Irrespective of the gender, everybody hates love handles. Truth be told, they not only look bad but also speak volumes about your eating habits. To get rid of these, most people are seen doing the classic side-to-side bending exercise. Well, similar to the misconception that crunches burn off the belly fat, side bends are performed thinking that it will ‘melt’ the love handles away. Of course, this is far from truth and idiotic to every degree of exercise and nutrition science.
You Have Love Handles Because Your Nutrition Sucks, Not Because You Aren’t Doing ‘Side Bends’
You need to drop your body fat to get rid of love handles, period! You can do thousands of side bends but if you are holding a lot of fat, you’ll still have love handles. Fix your nutrition!
But If You Still Want To Do Side Bends, Read This Carefully To Avoid Injury
Understanding The Oblique Muscles
There are 2 kinds of obliques in the human body- internal obliques, which are deep inside the trunk and external oblique (superficial muscle) which is visible on lateral sides of abdomen once you get shredded. The external oblique muscle extends from the lower half of the ribs and down to the pelvis. When we talk about any oblique exercise, we precisely talk about the external oblique training. Moreover, the function of this muscle is to pull the chest downwards and compress the abdominal cavity.
Avoid These Mistakes
I have seen a lot of people holding dumbbells or plates in both hands while performing the side bends aka lateral flexion. Now this is what makes it an ineffective exercise. Taking resistance in both hands actually becomes counterproductive, as it creates a balance which minimizes the optimal tension at the targeted muscle.
In order to make it an effective exercise, always perform a set with a load in one hand at a time.
Another common mistake that people do while doing loaded side bends is generating force from the biceps while doing a lateral extension. In simple words, people bend their hand holding the weight firmly while standing straight after a lateral flexion. This actually reduces the tension from oblique and the force is now being generated from biceps as a prime mover.
Always keep your hand straight and let your fingers act as a hook by holding the resistance (dumbbell or a plate). The lateral extension should be done by just focusing on the oblique muscle of the other side. So if you are bending on the right side, extend the back without bending your hand. Hence, avoid these 2 common mistakes and witness some kick-ass tension over your external obliques. Try it out and share your experience with us.
Rachit Dua is an advanced K11 certified fitness coach for general and special population (people with medical issues, old age people, pregnant women, and children) and a certified sports nutritionist. You can get in touch with him facebook and Instagram.
Source of news : Mensxp