It’s easy to forget to workout the sides of the bodies, especially if you’re into running or spinning. Most forms of cardio focus on gaining distance so there is a lot of front and back movement (unless you like to run sideways!). There are a lot of unflattering words for the sides of your waist, hips, and outer thighs, which shall not be named here–I don’t believe in name-calling your hard-working body–but clearly there’s something there. Good news is that toning your sides is fun–who doesn’t want a beautiful hourglass shape? Try these side slimming exercises to get a sleek silhouette in no time.
1. Lunge – Twist
Stand with feet parallel, holding onto a medicine ball, a kettle bell or a dumbbell in front of your chest. Take a step forward with your left foot and bend knees into a lunge. Slowly twist left, rotating the entire upper body from the navel. Come through to center and twist to the right. Come back up to standing. Repeat 16 reps and switch sides.
2. Lunge – side stretch
From lunge position with arms overhead, left foot in front, twist from your navel to the right and open your upper body. Tuck in your hips and tilt back your weight slightly. Pulse the weight down a few inches, feeling your left side muscles stretch and engage. Repeat on the other side.
3. Triangle pose
Stand with your feet about 3.5 – 4 ft apart, toes facing forward. Rotate your left hip to point to the side of the room, and turn in your right toes slightly. Reach up with your arms, hinge at the waist and fold to the left side, you arms making a narrow V by your ears. Keep breathing in this position, feeling your side muscles holding you up. Repeat on the other side.
4. Plank row back
Start from plank, feet parallel hip distance apart, hands either holding weights or flat on the floor. Exhale and lift your right arm straight behind you as you open your upper body to the right side. Inhale and return to center plank; switch to the other side. Repeat 16 reps.
5. Side V Ups
Lie down on the left side of your body, right hand behind your head, elbow wide, left arm either long by your body or straight out in front.
Exhale and engage your oblique muscles to lift your upper body and your lower body off the floor. Lower down. Repeat 16 reps and then switch sides.
Start from seated position resting on your left outer hip, legs stacked on top of one another and hands underneath your shoulders. Press up from your hands as you raise your hips to the ceiling, head and upper body facing the floor. Bend your elbows to come into side triceps push ups.
Start again from seated position on your left hip, legs stacked, hands underneath your shoulders. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot in front of your left knee. Press up from your hands to lift your hip off the floor. Engage your side muscles to lift your left leg a few inches in a pulse. Switch sides.
Also see: Yoga for Lifting and Toning Your Butt
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling