Not too many of us “love” our love handles when it comes down to it. In fact, I’m making a move today to call them the “break up handles” because we need to break up the fat in this area of our bodies. Getting rid of the fat in our flank areas will not only make us look better and feel more self-confident, it will also improve our health! Medicine today is realizing that fat around out waist area (AKA love handle territory), is associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, arthritis and many other chronic conditions. In addition, core stability is essential in improving function, athletic performance and in preventing or treating low back pain. A 2008 article in the journal Current Sports Medicine Reports states:

Core stability is essential for proper load balance within the spine, pelvis, and kinetic chain. The so-called core is the group of trunk muscles that surround the spine and abdominal viscera. Abdominal, gluteal, hip girdle, paraspinal, and other muscles work in concert to provide spinal stability. Core stability and its motor control have been shown to be imperative for initiation of functional limb movements, as needed in athletics. Sports medicine practitioners use core strengthening techniques to improve performance and prevent injury. Core strengthening, often called lumbar stabilization, also has been used as a therapeutic exercise treatment regimen for low back pain conditions.

The side plank exercise and core muscles

Combine the side plank exercise with regular cardio, and the result is a perfect “break up love handle” recipe!

Now, let’s learn how to properly perform the side plank exercise.

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How to Perform the Side Plank Exercise

 

Step 1: Lay on the floor on your right side to begin. Prop yourself up on your right elbow so that your arm is bent at 90 degrees or at a right angle. Have your hand pointed away from your chest.

Step 2: Place one foot on top of the other. If this is uncomfortable, you can place one foot immediately behind the other.

Step 3: Straighten your core (AKA trunk, abdominals and back) so that your body is in perfect straight alignment from your head to your feet.

Step 4: Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, and then lower your trunk back to the floor for 2 to 3 seconds. Repeat this action 10 times.

The side plank is somewhat of a difficult exercise, I agree. But I bet you can see how it focuses on tightening up the sides of your chest, hips and abs. Incorporate this exercise regularly into your workouts and blast those love handles!

Do you have any input about this exercise? Share your thoughts below!

ACE Fitness provide a great picture of how to properly perform the side plank: View Here