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How to Get Rid of Love Handles



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Increasing muscle definition in your side will take more than some side crunches, but it’s doable.

Javier Sánchez Mingorance / EyeEm / Getty Images

Water wing. Spare tires. Muffin tops. Cupcakes. People have all sorts of weird and, unintentionally or not, condescending names for body parts that they are not satisfied with. I could write a very separate story about why we should ditch all those icky monikers, but the fact is, people are nicknamed it or not, people want to change the look of those parts.

Love handles in particular seem to have aroused collective hatred. People want them gone, whether their motivator is intrinsic or extrinsic. However, most people approach this goal the wrong way because they think they can target body fat directly on their side. Unfortunately, losing weight does not work that way, but you can still lose love handles with these tips and exercises.

Read more: The best home fitness equipment to buy in 2021

What love handles really are

Let’s start with a little bit of anatomy. What you call love handles is the body fat on top of your obliques, the core muscles that run from your ribs to your hips. Many people struggle to lose the body fat that is on their obliques and get frustrated when it bulges over their waistband.

The easiest solution is to go up a trouser size, to be honest. But if you want to get rid of love handles for health reasons, like reducing your risk of heart disease, or just to have more confidence in your body, you certainly can – just not with crunches on the side, as many people think.

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Body fat that bulges over the waistband of pants is commonly referred to as “love handles.”

Nicole Lienemann / EyeEm / Getty Images

As a reminder, spot reduction does not work

Look, no matter how many side crunches you do, you won’t lose love handles without a constant calorie deficit. Losing body fat is a game of numbers – a simple game calories in, calories outAny health professional will argue that the source and quality of your calories matter, but ultimately a calorie deficit is a calorie deficit. And a surplus is a surplus.

When you’re in calorie surplus or even maintenance, you’re not losing fat on your side or anywhere else. An excess makes you gain more over time, and maintenance calories keep you right where you are.

To lose body fat, try to stick to a well-rounded exercise schedule that is inclusive weight training exercises as well cardiovascular exerciseWhile strict diets are not necessary for weight loss, losing weight does require some attention to your diet. It is essential to know approximately how many calories you are eating and burning each day changing your body composition

Best exercises for the obliques

All of the above said, you can strengthen your obliques to create a more chiseled look. Core strengthening exercises cause muscle growth in your abdomen, and a calorie deficit helps you lose body fat (the fat under your skin) that is subcutaneous hard-earned muscles below.

You will find that many of these exercises are compound movements instead of core isolation exercises. This is because compound movements (exercises that use more than one joint or muscle group) have more muscle fibers and burn more calories than ankle joint or isolation exercises.

Side shelves

If you thought regular planks were tough, wait until you tried a side plank. This isometric core exercise challenges your entire abdomen with a focus on your obliques. Your arms, shoulders, and upper back also work to stabilize your body.

Try this: Do three sets of a 10 second side plank on each side. Every week, increase the time by five seconds until you can get one minute on each side.

Farmer’s bear

Deceptively simple, the farmer’s tote will burn your arms, back, and core. It is good practice to bring in all the groceries at once.

Try this: Use two kettlebells or dumbbells that are challenging, but not impossible, that you can hold for 30 seconds. Wear the weights for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times. For an added oblique challenge, try a one-arm jack and focus on keeping your torso aligned.

Hang dead

The dead hang activates your latissimus dorsi (“lats”, or the muscles you use during pull up), which is not an oblique muscle, but part of your core and affects the appearance and functioning of your abdomen.

Try this: Hang from a bar for three sets of 10 seconds. Over time, work up to sets of 30 seconds. To engage your abs more, tuck your knees toward your chest or as high as you can.

Mountain climbers

A classic nuclear movementmountaineers activate your obliques along with all of your other core muscles. The key is to do your reps slowly, rather than a high-intensity interval workout. Slow reps are more conducive to strength, while fast reps are more conducive to cardio.

Try this: Do three to five sets of 10 to 20 mountain climbers. Practice bringing your knee all the way to your elbow. Rest between sets if necessary.

One-armed front stretch squat

Ready for a serious core challenge? You should add one-arm squats to your front stretch to your routine. Each type of squat engages the core, but putting weight on just one arm is a unique challenge. This move forces your obliques to work extra hard to keep your upper body aligned so your lower back doesn’t suffer.

Try this: Using a kettlebell or dumbbell that is challenging but not too heavy (you should be able to hold it in the front stretch position without folding forward), perform three sets of 10 squats, shifting the weight to the opposite arm after five reps .

One-armed overhead press

Similar to the one-arm squats above, one-arm overhead presses force your obliques to engage more than usual due to the offset weight.

Try this: Do three sets of 10 reps and switch arms after five reps. Make sure to choose a weight that is challenging, but that you can push up without arching your back.

Wood chops

This functional yet advanced movement can lead to major strength gains in your core. Rotation is such a fundamental movement pattern, the risk of injury is high due to weakened core muscles that are not used to rotate or support the spine during that movement pattern.

Try this: Preferably under the supervision of a professional, practice slow and steady repetitions. Aim for three sets of five reps in each direction, resting as needed.

More training advice

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.


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