To get rid of a muffin top and lose excess belly flab, you have to burn calories through cardio exercise while cutting them from your diet. Although weightlifting alone won't help you reduce your midsection, you can use it in combination with aerobic exercise and diet to get a toned, flat midriff. Before starting on a new exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor to ensure it's the right program for you.
Whittle your middle with weighted standing crunches. Stand straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while bending your arms at a 90-degree angle. Simultaneously lift your left knee toward your midsection as you draw in your abs and crunch toward the left so your left knee and hands meet in the middle. Stand up straight and place your left foot back on the floor to complete one rep. Do eight to 24 reps on each side, three times each week.
Your oblique muscles -- the muscles along your sides -- help give you that hourglass figure you long to show off. Trunk rotations are an effective weightlifting exercise for toning the obliques to cinch your middle. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Position your arms at 90-degree angles with your elbows about 4 inches from your sides. Rotate your midsection, chest and head toward your left, bringing the dumbbells with you. Turn as far as possible, and then rotate back to the starting position. Perform 16 to 24 trunk rotations in both directions, three times weekly.
Weighted Side Bends
Tone your core for a tighter midsection with weighted side bends. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while standing with your feet 2 to 3 feet apart. Place your left hand at your waist and let the right arm remain by your side. Bend toward the right to feel the stretch along your left oblique muscles. Return to standing to complete one rep; perform 12 to 24 side bends on each side, three days each week.
Things to Think About
If you want to reduce your midsection by shedding fat while also toning your core muscles, you should perform cardio that engages the muscles of your abdomen, lower back and obliques. Exercises such as swimming, jogging, tennis and using a rebounder are all effective for helping you burn calories and toning your midsection. To lose weight, you should engage in cardio for at least 300 minutes per week.
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- Fitness Magazine: Beat Belly Bulge
- American Council on Exercise: Standing Medicine Ball Trunk Rotations
- Shape Magazine: 5 Exercises to Help You Get Lady Gaga's Killer Abs
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.