Does your flab spill over the waistband of your pants? That unwanted overhanging fat can occur with low rise pants and midriff tops, but can happen anytime you wear a pair of tight pants. It ends up resembling a muffin rising from its paper wrapping. It can be your back fat, stomach fat, love handles or all of them!
Anytime you have fat in the stomach area you are at risk for health complications due to it’s proximity to organs. A high waist circumference and too much abdominal fat puts you at high risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Women with waist measurements over 35 inches (88 cm) and men 40 inches (102 cm) are at risk.
(To measure your waist circumference, use a tape measure. Start at the top of your hip bone, then bring it all the way around so it’s level with your navel. Make sure it’s not too tight and that it is parallel with the floor. Don’t suck your stomach in too much or hold your breath while measuring it!)
Here’s some great exercises you can do in conjuction with cardio and aerobics to “whittle the middle” and get rid of those Muffin Tops!
1) Lie on your back on the floor or a bench with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your hands at your side. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest.
2) Raise your head off the floor and chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise your rear shoulders off the floor. Reach for your ankle with one hand and repeat with the other side.
3) Go back and forth for a set of 50 (25 each side) for 3 sets.
4) Remember to keep your head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
Reverse Crunch Scissor Kicks
1) Start by lying on your back with your legs perpendicular to the floor and your hands either placed palms down on the floor, or under your lower back area for lumbar support.
2) Slowly lower one leg down towards the floor.
3) Lift that leg back up and then repeat with the other leg.
4) Do 50 repetitions (25 each side) for 3 sets.
Lying Side Crunch
1) Lie with your back on floor or bench with knees bent.
2) Let your knees fall to the right so that your hips are somewhat rotated.
3) Leading with the chin and left shoulder, contract abdominal muscles and raise left shoulder off the floor or bench towards your left knee.
4) Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Repeat with the other side.
5) Don’t twist excessively, your elbow doesn’t need to touch your knee.
Cobra on Floor
1) Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides and palms facing up.
2) Slowly raise your shoulders up off the ground by contracting your low back. Simultaneously, raise your toe off the ground.
3) Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Don’t hyperextend your back.