Muffin Top Exercises


Hello,  do you have recommendations for muffin top exercises to tone my mid section and burn flab off my muffin top?  Ever since I had my 2nd beautiful girl I have had a muffin top belly. I was reading about abs exercises to burn off the muffin top belly in one of my favorite magazines but I'm skeptical because I heard from many experts that no crunch-type exercises burn body fat and reduce the muffin top area.

The 2nd part of my question is, if there really aren't muffin top exercises, what are some exercises which offer the most benefit for me?  I know you need to eat less and exercise more in general but I just want to know what the best muffin top exercises I should do along with eating less and exercising more.

Thanks for your informative question and answer section, it really means a lot to me.


Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken


Muffin Top Belly

While you classify the area you would like to tone as a muffin top belly fat accumulation in the mid-section is likely the most common fitness goal amongst men and women. As you hinted at yourself, just like there are no specific exercises which burn fat from the belly there are are no specific "muffin top exercises" which will help you burn the fat in your mid section.

Caloric BalanceIf you are looking to lose your muffin top, like all weight loss, it is a matter of achieving a caloric deficit for an extended period of time.

An all too common way to look at fat loss is to create a daily 500 calorie deficit. BY doing this in 7 days you will lose 1 pound of fat. Maintain your 500 calorie deficit for 2 months and you will have lost 8 pounds of fat.

Of course it is not as simple as it sounds. Improper diet can lead to loss of muscle which increases the time it will take to reach your desired body composition.

How to possibly "Cheat the System"

As mentioned before there is no exercise which can be classified as muffin top exercises but you may be able to "cheat the system" by performing exercises which attempt to reduce the size if your mid section. Although core exercises will not directly reduce your body fat which makes up the bulk of your muffin top belly problem, they could tighten the deeper lying muscles of your core.

Final Words

While performing exercises such as ab crunches, side bends, back extension or torso twists will not burn the fat from your muffin top there are some exercises which may help more than others.

Your first priority should be to reduce your overall caloric deficit and increase your energy expenditure by increasing your overall physical activity level. As long as you have those two things going for you, trying to cheat the system with core exercises or any other exercises you would consider "muffin top exercises" working your mid-section will be okay.

What you have to keep in mind is if you want to rid yourself of that muffin top belly your caloric deficit is exponentially more important than any exercises you perform which directly work the muscles underneath your muffin top.

More Information About a Flat Stomach

  • How to Lose Back Fat
    If you have a muffin top belly you likely have excess fat all over your body. While there are not truly muffin top exercises strictly for your stomach, learn the best approach to burn fat from your entire body, losing weight and getting more toned.  
  • Multiple Ways to Loss Weight
  • 100 Abdominal Exercises
    While they will not directly burn fat from your muffin top belly, you can view free exercise videos of exercises which work all the muscles of  the abdomen from all angles inside and out.  


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