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 tips and exercises for getting rid of the extra padding around your middle.
Here are a few ways you can ditch the love handles this summer:
- Eat lots of healthy fats
Foods like seeds and avocado are a great way to get healthy fats into your diet. You should be getting about 25 to 35 percent of your calories from healthy fats. Cut out unhealthy fats (like greasy foods), Health recommends.
- Ditch sugar and unrefined carbs
Fill your diet with healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins to maximize weight loss, Gagnon told the Huffington Post.
- Find ways to scorch 100 calories
Did you know that simple burning an extra 100 calories per day can improve your overall health? Web MD suggests finding simple ways to nix an extra 100 calories per day. Over time, you’ll see a slimmer waist and you will have developed habits that are easy to maintain.
4. Simple ideas for scorching 100 calories:
-Add 20 minutes to your dog-walking route
-Shake your groove thing for 20 minutes
-Wash the car
-Walk an extra mile
-Swim for 15 minutes
-Hit the stairs at work for 18 minutes a day
-Swap mustard for your regular mayo
-Ditch the regular soda for diet (or even better — grab water instead)
-Use red sauce instead of creamy sauce on your pasta
-Lose one slice of bread from your sandwich
-Skip the fries, have a salad
-Drink one less 12-ounce beer
Try these workouts to target the love handles, courtesy of Huffington Post:
Bicycle crunch:Lay flat on your back, with you hands next to your ears. Lift your legs to a 90-degree angle. Pull your left knee towards your chest and twist so that your right elbow touches it, as it comes up. Repeat on the other side. You should look like you are riding an invisible bike, on your back.
5. The plank:The plank is a powerful body strength exercise that will put you to the test. Rest your elbows and forearms on the floor and push yourself up into a push-up position. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle, back and legs straight out behind you. Hold for one to three minutes. If you can’t hold it that long, aim for 30 seconds per set and work your way up.
6. Side plank dips:If you really want to feel the burn, try these muscle builders. Start in a side plank (on your side, legs stacked on top of each other, elbow bent at a 90-degree angle, hips lifted off the ground) and drop your hips to the floor, then pull them back up. Repeat 10 to 12 times on each side. Focus on keep your back straight and butt tight.
7. Stability ball plank:Using a stability ball, balance your elbows and forearms in the center of the ball. Stretch your legs out behind you,so that you are leaning against the ball at an angle. Hold this position for two minutes (or as long as your ab muscles will allow!)
Getting your body into tip-top shape takes a lot of work, but combining a healthy diet and exercise is the best way to make changes that last.