10 Effective Exercises To Reduce Side Fat

Achieve the enviable waist of your dreams and work on your flexibility with ease.

Reviewed by Rakesh Rathod, Certified Personal Trainer
By Shirin Mehdi

Side fat is the excess flab along the sides of your waist. It is commonly known as a muffin top, and you can get rid of it by doing exercises for side fat. These exercises are simple, easy, and help to get rid of side fat quickly.

All you need is a mat and 20-30 minutes of your time every alternate day. You will be able to reduce side fat as well as build a slimmer waist in just a matter of a few weeks. Wondering which exercises you should do to target this area? Here are the best exercises for side fat you can try out. Take a look.

Exercises To Reduce Side Fat – Top 10:

1. Starfish:

Image: Shutterstock

Starfish is a variation of Side Plank, which is a killer move for reducing side fat.

How To Do:

  1. Get in the side plank position and get hold of your balance.
  2. Once you are properly balanced, stack one foot on top of the other and raise your arm into the air.
  3. Now, lift the leg on top and straighten it. At the same time, try to touch your toe with your hand and then return to the starting position.
  4. Do 15 reps and repeat on the other side.

2. Side Plank Circles:

Image: Shutterstock

Side Plank Circles targets your oblique muscles, muffin tops, love handles, lower belly pooch, and tones your bum.

How To Do:

  1. Get into a side plank position and lower the knee closer to the floor. Lift your upper leg until it is horizontal and straight.
  2. Now start tracing big circles with that leg.
  3. Trace 20 circles clockwise and 20 anticlockwise and then repeat on the other side.

[ Read: Simple Exercises To Reduce Belly Fat ]

3. Oblique Crunch:

Image: Shutterstock

Oblique Crunch targets the oblique muscles and helps in reducing all the side fat. It targets not just the lower fat but upper fat as well.

How To Do:

  1. Lie down on your back and lift your legs with bent knees until your calves become horizontal.
  2. Put your left hand behind your head and straighten your right arm to your side.
  3. Now press your right forearm onto the ground, lift the left side of your torso and try to touch your left elbow to your left knee.
  4. Turn your left knee towards your left elbow as you lift your left torso.
  5. Do 10 reps and repeat on the other side.
Stylecraze Says
Do not pull your neck forward as you crunch up as it will strain your neck and cause aches.

4. Piked Elbow Twists:

Image: Shutterstock

Piked Elbow Twist is an effective exercise to lose side fat by targeting your obliques. The move was introduced by Pop Pilates instructor Cassey Ho to fight love handles.

How To Do:

  1. Lie down on the floor with your legs straight and arms extended.
  2. Now lift your straight legs and arms in a sit-up position until your torso is off the floor and you are balancing on your butt.
  3. If straight legs are very difficult for you, you can bend your knees until your calves are horizontal. Maintain that position.
  4. Now twist your torso to your right side, bend your right arms and touch the right elbow to the floor.
  5. Twist to your left and touch your left elbow to the floor.
  6. Keep alternating and do 20 reps.

5. Triangle With Dumbbell:

Triangle With Dumbbell

iStock

The Triangle pose is a great stretching exercise for your sides and hamstrings. But when you add dumbbells to the move, it becomes very effective for toning your obliques.

How To Do:

  1. Stand with your feet wide apart. Point your left foot leftward and your right foot forward.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand. You should use your heavy-weight dumbbell and straighten that arm overhead, slightly sideways.
  3. Now bend to your left side and try to reach the floor on the left with your left hand.
  4. Go as low as you can without compromising the position and with your back straight.
  5. Do 15 reps on each side.

6. Mermaid:

Image: Shutterstock

This Pilates move concentrates on your side muscles specifically. It is good for killing muffin tops and love handles and is an effective waist cincher.

How To Do:

  1. Lie down on your right side with your legs straight and feet stacked together.
  2. You can cross your ankles if it helps but keep them together.
  3. Also, keep your legs slightly forward so that you rest on your bum cheek and not on your hip.
  4. Lift your legs up as high as you can and lower them back down.
  5. Do 15 reps.

[ Read: Simple Ways To Lose Upper Back Fat In A Week ]

7. Leg Lifts:

Image: Shutterstock

Leg lifts are very effective in killing the lower belly fat and muffin tops.

Stylecraze Says
You can also add ankle weights to improve your core strength and effectively reduce side fat.

How To Do:

  1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hand under your bum and straighten both your legs.
  3. Lift your legs up as high as you can and lower them back without touching the floor. Keep the legs straight at all times.
  4. Do 15 reps.

8. Hip Dips:

Image: Shutterstock

This move is very effective for toning your oblique muscles along with all the benefits of a side plank.

How To Do:

  1. Get in a forearm plank position and roll to one side in the forearm side plank position.
  2. After you get your balance, place your free hand on your hip and start dipping your lower hip to the floor up and down.
  3. Do 15 reps on each side.

9. Dumbbell Side Bend:

Image: Shutterstock

Dumbbell side bend is just an advanced version of your side bend stretching exercise. It is a killer move that can annihilate your side fat with all the grace of a ballerina.

How To Do:

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend from your waist to your left side as low as you can and at the same time sweep your arms in an arch overhead as you bend.
  3. Straighten up and repeat on the other side.
  4. Keep alternating and do 20 reps.

[ Read: Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat ]

10. Tummy Tuck:

Image: Shutterstock

This is again a total body move that is very effective for toning arms, abs, and attacking that stubborn side fat. The move is done in 3 parts, but beginners can start with just 1 part and then slowly progress to do the complete exercise.

How To Do:

  1. Stand with your feet apart and abs tight.
  2. Bend forward with your legs straight and walk forward with your hands until you are in a plank position.
  3. Bend your right knee and try to touch it to your right elbow.
  4. Now take that knee to the center and touch your chest.
  5. Now take it to the left and touch it to your left elbow
  6. Straighten back the leg and repeat with your left leg.
  7. Keep alternating and do 15 reps.

Infographic: Dietary Changes To Get Rid Of Side Fat

You can easily reduce side fat by making dietary changes along with your exercise routine. From including plant-based food to staying hydrated, there are some practical ways to achieve a toned body. Check out the infographic below to learn how to eliminate side fat with easy dietary changes.

dietary changes to get rid of side fat [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Commonly known as love handles or muffin tops, the fat accumulated at the sides of your waist can be a tad difficult to lose. However, making some lifestyle changes with clean eating habits and following the exercises mentioned above can help you see a difference over time. Simple, easy, and effective, these exercises do not need any special equipment to follow. They help lose stubborn fat and strengthen and tone your side oblique muscles. Oblique crunch, mermaid, hip dips, or side bends, including these in your workout routine every alternate day, will help keep your waist in its best shape and form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to lose side fat?

You need to be consistent with exercise to lose side fat. Then, it may take up to 2 or 3 weeks to start seeing changes in your body.

Can walking reduce love handles?

Walking alone will not reduce love handles. You need to start exercising consistently to reduce love handles.

Key Takeaways

  • Muffin tops or love handles are common forms of fat deposits along the sides of your waist.
  • 20-30 minutes of regular exercise targeting your oblique muscles every day can help keep your waist in shape.
  • Oblique crunches, elbow twists, and side planks are a few of the best exercises that can help you reduce side fat effectively.
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Shirin is a writer and a fashion designer. She specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about... more

Rakesh Rathod

(Certified Personal Trainer)
Rakesh Rathod is a certified fitness trainer and yoga instructor with more than 20 years of experience in the fitness... more

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