The excess fat areas that extend outward from your hips and on either side of your waist are called love handles. The most common cause of love handles is fat retention as they indicate excessive fat accumulation around your abdominal area and hips.
Fat accumulation takes place when your body consumes too many calories, and with time, the fat cells become visible as they get accumulated in certain areas of your body, such as around your hips or waist.
Besides fat retention, various other factors can cause love handles, including:
- Physical inactiveness
- Ageing (belly fat is very common as you get older)
- Sleep deprivation
- High carb diets
- Health conditions such as thyroid, etc.
How can you get rid of love handles?
While spot reduction around your waist is not possible, a set of different exercises, including weightlifting as well as cardiovascular workouts, may help in weight loss. Besides these, you can also include exercises that work on specific areas of the body, including your abdomen and hips.
Keep in mind that these exercises will not reduce fat directly from those areas, but they will surely improve your muscle tone and help you in your weight loss journey.
Below is a list of a few productive exercises you can do to lose your love handles.
#1 Side planks
A side plank is a great exercise when it comes to losing those stubborn love handles. There are various modifications to the side plank that can make the exercise even more challenging.
Here’s how to do a side plank:
- Lie down on your side and pull yourself up on one arm.
- Make sure your forearm is flat against the floor and your elbows are in line with your shoulder.
- Put your legs one on top of the other to form a straight line from your body.
- While your knee still touches the ground, slowly raise your hips.
- Engage your core and glutes and hold the position for 20 seconds to a minute. Keep your abs tight while holding the position.
- Switch sides and repeat the exercise at least 8 to 10 times.
#2 Russian twists
A Russian twist is another very effective exercise for losing your love handles. To make it more challenging, you can add weight while doing this exercise. But if you are just starting, do it without weight first.
How to do Russian twists?
- Be in a seated position on the floor.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor, knees bent and butt on the ground.
- Now tighten your core and lean your torso back. Make a 45-degree angle with your body.
- Clasp both your hands together just above your abdomen.
- With your knees bent, lift both your feet off the floor and balance yourself on your butt. For better support, just cross your ankles and balance yourself.
- Slowly start twisting your torso to the left and bring your hands to the right side of your body.
- Now twist to the left and bring your clasped hands to the left side of your body.
- Repeat this exercise for at least 20 seconds to a minute.
#3 Mountain climbers
A mountain climber is a very constructive exercise to help reduce your love handles. It strengthens your overall muscles, helps enhance your heart rate, and also boosts your pace as you get stronger.
How to do a mountain climber?
- Get into a plank position.
- Put both your hands underneath your shoulder, feet flat on the ground, and push your toes so they are pressing the floor.
- Your body should be in a straight line from your toes to your head.
- Now lift your left foot off the floor and pull your left knee towards your left elbow. Make sure your abs are tight while doing this.
- Hold the position for a few seconds, and then return your foot to the starting position.
- Repeat the same on the other side.
- Continue doing this for at least 20 seconds to a minute.
- Increase your speed as you develop strength.
#4 Bicycle crunches
A bicycle crunch is also an effective exercise that works great for your lower body, thus reducing your love handles.
How to do a bicycle crunch?
- Lie down straight on your back with both your hands below your head.
- With folded knees, pull both your legs inward.
- Slowly lift your left leg and try to touch your left knee with your right elbow.
- Pull yourself up while doing this.
- Slowly go back to the starting position and repeat the exercise with the other leg.
#5 One hand toe touch
One-handed toe touch is a very easy, yet very helpful exercise, which will help in getting rid of your love handles.
How to do one hand toe touch?
- Sit straight on a flat surface.
- Fold your left leg inwards and stretch the right leg ahead of you.
- Use your right hand and try to touch the toe of your right foot.
- Keep stretching and engage your upper body.
- Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat the same on both sides.
#6 Crab kicks
Another very useful exercise to lose fat from your waistline is the crab kicks.
Here’s how you can do this exercise:
- Sit on a flat surface.
- Keep both your hands behind your back with your fingers facing backwards.
- Put your feet together and slowly push your hips upwards. Kick your right leg in the air and then lower it down to the starting position.
- Make sure your hips are not touching the ground while you are kicking with your legs.
- Switch legs and do this exercise at least for 30 seconds to one minute.
Hence, with these exercises and healthier eating, you can easily shrink those love handles as part of your overall weight loss. However, remember that it will definitely take some time, so be consistent and stick with your routine.