How to ... lose your love handles

Do stretch and strengthen your obliques, the muscles that help you bend from side to side and to rotate the torso. A flabby waist and love handles are the result of fat deposits in the oblique area. For a figure like Jane Russell try doing simple side bends or waist twists. For example, sit upright on a stool with a broom handle across your back at the shoulders and twist your waist from side to side.

Don't over-work the oblique muscles. Using weights for side-bends can build up the muscles so much that you get a thickened, rather than slender, waistline.

Do work on your back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi (or lats) - the large, fan-shaped muscle across your middle back. Toned lats will give your back a beautiful "V" shape that minimises your waist. Swimming (front crawl is good) or using the rowing machine help you to shed fat at the same time.

Don't forget aerobic exercise to reduce fat levels. A waist circumference of more than 80cm (31in) for women and 94cm (37in) for men is a major risk factor for heart disease. Even a daily walk will help to prevent a thickening girth.

Do try T'ai Chi. Many slow-motion exercises focus on movements from the waist.

And the best exercise?

Tennis Ball Twist. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a tennis ball with both hands. Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the floor and twist first to the outside of the right thigh (reaching down towards your calf) and then to the left side. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your abdominal muscles strong. Try not to roll the body from side to side - control yourself from the trunk. Repeat 15 times on each side.

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