If you have belly fat and love handles, you can lose that fat and get the thin, firm figure you want. Start by eliminating junk food and sugary drinks from your diet. Next, do ab slimming exercises three times each week. Each day focus your slimming, toning workout on a different part of your abdominal area. Day one work on your upper abs. Day two can be your day to work those lower abs. Day three of your workout, focus on your obliques to get rid of those love handles.
Spot Reduction Myth
No matter what you've heard, you can't lose fat in just one area of your body. To get a slim waist and toned abs, you have to lose fat all over your body and do abdominal-strengthening exercises. Women tend to store more fat around the hips, butt and waist. It's especially hard to lose weight in these areas. The best way to lose fat for a slimmer body is to do about 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. Firm and tone your waist by doing strength exercises that target your ab muscles three days each week.
Upper Ab Workout
Your upper abdominal muscles are located between the bottom of your sternum and the top of your belly button. Traditional exercises that target these muscles include crunches, knee raises and situps. You can perform crunches on a flat, stable surface, but to really give your upper abs a vigorous workout, do crunches sitting on an exercise ball. You will also make your stabilizing abdominal muscles work harder on an exercise ball. Once you get stronger, try to do crunches on an incline exercise bench with your head lower than your feet. Knee raises done on an inclined bench with your head higher than your feet really works the upper abs.
Lower Ab Workout
Your lower ab muscles, called the transverse abdominal muscles, cross your belly horizontally. Most abdominal exercises work all the ab muscles to varying degrees, but some exercises focus more on your upper and lower abs or your obliques. Pelvic lifts focus on working the lower abdominal muscles. Perform reverse crunches by pulling your knees back toward your chest utilizing your lower abdominal muscles. Exhale as much as possible when doing reverse crunches to fully engage your lower abs.
The obliques are those ab muscles on each side of your waist often hidden behind love handles. You have both internal and external obliques on each side of your waist. The oblique muscles cross your waist on the sides from your lower chest to your hip. These muscles help you twist and bend your torso from side to side. Any exercise during which you twist your torso or bend to the side works these muscles. Side raises, Russians twists and oblique crunches really work these muscles for a firmer, trimmer waist.
- Fitness: Flat Abs Fast: The Core-Strengthening Workout
- American Council on Exercise: Why Is the Concept of Sport Reduction Considered a Myth?
- ShapeFit: Abs Exercise Guide: Photos and Instructions to Get Ripped Abs
- University of New Mexico: Super Abs Resource Manual
- Fit Watch: The Top 3 Lower Ab Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Core Workout
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.