Got love handles? Get rid of them and be on the other side of the jealousy fueled insults when you're flaunting your abs on the beach... or working out at the gym in your cut-off shirt!
Well if you don't like showing off, maybe you just want to take control of that situation down below.
Now I must say that I am a proud member of the AACFF group -- that's Americans Against Crunches For Fat. Although this group exists solely in my mind, I must say that you will only see your abs through diet and exercise.
You cannot crunch your fat away. Additionally, there is more to your core than just your abdominal wall. We're talking transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, and your erector spinae muscles.
It is imperative that all these muscles are worked, as they all work together to produce movement in the trunk. Your ab muscles NEVER work by themselves doing any activity. However you can target these muscles for a vanity affair. The same would apply for the obliques.
Some people may find it hard to target these muscles, so I've come up with three exercises that will help you handle those love handles.
Before we get started, I just want to tell you a little about these attractive muscles.
Your obliques are comprised of the internal and external obliques. The external oblique, located at either side of the abdominal wall, functions to pull the chest downwards and compress the abdominal cavity. It helps in both flexion and rotation of the vertebral column.
The external obliques are referred to as "opposite side" rotators. When you rotate to the left, the external oblique fibers on your right side facilitate the movement. Conversely, if you rotate to your right, the left external oblique fibers help with the movement.
The internal obliques, running at approximately right angles to the external obliques, form an inverted "V" shape and performs two major functions. First, it assists in breathing, and second it rotates the trunk. In contrast to the external, the internal oblique muscles are "same side" rotators. Basically when you rotate to the left, the left internal oblique muscles facilitate the movement. When you rotate to the right, the right internal oblique muscles help cause the motion.
Although most people think of the oblique muscles as being only frontal muscles, their fan-like fibers actually extend all the way around the sides to the lower back.
The good thing about these exercises your about to try is that they work more muscles in the core, not just the obliques.
Start on the floor, lying on your side. Place your elbow on the floor directly underneath your shoulder as seen in picture. With your body completely straight from head to feet, abs drawn in and butt tight, lift your hips away from the floor to line up with the rest of your body.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute, looking straight ahead with your chin tucked in. Try 2-3 sets on each side. If this is too hard, keep your knees on the floor bent at a 90-degree angle. (Body should be straight from head to knee.)
Standing adjacent to a cable machine, place your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, pointing toes straight ahead. Make sure the cable handle is set at chest level. At desired resistance, (25-30 lbs maybe a good place to start) grab the handle with overlapping hands and straight arms. With shoulder blades down and back, begin bringing straight arms across the body squeezing the glutes and stomach throughout movement.
Without moving hips and feet, turn your waist till you are completely facing right. (Or left depending on which side you started on.) Slowly return hands with straight arms in front of chest and go back out to right for 15-20 reps then do the same for the other side. Complete 2-3 sets on each side.
Side Crunches on Ball
Start out with right hip on ball, legs extended and feet against the bottom of a wall. (Right foot in front of left and switch when doing other side.) With a straight body, place your left hand behind your head, right hand on your left side, and begin crunching that left side bringing the left elbow toward the knee.
Get a good squeeze and descend toward the ball again. Stretch out the left side and contract again. Complete 15-20 reps and do the same for the other side for 2-3 sets.
NOTES: Some exercises are generally for the physically fit and active. If you suffer from joint pain, or have cardiac-related problems, please consult a physician before starting a routine. Otherwise, seek an experienced personal trainer for proper techniques.
For more information, check out http://www.ammoathletics.com