Love handles are caused by fat deposits located on the sides of the waist. For those who have them, there’s nothing lovable about them.
Love handles are equal opportunity offenders. They don’t care if you are male or female. While a healthy diet is essential for targeting love handles, you must also include intense cardio sessions with your ab workout to maximize the effect.
Fortunately, there are a few exercises you can do to target these abominations, so you can have the smooth, sleek silhouette you’ve worked so hard to achieve through your diet. The good news is you can do many, if not all of these at home or around your neighborhood. You can opt to perform them at a gym, but it’s not necessary to target these fat deposits, which are sometimes referred to as flab or simply middle-age spread.
So, if you can “pinch an inch” (or more) around your middle, let’s get started learning about 5 great workouts for your love handles.
This exercise requires one hand weight. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and placing all your weight on your left leg. Holding the weight in both hands, pull the weight toward your left shoulder (as if it were an axe being pulled back to chop wood). Then, twist, bringing your hands down in a chopping motion in the direction of your right hip. Your feet and knees should pivot naturally with the swing. Repeat 20 times and then switch sides.
2. Four-Point Balance Exercises
These exercises target the core muscles, plus your arms, legs, and glutes. Core muscle exercises are critical for removing love handles as they help to tone and stabilize – activating more muscle groups and effectively burning more calories in the process. For this exercise, you want to start out on using your “all fours” and with your hands lined under your shoulders and your knees lined under your hips. Lift and straighten your right arm and left leg (some call this the Superman balance exercise because you look like Superman flying). Hold the pose for a few seconds and then switch sides. Do three sets of 10 – 20 repetitions each.
3. Side Plank Hip Lifts
Begin in a side plank position and place your elbow on the floor along with your hips and legs. Raise the lower half of your body off the ground while holding your body lined straight. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Lower your body back to the ground and repeat. Do 15 lifts on each side.
4. Russian Twists
This is an exercise that can be done with or without weights. Begin seated on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdomen while learning back until you are at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Clasp your hands together (or hold the weight in both hands) just above the abdomen. With your knees still bent, lift your feet off the ground so that your rear is supporting all your weight. If needed, you may cross your ankles to help provide support.
Now, it gets fun. Twist your torso to the right bringing your hands and/or the weight in the same direction with you. Then twist to the left. Repeat the process for 30 seconds as a beginner and one full minute once you become more advanced.
5. Cardio Exercises
While love handles themselves are stored fat in the body, cardiovascular exercises boost the metabolism allowing your body to burn fat for fuel more effectively. Make sure you include 20 to 45 minutes of intense cardio exercises in your routine four or five times a week. This includes a variety of exercises, such as:
It is the combination of diet, exercises, and targeted fat burning workouts, like these, that will make the biggest difference in your efforts to eliminate love handles.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget a few core principles at the end of the day, like clean eating, making breakfast an essential part of your day, reducing or eliminating your intake of alcohol and tobacco, and getting adequate sleep at night. Keep in mind, how fast your love handles vanish once you lose weight and exercise more depends a whole lot on your body shape and genetics. Remember, always consult with your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen – even if it’s for your love handles.
While these things alone will not eliminate your love handles, when combined with the workouts mentioned above, they will certainly help.