[Workout Wednesday] 4 Core Exercises to Reduce Side Fat

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Get rid of stubborn side fat and crush your love handles with these 4 core exercises that you can do anywhere.

Side fat – also known as love handles – is something that many people wish they could get rid of. These bands of fat around the waist area can make it difficult to buy clothes that fit properly.  Have you ever been to the store and tried on the perfect pair of jeans – but then you get to top and can’t button them? Ugh! Annoying, right?

Well, having love handles isn’t just an inconvenience when it comes to clothes – it is also bad for your health. Fat in the stomach region has been shown to increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes – even if you’re not carrying a lot of extra weight elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are some ways that you can eliminate belly and side fat. You can say goodbye to those love handles with a few little tweaks to your diet and some targeted core exercises like the ones below.

1.) Eat Clean and Lean – Think Protein

Some experts say that losing weight and toning your body has a lot to do with the food that you eat – much more than it does with exercise. The simple truth is that it will be easier to lose your muffin top if you lose weight in general, so instead of indulging in a plate full of potatoes and pasta, try to cut back on starches and include more protein in your diet.

Protein gives you energy throughout the day and prevents junk food cravings. Eating more protein goes hand-in-hand to losing weight because it helps you feel full and satisfied for longer.

2.) Try Some Targeted Core Exercises that Focus on Your Love Handles

Along with eating healthy and losing weight in general, these 4 core exercises can help tone and tighten this problem area to make side fat less noticeable:

Exercise 1: Press and Reach – Obliques

Kneeling on your left knee with your right leg in front of you – feet flat on the floor and on a 90 degree angle – bend your body while raising your arms straight up in the air. Pull back to the original position using only the effort of your oblique (side) muscle. (See example here.) Repeat for 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each side.

Exercise 2: Side Plank Crunch

With your right elbow supporting the weight of your body in a side-plank position, bring your right foot in front of you – making sure that your core is tightened throughout. Pull your knee towards the chest and then bring back the leg to its original sideways plank position. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

Not sure how to do this move?  Check out this image

Exercise 3: Floor Exercises Using a Medicine Ball

Are you familiar with bicycle crunches? This exercise is similar yet more rigorous. Lie on the floor with your back and spine flat on the floor. Pull the right knee up to your chest while holding the ball in your left hand. Move the ball through your right knee with your right hand and then lower the right knee and pass it around the left – back and forth, forming a figure-8.

See example here.

Exercise 4: Circular Obliques

From a standing position, open your legs wider – about shoulder width apart. Extend your arms straight up as far as you can. Bend the body to the right as much as you can, then circle your hands down towards the ankle like this, then sweep back up and do the same for the other side. Do 3 sets of 12 repetitions on each side. You can hold a small hand weight in both hands if you wish to increase the resistance.

Do this workout on a regular basis, along with a healthy diet and regular cardio exercise, and you will start to see those stubborn love handles finally melting away!

 

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