Muffin top. Uggghhh that’s a horrible word isn’t it? Well, I personally hate it, but to be honest, there really isn’t another word for it. Sometimes, we as women carry extra around the mid-section that we’d like to get rid of. So! How to get rid of muffin top?
Let’s talk about it.
While we know that you can’t fat spot reduce, you can eventually lose that muffin top with hard and persistent work. I’ve talked about in other posts about eating real food, and balancing that with exercise and proper rest, right? Which is exactly where it all starts.
Sometimes though, we really do have problem areas that we need to target to get over that hump. For some girls that’s legs, some girls it’s their arms, while others, it’s the abdomen area.
Typically the problem areas have harder to target muscles. This means that the ‘extra’ may not even be fat, it maybe underdeveloped muscles that just need help! Those underdeveloped muscles need a little bit of love and attention and with the right exercises and proper use, you will really see a difference!
When you have a problem area that you’re targeting, that doesn’t mean that you need to neglect your full body workouts. You should always work out your full body. Don’t lose ground on the other areas just to work on your problem area!
I say this because when I’m trying to work on something specific, I focus on that area almost to a fault. Then later I realize, hey, uh, you shouldn’t have just neglected everything else to focus on this tough area. It’s all about balance.
Okay! Let’s dive into my favorite six exercises to tighten up that core and help you fit into your shorts a bit more comfortably.
Strengthening Your Core #1 – Weighted Glut Bridges
This exercise can be done with a plate, or with a barbell.
Lie flat on your back, place your choice of weight on your lap, right at the hips. Pull your core nice and tight, hold the weight in place with your hands, and lift your butt off the floor into a bridge position, hold for 1-2 seconds, then back down.
Repeat for 3 sets of 10. As you get stronger, increase the weight!
Tip: If you decide to use a barbell (which is my favorite way of doing these) wrap a barbell pad around it as the barbell will get uncomfortable on your hip bones. This exercise targets the hard to work lower abs!
Strengthening Your Core Exercise #2 – Standing Side Bends
This next exercise is a bit out of the ordinary but it works!
Stand in front of a mirror at your gym and hold a plate in your hand. Keeping your core nice and tight, side bend and your hip allowing the weight to slide down your leg, then return to full upright position.
You will not be able to go very far and that’s okay, this is not a normal movement! This exercise works those side muscles on your trunk that wrap around into your abdominals which is what will tighten up to get rid of the ‘muffin top’.
Do this exercise for 3 sets of 10.
As you get stronger, increase the reps! Super heavy weight on this side bend can get tricky, so be careful if you decide to increase your weight!
Strengthening Your Core #3 – Captain’s Chair
I love love love the captain’s chair. It is a bit intimidating, but it works!
Get up in the chair, placing the forearms on the pads and holding onto the braces, tighten up your core, and pull your knees up to your chest at an angle as seen in below picture, then lower your legs back down to straight and repeat on the other side.
Repeat for 2 sets of 10 on each side!
Strengthening Your Core Exercise #4 – Incline Sit Ups
Just a heads up! This one is HARD but SO worth it!
Find the incline bench at the gym and climb on the bench on your back where your head is down and your feet are secure in the pads.
Engage your core and start to curl at your abs and sit all of the way up. Then slowly and controlled, lower yourself back down. Yep, it’s that simple. BUT! It’s normally the ones that sound the simplest that are the hardest!
Repeat for 3 sets of 10.
Tip: If you’d like to add difficulty, grab a dumbbell or plate, and hold against your chest as you do your sit ups.
Strengthening Your Core Top Exercise #5 – Side Plank Hip Drops
Okay! We all love planks right? Of course we do! This one however isn’t about holding for 30 seconds or a minute, this one is reps.
Lying on your side with your hips and legs stacked and your hand on your hip and using other arm for brace, lift your hips up until your body is in a straight line, then lower your hip back down and go right back up.
Tip: As always, make sure that your trunk and core is braced. This exercise can cause strain on the back if not properly braced!
Repeat on each side for 2 sets of 10! (Finish one set of ten on one side, then flip over and do the other side)
Strengthening Your Core Exercise #6 –Bicycle with alternating Elbow Touches
Last one! This one is an oldie but oh my goodness, it’s a goody. By this point, you’re probably getting tired, so be sure to keep your core tight and strong!
Lying on your back, place your hands behind your head and raise your legs to a table top position. As you curl into a crunch, reach your opposite elbow to your opposite knee.
Example: right elbow towards left knee and then alternate to left elbow towards right knee. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 each elbow.
I know that I’m a level 10 fitness nerd but these kinds of posts really excite me. There is something about trying out new exercises and taking old exercises and spicing them up a bit to make them more interesting that just gets me giddy.
What can I say? I’m a weirdo. Although, sometimes when I’m making stuff up in the gym trying to find something new that works, I’m pretty sure it could land me on one of those viral videos of what not to do in the gym.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. The videos that you’re like what ARE they doing?
One more thing that I’m going to say. Anytime that you’re working on your core, you must be careful about making sure that your core muscles are engaged to provide the stability that you need to minimize risk of injury!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that these exercises really are some of my favorites and ones that I incorporate into my regular routine. When you do these workouts and you post your awesome workout selfies tag me in the photo so I can cheer you on!
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