Muffin Top Exercises
For Men AND Women
“Chris, I hate doing sit ups and crunches, what exercises if any, can I do that will target my abdominal area? I’m simply FED UP of boring old muffin top exercises!”
Believe it or not I get this question A LOT, so listen up and keep reading because I’ve got some good news!
If you were to ever see me workout in the gym, you would realize I HATE (that’s a capital H.A.T.E!) boring exercises, especially boring muffin top exercises. I am the person hanging off the chin up bar, the person doing the out of the ordinary workouts. So if I hate doing boring workouts why would I expect my clients and other people to do them! I wouldn’t!
I’ll show you how to lose belly fat – without performing a single sit up or abdominal crunch – two exercises we SHOULD NOT be doing.
Getting rid of your muffin tops isn’t just a case of doing abdominal exercises. Doing these type of specific exercises help, but burning calories through whole body workouts will shed those pounds in no time. So the muffin top exercises I will be giving you below, are not your run of the mill stomach exercises, but they will be ticking all the right boxes for an effective muffin top workout
Okay…..These exercises maybe out of the ordinary….but I won’t be getting you to do anything like the featured pic for this post…I promise 😉
Important Side Note: Please make sure for all exercises that you brace the core. You can find a great example of ‘bracing the core’ here……
Muffin Top Exercises – Out of The Ordinary Exercises
1. Renegade dumbbell rows
1. Start in a push up position (hands on 2 dumbbells)
2. Row one of the dumbbells up while using your core and other for stability.
3. Now row using the other arm, this time the arm that you just used to row will be used for stability.
4. Repeat until you have finished reps!
2. Front squats
- 1. Stabilize barbell on shoulders by crossing your arms
- 2. Keep your elbows out in front of your body
- 3. Slowly bend your knees down and then slowly come back up again
Front squats will take a bit of time to perfect, but they are really good exercises!
3. Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are great for burning calories…just what we need!
- Start in a push up position
- Move your feet in and out, so knees are under your chest
- Keep repeating and a reasonable pace, this one will work the whole body guaranteed!
4. Back Squats
The back squat is used to strengthen and train the muscles in the hips, thighs, quads, and can help in shaping a nice looking Gluteus Maximus 😉 – and ALSO when performed correctly (with a braced core) can help you in conditioning your abs.
Unfortunately, most people, when they perform the back squat (as well as the front squat) end up doing more harm than good. Over-compensating on their knees and caving their back being top of the list of errors.
The movement stems from a standing position with weights holding against your upper back. The act starts when exercisers begin to sit down with the weights on their back. This position requires you to ‘sit into the squat’ position. Then the idea is to move back up by straightening your knees and still holding the weights.
You can watch the video below which breaks the squat down into specific phases.
5. Hanging leg raises
Hanging leg raises are used to give your body a bit of flexibility whilst conditioning the lower abs.
To perform the hanging leg raise hang from a chin up / pull up bar at arm’s length. Make sure your legs do not touch the ground. Lift your legs up towards your head keeping your legs straight as you do it.
This exercise may not be for the complete beginner, but that’s not to say you can’t work towards it.
a) Hanging with shoulders ‘locked out’
b) Not engaging the whole abdominal region
c) Using other muscles such as the shoulder and back muscles to help in the ‘rising’ phase of the movement
6. Dumbbell Flies
This exercise strengthens the chest and as a consequence will also work your arms as well. However, a lot of people are unaware that the Dumbbell Fly can actually help with core stability and conditioning.
a) Lowering the elbows too much. This puts stress on the shoulder joint. A should injury is defiantly something we don’t want!
b) NOT squeezing the pecs on the upward phase
This exercise is mostly used to keep the abs and back steady and strong. You need to lie flat on your stomach and then prop yourself up by solely the use of your elbows.
The plank can be used in conjunction with other exercises such as the standard press up to be made an even more effective exercise for the core.
Muffin Top Exercises – The Workout
Okay so I’ve given you three different out of the ordinary exercises, that when performed properly will start burning fat from your your stomach. BUT – There’s no point in me saying, ‘here you go try these!’ – So how are these exercises going to be slotted into a workout routine?
Firstly you must understand that there is not just one way to burn fat. In-fact there are hundred of ways to burn fat and lose weight. You could take up a sport, you could reduce your calorie intake, you can do the old boring ‘zombie-workouts‘ as I like to call ’em (you know those workouts that consist of 3 sets of 12….3 sets of 12…..3 sets of 12…..3 sets of 12…..) Sure it works, but their shockingly boring, or you could choose another way to burn fat. There literally are an enormous amount of ways to workout and burn fat.
You could however perform these exercises in a circuit format. For those of you that are not familiar with circuit training here’s a quick low down: Circuit workouts are workouts that consist of a set number of exercises that will be performed one after another until all the exercises are done. The circuit is the repeated (as many times as you want) The amount of reps you do is entirely up to you, but I personally like to aim for a set number of reps before I move onto the next exercise. Some people however like to give themselves a set time to work to. So for example they won’t be counting the number of reps their doing, but rather performing the reps for a set time (usually 30-60 seconds per exercise).
This is where two exercises are paired together and performed one after another.
So here’s what we’re going to do……
I am going to break this down into a beginner workout and a more advanced workout.
Muffin Top Exercises – The Beginner Workout
The beginner workout will consist of 4 exercises, the 3 exercises you already know about (above) and one other. You will perform each of these 4 exercises for 30 seconds. So that’s;
30 seconds for Renegade Dumbbell Rows
30 seconds for Front Squats with Barbell
30 second for Cross Crawl (My added exercise – NOTE: You can do it a little faster than the chap in video)
30 seconds for Mountain Climbers on Floor
Once you finish the last exercises, take a 2 minute break. I would say try and aim for completing this circuit 3 times.
The “little Bit More Advanced” Workout
If you would like to notch the workout up a little, then increase the amount of time you’re doing the exercises for OR add in more exercises. So if I was to add in more exercises it may look like this:
1. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds
1a) Renegade Dumbbell Rows
1b) Cross Crawl
1c) Front Squats with Barbell
45 Seconds rest then repeat one more time – then move onto…
2. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds rest for 30 seconds.
2a) Side Plank (30 seconds each side )
2b) Mountain Climbers on Floor
Finish off with performing the below 2 exercises in a ladder format. 10 reps of 3a – 1 rep of 3b, 9 reps of 3a – 2 reps of 3b and so on until you reach 1 rep of 3a and 10 reps of 3b.
3a) Prisoner Squats
3b) Spiderman Push Ups
The reason I like circuit and superset training so much, is that it’s super effective in getting rid of any unwanted stomach fat. Even after your first workout you’ll start to feel your stomach burning – in a good way!
Try the above workouts and let me know what you think 😉
Take care, keep focused
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