Abs are made in the kitchen, so they say. But while it’s true that a good diet helps reveal a toned torso, you also need to hit your core with tough exercises to build muscle worth showing off.

So if you’ve got a muffin top you’d like to blast away, here’s your plan of attack: 


You need to eat your best to look your best. So ditch the junk and eat a clean diet.


Add in some cardio 3–4 times each week (to burn fat and build muscle). This can be any exercise which raises your heart level for a sustained amount of time.

Simple running is good; but variety is even better, so combine it with something like cardio bodyweight exercises or even trampolining!


Time to target those abs. These exercises will work your obliques hard, while working out your entire core too.

Do this routine quickly, at least 3 times each week:


20 on each side.

Hold a hand weight and stand with feet hip-width apart. Lean your bodyweight onto your left leg.

Lift the weight with both hands just above your left shoulder. Now use the weight to make a chopping motion down towards your right hip. Allow your body to twist and knees and feet to pivot.

Then lift the weight back up to your left shoulder and repeat for 20 reps.

Switch to your right side.

Standing Oblique Crunch.

20 on each side.

Standing up activates your muscles by stabilising the body when balancing on one leg. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, extend your left hand straight up and place your right hand on your hip.

Slightly lean over to the right with your extended arm, then pull your left elbow down as you lift your left knee up so that your elbow and knee meet. Lower your knee and raise your arm back up.

Do 20 reps then repeat on the other side. 

Russian Twist. 

Perform 50.

Sit on your butt and lean your torso back at a 45-degree angle.  Hold a dumbbell in both hands and raise your feet off the ground, crossing them at the ankles.

Twist your torso to the right and move the dumbbell to the floor on your right side. Twist back to the left, again lifting the dumbbell to the floor on your left side. This is one rep.

Repeat this back and forth motion 50 times. 

Side Plank Hip Lifts.

15 on each side.

Lie on your side and prop your upper body up on your lower elbow. Engage your core and raise your body off the floor so you make a straight plank position. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your body. Do 15 reps, repeating on the other side.    

The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Paula C.
18 April 2017

Paula C.

The standing oblique crunch is a good one, really makes you puff, and you can get into a satisfying rhythm.

Lucy C.
17 April 2017

Lucy C.

love handles - haven't heard that in a while but there's no doubt that they exist! The woodchopper exercise is great but I would add that it needs to be controlled, and those of us without superstrength shouldn't go too mad on the weight to start with. Yes, the voice of experience...

Claire H.
17 April 2017

Claire H.

I did the side plank hip lifts twice on Saturday, and I can really feel my sides aching today. Even better - because I did them in front of the tv too!

Helen P.
13 April 2017

Helen P.

Woodchoppers are great! Very satisfying to do and very effective.

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