Whoever coined the fat deposits around the waistline “love handles” had a wacky sense of humor because there is nothing to love about them. The good news is that doing the right exercises to get rid of love handles and eating a healthy diet can get you the trim midsection you’d rather have.
The best exercises to get rid of love handles include aerobic activities and strength training. First thing’s first: You’re going to need more than exercise to get rid of love handles. Reducing your calorie intake and eating healthy foods is also key. The combination of exercise and diet will help you create a calorie deficit, which is crucial for fat loss.
Who says you need a gym or fancy equipment for a great sweat session? You just need a towel to rock this oblique routine. Although you can’t target your waistline specifically if you lose total body fat, you will lose the love handles too.
How it works: Up to four days a week, do these moves as a circuit (back to back with little rest in between) after a cardio session or within your strength routine. Repeat the entire series 2 to 3 times total.
What you’ll need: A beach towel or full-length bath towel.
- Sit with knees bent, feet flat, holding towel pulled tight overhead.
- Brace abs in tight and hinge body back while scooping towel down to the right side of the body, tracing a circle from back to front.
- Bring the body back upright as towel circles overhead (that’s one rep), then immediately repeat hinge and scoop down to the left side.
Do 20 reps, alternating directions.
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Extended ‘Slow-Mo’ Crunch:
- Lie face-up with knees bent, feet flat. Fold towel until it’s a small square and place under lower back, positioning the bottom edge just above hip bones.
- Clasp hands behind head and inhale.
- As you exhale, slowly (take 3 full counts to raise up) lift your head and shoulders off the floor, looking straight ahead at your legs.
- Hold for 1 count, and then slowly (counting to 3 again) lower to start position.
Do 10 reps.
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- Lie face-up with arms extended, elbows slightly bent, into a wide “V” overhead (open arms to the end of your towel’s length), with a towel pulled tight behind the head.
- Extend legs out at a 45-degree angle, bending the right knee and pressing the inner edge of the right foot against the inside of the left knee.
- Lift head and shoulders off the floor.
- Keeping abdominals engaged, gently “rock” to the right, balancing on the right hip, using the right arm and your abs to help stop the movement.
Do 10 reps per side.
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- Start on all fours with the towel folded and placed under feet.
- Draw belly button into the spine to engage abs and slightly lift knees off the ground—don’t let hips lift up in the air during this love handle workout move.
- Press out through heels, sliding legs out into a full plank position (avoid sagging or lifting hips—body should make a line from heels to head).
- Brace abs in tighter and slide legs back in to start position with knees still hovering.
Do 15 reps, or as many as you can with proper form.
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- Lie on the right side, right arm extended under ear and palm pressed on a folded towel.
- Place left hand on the floor in front of the chest, legs extended under hips.
- Engage abs and press right hand into the towel to lift torso off the floor while sliding towel in toward body (right arm stays extended as it slides in), using the left hand for support.
- Avoid letting your right shoulder come up as you lift your body.
- Hold for 1 count, and then slide back out to start position.
Do 15 reps per side.
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- Sit with knees bent, a towel wrapped under knees, holding both ends with arms bent by sides.
- Brace abs in the tight and lean back slightly to lift feet off the floor (body should resemble a “V” in this position).
- Slowly lower back to floor and extend legs out at a 45-degree angle (keep holding onto the towel for support).
- Lower until back touches the floor (head and shoulders stay lifted).
- Hold for 1 count, and then use abs (towel assists) to sit back up to starting “V” position.
Do 10 reps.
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Single-Leg Cross Slide:
- From a straight-arm plank position (with a towel folded under feet), shift into a single-leg plank by bending the left knee into the chest and pressing the inside of the foot against the inside of the right knee.
- Engage abs and bend right knee, sliding towel in, so that both knees come to the outside of the left elbow.
- Slide and extend the right leg back out into a single-leg plank.
Do 10 reps per side.