22 Moves That Will Melt Away Your Muffin Top
Summer might have just passed and it’s time to buckle up for the cold season, dodging the calorie-bombs that are Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. It’s never to late to prepare for next season though and one of your priorities should be to get rid of your muffin top (or avoid “growing” one in the first place). A muffin top is the added fat that most women develop around their waste and they not only look unaesthetic, but also make you feel uncomfortable wearing tighter shirts or pants. The waist area being one of the first that fat settles on, we decided to make a guide on how to get rid of your muffin top.
According to Barry Jay, founder of Barry’s Bootcamp, “Muffin tops are a problem spot for everyone who overeats.”, and also catches excess easily, that’s why most of the time it’s the first area we notice when gaining weight and the hardest to sculpt when dieting.
You can reverse the damage you did by finding how many calories you should eat for your height, age, and ideal body weight. “Cardio helps, but food is 85% of the results we see”, says Barry Jay. When your diet is back on track, add these exercises to your workout routine and you’ll see that muffin top melting in no time.
Crunches are standard exercises that strengthen your core and abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your lower legs on a bench and with your hands behind your neck and head.
Flex and twist to raise your upper torso from mat to one side and return until your back shoulders touch the mat. Crunch again, this time with the opposite side.
Repeat 25 crunches, 3 times
There are several different kinds of crunches, all of which make for great muffin-top reducing exercises. Even if incline crunches are less intensive, they give you a great workout.
For this workout you will need an incline crunch bench. You have to sit on the incline bench, with the toes at the “top”. Lie flat on your back and slowly “crunch” up until you’re half-ways sitting. Lower your back down slowly. Don’t cheat – use your ab muscles not your neck muscles and try to keep your neck in a neutral position with space between your sternum and chin.
If this move is difficult for you, just perform on lower incline or on flat surface. Do 3 sets of 12.
Remember the incline bench that we use for Incline Crunches? You’re going to use it again for one of the BEST muffin top exercises: REVERSE CRUNCHES. These crunches strengthen your abdominal muscles while placing less strain on your neck and back than a regular crunch.
Lie on the bench, feet up, then lower yourself back, but only half-way, then sit all the way up again. If you don’t have access to an incline bench, just lie on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and repeat the steps described above.
Do 3 sets of 12. If you do this exercises several times per week, you’ll see huge changes in no time and you’ll be one step close to get six-pack abs.
Using the rowing machine is one of the best ways to shrink your muffin top. You only have to sit with your back straight during the entire rowing motion, and let your arms and core do the work, otherwise you may hurt your back.
Rowing machines allow us to work the entire body and are also great for cardio. It’s a great workout for the core muscles because they are used all the time during the exercises in order to stabilize your body during the motion.
If you’re looking for a truly whole-body workout, including one to help you get rid of your muffin top, the elliptical machine is the answer.
Do 30 minutes of high intensity internal training on an elliptical, and include a 5 minutes warm up and 5 minutes cool down. If longer workouts get you bored, just distract yourself: watch TV, listen to audiobooks, listen to music or anything that can make your workout pass faster.
You’d be surprised how beneficial leg raises can be when you’re trying to banish the muffin top. You just have to lie on your back with your arms at your sides and lift your legs off the ground, keeping them straight (about 5-6 inches off the ground). Try to hold for 30 seconds and then slowly lower them. Do you feel the burn?
Do 3 sets of 20.
Mountain climbers are fantastic exercises for the abs, and even if the move is a simple one, it’s very intense.
Start in push-up position, on your hands and toes. Pull your left knee in toward your chest, with the other foot resting on the floor. Then you have to jump up and, while you’re in the air, switch your feet, so your right knee is against your chest and your right leg is resting behind you.
Repeat this as quickly as you can for about a minute.
Push-ups can be difficult at the beginning if you don’t have enough straight on your arms, but you can start with something easier (a modified push-up) and then move on to the standard version. Once you’ve started doing push-ups several times a week, you’ll be amazed how many you can do, and soon you’ll be able to focus on getting proper push-up form.
Do 3 sets of 10.
Donkey Kicks are perfect for getting rid of a muffin top, and they’ll make your glutes and legs look amazing as well.
Get down on all fours, making sure your back is straight and your stomach is pulled in. Kick back your right leg and stretch it behind you as straight as you can; hold for about 5 seconds, then repeat the move with the right leg.
Repeat 10 times for each side.
Jumping rope is fun and offers a great cardio workout that will help you burn fat like crazy and will sculpt your arms, legs, chest and shoulders. Because it won’t feel like exercise, you can basically do it as long as you’re able. If you haven’t jumped rope before, or haven’t done it since childhood, remember that it takes a bit of coordination to be able to jump for a few minutes straight – expect to be clumsy at first, but once you learn the motion and get used to the lenght of the rope it should get easier very quickly.
