Skip to main content

7 Moves to Lose Your Love Handles

Whittle your waistline with nothing but a beach towel to get in bikini-ready shape

Tone, Tighten, and Torch Calories!

 Who says you need a gym or fancy equipment to get in a great workout? These stomach-slimming moves use just a beach towel and your own body to eliminate waistband bulge and bring you one giant step closer to your bikini-ready body.

How it works: Up to four days a week, do these moves as a circuit (back to back with little rest in between) after a cardio session or within your strength routine. Repeat the entire series 2 to 3 times total.

You'll need: A beach towel (or full-length bath towel).

Waistline Row

 Reps: 20

Sit with knees bent, feet flat, holding towel pulled tight overhead. Brace abs in tight and hinge body back while scooping towel down to right side of body, tracing a circle from back to front.

Bring body back upright as towel circles overhead (that's one rep), then immediately repeat hinge and scoop down to left side. Do 20 alternating circles.

Extended 'Slow-Mo' Crunch

 Reps: 10

Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat. Fold towel until it's a small square and place under lower back, positioning the bottom edge just above hip bones. Clasp hands behind head and inhale.

As you exhale, slowly (take 3 full counts to raise up) lift head and shoulders off the floor, looking straight ahead at legs. Hold for 1 count, and then slowly (counting to 3 again) lower to start position. That's one rep. Repeat 10 times total.

Rocking Bicycle

 Reps: 10 per side

Lie faceup with arms extended, elbows slightly bent, into a wide 'V' overhead (open arms to the end of your towel's length), with towel pulled tight behind head.

Extend legs out at a 45-degree angle, bending right knee and pressing the inner edge of right foot against inside of left knee.

Lift head and shoulders off the floor. Keeping abdominals engaged, gently 'rock' to the right, balancing on right hip, using the right arm and your abs to help stop the movement. Return to center. Repeat 10 times to the right, and then do 10 reps to the left.

Sliding Plank

 Reps: 15

Start on all fours with the towel folded and placed under feet. Draw belly button into spine to engage abs and slightly lift knees off the ground (don't let hips lift up in the air).

Press out through heels, sliding legs out into a full plank position (avoid sagging or lifting hips—body should make a line from heels to head). Brace abs in tighter and slide legs back in to start position (knees still hovering). That's one rep. Try up to 15 reps (or as many in a row as you can with great form).

Side-Lying Slide-Up

 Reps: 15 per side

Lie on right side, right arm extended under ear and palm pressed on folded towel. Place left hand on floor in front of chest, legs extended under hips.

Engage abs and press right hand into the towel to lift torso off the floor while sliding towel in toward body (right arm stays extended as it slides in), using left hand for support. Avoid letting your right shoulder come up as you lift body. Hold for 1 count, and then slide back out to start position. Do 15 reps on the right, and then repeat on the left.

Towel Teaser

 Reps: 10

Sit with knees bent, towel wrapped under knees, holding both ends with arms bent by sides. Brace abs in tight and lean back slightly to lift feet off floor (body should resemble a 'V' in this position). Slowly lower back to floor and extend legs out at a 45-degree angle (keep holding onto towel for support). Lower until back touches the floor (head and shoulders stay lifted). Hold for 1 count, and then use abs (towel assists) to sit back up to starting 'V' position. Do 10 reps.

Want more of a challenge? Extend arms overhead in 'V' position, holding towel tight, and as you lean back to extend legs, lower towel to the tops of thighs. Sit back up, reaching arms overhead again.

Single-Leg Cross Slide

Reps: 10 per side

From a straight-arm plank position (with towel folded under feet), shift into a single-leg plank by bending left knee into chest and pressing inside of foot against inside of right knee.

Engage abs and bend right knee, sliding towel in, so that both knees come to the outside of left elbow. Slide and extend right leg back out into single-leg plank. That's one rep. Do 10 reps on the right, and then repeat on the left.
Photography by: Vanessa Rogers  By Jessica Smith

Popular posts from this blog

6 Exercises to Rebuild Your Core after Pregnancy

A Workout Plan to Repair Your Abs
By Cathy Cram, MS, Prenatal Fitness Specialist

After pregnancy, you're probably eager to get your post-baby body back in shape. But before you jump in to your usual ab workouts, there are some special considerations that new moms need to take into account.
Some postpartum women may notice a soft section above and below their belly button that can be felt when they contract their abdominal muscles. This soft area developed during pregnancy: As your belly expanded, the connective tissue that joins the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle thinned and widened creating a larger, softer gap. (Learn more about the anatomy of the abs here). The separation, termed a "diastasis recti" is a normal process of pregnancy and allows the belly to expand and make room for the growing baby. But it can remain present after delivery—and needs special care to rehabilitate.Not all abs exercises are suitable for postpartum moms. Traditional abdominal exercise…

9 Great Exercises for Neck Pain

By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger, – Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD 

Neck pain is one of the most common problems that many of us experience. Studies show that 30% of people experience neck pain, with women affected more often than men. The neck includes seven segments (or vertebrae) with discs acting as shock-absorbers between the segments. The vertebrae are supported by 18 groups of muscles that maintain support and allow function. Why so many muscles? Well, the head weighs about 10 pounds and sits about 10 inches above the shoulders with only the neck to support it. No wonder it gets sore from time to time!

Strengthen Your Core Without Wrecking Your Back

By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger, – Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman, MD

The muscles of your core work together to support posture, protect the spine and improve agility, balance and power, making core strength training an important part of any fitness routine. Unfortunately, for many people, core strength training and back pain or discomfort go hand in hand. Often resulting from weak muscles and poor form, back pain is no reason to avoid core strength training, though. In fact, properly performed core exercises can simultaneously help protect your back and strengthen the abs at the same time.