA dictates hormone levels and where your body stores fat. Regardless of genetics, the right exercise routine and wholesome diet can help reduce side-belly fat. However it may require more effort for some based on hereditary factors.

Michael J. Ormsbee
Michael J. Ormsbee
Michael J. Ormsbee is the editor of Fast Lose Fat. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences and Interim Director of the Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University.