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The Best Muffin Top Exercises To Whittle Your Middle!


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As a personal trainer, I often get asked the best exercise for this area or that area. I love these kinds of questions, so please keep them coming! Each month I answer your email questions with a video on my YouTube channel or here on the blog!

This week’s question is: Andie, what are the best muffin top exercise to help me lose my love handles and lose the excess belly fat I cannot seem to shake for the life of me.

This is a great question and one I get quite a bit. That dreaded muffin top seems to be an issue for many of us. Today we will dive into the best exercises to help you rid your figure of lower belly fat in my “Say Good-Bye Muffin Top Workout.”

So yes, I’ve got you covered with some excellent muffin top exercises that will whittle that waist and get you looking lean and svelte in no time! But I’ll be honest with you, these core exercises will help, but real abs are made in the kitchen, not at the gym. Nutrition is key. To help support you on your journey to weight loss, I have included a list of foods known to help burn belly fat.

You will want to incorporate these muffin top exercises with high-intensity interval training (HIIT workouts) and low-impact steady-state cardio for the best results. (LISS Workouts)

First Move: Russian Twist

Photo of Andie demonstrating a Russian twist one of the best muffin top exercises
Challenge yourself and try to tap your elbow down as you twist side to side.
  1. Sit on your sit bones as you lift your feet from the floor, keeping your knees bent.
  2. Elongate and straighten your spine at a 45-degree angle from the bottom, creating a V shape with your torso and thighs.
  3. With your hands together, hold this position.
  4. Then twist to your left side, hold middle, then twist to your right side and back to the middle
  5. 1 side to side = 1 repetition. Aim to complete 2-3

Variations: To modify the move, leave feet on the ground and work yourself up to the full movement.

For Advance: Add a weighted medicine ball.

Second Move: Plank

Photo of Andie demonstrating a Plank one of the best muffin top exercises
I could have my bum down a bit more, but this is pretty solid form!

Place the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. Place palms on the ground, keep back in a straight line, keep your bum down, and hold your core muscles in tight. Hold this position for 30-90 seconds; add more time each session.

Variations: High Plank, fully extend your arms. Side Plank

Advanced: Add Hip Dips to rotate your core and dip each hip down, switching sides.

Third Move: Jack Knives

Photo of Andie demonstrating a Jack Knife one of the best muffin top exercises
Reach for them to toes!

Hold yourself in this jackknife position for about 3 seconds, reaching your arms up towards your toes, each reach counts as 1 repetition. Aim to complete 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Variation: To Modify, hold the position for 20-30 seconds and skip the reach.

For Advance: Add weights

Fourth Move: Side Bends

Photo of Andie demonstrating a side bends one of the best muffin top exercises
I always want to sing I am a little teapot when I do these. Does anyone else remember that little rhyme from when they were kids?

Weighted side bends are great for working oblique muscles. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, arms at your sides. As you reach down toward your toes with one arm, lift the other toward your waist, placing your hand on your hip (above)—alternate sides with one arm up and one arm down. Shoot for 100 reps. Another great idea is to do it for the length of a song.

For this particular muffin top workout, move through each movement. Rest for 30-60 seconds and continue the workout routine all over again 2-3 more times.

If you cannot do any of the above abdominal exercises, here are some excellent and effective exercises you can swap out for.

If you are wanted to lose abdominal fat. You will also need to incorporate cardio. For most of my clients, I recommend three days of strength training 30-45 minutes and two days of low impact cardio 60 minutes. If you would like a personalized workout plan based on your goals, send me an email at andie{at}, and I would love to help!

The fact of the matter is, you can never outwork a poor diet. The best way to get rid of a muffin top is to reign in your diet. I am never one to tell you to be on a strict diet. But learning to eat healthier food and move to a more 80/20 plan is an excellent move in the right direction for your waistline and your overall health. A healthy diet will help you to look and feel your best. I also offer custom macro plans based on your body type and goals!

Here are 12 Fat Burning Foods to add to your healthy lifestyle:

Infographic of 12 foods that are the best to help burn belly fat: Almond and other nuts
Beans and Legumes
Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
High Protein Dairy Products
Lean Proteins
Peanut Butter and Other Nut Butters
High-Quality Olive Oil
Whole Grains
Whey Powder
12 of the best foods to help you burn belly fat and whittle your middle!
  1. Almond and other nuts
  2. Beans and Legumes
  3. Spinach and Other Green Vegetables
  4. High Protein Dairy Products
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Eggs
  7. Lean Proteins
  8. Peanut Butter and Other Nut Butters
  9. High-Quality Olive Oil
  10. Whole Grains
  11. Whey Powder
  12. Berries

Another important thing to consider, especially if you are a woman in your thirties on up, is having a doctor check your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can signal your body to hold onto stubborn belly fat. If you have elevated cortisol levels, you will need to watch your stress levels and ensure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep is a significant factor in elevated cortisol levels.

Getting the desired “body shape” you are going forward takes a game plan, and these muffin top exercises are a sure-fire tool to help you get that flat stomach you’re dreaming of. Remember to have patience and keep doing something every day to move your body and work towards your goals!

If you would like more one on one help! Please reach out!

Much Love,


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  1. McKenzie @ Girl Loves Glam says:

    Work it girl! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Andie Thueson says:

      Thanks McKenzie!!!

  2. katerina @ says:

    5 stars
    This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I needed this soo much. I just had a baby 10 months ago and the second time around has been a lot harder getting rid of my muffin top. Love these tips!

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for the awesome tips. My husband and I are into working out and we love new ideas and suggestions that we can try.

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