The dreaded Muffin Top, Love Handles, whatever you want to call it these days is a constant trouble area for men and women. That excess side fat just seems to sit there no matter what you do or how much you diet. However, there are several very effective exercises that target this trouble area. Follow these common and simple exercises for at least three weeks and you're bound to notice the difference.
Oblique muscles are found on the side of the torso. Any type of exercise that involves a twisting movement will target and tone these muscles. Here's a good one for those hard-to-target areas.
Lie on your back with your feet raised on a chair or stability ball. Lower legs should be perpendicular to the floor, the knees raised directly above the hips. Gently clasp your hands behind your head (never pull or tug on your head or neck). Slowly, and exhaling at the same time, lift your left elbow toward your right knee. You don't have to touch it, but lift until you can feel the pressure in your abs, focusing on feeling the muscles tighten on your side, right over the left hip area. Slowly lower. Repeat the process, this time lifting your right elbow toward your left knee, and then slowly return to your starting position. Perform at least five sets to start, slowly increasing as you get stronger.
This exercise also works the obliques, the target area you're looking for to get rid of side fat. Using just your body weight or holding 5 to 10 pound dumbbells in both hands, or placing a weighted or non-weighted barbell on your shoulders, stand with feet shoulder width apart. Keeping the back straight, bend to your left as far as you can without losing your balance. Hold that position for a second or two, then straighten. Don't lean forward or backward, or bend with your knees or hips. Only the waist should be moving. Perform this exercise five times to each side to start, gradually increasing number of sets as you feel stronger.
Side Lying Obliques
An old standard is the side-lying oblique crunch. This exercise is performed lying on one side. Lie down on the floor, lining the legs one on top of the other, lower arm extended for balance. Lift the top arm, placing the hand on the back of the head. Now, lift the top leg, while at the same time trying to touch the elbow of the hand behind your head to your uplifted knee. You probably won't be able to touch the two, but it's the direction and effort that count. You'll be able to feel all that mush-mush at your waist while you perform this move, so concentrate on pulling in the abdominal and feeling the muscles above your hips contracting as you lift the leg upward. Perform this exercise at least five times, and then switch to the other side and repeat.