Nobody likes that excess lump of fat hanging down from the waistline and spoiling our looks. We largely know them as the love handles. But one thing is for sure; this excess fat is pretty tough to get rid of. All you need to do is target your oblique muscles, and it will gradually shave off that love handles.
Kira Stokes, who is a fitness expert and certified personal trainer, recommends that you should also hit the upper and lower abs that will help to sculpt and slim the entire middle section.
Below, she shared seven of her favorite exercises to get rid of extra padding around the waistline.
1. Oblique Press and Reach
Kneel down on the left knee with the right foot out in front of you. Now keep your foot flat on the floor with the leg at a 90-degree angle and keep the abdominal muscles tight with your back straight and tailbone tucked. Grab some weight in the right hand and extend the arm out towards the right making a 90-degree angle with your fist in the air while you maintain this position.
Next, you have to reach up and extend your arm straight into the air while bending the body down towards the left side and touching the left fingertips to the ground. Finally, use the oblique muscles for pulling back the torso to its starting position.
Do at least three sets of 12-15 reps each side.
2. Side Plank Crunch
Start with your right elbow with the right foot slightly in front of the left and keep the core tightened throughout this exercise.
Now pull your right knee towards your chest and then crunch the left elbow towards it. Finally, bring the body back out to side plank position. This exercise is pretty tough but effective at the same time. Do three sets of 10-12 reps. You can do more reps but don’t exhaust yourself.
3. Plank Up-Downs
Bring your body in a plank position and keep the arms out straight underneath the shoulders while squeezing the butt and pulling the abs tight into the spine. Start with one arm (left or right) and lower down onto the forearm. Repeat the same with the other one as well. Now move back up in the same manner, one arm at a time, and bring yourself back to extended plank position again.
Remember to keep your core tight and avoid rocking the hips. Do eight reps on each side.
4. Around the World Obliques
With your legs wider that the shoulder-width apart and toes turned out just a bit and tailbone tucked, grab a light weight in your hands and then extend the arms up straight your head as far as you can.
Make sure that it really feels stretched.
Now bend from the hips and reach your body as far as you can towards the right while keeping the hips and shoulders square forward. When you can stretch anymore, rotate towards the floor and twist back the body to face front. Quickly exhale and pull back up towards the center.
5. Passing the Ball
It is much like bicycle crunches. What you need to do is lie flat on the ground with the abs pulled in tight to your spine and back flat on the floor. Now, pick the chest up by pulling the right knee towards the chest and holding a ball in the left hand.
Pass this ball from underneath the right knee to the right hand and then crunch up. It feels like making a figure-8. After each pass, rotate the legs and crunch up every time. Make sure that the shoulder blades are always lifted off the ground throughout. Stokes recommend doing this for 45 seconds.
6. Knee Drop
With your abs pulled in tight into the spine and back flat on the floor, lift your legs off it and into a tabletop position. Squeeze the ball between your legs using the inner thigh muscles and lower abs altogether.
Next, drop your knees to the right gradually and keep your abs tight with your back flat as you do. Exhale, pull to center and finally inhale as your drop them down the other way around.
Here Stokes recommends keeping them tucked in with your knees aligned over the hips. This gives a much better lower back stretch, targeting the oblique muscles. Do at least eight to 10 reps each side.
7. Crouching Tiger Push-Up
A unique style of doing push-ups and also Stoke’s signature moves in most of her fitness classes. Take a start in a push-up position and do a regular pushup. Now bend your knees off the floor and press back into your hips in a way that knees are directly beneath the ribs. Keeps your arms straight while you press your shoulders.
Finally, lift your hips up in a downward dog position and then round out the back and gradually roll the spine forward till the body comes in a flat position (plank).
What Stokes recommend here is to engage the low abdomen by pressing the body back. This helps to stretch the back and targets the fat around the waistline. Do three sets of 10-12 slow and controlled reps. Don’t rush into.