Love handles, perhaps the most unwanted “guests” in our fitness life. Yet, the name implies love and affection… isn’t it ironic? The correct way to call this area of our stomach would be “the obliques”, these are muscles situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. This is an area that is often left behind or underdeveloped in many workouts that only focus on the center muscles.
Getting rid of the love handles depends mostly on lowering our fat levels. For this, a good diet plan and an aerobic routine are essential! There is no such thing as “spot toning”, and you CAN’T reduce love handles just by doing stomach exercises. So drop that myth and you’ll be on your way on getting rid of the love handles.
There are many ways you can start an aerobic routine including: aerobic classes, running, jumping jacks, aerobic DVDs, workout programs, fitness site subscriptions and more. It’s all about raising your metabolism! Choose a fat burning aerobic activity that better suits your needs and you truly enjoy.
After completing your fat-burning session, you can start performing some stomach exercises to loose love handles. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
The Bicycle Maneuver / Twist Crunches
This is a great dynamic exercise that will work your obliques and the rectus abdominis. As an extra note, this exercise was determined by researchers of San Diego University as the exercise that triggered the most activity on the stomach. Here’s how you can prove it yourself:
1. Lie on your back, knees bent.
2. Place your hands behind your ears, and slowly lift your head up. Do not use your hands to rest your head on them.
3. Twist your torso to the right, and at the same time bring your right knee to your left elbow. Extend your left leg without touching the ground.
4. Now, in “bicycle pedaling motion”, repeat to the other side, this time extending your right leg.
5. These two movements are one repetition, and you must complete 20 repetitions, or start with what you feel is right for you.
This is a great exercise that includes a wide range of movement, making it perfect to work the oblique muscles and raising your heart rate. Here’s how to do it:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, in a relaxed and firm position.
2. Twist your torso to the right while extending your left arm to the right also. The movement must be on the torso and must not involve the legs.
3. Now twist your torso to the left, now extending your right arm.
4. Do 100 repetitions, keeping 100% control of the movement.
The Side Plank
The side plank is an excellent isometric exercise that adds serious strength to your obliques. It may be somewhat hard to do at the beginning so do it at your own pace, but do it regularly.
1. Lie on your side, keeping one feet on top of the other and your forearm firmly planted on the ground.
2. Now, lift your body, resting only on the forearm and the foot touching the ground. Your body should look stiff and straight, forming a “plank”.
3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, or until you can. Then slowly come back down.
4. Repeat 3-5 times.
Extra Tips on How to Lose Love Handles
- A great way for dropping serious pounds and losing love handles is regularly practicing a sport. If you hate repetitive exercises this is a great solution. Even playing basketball outdoors with your children will help!
- Don’t forget about exercising the rest of your body. The more muscle mass you have, the faster the excess fat will melt away.
- Love handles might have something to do with our genes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get rid of them! It just means we have to work harder to reach our goal.
- Finally, work on your mindset. Our mindset is our best tool to reach ANY goal in life. Sure, there will be some difficult times but persevere! You’ll come out stronger.
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