So you were probably getting dressed and noticed you have some love handles. Or, perhaps you knew about them all along and decided you were finally ready to do something about them. Good on you for taking that first step!
But don’t stop now. You have to work out consistently to make sure those love handles go away, and also eat a healthy diet. Remember, the way in which we lose fat is easy: calories put into the body must be less than what is burned. It’s actually following through with this action that is difficult!
But just make this love handle workout a habit, and you will see results. Let’s get right into the workout. We have one workout that is great to do just about anywhere and requires only a set of dumbbells, and another workout that is very advanced and can be done at a gym. No matter your skill level, we have the workout you need.
Love Handles Workout: Do It Anywhere
This is a workout that you can do just about anywhere: while watching the kids play on the playground, in the living room on a yoga mat, in a hotel room. Therefore, there’s no excuses, and people of all fitness levels can do it.
Move 1: Russian Twist x50
Sit on your bottom with knees bent and the feet placed flat on the floor. Make sure your torso is about a 45 degree angle to the floor, lean back to achieve this. Now hold a dumbbell in your hands. Lift up the feet and cross at the ankles. Balance on your bottom.
Now that you are in this pose, twist to the right with your torso and touch the dumbbell onto the ground. Now twist over to the left and do the same thing: Touch that weight right onto the ground. Repeat this back and forth. You are going to aim for 50 of these in total, so it’s okay to rest occasionally.
Move 2: Bicycle Crunches x30
Lie down on the back with knees bent and hands behind the noggin as if you were going to take a rest-but don’t clasp the hands! Get the abs engaged and lift the shoulders and back off the ground. Now move the right elbow to the left knee.
Aim to meet in the center of your torso. Now switch it up and bring the left elbow to the right knee. Do this as much as you can without resting for a total of 30 crunches.
Move 3: The Spiderman x10 on each side
Start by getting into a push-up position. Make sure shoulders are over the hands. Now lift the right foot just a few inches off the ground and bring it toward the right elbow. As you do this, lower down into a push up if you want an extra level of toughness. Now bring your foot back to the start and do this on the left side. Pretend you are Spiderman climbing a building! Try to do this for ten on each side.
Move 4: The Crab x10 on each side
Sit with knees bent and feet placed flat on the ground. Now place the right hand behind you very firmly. Bend the left arm and keep it by you. Lift the bottom off the ground and extend the left arm behind you. Reach for your right side. It should look like you are doing the opposite of a backbend. Go back to start. Try to aim for ten on each side.
Move 5: Side Planks with Knees x5 on each side
Lie down on your right side and get up, leaning on the right forearm. Place feet on top of one another so your whole body is straight. Put the left hand on the left hip. Activate your core and drive the knee to the chest, repeat five times and then go do the other side.
Love Handles Workout Using Gym Equipment
Here is a workout you can do if you have access to a gym. Using the great equipment there, your love handles will be a thing of the past.
Move 1: Mountain Climbers x20
Get a plyometrics box and put it in front of you. Get into a high plank pose and make sure palms are firmly on the top of your box. Keep the back flat and engage the abs. Now lift up the right foot and bring the right knee over to your elbow on the left. Go back to start.
Now lift up your left foot and bring the left knee to the right elbow. Now go back to start and keep alternating. Try to do as many as you can, but aim for a total of 20.
Move 2: Kettlebell Swings x60
Stand in a tall stance, placing feet a bit wider than your hips. Now grab onto the kettlebell with both of your hands. Keep the palms facing downward and the arms in the front of your body.
Keep your knees bent ever so slightly and push hips back. Lower your body a little bit, but don’t go too low. Now get ready as this is the fun part: Drive the hips forward in an explosive motion and swing the kettlebell, all while your glutes and core are tight.
Move 3: Box Jump x30
Make sure your knees are in good shape for this move (we have an alternate version if you cannot jump). Get your feet shoulder-width apart and stand at a challenging but comfortable length from your box. When you feel ready, drop down into a slight squat (about one quarter of a regular squat).
Then swing your arms and jump off your feet to bring yourself up to that box. Use all your power and really make it count! If you cannot jump, stack boxes as much as you can to provide a challenge and step on and off the boxes with both feet. Step up the left foot, then the right foot, then right foot back to the ground and then left foot. Repeat for 30 of these-do more if you feel capable of it.
Move 4: Rope Wave
In this move, we will do 4 sets of 30 second intervals with the ropes. Stand with the feet hip-width apart. Make sure hips and knees are bent, and tighten the core. Grab the ends of the rope with both of your hands, and let your arms hang down straight at your center.
Now bring yourself down into a half squat. In one move, explode upward, extend the knees and the hips while you swing the arms over your head. Now bring it back to the start and repeat the movement. This is a really hard move, so take breaks when you need it.
Move 5: Hang-Bar Leg Raise x30
Find a hanging bar and hang out! Hanging on the bar, raise your feet up slowly, keeping your legs straight. It should look like you are trying to sit with feet out in front of you in the air. This is a hard move, so do your best! Aim for 30 if you can.
Why Do We Get Love Handles?
Fat retention is the main cause of love handles cropping up. If you eat too many calories and you do not burn off the excess, fat cells build up and become pronounced around the hips and abs, the place where we most commonly find love handles.
You can accumulate fat in any spot of your body, however. And, there are outside factors that increase your probability for building up fat in the hip, lower back and abs. Some of these factors include:
- Cortisol and other hormones
- Not going to the gym/no physical activity
- Eating too many sugars, fats, and high-cal meals
- Lack of sleep
- Medical conditions like an under-active thyroid that require a doctor’s care.
It is a good idea to get rid of your love handles. They inside of themselves are not dangerous at all, but having excess body fat does carry some risks. Some of these include:
- Cancers of the colon and the breast
- Heart disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Type 2 diabetes
Eating well and forming healthy habits is the way to break the cycle and get those love handles gone for good. Eat more plant-based foods. Keep sodium low at about 2300mg or less per day. Eat lots of healthy proteins like eggs and fish instead of red meat.
Clothing choice matters, too. Choose pants that sit at the waist and not the hips. You will feel less constricted and the love handles will be less pronounced. Be sure that pants and underpants fit correctly and are comfortable.
Wrapping It Up
Getting rid of your love handles has plenty of benefits. You will be improving your overall health and feeling better about your appearance. Plus, one healthy step can lead to another, and eating well and getting regular physical activity can lead to some amazing results!