Even though bikini season is long gone, smooth, and toned sides are always in style. These three exercises will help you strengthen your side body and tame back bulge, regardless of the weather.
When the front and back of your torso work together, your whole core gets to reap the benefits. The quadruped is an easy-to-follow exercise that will work your side body:
- Get on all fours. Keeping your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, tuck your abs in, holding them tight to stabilize your body.
- Reach out with your right hand, and extend your left leg. Now connect your elbow with your knee under your body. To increase the difficulty, hold a two- or three-pound weight in your right hand. Repeat 15 times to complete the set before switching sides.
- Perform three sets with each leg.
Crunches may have lost their luster with the very fit crowd, but bicycle crunches really work when it comes to toning your obliques:
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Interlace your fingers, and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the "pedaling" motion). Do this exercise with slow and controlled motion.
- Perform two sets of 10 to 20 reps.
Keep reading more one more move to tone those sides.
Side Plank pose challenges your core and strengthens your side body. If you always struggle when this pose is called out in yoga class, then read through these side plank tips before you move into the posture:
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Step both feet together so your big toes are touching. Move your left hand over to the right so it's at the center of your mat.
- Roll over to your left side and plant your left heel down so you are balancing on the outside edge of your left foot. You want your right foot to be stacked on top of your left foot with both feet flexed. If this is too hard, then bend your right knee and place your right foot flat on the ground in front of your left leg for support.
- Reach your right arm up above you and, if you can, gaze up at your palm. Engage your left fingertips so you can take some pressure out of your wrists. Stay here for 10 or more deep breaths, trying to keep your core strong and the pose steady.
- Now drop your right hand back down and place your left hand back where it was near the top left corner of your mat. Perform on your right side.