Excess fat around the belly can create the so-called "love handles," which are rolls of fat around your waistline that spill out over your jeans. CNN cites Dr. Gary Foster, director of Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education, as saying that you cannot spot-reduce fat from the body. However, you can lose fat all over your body with a consistent exercise program and proper diet. Cardio and strength-training will slim you down and tone you up for a more well-defined physique. Although the best exercises differ among individuals, there are several exercises that will help you tone your hip area, which will become more defined after fat loss.
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Get On Your Side
The side plank will tighten the abdominal region and the muscles on the sides of your trunk or waist. Do this exercise by lying on your right side on a mat on the floor. Stack your feet on top of each other and lift yourself up so that you are resting on your forearm with your elbow underneath your right shoulder. Contract the abdominals and lift your left hip slightly to avoid sagging at the waist. Hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds or until fatigued before switching sides. Repeat three times.
Twist Your Trunk
Standing trunk twists add variety to your love handle workout by getting you off the mat. This exercise trains the obliques -- muscles on the sides of the trunk that twist, rotate and side-bend the body -- to give the waist a lean, sculpted appearance. Do this exercise by standing with feet hip-width apart, feet facing forwards. With your lower body stationary, twist your trunk and upper body to the left as you punch your right arm out to the left side. Return to start and twist to the right, simultaneously punching the left arm to the right side. Repeat for 30 seconds to one minute or until fatigue sets in; rest and repeat two more times.
Twist Like A Russian
The Russian twist exercise will whittle your waistline and strengthen your obliques. Do this exercise in a seated position on the floor with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Contract your abdominals as you lean back slightly to form a V-shape with your body. Reach your arms out in front of you and start rotating your trunk from left to right while focusing on tightening the abs. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by holding a medicine ball in between your hands. Do 10 to 12 repetitions or until fatigued.
Sweat It Off
Strength-training will tone muscles and increase strength; however, you need to do cardiovascular exercise to lose any excess fat covering muscles all over the body, including the waistline. Engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week at moderate intensity. Workout for 30 to 60 minutes, five times a week. Activities such as running, biking, hiking and rollerblading work the major muscle groups of the lower body and will burn calories for weight-loss all over the body, including the belly and hips. Rev up the intensity of workouts by adding a few 30-second sprints at the end of your sessions.