Science shows how to effectively cut inches from your core.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is known to burn serious amounts of fat, seriously fast. But not just any fat: New research shows that specific forms of high-intensity interval training can be key to cutting fat from your tummy.
“Abdominal fat can wreak havoc with your health,” explains Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research. “Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and hypertension—they’ve all been linked to excess abdominal fat. So, if you’ve got a little excess fat around your middle, you need to rid it.”
The tummy-trimming benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are highlighted in a recently published study into how different approaches to training can affect fitness and body composition in healthy adults. The study tested two groups of exercisers: One group followed a conventional gym training program four days a week, the other did two conventional gym workouts and two high-intensity interval training-based Les Mills Grit Cardio workouts a week. Both groups trained for the same total amount of time each week.
At the end of the eight-week study both groups saw a reduction in total body fat, but it was those doing high-intensity interval training who really took the fat burning up a notch. These individuals eliminated an average of 2.2 centimeters from their waistlines and experienced an overall loss of 2.2 percent visceral fat—that’s the awful gut fat that clogs up our organs, affects our hormones and increases the risk of health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes. They also benefited from a significant increase in cardiorespiratory fitness, sprint speed and arm strength.
While the results are significant, the length of the workouts was not. Those who incorporated the high-intensity interval training didn’t need to slog it out for hours at the gym. The HIIT sessions they did twice a week were just 30-minutes long.
The Les Mills Grit workouts used in the study were short, but explosive. Combining intervals of speed training with body weight exercises such as squat jumps and lunges, the HIIT workouts are designed to maximize calorie burn during the workout, and beyond. All it takes is the introduction of just two HIIT workouts a week and you can increase aerobic fitness, grow lean muscle tissue and amplify fat burn—all while you whittle away the waistline.
This piece originally appeared on lesmills.com.
For more health and fitness inspiration, simply sign up to Fit Planet and get the freshest insight and advice straight to your inbox.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Les Mills