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Best Exercises for Love Handles

Best Exercises for Love Handles

Despite the name, there is nothing lovable about love handles. They are bags of excess fat on your waistline, along the oblique muscles. Love handles are unsightly, and it is not so easy to get rid of them. Exercise and proper diet are the two ways in which you can deal with love handles.
Mayuri Kulkarni
Last Updated: May 12, 2018
Love handles are the first indicators of abdominal obesity in both the genders. They are correlated to several chronic cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Love handles are a result of net energy imbalance, that is the imbalance of calories consumed and burned. With an exercise regime and fat-reducing diet, you can bid adieu to your love handles.
While planning a workout schedule,
  1. Keep in mind that your exercise should not concentrate only on the problem area and in this case, the love handles. The regime must be all-inclusive and focused on overall fitness.
  2. Metabolism should be elevated to burn the extra fats deposited in your body. Chemical reactions due to metabolism help the body to grow, maintain structure, reproduce, and respond to the surroundings.
  3. Targeting only loss of fat is absolutely unreasonable because routine workouts will use up all the energy generated by fats.
Exercises are categorized into endurance, resistance and flexibility workouts. Each of them are equally important to maintain a healthy life. So, your routine should also include an exercise from each category. And remember, before you begin any exercise routine, consult your doctor and get a complete medical check-up done.
Cardiovascular exercises build up endurance of your body and keep your heart healthy. They improve blood circulation and strengthen cardiac muscles. Twenty minutes of endurance training 4 - 5 times a week will also help you in everyday activities. You can choose:
  • Swimming
  • Jogging or brisk walking
  • Dancing
  • Riding bicycle
  • Climbing stairs
  • Playing basketball or tennis
If you prefer training indoors, try this:
Oblique Cycling
Oblique Cycling
  • Lie flat on your back, gazing at the ceiling. This position is called supine.
  • Intertwine your fingers and place them under your neck. This avoids strain to your neck.
  • Lift your legs and bend them at the knees.
  • Draw your right knee nearer to your chest and stretch your left leg.
  • Now lifting your shoulders, touch your left elbow to your right knee.
  • Go back to the original position and repeat step 5 with alternate knee and elbow.
  • Repeat 15 times for each knee. Try not to touch the ground.
Tip: A few Jumping Jacks before this exercise will help warming-up and preparing your body.
Treadmill, elliptical trainers, stationary bicycles, rowing machines, stair climbers, and ladder climbers are some indoor cardiovascular exercises that you can opt for, too.
The key to perfect health is metabolism. Toning up muscles instead of focusing on weight loss will take you a long way. In your routine, include full body strength training for at least 2 - 3 times a week.

There are two types of strength training. One, known as calisthenics, using your own body weight and second using external weights, also known as weight training.
These exercises are generally done without any equipment. However, sometimes you can use dumbbells or a fitness ball. Calisthenics include push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups and squats.

