Have you ever experienced how bra bulge and love handles are so stubborn and difficult to get rid of yet very easy to get them? This article is for you. It is very important to understand what muscles are located in these parts and use effective exercises to be able to get rid of the excess and unwanted fat . It takes enormous amount of dedication to the right exercises that will hit this particular parts and good diet that enhances calories deficit.

The exercises below have personally proven to be very effective in reduction of unnecessary fats at the back and the love handles. Make sure to be CONSISTENT and have a table of the number of sets you will be engaging in on a daily basis.

  1. Superman

This is one of the best exercises that strengthen Abs, upper and lower back muscles.

How to do it: Lay face down on a mat or flat surface, with arms outstretched. Keep your hands and arms straight throughout the exercise. Raise your hands and legs 4-5 inches off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds, and then return to starting position.

You can also perform by alternating your hands and legs. You can also do this by holding dumbbell.

Remember to keep your head in a neutral position, to breathe normally, avoid holding your breath, not holding the position and folding your knees while lifting the legs up.

  1. Pilates Swimming Exercise

Swimmer exercise works the upper and lower back muscles, the core, the shoulders, hamstrings and the glutes.

How to do: – Start off on the floor lying face down with your arms stretched out overhead. Lift your upper body into a back arch by lifting your chest away from the floor and contracting your glutes and back muscles. Keep your chin tucked so that you are looking towards the floor. From here, lift your right arm up away from the floor and at the same time lift your left leg away from the floor. Aim to lift both limbs approximately one foot off the floor. Then as you lower your right arm, lift your left arm. Similarly for the legs, as you lower the left leg, lift your right in a controlled swimming-like motion. Make sure you keep your glutes engaged during this exercise and don’t over lift your legs as this can cause you to over-arch your lower back.

Alternatively, you can do Quadraplex, T-raise, laying back Extension and Two- Point Plank.

Pirate Swimmers
  1. Side plank/ side plank tacks

Side planks work the back muscles, the glutes, hamstring, quads, hips, arms and strengthen the core muscles. They are very effective in getting rid of the love handles.

How to do: – Start in a low plank position with elbows on the floor directly under shoulders, core and glutes engaged. Shift weight onto the right elbow and roll onto the right side of the right foot so entire body faces to the right, stacking feet on top of one another and raising left arm to the ceiling.  Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat for 2 to 4 sets. As you build strength, increase time to 1 minute or more. Repeat on opposite side.

Remember to keep your head and neck straight, try to hold for longer, avoid sagging the hips, balance on the foot side and not the sole, try to contract your core and breathe steadily, don’t hold your breath and don’t roll forward.

There are 30 other different ways to do the plank for strong core as seen in this link.

Side plank
  1. Dumbbell side bend

Dumbbell side bends work to strengthen the side of the waist and abs muscles, the core and the bones of the spine.

How to do: – Take a dumbbell in your right hand and space your feet a hip width apart or a little wider. Rest your left hand on your left hip. Bend to your right side as far as feels comfortable, and pause for a second. As you bend to your right, push your hips a little to your left. As you return to the vertical position, move your torso first, then your hips. Once you’re vertical, continue the motion as far as you comfortably can to the other side to get a full range of motion, and then return to the vertical position. That’s one rep. Pause for a second, and performs the next rep. Do all your reps to the right side without interruption. To exercise the other side, reverse the procedure.

Remember not to lean forward, lean backward and overstretch breath steadily, to lift the weights that you are comfortable with and to lean as far as you can for more impact.

You can also hold the back of your head or put your hand straight on your side or hold weights on the opposite side. You can also do overhead dumbbell side bend for variation in styles.

Dumbbell Side bend
  1. Dumbbell/ Kettlebell swing

Dumbbell/ Kettlebell swings work the whole body including back muscles, abs, the forearms, shoulder, waist side muscles, and knees, hips, hamstrings, glutes and ankles joints. It helps with stability, endurance, balance and helps burn a lot of calories.

How to do: – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed outward and hold a dumbbell with both hands. Squat and bring the dumbbell between your legs. Stand up and swing the dumbbell up to about chest height. Return to the squat position and repeat for the duration of the set.

Remember to breathe steadily, open your chest, engage your core and keep the spine aligned. Avoid lowering into a squat and using the strength from the arms; instead get the momentum from the hips.

