The muffin top is one of the most annoying parts of gaining weight. It just seems like no matter what you wear it sticks out and over your pants. Dieting alone isn’t going to get rid of it. The muffin top needs you to work it away through exercise.
Make sure your exercises target this part of the body. You want to do weight and strength training that will tone the muscles while doing cardio to burn away the fat.
The great news is you don’t need to join a gym to get rid of your muffin top. Your workouts can all take place at home. These 12 easy home workouts are the ones that you’ll want to do to lose your muffin top.
Start with the Standing Oblique Crunch
You can’t just do crunches and sit ups to get rid of your muffin top. You need to work the muscles along your sides, known as the oblique muscles.
The standing crunch means you don’t need to get down on the floor. There’s no need for mats or any equipment. It’s your easiest to get yourself started.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your spine straight. Raise your right leg up as much as you can to meet your right elbow. Complete 30-50 reps on this side and then switch to your left.
At no point should you rotate your back during this workout? It will be tempting to help raise your leg, but your spine should remain straight.
If you can’t do 30 right away, don’t worry. Cut it to 15 and work your way up to the 30-50 in one sitting. As you build on the muscles, you will find the exercises get easier, and you can do more.
Move onto Side Bends
While still in the standing position, you’ll want to do a slight change to the exercise above. Move onto side bends instead of crunches. This is so easy that you will need to do a higher amount of reps from the first attempt.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and keep your arms at the side. Lower to your right, so your right-hand tries to toes your right toes. The left hand will raise up and be placed on your hip. Straighten back up and then repeat on the other side.
You may find that 100 reps are something you can do from the very first attempt. You can start with 50, though, and work your way up.
Don’t twist your spine while doing this exercise.
Try the Standing Twists
We’ll keep these exercises as easy as possible, to begin with. This is one that you’ll need to do standing up again, with your feet hip-width apart like the first three. Keep a slight bend in your knees for stability and to avoid injury.
Put your elbows wide with your hands behind your head and engage your core. Your hips shouldn’t move at all during this exercise.
All you’re doing is twisting to one side and then to the other. You should twist around where your muffin top sits.
Do 100 reps of this exercise for the best results. As you get used to the exercise, you can bring your arms down and hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in the center of your chest. This will just help to add a little more weight to your twist.
Opt for the Stability Ball Oblique Crunch
We’re sticking with the oblique exercises for now. This one is a move from standing to sitting, but you want to use a stability ball. This exercise won’t just work on your muffin top, but on your overall core as you need it to remain stable on the ball.
There are different variations of this exercise depending on your experience.
Beginners will want to place their feet on a wall, towards the bottom. Lay on your side on the stability ball, with the ball sitting on the lower part of your torso. Move up sideways as if you’re doing a side crunch and then lower back down to your starting position.
Try to do 30 reps of the exercise on the one side and then switch to the other. As you gain more experience with the exercise, you can remove your feet from the wall. Your core will be strong enough for your stability.
Try the Side Rotational Twists
These are also referred to as Russian twists. Like with exercise number four, there are variations depending on your experience and abilities.
Start without any weight in your hands. Sit on your butt with your knees out in front. The heels should just touch the floor. Sit backward, so your core is engaged, and your back remains straight. Keep your hand’s chest height and twist side to side. You’ll feel your core and oblique muscles getting a workout.
Do at least 15 reps on both sides (30 in total) and then take a 60-second break. Repeat the exercise two or three times for best results.
As you get better at the exercise, you can lift your heels off the ground. Your core does more work to keep you stable. You can raise one foot off the ground first to get used to it.
You can also add a medicine ball or dumbbell to add a little more weight to your exercise. Start with 2-4lbs and work your way up slightly.
Be a Dead Bug
The name of this exercise is called Dead Bug, due to the way you look with your arms stretched out. We’re stepping up with the amount of work your core muscles will need to do now, so you’ll want to reduce your reps. Find an amount that you’re comfortable with—that pushes you slightly but doesn’t leave you completely fatigued.
Lay on your back with your arms stretched out to your sides for stability. Pull your legs up, so your shins are parallel to the ceiling, and your knees are bentat a 90-degree angle. Engage your core and raise your left arm to your head, as you push your right leg out straight.
Don’t let the leg touch the ground and keep the lower back in contact with the floor. Pull the leg back and put the arm back in the position. Repeat on the other side for one rep. Do 10 reps with a 60-second break in between each set. You’ll want to do three sets.
Attempt the Lying Twist
It’s all about twisting when it comes to your muffin top. This will help to work those side muscles the best. With this exercise, you want to start in the same position that you were in for the Dead Bug. Rather than pushing your legs out, you’re going to move your legs side to side.
