Want to shed those universally unloved love handles? The Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym is certainly a good thing to have in your wheel house. Made by Nautilus, the Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gym is a versatile workout machine that accommodates many exercises to help you train the muscles of your middle.
Your love handles come from extra fat, which can't be tackled with the Bowflex Ultimate 2 alone. Weight loss is really the only way to get rid of those unsightly deposits of fat around the midsection. "Spot reduction” is a myth, with or without exercises. Increasing your level of physical activity with this home gym does help you replace fat with muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn.
Lying beneath your love handles are muscles called the obliques. While you’re attacking excess weight through diet and cardiovascular exercise, use your Bowflex Ultimate 2 to start toning and defining those muscles, which are to either side of the frontal sheath of muscle.
Here are some exercises from the Bowflex Ultimate 2 Fitness guide to work those obliques.
Perform the Exercise: Start by lifting your chest, pulling your shoulders together, tightening your abs and putting a slight arch in your lower back.
Seated sideways on the bench with one side perpendicular to the Power Rod units, use both hands to grasp the hand grip nearest to you. Lift both arms until they're even with your shoulders and your hands hover over the leg nearest to the Power Rod Units. Bend your elbows slightly.
Squeeze your abdominal muscles and gradually rotate your arm and rib cage away from the Power Rod units for a 30- to 40- degree twist. Imagine that you're twisting with a rod going down the center of your spine. Gradually reverse the movement and return to the original position while maintaining the muscle tension.
For this exercise, use only the low weight Power Rod units. The motion should all be in your trunk. Using momentum to increase your range of movement can lead to injury.
Perform the Exercise: Lie supine on the bench, with your head toward the Power Rod units. Hold onto the bench for stability. Assume a horizontal "chair" position by flexing your hips and knees so that that your legs are bent at at 90 degree angles. Tighten your stomach muscles and then gradually draw your hips inward as far as you can without swinging the legs for momentum. Avoid the temptation to lift your shoulder blades as you would in a normal crunch. Now reverse the motion, returning to the beginning position while maintaining muscle tension.
Keep your upper body, knees and hips stationary while your back is on the bench. Maintain a relaxed neck and tighten your abs before you move. Exhale as you move the hips up and inhale as they move down, but don't exaggerate your breathing. Keep your abs tight during the entire motion.
Perform the Exercise: Facing the Power Rod units, place your ankles in the ankle cuffs. Lie on your back on the bench with your feet toward the Power Rod units. Bending your knees and hips at 90-degree angles, stretch your arms behind your head and hold onto the seat. Relax your neck.
Tighten your stomach muscles and gradually draw your hips in toward your torso. Draw your knees in toward your rib cage as far as possible without raising your shoulder blades. Release using control, returning to the beginning position without releasing the muscle tension in your abs.
Exhale during the upward movement and inhale during the movement down, but avoid exaggerating your breathing. Tighten your stomach muscles for the duration of the exercise, letting them go only at the end of a set. Your hips and knees should not move. Proceed slowly; avoid using momentum.