Are you unhappy with the fat on your obliques, also affectionately known as your love handles? Turn those affectingly known love handles into obliques that you actually love. While there's no magic cure to losing oblique fat, or the fat located on the sides of your abdomen, there are certain exercises you can use to help tone your oblique muscles and lose that unwanted fat.
There is no magic cure for unwanted oblique fat, but muscle toning can improve the appearance of your obliques. Muscle toning is the process of strengthening your muscles through specific exercises. There are many different exercises you can do to tone your oblique muscles. Similar to other ab exercises, oblique toning exercises focus on the sides of your abs.
Forward Lunge With Twist
One muscle toning exercise to improve the appearance of your oblique muscles is called the forward lunge with a twist. This exercise not only tones your oblique muscles, but also your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. To do this exercise, start by standing upright with your feet together and your arms extended in front at shoulder height and palms facing each other. Step forward with your right leg and lower your body toward the floor as if you were going to kneel. Stop when your right thigh is parallel with the floor and be careful not to touch your knee to the floor. As you are stepping forward, turn your torso and arms to the right, engaging the obliques on that side. Hold this pose for a few seconds, turn your torso back to the center and return to your beginning position. Repeat this process with your left leg and left arms. Switch legs each time you return to a standing position. Do one set with four to five reps on each side.
Another muscle-toning exercise that can improve your oblique muscles is called the inverted flyer. This exercise tones your obliques, glutes, adductors, hamstrings and quadriceps. Start by standing in an upright position with your feet about hip-width apart. Next, lift your left knee up to the height of your hips, while swinging your right arm forward and your left arm backward. Lean forward, extending your left leg back. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then return to your original standing position. Repeat this process with your right leg.
With any type of abdominal workout, including oblique exercises, recovery time is not as essential compared to other major muscle groups. However, to avoid fatigue, perform oblique exercises two to three times per week with a day of rest in between. Start with two sets of each oblique exercise and work your way up to four sets. Each set should include 10 to 20 reps on each side.
Since it's not possible to spot tone, in order to get the results you want, you also need to add aerobic exercise and calorie restriction to your regimen. It's not possible to lose fat in one specific area, but by doing fat-burning exercises you can lose fat all over your body. Shedding a layer or two of fat will make the appearance of your toned obliques that much easier to see. In addition to oblique muscle-toning activities, consider adding aerobic workouts like running or cycling alongside a reduced caloric intake.
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.