Start by lowering both your legs to the right, keeping the bend in the knees. Don’t let the legs touch the floor, keeping them about an inch off. Bring the legs back up into the start position and then lower to your left. This is one repetition of the exercise.
Take a 30-60 second break and repeat for two more sets. You will need to be careful with the spine during this exercise. If you feel any twisting or pain, you will need to stop. Your spine should remain on the floor when in the starting position with the twist around the middle of the back.
Do the Jack Knife
Sometimes crunches can help with the muffin top, but you need to do the right type of crunches. The Jack Knife is one of the best options.
Start by laying on your back and bring your feet up. Keep your legs straight with your feet pointing towards the ceiling. You want to get a 90-degree bend around your hips.
Stretch your arms above your head and then crunch upwards, so your arms attempt to touch your toes. Return to the lying position, with your arms stretched back out above your head. When starting, you can keep your legs in the upwards position.
As you get better at the exercise, you’ll want to return the legs to the floor too. Each rep will involve bringing both legs and arms up to touch.
Do 25 reps and then rest for 60 seconds. Repeat these three times.
Do Leg Raises and Scissor Kicks
There are two exercises in this single one because one is a variation of the other. Leg raises are one of the best exercises for your core strength. You engage the whole core, including the oblique muscles.
Lay on your back with your legs out straight. Keep your hands under your hips for stability and help. Raise your legs up, so they’re a couple of feet off the floor and then lower back down, so they are just a couple of inches off. You’ll feel the core working to keep the legs off the ground.
You can hold the legs here, or you can raise them up and lower them back down. The choice will be up to you. It’s worth alternating between the two during your sets to get the best of both worlds.
When holding your legs in place, opt for scissor kicks instead. You keep the legs a couple of inches off the floor and open your legs out wide and then pull them back. This is better for your oblique muscles as you’re forcing them to engage while pulling the legs out.
The timings and reps will depend on the type of exercise you do. When holding your legs out straight, start with 15 seconds and work your way up for as long as possible. Take a 30-60 second rest and then repeat the exercise at least three more times.
When doing leg raises, do 15-30 reps, with up to a minute rest between sets. For the scissor kicks, do 15 repetitions and take a 60-second break. Do three sets of both exercises for best results.
Hold the Plank
There is nothing better than the plan for your core strength. You will keep your whole core engaged, as you hold yourself off the floor.
Start by laying on the floor on your front and push yourself up, so only two parts of your body are touching the floor. The two parts will depend on your skill and experience.
If you are a beginner, you’ll likely want to do a plank on your knees or elbows. You can’t do both at the same time! You either have your palms on the floor and the second point is your knees, or you use your toes and elbows as your two points. As you get used to the plank, you can do a full one with your toes and hands on your two points.
Hold the plank, with your back straight, for at least 30 seconds. You’ll want to hold it for as long as possible as you find it easier. Lower and rest for 60 seconds and then do another 30-second hold two more times.
There are so many variations of the plank. To work on your oblique muscles a little more, you can pull one leg up to the side, a little like Spider-Man. You’re aiming to make the knee touch the elbow.
Opt for the Side Plank
This version of the plank deserves to be done as well as the normal plank. It works the oblique muscles mostly and is one of the hardest planks you will do.
Lay on your right side with your right elbow tucked underneath. The elbow should be about chest or shoulder height. Raise yourself up on your elbow, with a straight line from your elbow to your feet. Only the elbow and feet will be in contact with the floor.
You can make this slightly easier by lowering onto your right knee. You want to try the full plank for as long as possible though.
Make it harder by raising your left arm up to the ceiling.
Hold for 30-60 seconds and then roll over onto the other side. This is one set. If you can do two more sets that will work out best for your muffin top.
Finish with Bicycle Crunches
Finish your workout with bicycle crunches. They’re named for the cycling that your legs do while you crunch.
Lay on your back and place your hands gently behind your head. You don’t want to use your hands to pull your head up off the floor. As you do a crunch, bring your right leg up with a bend in the knee. Make your left elbow touch your right knee and then release. Repeat on the other side.
You can start by keeping the other leg on the floor if you want. As you get better at the exercise, you’ll want to keep both legs off the floor. You’ll need to keep the core engaged as you switch between the touches.
You Can Get Rid of Your Muffin Top
It is possible to get rid of that muffin top. It will take some hard work, but that work is worth it in the long run. You won’t just improve your figure, but you’ll also support your posture. Many of the workouts focus on your core, helping to improve your alignment and stability strength. You’ll find it easier to sit and stand straight.
Do the exercises at least 3 times a week. You’ll also want to add some cardio exercises into your day. Try out some swimming, jogging, or rowing to help work on the core strength.
Make your exercises fun by switching them around now and then. Create a circuit in your home to complete.