We endearingly refer to them as love handles. Or maybe you prefer to call it yourmuffin top. Either way, excess fat sitting on the sides of the torso is tough to lose.

“You have to cross-train your core like you cross-train the rest of your body,” sayscelebrity trainer Kira Stokes. Of all the waist-whittling exercises out there, ones that target your oblique muscles will zero in on this area. A general rule to keep in mind: Any move where you’re reaching to the side works your obliques.

But incorporating ones that also hit your upper and lower abs will more effectively sculpt and slim your entire middle section. “Your core works as one complete unit,” Stokes reminds us.

Here, she shares her favorite exercises for getting rid of the extra padding around your middle.

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