We endearingly refer to them as love handles. Or maybe you prefer to call it your muffin top. Either way, excess fat sitting on the sides of the torso is tough to lose.
You have to cross-train your core like you cross-train the rest of your body,” says celebrity trainer Kira Stokes. Of all the waist-whittling exercises out there, ones that target your oblique muscles will zero in on this area. A general rule to keep in mind: Any move where you’re reaching to the side works your obliques.
But incorporating ones that also hit your upper and lower abs will more effectively sculpt and slim your entire middle section. “Your core works as one complete unit,” Stokes reminds us.
Here, she shares her favorite exercises for getting rid of the extra padding around your middle.
1.Oblique Press and Reach
Kneel on your left knee with your right foot out in front of you, foot flat on the floor (leg will form a 90 degree angle). Keep the abdominal muscles tight, back straight, tailbone tucked. Hold a weight in your right hand, arm extended out to the right and bent at a 90 degree angle with your fist in the air.
Then, reach up, extending your arm straight into the air while bending your body down to the left side and touching your left fingertips to the ground. Next, use your oblique muscle pull your torso back to starting position. Do 3 sets of 12-15 on each side.
2.Side Plank Crunch
Start on your right elbow, your right foot slightly in front of your left. Keep your core tightened throughouts. Pull the right knee in towards chest and crunch your left elbow toward it. Then bring back out to side plank position. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
Get into plank position, with arms out straight directly beneath your shoulders, squeezing your butt and pulling your abs tight into your spine. Then, starting with one arm, lower down onto your forearm, then follow with the next arm. Move back up, one arm at a time, to the fully extended plank. Make sure to avoid rocking your hips, Stokes warns, and keep the core tight the entire time.
“It also works your upper body as well,” Stokes notes, since your upper body is moving and helping to support your entire plank position. Do 8 on each side, or shoot for 30-45 seconds.