[adrotate banner=”26″]Rock-hard, six-pack style abs maybe a goal for some girls, but many women are simply looking to trim up the flab that spills out over the top of their jeans. More commonly referred to as the muffin top, this unsightly core area can be a challenge to combat. While an all-over strength and cardio plan to burn unwanted fat throughout the entire body is a must, adding in the following waistline exercises will prevent your midline from being compared to a pastry.
Side Planks: Start at the top of a push-up position and rotate to one side, stacking your feet. Place your free hand on your hip or extend your fingertips toward the sky. Make sure the hand on the floor is in line with your shoulder. If this is too much pressure on your wrist, lower to your forearm instead. Keep your body in a tight, straight line, making sure your hips don’t sink to the floor. If this is too difficult to hold for longer than 10 seconds, bend the knee closest to the floor and place it down to help support your weight.
Russian Twists: Sitting on the floor with your legs bent in front of you, lean back so that you are at about a 45-degree angle. Raise your toes just slightly off the floor, so that you are essentially balancing on your rear. Holding a weight or kettlebell at your chest, twist your upper body to the left, then the right before returning back to center. This is one rep. If it is too difficult, ditch the weight. If it’s still too hard, place your toes on the floor to help with stability.
Stability Ball Pass: Using a stability or exercise ball (the large, lightweight variety commonly seen at the gym), lay flat on the floor with the ball in your hand and your arms extended overhead. Lift the ball from the floor while at the same time lifting your feet from the floor. Meet at your midline, above your hips, to pass the ball from your hands to in between your feet. Lower the ball to the ground while at the same time lowering your arms to straight above your head. Complete the same motion in reverse to complete one full rep.
Burpee Ball Slams: With this burpee exercise, there’s a bonus core burner to blast your abs. If you’ve never done a burpee, here are the basics four movements:
- Lower to a squat position while placing your hands on the floor.
- Drop your full body quickly to the floor, so that you are lying flat with your hands beneath your shoulders.
- Jump your feet back to the lowered squat position.
- Stand and jump while clapping your hands overhead.
If this is your first set of burpees, get comfortable with the movements before adding in the ball slams.
Using a medicine ball or wall ball (a slightly larger and softer version of the medicine ball), complete the burpee step, but hold the ball in your hands. When you go to the floor, your hands and weight will be on the ball in a plank position. When you stand and jump, raise the ball overhead and then slam it hard on the floor. Catch the ball, return to standing, and start again.
Kneeling Side Crunch: Begin by kneeling on the floor with your thighs and calves making a 90-degree angle. Straighten one leg and angle it toward the side wall, with the sole of your foot flat on the ground. On the opposite side, lower your upper body so that your weight is resting on your hand, which is below your shoulder (similar to a side plank). Bend the free arm up and place it behind your head. To begin, raise the extended leg while at the same time bending so that your elbow goes toward the raised leg. This will work your oblique. Hold the crunch for a one count before lowering to the starting position.
- Side Plank, with lowered knee: Hold for 15 seconds, each side. Repeat two times.
- Russian Twists, toes on floor, no weight: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Stability Ball Pass: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Burpees, no ball: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Kneeling Side Crunch: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Side Plank: Hold for 30 seconds, each side. Repeat three times.
- Russian Twists, with weight: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Stability Ball Pass: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Burpees Ball Slams: 2 sets of 10 reps
- Kneeling Side Crunch, with a 3-second leg pause: 3 sets of 12 reps
If the muffin top isn’t among your problem areas, tell us what is. Share in the comments!