Water aerobics are a little more intensive than swimming, as it forces you to move against the water’s resistance – they’re great for cardio, but, like swimming, also develop your muscles across your entire body. If you have a pool you can do water aerobics on your own, otherwise check out some classes at your gym.
Squats are simple to do and are a great wat to tone your abs and your butt. You can take five minutes each day do to them even if you’re on vacation. Check out our 30 squat challenge for more inspiration HERE.
It might look easy, but planking is actually really intense and it takes time to hold the position for more than several seconds.
For a standard planking, lie down on your stomach and keep your legs as straight as you can, then gradually lift up with the help of your arms and toes. If it’s too difficult for you to hold yourself on your arms, you can brace with your forearms instead. Just make sure your back is straight and your stomach is pulled in.
Hold this position for at least 10 seconds, and gradually increase the time.
Side planking is a little more difficult than the regular one, but with time you’ll become an expert. Lie down on the ground or on a mat, on your right side. Keep the right hand on the flor – or use your elbow for extra brace. Keep your side as straight as possible and lift your body so it creates a plank-like shape, while keeping the other arm against your side.
Try to hold this pose for 10 seconds and then do it for the other side.
If you’re a beginner and you have an exercise ball you can also try the ball plank. It’s exactly like traditional planking, except that your upper body is supported by the stability ball. The exercise ball forces you to balance your body, working your core even more intensely than standard planking does. Try to hold this position for 30 seconds at first, then gradually increase the time for your next workouts until you’re able to hold a proper ball plank for 1 minute or more.
SEATED RUSSIAN TWIST
Russian twists are great for your abs and will help you work off your muffin top. It requires a weight, a dumbbell or an exercises ball. Start out by sitting on the floor, keeping your feet flat on the ground and lean back to the point where your abs feel contracted and tight. Hold your weight or your ball, twist it to your left, trying to make sure it touches the ground.
You have to rotate your torso, don’t just reach over. Hold the position for several seconds, then twist to the right side.
Even if walking is not as intensive as other forms of cardio, the movement is incredibly helpful and it can be a great starting point for you if you don’t work out on a daily basis. As soon as you’re able to work your way up to more intensive rhythms, you can take longer walks and start jogging and running. Try to find opportunities throughout the day to walk more: replace driving short distances with walks if you’re not in a hurry and walk around the house while talking on the phone, instead of talking from your chair or bed.
Whether you ride a stationary bike or an normal bicycle, cycling works your butt and legs, while also toning your abs. Cycling is also a great cardio exercise that will burn away any extra cushion around your stomach and waist. It can be also be turned into a fun activity if you listen to music or audiobooks while you’re cycling. You can challenge your normal routine by promising yourself to only watch an episode of your favorite TV show when you ride your stationary bike.
In the summer you can use an actual bike to go to work instead of driving or public transportation.
Do you want to try a different kind of push up? Try inchworms.
Stand out in the standard push-up position, and do a single push-up, then lift your hips as high as you can, so your butt is in the air and your feet and hands are on the ground.
Move slowly, inch your feet towards your hands, while you keep your knees straight. Then, slowly inch your hands away from your feet, so your back is in the starting position again, at which point you go back into the push up pose. Try to do around 10 of these worm-like waves at first, then increase the amount you do in one set as you feel more comfortable with the motion and gain core strength.
RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL
During the summer it’s often just too hot outside to workout or jog. You don’t feel like getting out for a walk, run around the park or jog in the heat, but you can enjoy the comfort of the air conditioning by working out on the treadmill.
To train properly on the treadmill, after your warm up, make sure you increase the pace to the point where you get your heart rate up and running, so you can burn fat faster. Stay on at various speeds for at least half an hour. You can try to run as fast as you can for 30 seconds at a high heart intensity rate and then rest at a lower intensity rate for 3 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
Spinning is a really intense workout that’s kind of like cycling, but you have to work at a much faster pace. If you don’t want to quit after the first class, start out slowly and increase the intensity over time. If you start doing it regularly, you can spin for longer and longer periods of time at a higher intensity.
The bicycle crunch is an excellent way to tone your thighs and abs as well as getting rid of your muffin top.
Lie on the floor with your legs stretched and your arms behind your head.
Raise your legs so that your calves are parallel to the ground and your thighs are perpendicular to the ground. Keep your feet together.
Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then lift your head up and touch your tight elbow to the left knee while pulling your knee up towards your head. At the same time, straighten your right leg, keeping it several inches off of the floor. Now repeat the move for the right elbow and the left knee.
Perform bicycle crunches in 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions and rest between sets. The longer you hold your abs contracted during the crunch, the harder the exercise gets, but also the more effective in melting your muffin top.
Hope you found our suggestion of workouts useful and if you have any other suggestions for exercises that help you get rid of your muffin top, please mention them in the comment section!