If you're looking to say goodbye to your love handles this Summer, try out this five-minute workout. Along with a sensible diet and ample cardio, the combination of these exercises that strengthen your glutes, lower back, and abs will help diminish the appearance of the dreaded muffin top. Perform each of the following moves for one minute each, but feel free to repeat this plan two or even three times for a more intense session.
Number 1: Seated Russian Twist
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your bum.
- Lean slightly back without rounding your spine at all. It is really important, and difficult, to keep your back straight, so don't let it curve.
- Place your arms straight out in front of you with one hand on top of the other. Your hands should be level with the bottom of your rib cage.
- Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating, not from your arms swinging. Inhale through your center, and rotate to the right. This completes one rep. Lift your feet off the ground for a more advanced variation.
- Do as many full rotations as you can for one minute.
Number 2: Elbow Plank With Twist
- Come into a side plank on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body.
- Place your left arm behind your head, and inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs, and rotate your left rib cage toward the floor so you are resting on both forearms in an elbow plank. Stay there for a second, and deepen your abdominal connection, pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
- Return to starting position, repeat for 30 seconds, and then switch sides. Repeat series again until a minute is up.
Number 3: Mountain Climbers
- Start in a traditional push-up starting position — shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
- Bring your right foot forward, bending the knee and putting weight on the ball of your foot.
- Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward while moving the right leg back. It feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
- For an advanced variation to work your abs more, keep the ball of your foot off the floor as you bring the knee in toward your chest.
- Quickly move through this exercise for as long as possible without taking a break — at least 30 seconds! Take a quick breather if need be, but pick up again until one minute is up.
Keep reading for the last two moves in this muffin top workout.
Number 4: Superman Lifts
- Lie on your belly, engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- Lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10 and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
- Perform as many reps as you can in one minute.
Number 5: Pilates Mat Swimming
- Begin on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you.
- Keeping your neck neutral and in line with your spine, lift your feet, arms, and chest from the floor.
- Begin to "swim" by lifting your opposite arm and leg a little higher, then alternate sides, making a fluttering motion.
- Continue this movement for one minute.