Losing a frustrating muffin top gives you new found confidence and the ability to wear the clothes you like. Being that spot reduction is not possible, you have to set your sights on total body weight loss to lose this unsightly fat. Running is an exercise form that achieves this goal efficiently. However, if you are opposed to impact or have other reasons why you don't like running, you can shed your fat by other means.
Pick another form of cardio that you do like. The type of cardio you choose is not important. All forms of cardio burn calories and promote weight loss throughout the entire body. Choose something like rowing, elliptical training, kickboxing, jumping rope, stair climbing or step aerobics.
Exercise long enough to produce weight loss. The Centers for Disease Control notes that it may take 150 to 300 minutes of moderately-intense aerobic activity to lose weight. Meet these guidelines to insure you melt away your muffin top.
Perform your exercises in a circuit. This will keep your heart rate elevated and cause a high caloric expenditure. Do each exercise back to back and take 30-second rest breaks in between. Aim for 12 to 15 reps and perform four or five circuits. Work out two or three days a week.
Strength Training and Toning
Lift weights to further help your cause. Weight training builds muscle which raises your metabolism. The more muscle you build, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you will burn while at rest. This, in turn, will further promote weight loss in the waist area. Perform exercises like bench presses, shoulder presses, bent-over rows, dips, biceps curls and squats to target all of your major muscle groups.
Tone your muffin top area with dedicated exercises. This will give your waistline a more tight and defined appearance as you lose weight. Perform exercises like hanging leg-hip raises, lying scissor kicks, Russian twists, back extensions and elevated leg crunches. Aim for 15 to 20 reps, do three or four sets and work out three or four days a week.
Use proper form with your exercises to insure you make adequate progress. Move through a full range of motion and never rely on momentum. For bench presses, lie face-up on a flat bench and grasp the bar with an overhand, wide grip. Push the bar off the supports in a steady motion and hold it straight above your body. Lower the bar down slowly until it lightly touches your chest. Push back up in a steady motion, hold for a second and repeat.
Pay attention to your form with your waist exercises as well. If you make the slightest wrong move with your body, you can get injured. For hanging leg-hip raises, grasp a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width, overhand grip and let your legs hang straight down. Keep your upper body still as you lift your legs, bend your knees and tuck them into your body. Hold for a second, slowly lower your legs back down and repeat.
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.