The sides of the abdomen are one area that many people find hard to target in their workouts. When extra flab begins to build up there, they sometimes take on the nickname of "love handles." In order to get rid of the fat in your love handles, it will take a few spot toning exercises that really zone in on this problem area. In addition, it's helpful to take steps to boost your metabolism and eat the right foods to help burn off the fat more quickly. Read this article to find out some of the best exercises for getting rid of those love handles and building a firmer body.
This exercise works the muscles along the sides of your abdomen known as the oblique muscles. This is the primary area where love handles are formed.
- Lie on your back with your legs flat on the floor in front of you.
- Lift your head slightly and place your hands behind your head like you would for a normal crunch. Don't rest the weight of your head in your hands; instead, use your hands for balance and direction throughout this exercise.
- Swing your right elbow towards the left side of your body. At the same time, pull your left knee in towards your torso. As you do this, keep your right leg straight but lift it off of the floor a few inches.
- Do the same movement but with the opposite limbs. In a smooth motion, bring your right arm back and push out your left leg at the same time as your twist your left elbow towards your right side and pull your right leg in. Throughout this exercise, keep your head and your legs up off of the ground.
- Continue alternating between each side of your body. After 20 repetitions, take a break. Repeat as many times as you like.
This is another great exercise for targeting the oblique muscles and toning up your love handle area.
- Lay on the floor on your right side. Use your right hand to prop your head up from the floor.
- Place your left hand behind your head on the other side of your body. Bend your legs slightly at the knee for stability.
- Bend at the waist and bring your left elbow towards the left side of your torso. Be sure to concentrate on using your oblique muscles to contract your body in this way.
- Slowly lower your body back down without resting on your right arm again at the bottom.
- Continue as many times as you like, then switch and do an equal number of repetitions lying on your left side.
This exercise helps to strengthen your back muscles while also cutting down on the flab that has built up on your lower back and sides.
- Lie down with your stomach on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor either at your sides or straight out in front of your shoulders.
- Lift your head up from the floor so that you are looking straight ahead. Be careful not to push down on your arms in order to boost your head up.
- Keeping your legs straight, lift both legs off of the floor just an inch or two.
- Begin fluttering your legs up and down, alternating which is higher in the air. Keep your legs up to your mid-thighs off the ground throughout this exercise.
- After about 20 seconds, take a break. Repeat as many times as you like.
This is a great exercise that works all of the love handle area, from front to back.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Have your knees relaxed rather than locked. Hold your arms out at your sides.
- Twist your torso to the right. Keep your hips and knees stable and your feet on the ground. As your twist, bring your left arm across the front of your body.
- Twist back to the left, this time crossing your right arm over your body.
- Repeat as many times as you like, continuing to alternate and twist your body in a smooth motion from side to side.
Ways to Maximize Your Love Handle Exercises
Doing these exercises alone won't be enough to firm up your love handle area in most cases. In addition to toning your oblique and lower back muscles, you should also consider doing the following:
- Do cardio exercises three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes. This will help get your metabolism boosted which will help to burn fat off of your love handles. Try jogging, running, kickboxing or anything else that gets your heart rate up. Don't push yourself too fast at first if you are just starting out.
- Eat healthy foods every day. The more you kick out processed sugars, saturated fats and fried or greasy foods from your diet, the quicker those pounds will shed from your love handles. Focus on eating more vegetables and fruits and eating leaner meats.
- Get plenty of water. Your body needs this to function properly and keep your metabolism high. Plus, you'll need it with the increased amount of exercise you are doing.