Crunches are ab exercises that can help you get rid of love handles by reducing fats around the abdomen. Given below are the different crunches that focus more on the oblique area.
Fitness Ball Crunches
Fitness Ball Crunches
  • Lie supine on a fitness ball.
  • Place your hands under your neck, and thighs parallel to the floor.
  • Lift your torso and crunch towards one side. Rest back on the ball.
  • Repeat with the other side.
  • Do this crunch 15 times on each side.
Tip: Use a yoga mat under the fitness ball to avoid slipping.
Dumbbell Kayaking
  • Sit straight with your legs stretched in front of you.
  • Pick a dumbbell of medium weight and hold in both hands.
  • Imagine that you are sitting in a kayak and rowing it with the dumbbell.
  • Repeat 30 times.
Oblique Crunches
  • Lie supine. Interlace your fingers and place your hands under your neck.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the surface.
  • Lift your shoulders, and touch your left knee with your right elbow.
  • Rest your head back.
  • Again lift your shoulders and touch your right knee with your left elbow.
  • Repeat 15 times.
  • Do not move your knees or feet.
Oblique Dumbbell Crunches
  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Take a dumbbell of medium weight in your right hand.
  • Bend sideways on the right without moving your hips.
  • Slowly, return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
  • Switch dumbbell to left hand and repeat the whole routine.
Tip: Choose a light-weight dumbbell of 2 kg to avoid strain on your shoulders.
Other Calisthenics
Fitness Ball Push-ups
Fitness Ball Push ups
  • Lie prone with your feet on fitness ball and your palms on the surface.
  • Putting all your weight over your hands, lower your body down.
  • Raise your body slowly to the initial position.
  • Repeat 20 times.
U boat
  • Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the surface.
  • Lean backward and rest your arms making 90 degree angle with the surface. Keep your palms flat on the surface.
  • Lift your feet slowly until your thighs make a 90 degree to the surface (knees touching each other).
  • Now slowly trace the letter U with your knees. Lower your feet back to the surface.
  • Repeat 20 times.
Tip: Stretch your legs before this exercise. Standing hamstring and calf stretch are good warm-up exercises for legs.
Body-weight Squat
Body weight Squat
  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your hands, parallel to the surface, palms facing down.
  • Bend your knees until your hips are below your knee level.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Slowly stand up again.
  • Repeat 15 times.
Side Bend
Side Bend
  • Stand straight with your legs wide apart.
  • Place your left hand on your waist and raise your right hand.
  • Bend sideways towards left. Your right hand should be touching your ear at all times.
  • Slowly come back to the original position.
  • Repeat on the right side.
  • Do this routine 20 times.
Tip: Maintain a straight posture to avoid stress on the neck.
Oblique V-ups
Oblique V ups
  • On a flat surface, lie on your right side with your right hand under your head.
  • Slowly lift your left leg until it makes a 30 degree angle with your right leg.
  • Bring back your left leg slowly into initial position.
  • Repeat 20 times.
  • Switch to left side and repeat 20 times.
Tip: While exercising, wear comfortable clothing.
Regular Crunches
Regular Crunches
  • Lie on your back and place your feet firmly on the ground with knees raised.
  • Now, place both hands behind head for support.
  • Keep the stomach tight and slowly raise the head and try to touch the knees.
  • Now, come back to the original position.
  • Repeat 20 times on each side.
Reverse Crunches
  • Lie in the same position as for a regular crunch.
  • Instead of raising your head, raise your knees to touch the elbows.
  • The head and upper body should be positioned flat on the ground.
Tip: Always exercise on a flat and smooth surface. Use a good mat.
Trunk Twists
  • Stand straight with a distance of one foot between your feet.
  • Twist your waist to the right and try to keep the legs and knees stable, move the left arm in the direction of twist.
  • Repeat the same for the left twist.
Weight Training
There are several weight training exercises which help in building up strength and the size of skeletal muscle. Specialized equipment is used to target specific body parts. But it is generally advised to focus on overall strengthening of your body. Such training must be undertaken in the presence of professional trainers. Also, consult your physician before beginning any kind of weight training.
Yoga, Tai -Chi and Pilates are the best exercises for maintaining flexibility in the body. These exercises generally include stretching and bending which keep our body limber. It also prevents soaring in muscle or joints due to any other exercise.
Yoga Asanas
Yoga postures are a very good option, when it comes to maintaining body flexibility.
Kati Chakrasana
Kati Chakrasana
  • Stand straight with your feet a foot apart.
  • Slowly inhale and hug yourself.
  • Now exhaling slowly, twist towards your right until your left heel is visible.
  • Inhale and return to center.
  • Repeat for left side.
  • Repeat 20 times for each side.
  • Sit straight on a flat surface, hands at your sides, palms testing on surface and legs stretched in front of you.
  • Bend your left knee and place your left palm adjacent to right palm.
  • Inhale and slowly twist your back towards your right.
  • Exhale and come back to the starting position.
  • Repeat with left side.
  • Repeat 20 times for both sides.
Tip: In yoga, the rhythm of breathing is very important. Take slower and deeper breaths.
  • Stand straight with feet wide apart.
  • Raise both hands parallel to the surface.
  • Turn your left heel 45 degrees to the right and your right heel 90 degrees to the right.
  • Align both heels.
  • Slide your right hand along your left leg until your palm touches your feet.
  • Your left hand should be straight above your head, in line with your right hand.
  • Slowly, come back to the initial position and repeat with left side.
  • Repeat 20 times for each side.
Janu Sirsasana
Janu Sirsasana
  • Sit straight with legs stretched in wide V-shape.
  • Raise your hands straight in line with your shoulders. Your palms should be facing down.
  • Slowly bend sideways to your left and touch your left foot with left hand.
  • Come back to the original position and repeat for the right side.
  • Repeat 20 times on each side.
Meru Akarshanasana
Meru Akarshanasana
  • Lie on your right side.
  • Bend your right arm and rest your elbow on the surface.
  • Raise your torso and place your head on your right hand.
  • Raise your left leg, reach out and hold your left toe with left hand.
  • Draw your left leg towards your head as much as you can.
  • Return to initial position. Repeat 20 times with left leg.
  • Change sides and repeat 20 times.
Developed by Joseph Pilates of Germany, these exercises are based on control. Pilates focus on strengthening the core and overall balance of the body.
Balancing the Ball
Balancing the Ball
  • Lie supine and place a small fitness ball between your ankles.
  • Slowly, bend your knee until your legs are parallel to the surface.
  • Raise your head and shoulder to touch the knees and lift your arms to balance this posture.
  • Return to original position.
  • Repeat 25 times.

Tip: You can also use a weight disk or resistance band in place of a fitness ball.
  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Place a small fitness ball between your ankles and point your toes straight.
  • Slowly lift your legs and bend towards yourself until they touch the ground above your head.
  • Slowly return to original position.
  • Repeat 25 times.
Apart from exercise, a healthy diet plan will assist you to cast off the unwanted love handles. You must consult your dietician for the same. In the mean time, make some rules regarding your food habits.
  • Include 3 L or 100 oz liquid in your everyday diet. Prefer water over other sweetened and carbonated drinks. Green tea also works wonders.
  • Avoid intake of caffeine, alcohol, and processed food.
  • Fish oil supplements help in burning fat and also provide necessary fatty acids.
  • Replace lean cut over your usual cut of meat.
  • Never forget your breakfast.
  • Include green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet.
  • Instead of having one grand meal, divide your meal into 5-6 smaller helpings.
There are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. Manage your time well and give at least 4 hours in a week for the well-being of your body. Prepare yourself mentally and exercise self constraint when it comes to high-calorie food items. And remember to have patience. Slowly and gradually, with your efforts you will definitely be able to say, "Good riddance of bulging fat!"
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