How To Get Rid Of Love Handles?

Love handles. The name may sound cute, but if you have them, you know that they are not. Love handles are an accumulation of fatty tissue on your sides, most often just above the waistline of your jeans. You may be more familiar with the name “muffin tops”. Whatever you call them, these fatty deposits are some of the most difficult to remove.

Ab exercises alone don’t work. Many people still believe that hours of endless ab exercises like situps and crunches will eliminate their abdominal fat. Unfortunately, removing your love handles or side fat can only be accomplished through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Cardio and interval training to reduce your overall body fat followed by targeted love handle specific exercises to tone the problem area known as your “obliques”.

Core exercises. Training the muscles of your core, those muscles that support your spine, will help reduce the fat around your waist, especially rotational or twisting exercises like woodchops. Your program of diet and exercise should include these targeted love handle reducing exercises:

10 of the best exercises to get rid of love handles:

1. Standing side twists

An excellent warm up exercise performed with an empty light bar or broom stick placed across your shoulders.

How to do it: Hold the bar or stick behind your head with your hands at either end. Keep the back upright and straight while slowly twisting at the waist, twisting as far as you can in each direction. This is not a swinging, momentum movement, but a slow and controlled twisting with a pause and squeeze of your oblique muscles at each rep. After each rep, return to the center position and then repeat in the opposite direction. Perform 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

2. Standing wood chops

Wood chops are an effective twisting abdominal core exercise that simulates chopping a tree with an axe.

How to do it: Use a cable pulley or strong resistance band secured at one end. Stand next to the cable or band and with both hands pull the handle across the body. As a variation, lower the pulley or resistance band anchor and pull up and across, or raise the pulley and pull down and across. You can perform a variation using a sledgehammer and an old tire, “chopping” the tire with the sledge. Perform 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Standing wood chops

3. Twisting crunches

An effective standard crunch variation that shifts focus to the obliques and targets the love handles.

How to do it: Starting flat on the back with the feet placed flat on the floor and the hands behind the head. Place your left foot to your right knee and curl your upper body up and touch your right elbow to your to your left knee, adding a twist to your crunches. Return to the start position and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. Switch feet, and do 10-15 more repetitions in the opposite direction. Perform 1-3 sets for each side.

twisting crunches

4. Planks

Planks exercise a balance of core muscles of the sides, front, and back of your body including the abdominals. Core exercises such as planks train the abs and back evenly and help in preventing any potential imbalances of the muscles that lead to back pain.

How to do it: Start from a push up position on the mat or floor. Lower the upper body and support your weight on the elbows. Keep a straight back as you keep this position as long as you’re able.

full planks

5. Russian twists

You will need a dumbell or kettlebell for this exercise.

How to do it: Start by sitting with bent knees and the feet flat on the floor. Your upper body needs to be leaning back at a 45 degree angle to the floor. Using both hands, hold a kettlebell, dumbbell or similar light weight. Lifting the feet off the floor, cross them at the ankles and balance on your butt. Twisting the body right, touch your chosen weight to the floor next to your body. Then twisting back over left, touch the weight to the ground on the left side of the body. Repeat as you alternate backwards and forwards, while balancing with your legs and upper body elevated off the ground.

russian twist

6. Side planks

Side planks are very much like planks but from different angles and with emphasis on the obliques or “love handles”.

How to do it: Laying on your side on the mat or floor with the legs one on top of the other, raise your body up off the floor and place your elbow directly below your shoulder. The other arm can rest on your side. Straighten your body and hold this position as long as you can. Change sides and do the side planks on evenly on both sides. Try and increase the “hold” time every time you do this exercise.

How to do side planks

7. Bicycle crunches

Similar to Russian twists.

How to do it: Laying on your side on the mat or floor with the legs one on top of the other, raise your body up off the floor and place your elbow directly below your shoulder. The other arm can rest on your side. Straighten your body and hold this position as long as you can. Change sides and do the side planks on evenly on both sides. Try and increase the “hold” time every time you do this exercise.

bicycle crunches

8. Dead bugs

Dead bugs strengthen weak abs.

How to do it: Start flat on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling. Lift your thighs until they are perpendicular to the ground, and your knees are directed at the ceiling. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle until your lower legs are parallel with the floor. Push your back into the floor and hold it there during the exercise. Now lower your left arm until it almost touches the floor while you simultaneously lower your right leg until it is straight and just above the floor. Pause momentarily and slowly return to the start position and then repeat with your right arm and left leg. Alternate left, right, left until you can’t do any more. Don’t arch your back, keep it flat and in contact with the floor.

9. Bird dogs

These are best performed on a mat for protection of the knees.

How to do it: Getting down on all fours, keep the knees right below the hips and the hands right below the shoulders. Focus on keeping your back flat and stable and your abs tight and engaged. Now lift your left hand and right leg off the floor. Point forward with your extended arm and point back and behind you with the extended leg. Visualize you are a bird dog pointing at a duck as you hold for several seconds and then go back to the start position and change and do it again. This exercise also needs you to stabilize and balance your body which activates all the muscles of your core.

10. The superman

The Superman engages, stretches and tightens all of the muscles from your rear deltoids down to your calves but especially your core and abdominals.

How to do it: Laying face down on the floor or your exercise mat with the arms fully extended in front of you and your legs straight behind you, like Superman flying. In one motion, raise your arms, legs and chest off of the floor by contracting all of the muscles of your core. Hold as long as possible, then gradually lower your body back to the mat and relax. Rest briefly and repeat for as many repetitions as you can.

superman lifts

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