Trunk Twists With A Twist - Tighten
Your Love Handles Now!
By Nick Nilsson
The "love handles" are the areas just above your
hips on your sides. But I don't know many people who truly love theirs,
which is why one of THE most common training goals around is getting rid
of those things!
But here's the problem...sometimes, even fat loss doesn't always cut it
when it comes to reducing the love handle area! Sure, you can peel off a
lot of the fat, but even LEAN people sometimes find that this area STILL
pokes out more than it should for the amount of bodyfat they carry.
It can be a VERY frustrating thing, knowing that you're doing all you
can to lose fat and your love handles are still there.
But there IS hope (and it's NOT surgery)! I've got
an exercise for you that will help to tighten up the muscles (the
obliques) that lie directly UNDERNEATH the love handle area.
While this won't burn any of the fat that sits there (NO ab exercises
will do THAT), it WILL help reduce the appearance and bulge of the area,
giving you the more streamlined waist you want.
So what is this magical exercise? I call it the
"Trunk Twist With a Twist." This technique was a favorite of legendary
bodybuilder Serge Nubret for acheiving the wasp-thin waist he was famous
On the surface, this exercise looks a lot like the regular broomstick
twist you see people doing to warm up sometimes. Here's the
difference...instead of just mindlessly rotating your torso from side to
side, you're going to focus on SQUEEZING the obliques hard while keeping
your head LOCKED in a forward position.
This squeezing technique will dramatically tighen the obliques and help
you diminish those love handles once and for all!
How To Do It:
The setup for this exercise is simple! Put a bar or stick across your
shoulders with your hands over the top and arms stretched out to the
sides. Stand with your feet about a foot apart. Now begin to twist your
upper body around to the left side.
Here is the key...while you are twisting, keep your head facing STRAIGHT
FORWARD instead of turning your head along with your torso as you
normally would. This is extremely important! If you turn your head, the
exercise will be useless!
It's a good idea to do this exercise in front of a mirror (if you have
one available), so you can see exactly what is going on. Look straight
at yourself in the mirror and DO NOT move your head while you twist your
torso (in fact, for a little extra squeeze, you can try to look as much
as you can the OPPOSITE way).
Keep twisting all the way around until you've turned as far as you can.
When doing this twist, I like to try to tilt the bar down a bit towards
the side I'm twisting to. This helps to increase the activation of the
obliques by bending the torso over to the side a bit.
At the height of the twist, squeeze the oblique area (right where your
love handles are), contracting it AS HARD AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN and
holding it for 3 to 5 seconds. This is the "money" part of the exercise.
The actual twist only serves to get you into that position!
When you've squeezed everything out of the left side, rotate around to
the right side and do the same thing.
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1. Going too fast
It is important to slow this exercise down and get a good squeeze on
every single turn. If you simply bounce from one stretch to the other,
you'll get nothing out of this exercise. The only good part is the
2. Not squeezing the obliques hard
As in #1, if you don't squeeze, you won't get results. Going through the
motions won't do a thing for you.
3. Letting your head turn with your torso
If you turn your head along with your torso, the effect of the exercise
will be greatly reduced. If you find that you have a hard time keeping
your head forward, try turning it the other way as you turn your torso.
This will help to put the squeeze on your sides.
1. Raising the knee
To help increase the squeeze on the obliques, as you twist to one side,
come up on your toes to raise your knee up towards your opposing hand as
it comes around, e.g. if you're twisting to the left, raise your left
knee to try and meet your right hand. This increases the contraction on
the obliques by helping to shorten the muscle from the other end
(below), basically the opposing action to tilting the bar down that I
2. Breathe in and out
Hold the contraction for a few seconds and breathe in and out, squeezing
out all the air you can on each exhalation. This will help get an even
tighter contraction in the area.
3. Pull with one hand, push with the other
As you do the twist, push with the far hand and pull with the other for
a greater contraction. For example, if you're twisting to the left, pull
on the bar with your left hand and push it forward with your right.
4. Suck in your gut
As you come towards the full turn, suck in your gut. This places an even
greater contraction on the oblique muscle, tightening it up even
This exercise requires some practice to really get the maximum squeeze
out of the muscles, but once you know how to do it, you'll love it! To
get the best results out of this exercise, perform it at the end of
every single workout you do. Do just one or two sets of between 15 and
This is not a power or resistance-based exercise. It's all about the
squeeze and the contraction, which is why we're doing the higher reps
About Nick Nilsson
Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques
for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including “Metabolic Surge – Rapid Fat Loss,” “The Best Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of,” “Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!” and “The Best Abdominal Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of” all available at:
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