Whoever coined the fat deposits around the waistline “love handles” had a wacky sense of humour 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 right side of body, tracing a circle from back to front.
- Bring body back upright as towel circles overhead (that’s one rep), then immediately repeat hinge and scoop down to left side.
Do 20 reps, alternating directions.
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 head and shoulders off the floor, looking straight ahead at legs.
- Hold for 1 count, and then slowly (counting to 3 again) lower to start position.
Do 10 reps.
Related article: Seven Yoga Poses To Do Post-Workout For An Even Better Workout
- 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 towel pulled tight behind head.
- Extend legs out at a 45-degree angle, bending right knee and pressing the inner edge of right foot against inside of left knee.
- Lift head and shoulders off the floor.
- Keeping abdominals engaged, gently “rock” to the right, balancing on right hip, using the right arm and your abs to help stop the movement.
Do 10 reps per side.
Related article: The 8 Easy To Do Exercises To Define And Show Off Your Lower Abs
- Start on all fours with the towel folded and placed under feet.
- Draw belly button into 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.
- Lie on right side, right arm extended under ear and palm pressed on folded towel.
- Place left hand on floor in front of 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 left hand for support.
- Avoid letting your right shoulder come up as you lift body.
- Hold for 1 count, and then slide back out to start position.
Do 15 reps per side.
- Sit with knees bent, towel wrapped under knees, holding both ends with arms bent by sides.
- Brace abs in tight and lean back slightly to lift feet off 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 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.
Make this move harder: Extend arms overhead in “V” position, holding towel tight, and as you lean back to extend legs, lower towel to the tops of thighs. Sit back up, reaching arms overhead again.
Do 10 reps.
Single-Leg Cross Slide:
- From a straight-arm plank position (with towel folded under feet), shift into a single-leg plank by bending left knee into chest and pressing inside of foot against inside of right knee.
- Engage abs and bend right knee, sliding towel in, so that both knees come to the outside of left elbow.
- Slide and extend right leg back out into single-leg plank.
Do 10 reps per side.