Body fat is a term that women all over the world have learnt to dread and hate. While all humans are equipped with body fat that acts as an insulating layer, protecting our bodies, unfortunately women tend to carry more fat than men. A normal healthy woman will typically have at least 10% more body fat than a normal healthy man, which might not seem fair. Women also tend to accumulate more fat more rapidly than men, especially around their midsections.
A little extra flab around the abdomen is often colloquially referred to as love handles. The name may be cute, but there is nothing cute about them. Ask any woman who has ever wondered how to get rid of love handles.
Love handles have a way of sneaking up on you. Even though smaller love handles should not be a cause of major concern, but left unattended or ignored, the love handles can start to get out of control and manifest themselves as the dreaded muffin top. Since nobody in their right mind would want belly flab, here are a few tips and exercises that can help you stay in shape.
The best thing about these tips and exercises is that they can be done in the safety and sanctity of your own home. You don’t need to sign up for a gym membership or starve yourself following the latest fad diet, instead, these easy and hassle free exercises will make sure you stay ship shape without requiring a heavy investment in gym memberships, equipment, or meal plans. While these exercises may seem a bit too much at first, remind yourself that nothing worth doing is easy, and that these will eventually pay you back with a trim tummy.
1. Double Leg Circles
Lie down on a yoga mat (or a carpet if you don’t have a yoga mat). Lie on your back and place your arms down by your hips, with the palms facing down and touching the floor or mat. Then suck in your lower abdominal muscles towards your spine. After that, you have to raise your legs up toward the roof so your body forms an “L” shape.
Slowly lower your legs down toward the ground towards the right, but don’t let them touch the floor. Without putting your legs on the ground, bring them in the central position. Repeat the movement on the left side. Then end the movement by bring your legs back to centre pointing your toes towards the ceiling. Your legs will be making a circle. Repeat the movement 10 times towards the left and 10 times on the right. Here is a video of how to do this move.
2. Side Planks with Hip Dips
Get into an upper push up plank position. Then slowly move your right hand so it rests on the floor directly underneath your nose. Bringing your feet together, roll so the outside edge of your right foot is on the floor and your left foot is placed on top of it. Remove your left hand off the floor, balancing all your weight on your right hand and edge of your right foot. Then, pulling in your stomach towards your spine, dip your hips down till they are almost but not quite touching the ground. Lift your hips back up. You should repeat this move 10 times on each side, and do three sets. This is a great exercise to tone your oblique muscles and minimize love handles. Here is a video of how to do this move.
3. Boat Pose With Twists
This move is harder than it looks and may require some practice. It is based on traditional Pilates. First you have to sit on the floor with your knees raised and feet touching the floor. Then, keeping the legs bent as they are, lift your legs and feet up from the floor. Lean back so your torso is at an angle of about 45 degrees from the floor and your knees are bent at 90 degree angles. Bring your arms to the front, pressing the palms together. Inhale and sit up tall, then twist your arms to the right as you exhale. Inhale and move your body back to the center, then exhale and twist it the other way. Repeat at least 25 times. Here is a video of how to do this move.
4. Planks with Knee Twists
You will start in the upper push up plank position. Place your hands shoulder width apart or directly under your shoulders. Raise your right foot, stretching your leg straight out behind you. Inhale deeply and then as you exhale, bend your leg at the knee and bring it to the opposite elbow. Like your right knee will go to your left elbow. Then stretch and extend the leg back and rest it back on the ground in its original starting position. Switch sides and repeat movement of the other leg. You should do at least 10 repetitions on each side. Here is a video of how to do this move.