You might think that in order to shed fat from your middle, you should focus on exercises for your abs but that is a common misconception. In actuality, the best muscle groups to work out to shed belly fat are your bigger muscle group such as legs, chest and back.

When you work all the larger muscle groups, adding more lean mass to your muscles, you rev up your metabolism to heights it has never before reached. With your increased metabolism you will in turn burn more calories and shed more body fat over your whole body, including your mid-section.

Nutrition is a huge component, but picking the correct exercises can have that lasting impact you are looking for. For your legs check out these key exercises,

Dumbbell squat
Ensure that you keep your back straight and your butt goes as far down as possible with dumbbells hanging at your side. Drive up through your heels

Barbell squat
Back is straight, elbows slightly back, chest open, core engaged and look straight ahead through the movement

Barbell lunge
Go slowly to keep proper form as balance can be difficult with this exercise

Dumbbell, barbell or kettlebell side lunge
Keep back from rounding and ensure foot on moving leg sticks upon planting

HIIT workouts
In addition to these exercises, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be more effective at reducing fat in the abdominal region than various forms of cardiovascular exercise. These 10-60-minute sessions focus on short, intense bursts of exercise alternating with brief recovery periods of less-strenuous movements or rest.

This type of exercise creates a higher oxygen debt that takes longer to recover from, which results in more calories burned. This afterburn effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which means your body burns calories following your workout.

Of course, exercises for the abdominals are still a great idea to build core strength and protect the spine. Planks, Mountain Climbers and their many variations and suitcase carries are all great ways to do just that.