ed with your love handles? If you think that spending endless hours mindlessly logging miles on the treadmill is a good way to kick off fat, you’re totally wrong. Cardio is a great option to keep you healthy and fit in shape. However, if you want to target those stubborn love handles, you need to do more. A combination of HIIT cardio, total-body strength training, and the occasional long, slow, distance session will burn the fat off the stubborn areas. These five exercises below will help you get rid of your love handles, and of course, have a smaller waist.

  1. SIDE PLANK

The plank is one of the best core conditioning for a good reason it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The Side Plank exercise benefits further than just your core strength. Side Plank requires you to balance on one arm, so this is a great pose for strengthening your shoulders, wrists, and arms.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Turn onto your right side with your legs extended and your feet and hips resting on the ground and stacked on top of each other.

FINISH: Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder to prop up your torso, and align your head with your spine. Gently contract your core and lift your hips and knees off the floor; this strengthens your sides and deep ab muscles. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, gradually working up to a minute, and return to the starting position. Roll onto the other side and repeat.

  1. HIP DIPS

Up for a more intense plank challenge? Try dipping your hips from side to side. The Elbow Plank Hip Dip is a waist-whittling, ab-sculpting move that trainers love to use for carving out the waistline.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Assume low plank position, forearms flat and parallel to one another. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.

FINISH: Roll and drop your hips to the right, touching the top of the right thigh to the ground. Return to low plank. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Aim for 2 sets of 12 reps. To make it easier, shorten the range. Just barely tilt each hip down, without dropping all the way to touch the floor. Make “micro-movements,” returning to low plank between each little shift. This option is especially useful if the full range of hip dips bothers your lower back.

  1. OVERHEAD DUMBBELL SIDE BEND

Dumbbell oblique side bends are great if you’re looking for a resistance training exercise to target the oblique muscles and tighten up your overall core.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Hold the dumbbell above your head, squeezing your ears with your upper arms to activate your core.

FINISH: Pull your abs to your spine and lengthen your spine as you bend slowly to the right. Hold for a second and come back to the starting position and then slowly to the left. Keep your pelvis still as you bend to the side. Repeat for 1 minute.

  1. THREAD THE NEEDLE

Do you want to improve the flexibility and strength of your spine? The thread the needle exercise is a fantastic rotational exercise!

Step-to-step instruction

START: Come to your side and stack or stagger your feet in a side plank. The grounded elbow should be underneath the shoulder. Raise the opposite arm so it opens the chest. If your neck allows it, turn your head to look at your hand. Make sure you’re really flexing the lower oblique to keep the bottom hip lifted. You can drop the bottom knee to the mat if needed.

FINISH:  Bend the elbow and thread the hand underneath you. Let your head drop and follow it. As you turn, your hips stay square to the front. Lift the bottom hip to create room for the threading, then open the chest and lift your arm to return to the starting position. Repeat for 1 minute.

  1. SIDE PLANK LIFT

Side Plank Lift and Lower is an amazing core body exercise that targets your core muscles, especially your obliques, while building strength in your shoulder and upper back. If you learn how to do Side Plank Lift and Lower you will have a tighter waistline and a stronger mid-section.

Step-to-step instruction

START: Start by laying on your right side with forearm below the shoulder, body lifted and legs long and feet stacked. Keep body straight, abs tight and place left hand on hip.

FINISH: Dip your hips down towards the mat and lift back up using your obliques and core muscles. Always keep your abs tight and engaged during the exercise. Repeat this movement for 1 minute.

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