A muffin-top is the cute overhanging fat that spills over the waistline of pants or skirts. The thick layers of side stomach fat known as “muffin-top” is also referred to as love handles or “spare tire”. Your spare tire is part of a set group of muscles known as your core. It’s what connects your upper and lower body. To lose the muffin top and tone your stomach, you need to train your core muscles—specifically the “love handles. These 5 exercises target the core, tone the love handles, and work your abs from all angles.
1. Bicycle Crunch
How to do: Lie on your back with knees bent and hands behind the head. Tighten your core, lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor. Simultaneously, move the right elbow towards the left knee so they meet in the middle of the body. Then, change positions by bringing the left elbow to your right knee. Do this quickly for 30 times with your torso off the ground. You can increase the repetitions gradually.
2. Side Plank Hip Lifts
How to do: For starters, go into a side plank position. Keep your elbow on the ground while your legs and hips rest on the ground. Engaging your abs, keep your body in a straight line, and raise the lower part of your body off the floor so that you’re in a plank position. Hold it for a few seconds then lower your body and repeat it. You can do 15 repetitions on each side when you start out and gradually increase it.
3. Russian Twist
How to do: The starting position of the Russian twist begins with you sitting on the floor with both legs bent and feet on the ground. Then, extend your arms straight ahead and hold a weight or a medicine ball. Then lower the top part of your body in an angle. Twist yourself until your back is at a 45-degree angle with the ground. Move your arms from side to side by twisting the upper part of your body. It is more effective when you don’t lift the feet off the ground. Start with 50 repetitions and increase it gradually.
4. Kettlebell Swing
How to do: Stand straight with feet a bit farther than hip-distance apart. Then hold the handle of the kettlebell with both hands. Bend your knee slightly and push the hips back, slightly lowering your body. Don’t go as low as a squat, however. Then, driving the hips forward swing the kettlebell in one motion with your glutes and core engaged. Start with four sets of 20 repetitions and increase further as per convenience.
5. Kneeling Vacuum
How to do: Start off with kneeling on the floor with your butt on the heels. Then place both hands on the sides of the legs and pull your shoulders back. Pull in your abs tightly and hold the position for 20 seconds. Then, release the position and alternate contractions and releases. You can start by doing 60 seconds of this exercise and increase the length of the time as you practice this regularly.