Written by Jack Boardman
The Muffin Top
The muffin top: a plight on all genders alike. You may have slender limbs, toned shoulders and tight calves, but the spare tyre around your midriff isn’t playing along. So what exactly is the muffin top, and how can you get rid of it?
A muffin top, or spare tyre, isn’t to be feared. In fact, if you’ll hear us out before thinking we’re annoyingly optimistic, we believe a spare tyre is an opportunity. Health and fitness shouldn’t be about looking a certain way, nor about comparing yourself to others, but if the semblance of a spare tyre has you thinking twice about what you’re putting into your body and how much exercise you’re getting, follow that train of thought; it might just lead to a lifestyle change or two that has a considerably positive effect on both your physical and mental health.
That’s how a muffin top could very well be a window of opportunity for setting yourself some goals. A muffin top is the result of excess fat around your abdominal area, this results in a visible fat roll that inconveniently rests above the waistband of your trousers. So-called because a high rise muffin overspills its smaller casing, therefore if you wear tighter fitting clothes the fatty build-up in the abdominal area will spill over.
Set Yourself Goals
You can work off a muffin top by increasing your cardio and performing some toning exercises, which will also benefit your posture and strengthen your core.
Here is what a workout session could look like:
✓ 15-minute jog. If you’re using a treadmill, set it on an incline. This needn’t be high-intensity. Start at a brisk walk and pick up the pace every minute until your heart rate is up before cooling down.
✓ 15 minutes on the cross trainer. By performing resistance training to your opposing arms and legs, this slight twisting motion will work your obliques, lower abdomen and back while getting in a bit more cardio. Again, this needn’t be high-intensity work as you have your toning exercises still to come.
✓ Leg raises – 3 x 10. Using dipping bars, or with your arms stretched and holding onto a chin-up bar, raise your legs towards your chest, pausing at a right angle before lowering. If you struggle at first, bend your knees and straighten when you get stronger. These are a good way to make sure you’re channelling the lower abs as your arms are taken out of the equation. You can also do these without equipment by laying on your back.
✓ Planks – 3 x 40 secs. With your back and legs straight, support yourself on your elbows for three 60 second sets. When you are ready to move on, rest on a yoga ball, increasing the inclination.
✓ Ab roller – 3 x 10. An ab roller works the abs and improves core strength and definition. It combines qualities of core exercises such as planking while stretching and channelling the arms.
✓ Yoga ball crunches – 3 x 20. Perform stomach crunches while seated on a yoga ball. Put your feet against the wall on the floor for extra stability. Make your motions slow and purposeful to channel the abs.
✓ Roman chair extensions – 3 x 10. Essentially the reverse of crunches. Beginning at a right angle, facing down on a Roman chair, straighten your back. Then do the same on each side.
You know what we say at Myprotein: fuel that ambition! This may come as a surprise for those of you thinking losing your muffin top is a matter of fad diets, fasting and going hungry. In fact, to get the most out of your fitness routine, you need to provide your body with the right fuel in order to recover and develop your muscles. Exercising without eating properly is like a car running on empty and, furthermore, will do nothing for your stress levels.