Can’t Get Rid Of Your Love Handles? Here Are 4 Moves That Can Help
Doing curls will enhance biceps. Doing squats will shape your booty. Planks can strengthen your abs. But, what about love handles? “‘Love handles’ are areas of the body which may store fat around the hips and abdominal area,” says Lauren Vickers, athletics team manager at F45 Training in Sydney, Australia. She explains that a more prominent appearance of love handles could be a result of many things, such as
- genetic makeup (where fat is more likely to be proportioned around your body),
- individual habits (how physically active you are, your caloric intake and sleep schedule),
- and hormone imbalances or health conditions.
Vickers says there’s good news and bad news when it comes to working out this specific area of the body and trying to reduce its size. “Minimizing overall fat mass in the body will reduce the size and appearance of love handles, however, we, unfortunately, cannot target fat loss or ‘spot reduce’ fat in certain areas,” she says.
“With a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise, you are more likely to lose weight in even proportions all over, resulting in a leaner looking midline.”
In terms of toning, Vickers offers her favorite F45 core strengthening exercises as well as movements classified as functional resistance movements (a.k.a full-body burners). “Regularly incorporating some of these into your workout routine will help build strength all over as well as a strong core,” she says. “This, in combination with a healthy diet, is more likely to lead you to a toned physique.”
Get ready to fall in love with these exercises.
Medicine Ball Lateral Lunge to Woodchop
- Start with ball in both hands by your shoulder
- Step one foot to the side flexing the knee to perform a lateral lunge
- Follow through with the ball to this same side and bring the ball to the outside of the knee
- The goal is to simultaneously contract the core and glute muscles
- Push up the lean leg to a standing position and return the ball to your shoulder
Dumbbell Sumo Squat to Overhead Press
- Take a wider squat stance than usual with your toes pointing slightly outward, holding two dumbbells down in front of you
- Send your butt back and down to lower into a sumo squat, taking the dumbbells towards the floor and aiming for around a 90-degree angle at the hips
- Squeeze through the glutes as you come back to standing, simultaneously curling the dumbbells up and pushing them overhead
- With control, come back to the starting position and repeat
Medicine Ball Russian Twist
- Sitting with your butt on the ground, knees bent and holding a ball in front of you close to your chest
- Lean back until you’re at a 45-degree angle with the floor, scoop your lower abs, cross your ankles and lift both feet off the ground so you are balancing on your bottom
- Rotate the ball from side to side so that it is just touching the ground on each side before lifting the ball up and rotating to the other side
*Pro-tip: To make this exercise a little easier you can place your feet on the ground
Side Plank Hip Taps
- Lay on your side, propped up on your elbow
- Breathing steadily and bracing the core, raise the hips so that your body is in one long, straight line from head, to shoulders, to ankles
- Take little pulses to gently tap the lower hip to the floor, keeping control the entire time
- Make sure you switch halfway through the set to work the other side
Pro tips: To make it harder, you can slightly lift the top leg and extend the top arm up towards the sky. To make it easier, you can bend the bottom leg for a little more stability
Now that you’ve strengthened all parts of your abdominals, including your obliques, for a toned waistline and a stronger back, glutes and shoulders: remember to incorporate these exercises regularly in your routine!