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5 Easy Moves to Get You Sleek Obliques

Popsugar logo Popsugar 10/06/2018 Michael De Medeiros

a person standing on a sidewalk © Unsplash / Frankie Cordoba You can grab them, shake them, maybe even hula-hoop with them, but how do you get rid of them? Hard work is the answer, but when it comes to love handles, hard work means nothing if you aren't doing the right moves in the gym! Now, we don't know who in the hell named them love handles, but we can't think of one person trying to grow them or anyone who professes their love for that halo of extra fat hanging on to their waistline.

We asked Sarah Chadwell, NASM-CPT, for tips on how to get ahold of your love-handle problem and get rid of it for good. Chadwell told POPSUGAR, "The love handle is essentially a ring of fat that hangs on to your abs and obliques and sometimes wraps around to your back. It can really make you hate your skinny jeans! However, there are three effective techniques that, when used in conjunction, will help you get rid of it for good. You must eat lean, do your cardio, and use abdominal- and oblique-focused training." Here's a simple but supereffective five-move abdominal-training regimen crafted by Chadwell for you to incorporate into your training.

Sledgehammer Swings

a group of people posing for the camera: Sledgehammer Swings © POPSUGAR Photography Sledgehammer Swings

Sledgehammer swings are basically an aggressive form of the woodchopper exercise that emphasizes recurring sledgehammer hits on the tire. Most gyms have a tire on hand, and they probably have a sledgehammer behind the desk for you to use. Just ask.

"Not only will you work your core, but your shoulders, back, traps, and arms are also going to feel the burn of this exercise. The added bonus is that you build muscular endurance, and you'll probably be surprised at how elevated your heart rate is, which means you are torching calories," said Chadwell.

  • Get a good grip on the sledgehammer or dumbbell.
  • Your hands should be stacked one on top of the other at the bottom of the handle.
  • Bend your elbows and bring the sledgehammer up and over your shoulder, similar to how you'd hold a baseball bat.
  • Using as much force as you can, bring the hammer down on the tire. Hold on tight because it will bounce when it strikes the rubber.
  • Begin with 15 to 25 swings on one side. Then alternate your hand position and the side with which you bring the hammer over your shoulder for another 20 to 30 swings. Rest after you've worked both sides. Then complete one or two more rounds.

Twisting Mountain Climbers

a dog jumping in the air: Twisting Mountain Climbers © POPSUGAR Photography Twisting Mountain Climbers

"Buh-bye, love handles. Mountain climbers are one of the ultimate core exercises because they build and tighten your core muscles. This variation that adds in a twist obliterates your obliques. Wait — there's more! You're also going to burn off mega calories because this exercise provides some intense cardio," Chadwell said.

  • Begin in the traditional plank position.
  • Engage your core.
  • Explosively bring your right knee up toward your left elbow while twisting your obliques.
  • As soon as you return your right foot to the floor, explode with your left leg, pushing your left knee toward your right shoulder. The movement and transitions should be fluid, without pauses, in this exercise.
  • Aim to complete 10 reps on each side for a total of 20 reps. Rest and then do one or two more sets.

Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes © Unsplash / Scott Webb Battle Ropes

Battle ropes are extremely versatile, and most exercises you use them for are full-body exercises. Not only will you have to engage your core the entire time, but your whole body will also have to work to stabilize you as your upper body is put to the test.

According to Chadwell, "Your heart rate is going to skyrocket and the fat is going to melt away. For starters, try these two battle-rope variations."

  • Hold the ends of the ropes at arm's length so they are extended out in front of your hips.
  • Keep your hands close together, about one foot apart.
  • Bend into a semisquat position.
  • Engage your core.
  • Explosively raise both hands straight up into the air until they are about eye level.
  • Bring your hands back down to hip height.
  • Rapidly repeat this motion for one to two minutes.
  • Rest and begin the next set.
  • Try to do three sets with rest in between. Each week, challenge yourself by extending the time of each set and trying to speed up.

Weighted Russian Twists

a woman sitting on a bench posing for the camera: Weighted Russian Twists © POPSUGAR Photography Weighted Russian Twists

Challenge your entire core, including internal and external obliques and the rectus abdominis, by adding some weight to the good old Russian twist. "You can use a dumbbell or medicine ball to complete this exercise," Chadwell told POPSUGAR.

  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent.
  • Your heels should be about two feet away from your butt.
  • Keeping your back nice and flat, lean back slightly.
  • Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell out in front of your chest, keeping your elbows slightly bent. The closer the weight is to your torso, the easier the exercise will be.
  • Draw your belly button in toward your spine.
  • Begin by twisting your torso slowly to the left as you move the weight. Your elbow will move down toward the floor. The momentum comes from the twisting action in your core, not from swinging your arms.
  • Move back to the center and then rotate to your right side.
  • This completes one repetition. Do a total of 10 to 15 repetitions (for a total of 20 to 30 alternating twists).
  • Rest and then complete two more sets.

Plank and Rotate

a man jumping in the air: Plank and Rotate © POPSUGAR Photography Plank and Rotate

Sure, planks are a simple-enough move and you've heard they're great for your core, but did you think we'd stop there? Think again! "Adding some rotation to your plank is just the right method to target your love handles," said Chadwell.

  • Get in a plank position, with your weight on your hands and toes, holding two light dumbbells in your hands.
  • Balance your body so it makes a straight line from your shoulders, spine, hips, and legs.
  • Swing one arm out and up, as shown.
  • Hold the dumbbell at the top position, where your arm is outstretched above you.
  • Bring your arm back to the start position and repeat with the other arm.
  • Perform two sets of 10 for each arm.

Pictures: 12 Fitness Tips You Should Know Before Even Breaking a Sweat

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