Dumbbell swing
  1. Pushups

Pushups are most common of all the exercises. They work out the whole body including the shoulders, chest muscles, triceps, abdominals and muscles under the armpits.

How to do: –  Start in a plank position with your pelvis tucked in, your neck neutral, and your palms directly under your shoulders. Make sure your shoulders are rotated back and down, too. As you brace your core and keep your back flat, begin to lower your body by bending your elbows while keeping them pointed slightly back. Lower down until your chest grazes the floor. Immediately extend your elbows and push your body back up to the starting position. Repeat for as many reps as possible, for 3 sets.

There are 14 ways and with different variations that you can do pushups as shown in the link here.

  1. Burpees

This is a Full body exercise. It works your chest, arms, abs, thighs, buts shoulder and hamstrings. It incorporates pushups and jumping jacks. It is so hard but very effective as it targets the whole body.

How to do: – The classic burpee is a four-point move. From a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands on the ground just in front of your feet. Then kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms extended so you are in a raised plank position. At this stage, the more adventurous can throw a press-up or push up into the mix, which really ramps up the difficulty.

Remember to complete the whole burpee steps, to breathe steadily and contract the core.

Burpees steps
  1. Pull-ups

Pull ups work the arms, the shoulders and the back muscles. They work every muscle in your body. When starting it is very difficult to pull yourself up because you are lifting the largest percentage of your body weight but become easy as you consistently do it.

How to do: – Grab a bar with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, with your hands facing away from you. Hang all the way down. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Slightly pause. Lower yourself all the way back down.

Remember to ensure that your grip is firm to avoid slipping and ensure to use the glutes strength to pull yourself up.

There are close to 12 ways that you can perform the pushups as shown in the link here.

  1. Reverse fly/ Rear delt fly

Reverse fly works the upper back muscles, shoulders and the chest. It enhances stability and posture by strengthening muscles. You can perform it while standing using a resistance band, bending, when lying prone on the bench or stability ball or while sitting.

How to do: – Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint. Exhale and lift both arms to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then with control, lower the dumbbells back toward the ground. Do as many set and reps as you can.

Remember to lift what you are comfortable with and incase of any joint pains, adjust and seat or lie down on the bench.

  1. Barbell bent over rows

This exercise is a compound exercise that works most muscles including the shoulders, the back, arms, glutes, the spine and core.

Can be done using dumbbells, Kettlebell or as single arm bent over row.

How to do: – Stand with your mid-foot under the bar. Bend over and grab the bar (Palms down). Unlock your knees while keeping your hips high. Lift your chest and straighten your back, pull the bar against your lower chest. Repeat.

Remember to breathe steadily, to lift weight you are comfortable with to grip the bar well to avoid slipping, avoid standing while lifting and to ensure that your back is straight.

Barbell bent over rows
  1. Lying dumbbell pullover to extension

It works the back, shoulder, chest and arms (Triceps). It improves upper back stability, builds bigger chest, and improves shoulder mobility, toned back and increases muscle mass.

How to do: – Lying back on a bench, hold the inner bar of a dumbbell with hands, arms fully extended and triceps locked. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbell behind your head, and then roll your shoulders back so your elbows are beside your head. Pause, and then return to the start position by contracting the triceps and lats.

Remember to breathe steadily, avoid lifting your hips from the bench, lifting weights that are beyond your capabilities and ensure to grip the dumbbell well to avoid slipping. Engage your core; be careful on how you turn the wrist and your position on the bench.

Lying dumbbell pullover to extension
  1. Seated cable row

This exercise works the upper back, the shoulders, arms and the spine. It improves posture, protects the shoulder and reduces injury.

How to do: – Sit upright on the bench and plant your feet on the floor or foot pads, knees bent. Extend your arms and hold the handle or cable. Move your shoulders back and down. Brace your core. Exhale. Bend your elbows to pull the handle or cable, keeping your elbows tucked in and your back neutral. Pause for 1 second. Inhale and slowly extend your arms, counting to 3.

Remember to ensure that you keep the back straight, chest up and shoulders pulled back and down, keep the torso still and upright while performing the exercise. Move the cable in slow and controlled manner.

Seated cable row

Start the ones you can do at the comfort of your home. This will enable you to move to more complex exercises. To strengthen the core also check my previous post on 9 extremely effective tummy exercises for beginners.

Published by Carolyne Gitahi

Live, Love and Learn

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