We’re all about loving ourselves over here, but sometimes there’s just a little stubborn stomach fat right above our jeans that’s not so easy to love. Like, we can admit that we’re a work in progress, even though it’s obviously the really expensive work that has a VIP exhibition line down the block. Everyone has love handles, and making them go away isn’t as easy as drinking a green juice and taking a spin class one time. Trust us, we’ve tried. This workout combines cardio moves with oblique-targeting exercises, and it’s only six moves total, so you can do each one for 45 seconds and then repeat the circuit as many times as you want. Here’s how to lose the love handles.
1. Mountain Climbers With Twist
This move is also sometimes called the cross-body mountain climber, but we prefer twist because you need visualize your entire torso twisting as you jog your legs in toward your chest. Starting in a plank position, keep your shoulders over your wrists to engage your core and not put too much pressure on your shoulders. Then, jog your legs into your torso one at a time, twisting the leg to the opposite side of your body. So, if you’re bringing your right knee up, try to reach it towards your left elbow. Then, do the same on the other side. Do a few reps slowly and then pick up the pace once you get the hang of it. Remember to squeeze your core at the top every time.
2. Side Plank With Pulse
If you feel like your side planks aren’t doing anything for you, your form is probably wrong, and you need to be engaging your obliques, which are the sides of your abs that should burn throughout this exercise. Start on one side by placing your right elbow on the ground and stacking your feet, making sure your body is in a straight line with your hips about 5 inches of the floor. Lower your hips slightly and then lift your pelvis up, squeezing your right oblique. Try to pulse for a few seconds at the bottom of every dip to really burn out the muscle. You should aim for about 20 pulses in the full 45-second interval. Then, do the same on the left side.
3. Russian Twists
A Russian Twist sounds like a funky cocktail you’d get at a speakeasy, but it’s SO much better than that. Okay, kidding. These suck. But they get the job done and they’re so effective if you’re doing them right. Start by sitting on the ground with your feet out in front of you while holding a weight or medicine ball in your hands. Lift your feet off the ground and tilt backwards, twisting the weight from one side of your body to the other, basically touching the ground on each side. Remember to twist using your core and take your time on these. If they’re too hard, drop your feet to the ground to make it easier on your core.
4. Plank Jacks
Holding a plank can get super boring, so by adding a jumping jack, you get to raise your heart rate and burn calories while working out your core muscles. It might hurt when you try to laugh tomorrow, but it’s worth it. Start in an elbow plank with your feet behind you, keeping your right and left foot close together. Then, without lifting your butt at all, jump your feet out and in, like you’re doing horizontal jumping jacks. By combining a cardio move with an ab move, you’re toning and burning cals at the same time. Like, can we get more impressive?
5. Sprinter Sit-Ups
The sit-up exercise gets a lot of flack in the fitness industry because a lot of trainers feel like people are hurting their backs and not really engaging their core. By doing sprinter sit-ups instead, we’re activating the sides of our core, and work out our hip flexors as well, which will help with your total body strength and won’t put as much pressure on your back. Basically, this move is a winner. Sitting down on the ground, lean back slightly as you lift your right leg up and bring the left elbow to the right knee, engaging your obliques as you twist toward the right side. Alternate between right and left for the full 45-second interval, and make sure you’re using your core to twist, not your elbow.
6. Squat Thrusts
Squat thrusts sound like they’d be a lower body exercise, but they’re low-key amazing for your abs, and they target other parts of your body too, which is just a win-win. Squat thrusts are basically burpees, but with a focus on the plank, so there’s no push-up at the bottom. You’re welcome. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, lower into a squat position and place your hands on the floor. Then, kick your legs back into a high plank position, and then jump them forward, back to your squat. Stand up and add a jump at the top, and then keep going. The point of the squat thrust is to burn calories using your abs, legs, and arms, so your whole body is involved. This move is basically the icing on the cake. But like, a very healthy, low-cal cake.