Exercises for Love Handles: The Muffin Top Is Dead

Exercises for Love Handles: The Muffin Top Is Dead

"Love handles" might sound like a cute pet name, but theres nothing cutesy about belly bulge oozing over the waistline of your low-rise jeans.

Its true that diet and regular exercise can help you lose the weight-and keep it off- but, the most important thing to note is that, there are specific things you can do to strengthen, tone, and smooth out those pesky problem areas on your body-and this includes exercises for removing love handles.

So, are you on the edge of your chair yet?

Great! There are some things you can do right away that will help you melt those love handles right off of your waistline.

First, do some light stretching to loosen up your body. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart-and your body relaxed-breathe in deep and raise your arms over your head. Exhale slowly while slowly bringing your arms down by your side. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Next in the sequence, I want you to touch your toes. However, dont just slump over to do it. Raise your arms above your head-palms facing front-breathe in deep, and as you exhale, lean over slowly and touch your toes. Be sure to keep your arms straight.

Next, inhale slowly and come back up, nice and slow, keeping your arms and spine straight. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

A good way to get your blood pumping-without doing a full cardio workout-is to do jumping jacks. 50 to 100 should be just enough to prepare your body for the love handles workout.

To begin, lie on the floor-preferably, on a soft rug, yoga mat, or even your favorite blanket because you dont want to hurt your back on a hard floor. If thats not necessary because your home is carpeted, at the very least, roll up a small towel and place it between the small of your back and the floor.

Lie facing the ceiling, with your arms out to your sides at shoulder height - so your body makes a T. Without bending your knees, lift one of your legs up as far as you can, and then bring it across your body.

Keeping as much as of your body on the floor as possible while trying to touch your foot on the floor. This is a nice slow exercise, so there is no need to rush it. Repeat this 20 to 25 times-alternating legs each time.

With all of the hoopla and fanfare surrounding sit-ups, youd think that they would be the perfect exercise for love handles, but the reality is that they only strengthen your abs. What you really want to do are crunch twists.

Lie on the floor as if youre going to do a sit-up. Raise both your legs off the floor, keeping them straight. Raise your head with your hands unclasped behind it, and then bring your leg in toward you while touching your opposite elbow with your knee. Repeat 25 times, working up to 50.

Another good love handles exercise is the torso twist. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms stretched out to the sides, nice and high, shoulder height, with your elbows bent.

Then twist to each side, punching out with each hand (i.e., you turn to the right and punch your left hand; to the left, its your right hand that punches). Repeat 100 times.

Of course, these exercises for love handles should be combined with weight training, diet, and cardio workouts to get the full effect. Do this and youre well on your way to shedding the love handles.

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