Belly fat is some of the most dangerous fat you can have. MayoClinic.com reports that belly fat is connected to diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and heart disease. Losing fat in your belly doesn't mean a million crunches; you can work your abdominals with standing exercises without the need to hit the floor.
Targeting Belly Fat
It's a myth that you can lose only belly fat by targeting that area with your exercise. According to ExRx.net, when you burn fat, your body decides where it takes the energy from. Your genetics play a role in where you lose fat first, as do your age and gender. Where you first build up fat is typically the last place you lose it. That's why an overall cardiovascular exercise program, which burns calories, is key to losing belly fat. Eating right is also key, with whole-wheat grains, lean dairy and proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Targeted resistance exercises help you build and tone muscles in your abdominals, giving your belly a sleeker look, but the muscles only show when you've lost enough belly fat.
Why Standing Up?
Traditional ab resistance exercises have you on the floor doing crunches or leg lifts. While effective at targeting your belly, these exercises aren't the only way to build abdominal muscle. When you engage your stomach muscles while standing, you burn more calories, which helps get rid of fat throughout your body, including your belly, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Running and brisk walking for 30 minutes might not seem like they burn belly fat, but the more calories you burn, the more likely you are to lose weight in your belly. To give your ab muscles a workout as you run or walk, maintain the proper posture with your back straight and shoulders lifted. Intentionally tighten your belly as you move, and lift your knees high. If it's not a convenient time or location for outdoor running and walking, march or jog in place with high knees. For an indoor activity, go for cardio boxing. Stand with your knees slightly bent and your feet hip-width apart, then hold your fists about level with your chin. Jab straight out in front of you eight times with one hand, then repeat with the other. Hold your belly in tightly as you move. Also, hold your elbows out and move your hands in a fast outward circle in front of your face, mimicking the movement you would use on a speed bag. Try cross-body punches as well to engage the sides of your belly.
Bow extensions get your core burning. With both hands around a single dumbbell held above your right shoulder with your arms extended, put your weight on your right foot. Lift your left knee toward your chest while you bend your elbows toward the knee. Return to the starting position, and do two sets of 10 on both sides. Work the sides of your belly as well with reverse dumbbell chops. Holding that same dumbbell in both hands, stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Lower the dumbbell to the outside of your left thigh with your arms straight, twisting your shoulders and upper body. Lift the weight over your right shoulder, keeping your arms straight, as you push up with your heels to straighten your legs. Return to the start position, and do two sets of 10 on each side. A standing overhead press targets the center of your abdominals. With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in front of your hips with your arms extended. Tighten your abs, then lift your arms, keeping them straight until they are directly above your head. Hold for 10 counts, keeping your stomach tight. Repeat five times.