Although it might sound cute, love handles are something you would want to lose quickly. ‘Love handles’ is the common name for the excess fat deposit at the sides of your waist, often visible over the top of your trousers. Despite being a soft layer of fat (sometimes called muffin top), love handles can be a challenge to get rid of.
How to Lose Belly Fat and Love Handles with Exercise
Strength or resistance training allows you to contract your muscles against resistance, helping you to build strength and lean muscle while burning calories at rest. Research has shown that combining cardio with resistance training helps in burning belly fat more effectively than either resistance training or cardio alone.
Love Handle Exercises with Instructions
Here we have listed some toning exercises that target your core muscles particularly obliques, a group of muscles that run along the sides of your torso. Repeat each workout for three sets, resting one minute after each. Try to follow this routine thrice a week. Most of these exercises can be done at home if you have a dumbbell or medicine ball.
1. Low to High Woodchops
- Grab a dumbbell using both hands and stand with a hip-width stance.
- Lift the dumbbell overhead above your left shoulder.
- Twist your torso to make a chopping movement down towards the right leg.
- Raise the dumbbell up to the original position.
Repeat for 20 reps and then switch sides.
2. Hanging Leg Raises
- Grabbing a pull-up bar, hang freely.
- Flexing your abs, raise your feet up while keeping your legs straight.
Repeat for 20 reps.
3. Russian Twists
- Sit on the ground with your legs bent and feet placed on the floor.
- Holding a medicine ball, extend your arms.
- Lean backward until your upper body makes an angle of 45 degrees with the floor.
- Twist your upper body to move your arms from right to left and vice versa without lifting your feet.
Repeat for 15 reps.
4. Side Plank with Hip Raises
- Get into a side plank position by keeping your elbow on the floor and resting your legs and hips on the ground.
- Keeping your torso in line with your legs, engage your core in lifting your body off the floor into a plank position.
- Lower your body back to the initial position.
Repeat 14 times on your right side and 14 on your left.
5. Bicycle Crunches
- Lie on an exercise mat while keeping your hands behind the head and bending your knees.
- Lift your upper back and left knee off the floor, keeping your right leg straight.
- Take your right elbow toward the left knee.
- Switch your elbow and knee.
Repeat the motion as quickly as you can 20-25 times.
6. Box Jumps
- Stand with a shoulder-width stance at a distance of 1-2 feet from the box.
- Descend into a quarter squat position.
- Extending your hips and swinging your arms, drive through your feet to jump onto the box.
Repeat 20 times.
Do these Exercises Really Work
While these exercises are good at helping you get rid of love handles, they will only work when you make dietary changes like cutting out sugary foods from your diet, having foods rich in fiber, including quality protein sources, adding complex carbs, and staying hydrated with plain water or unsweetened tea. Aside from eating healthy, you may need to include half-an-hour cardio session three to four days a week.