Whether it's your lower ab pouch or love handles, extra fat layers around your stomach are easy to pack but tough to remove.
While crunch may be the most popular ab exercise, the most effective core exercises are the ones that engage multiple muscles at once. Those are called multi-joint or compound exercises and train all core muscles including obliques and lower back.
Standard crunches on contrary isolate abdominal muscle and don't engage surrounding muscles, making them less efficient than multi-joint exercises.
Training your core not only supports body movements such as twisting, lifting arms, and sitting down, but also activates hard to reach muscles in the midsection and ultimately give you the flat stomach you want.
Here are four ab exercises to burn the love handle fat and tone your midsection.
- Half-Kneeling Cable Reverse Rotational Chop
- Exercise Ball Supine Hold
- Stability Ball Plank Hold
- Stability Ball Side Flexion
By combining this core workout with high intensity interval training or HIIT, you get the maximum benefits of calorie and fat burn, giving you the shortest path to your flat stomach.
Another truth about getting abs is you can't have a flat stomach with bad eating. Exercises alone can't shrink your belly.
It's the clean eating that loses your stomach, and effective workouts that tone your tummy.
Eat clean (shop from our Paleo shopping list) and go hard on your workouts.
Learn how to perform each exercise correctly.
Half-Kneeling Cable Reverse Rotational Chop
- Attach a rope to the low pulley of a cable station. Kneel down so that you inside knee is bent 90 degrees. Outside foot should be flat on the floor. Grip the rope with both hands and engage your abs. Rotate your body to begin the pull.
- In one smooth motion, pull the rope past the outside of your right shoulder. Rotate your torso in a reverse movement to return to the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of reps before switching sides.
Exercise Ball Supine Hold
Using a cable in this ab workout challenges and forces your abs to work harder to lift added weights.
- Attach a rope to the low pulley of a cable station. Lie flat on the floor with your head near the pulley. Bent your knees, and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the handles around your chest so the end of the rope where it splits is at the base of your neck.
- Engage your abs. Crunch your rib cage toward your pelvis. Raise your shoulder blades a few inches off the floor. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Complete the prescribed repetitions.
Exercise: Swiss-Ball Plank and Hold
- Get into a pushup position with your arms completely straight. Rest your chins on a swiss ball so that your body forms a straight line form your shoulders to your ankles.
- Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, then rest by lowering your knees to the floor. Rest for 10-20 seconds. Perform 3 sets.
Exercise: Swiss-Ball Side Flexion
- Lie sideways on a Swiss ball and anchor your right foot against a wall or a heavy object. Place your fingers behind your ear.
- Brace your core and lift your shoulders to crunch up sideways toward your hips. Pause, then return to the starting position. Complete for the prescribed number of repetitions before switching sides.