Whether you call them your love handles or muffin tops, there’s nothing lovely or yummy about them! Who gave them that nickname, anyway? So what can you do to get rid of your “love handles”? Well first, as the saying goes abs are made in the kitchen, so eating a balanced, whole food, nutrient-dense diet is key to a flat tummy. Secondly, we must strengthen and tighten our oblique muscles. Watch the workout video above or complete the separate eight exercises below. They are fabulous compound moves that benefit a lot of trouble areas, but they pay special attention to your core.
1. Kettlebell Windmill: Grab a kettlebell with one hand and raise it straight over your shoulder. Stand with your feet a little wider than the hips and let your other arm rest at your side. Look up at the kettlebell and let your resting arm glide down your leg. Your hips will push out to the opposite side, but your legs remain straight. Go only as low as you can with straight legs.
2. Side Plank Hip Dips: Start in a side plank position with your elbow touching the ground. Drop your hips toward the floor, squeezing your obliques as you bring them back up. Repeat 15 times per side.
3. Knee Russian Twists: Drop to your knees on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles and slightly lean back, being sure to keep a straight back. Holding your arms up at your chest, twist the torso and the medicine ball from side to side. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.
4. Weighted Knee Lift and Twist: Begin by standing with your feet under the shoulders and the weight in both hands, lifted to your chest and elbows pointing outward. Lift one leg out to the side, just a couple inches from the ground. Lift the knee and cross it over the body as you twist the upper body in the other direction like you’re wringing out the core. Keep the elbows lifted. Straighten the leg to the side again without touching the floor, if you can balance!
5. Wood Chopper with Medicine Ball: Standing tall, with feet shoulder-width apart, hold a medicine ball (or dumbbell) with both hands. Engage your core and reach ball straight over to one shoulder. Bring the ball downward in a quick chopping motion toward the opposite hip, while rotating through your obliques. Repeat 15x per side. For more of a challenge, perform move while balancing on a BOSU ball.
6. Plank Swing Pendulum: Get in plank or pushup position with your body in a straight line from head to toe, your waist suspended on a swing. Make sure your hands and arms are under your shoulders. Lift your right leg up, keeping it straight. Swing it out to the right, then swing it back to the center. As you swing the right foot back in and plant it back on the floor, raise your left leg up, then swing it out to the left. Bring the left leg back in and to the floor and swing the right leg back out. It should resemble a pendulum motion.
7. Side Plank Thread the Needle: Lie down on the floor with your right side against the ground. Stack your left foot on top of your right and make sure your legs are fully extended. Push off the ground with your right hand and lift your hips—you should be in a side plank. Raise your left arm and reach towards the ceiling. Keeping your hips square, bring that left arm down and reach under your right arm/side.
8. Hip Twister Planks: Get in plank position. Keeping your back straight, turn your right hip inward and tap it to the ground. Lift your hips back up and twist and dip to the left. Keeping tapping your hips to the floor. Get as many twists in as you can in 60 seconds.