On the human body, the term flank refers to the area between the lowest point of the ribcage and the hips. If you are overweight or tend to gain weight in the stomach area, you might have excess fat in the flank area, resulting in the dreaded "muffintop" when you wear a pair of tight pants. As the American Council on Exercise states, there isn't a way to slim down in just one area (the "spot reduction" myth), but with a combination of regular cardiovascular exercise that burns fat all over the body and strength training exercises that build long, lean muscles, you'll be able to exercise the flanks.
Modified Side Plank Pose
Lie on your left side with your legs and hips stacked on top of one another.
Place your left forearm on the floor, perpendicular to the body with your palm curled into a fist. Align your left elbow directly under your shoulder.
Press your forearm and the outside edge of your left foot into the floor. Exhale and lift your hips and torso off the floor, making your body into a straight line. Place your right hand on your hip or extend the right arm straight up to the ceiling, in line with the shoulder, for a more advanced version.
Breathe deeply throughout and hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute before switching sides. Work your way up to three rounds of Side Plank Pose.
Standing Wood Chop
Stand up tall with your left foot slightly in front of the right foot in a split-stance position.
Hold a medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest.
Extend your arms up and over to the left, so the medicine ball is above and to the left of your head. Keep your head, chest and hips pointing straight ahead during the entire exercise.
Engage your core muscles by drawing your muscles in toward your spine.
Exhale as you bend your elbows and sweep the medicine ball across your body until it lies just on the outside of your right hip.
Inhale and sweep the medicine ball back to the upper left above your head, then repeat. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions, working your way up to three sets. Breathe deeply and consistently throughout the entire exercise.
Dolphin Plank Pose
Position yourself on all fours.
Drop down to your forearms and clasp your hands together. Align your elbows directly under your shoulders.
Step back with one foot and then the other until you are balancing using only your forearms and toes.
Engage your core and thigh muscles so your hips do not sag to the floor. Make a straight line with your body.
Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute, working your way up to three rounds.
- Choose cardio exercises that require you to perform regular, rhythmic movements of your abdominals, such as swimming, kickboxing, tennis or aerobic dancing.