5 Strength Exercises for Women to Melt a Muffin Top Belly – Freshly baked muffins sure are appealing to look at and incredibly tasty to eat. But when it comes to dealing with the muffin top that hangs over your jeans, you’d rather not. This stubborn fat clinging onto your waistline is easy to accumulate and challenging to lose. That’s why we spoke with Marisa Fuller, trainer and owner of Studio Pilates in Brooklyn, NY (Cobble Hill, South Slope) and Wilmington, North Carolina, who shares some of the best strength exercises for women to melt a muffin top belly.

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Strength training is a fundamental form of exercise for all individuals, but most especially women, Fuller tells us. “As women age, hormones are changing, decreasing women’s bone density and muscle mass,” she explains. “When these changes happen, the woman’s body starts to increase in body fat. Strength training helps to increase the metabolic rate to burn fat and create lean muscles.”

Pilates, for instance, is an excellent way to practice strength training, as it calls for utilizing your body weight and/or the resistance of the reformer’s springs. This resistance can help you sculpt muscle, achieve an impressive tone, and improve your overall stability. “Core muscles are used in every Pilates exercise,” Fuller adds. “You will hear Pilates instructors say throughout classes to engage your ribs to hips which helps to engage your abs, creating stability throughout your body to move through your exercises to gain strength and flexibility. You work your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the muscles around the pelvis throughout every exercise, helping to tone the midsection.”

Are you ready to get started? We’re here to cut any nonsense out of the exercise selection process, so no need to stress. Fuller breaks down the below strength exercises for women to melt a muffin top belly. “Studio Pilates incorporates the Supine Abdominal Series in all our workouts, as these exercises have proven to tone and sculpt the waistline,” she says. “Here are five of my favorite exercises from the series that I have personally seen help tone my midsection.”

Keep reading to learn all about the below exercises. Perform each exercise for one to one and a half minutes, and complete the whole series two times, making a total of 10 moves.

Get started with ab curls by lying down flat on your back and positioning your legs in a tabletop position—your feet should be planted flat on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides. Breathe in, then breathe out as you curl up so that your shoulders come off the ground. Then, lower your shoulders and neck back to the mat.

For bicycle legs, lie down flat on your back, and plant your feet on the floor. Place your hands at the back of your head. Lift your legs so your calves are basically parallel to the ground. Curl your upper body up. Extend your left leg while bringing your right elbow toward that knee. Then, extend your right leg, and bring your left elbow to meet that knee. Keep your arms open. Continue to alternate.

Begin the hundreds exercise by lying flat on the ground with your arms by your sides and your legs extended. Bend your knees, and bring them toward your chest. Curl your upper body up, and lift your arms so that they hover above the floor. Straighten your legs, and lower them to 45 degrees. Your heels should be together and your toes pointed. Then, quickly pump your arms as you breathe out for five seconds and breathe in for another five seconds. Continue to inhale and exhale as you pump.

woman doing pilates scissors exercise

Start the scissors exercise by lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Curl your shoulders and neck up, and bring your legs up into tabletop. Extend both legs to the sky, and lower one at a time, just like scissors.

Last but not least on Fuller’s list of the best strength exercises for women to melt a muffin top belly is double leg lowers. Start by lying down. Curl up into tabletop, and remain there. Extend your legs up straight toward the sky, and lower them both together toward the ground or reformer’s foot bar. Then, lift them back up.

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