Best Love Handles Exercises
I’m not a big fan of going to commercial gyms or health clubs to get workouts done. I think they’re largely a waste of time.
But I recently found myself needing to use one to get in a fat burning workout because I was on the road and needed to get the heck out of the hotel.
Going in I knew what I was going to find and I wasn’t disappointed…or maybe I was. I guess it depends on your perspective.
I saw person after person doing love handles exercises, or at least what they thought were love handles exercises and they were doing the wrong ones.
They were spending all their time on the floor doing ab crunch variations, twisting and torquing their bodies into weird positions just so they could work those hard to reach love handles.
I even saw people working on the abs machines that are supposed to work the love handles, but they’re largely $4000 pieces of junk.
To truly work your love handles, or your abdominal region in general, you’ve got to get out of the mindset that crunches are the one and only way to accomplish losing stomach fat.
It’s simply not the case. In fact, crunches will do little to nothing in terms of burning fat, let alone burning off the love handles.
You need to work a lot more muscle and you need to pick more challenging exercises than what you’re typically used to.
Here are my 3 favorite love handles exercises and a short description of how to do them.
1) Side Plank – This is truly a killer and was recently shown in a study to be far more effective than side crunches at working the love handles. To perform the Side Plank lie on your side with your forearm (lower arm) on the ground and your upper arm straight down from your shoulder. Place your feet one in front of the other, then raise your hips off the floor so your body forms a diagonal line from foot to armpit and the only part of you that’s on the floor is your forearm and feet. Hold for 15-20 seconds then rotate onto the other side.
Once you can get to the point where you can comfortably hold each side for 15-20 seconds you can make it more difficult by raising your top arm straight into the air and your top leg straight into the air. This will make you more unstable which makes your obliques (love handles) have to work all the more harder to keep you from falling over.
Or if you need to start with an easier variation you can bend your legs at the knee and place your knee on the floor that way there is less of your body to support.
2) Cross Body Mountain Climber – This is one of my favorite love handles exercises and not just because it’s great at working the sides of your abdomen but because it’s a great metabolic exercise which is just a fancy way of saying that it’ll kick your butt!
To perform this exercise, get on the floor in the top push-up position so only your hands and feet are on the floor. Brace your abdominals then bring one knee up toward your chest but point it toward the opposite elbow. So if you brought your right knee up first you would bring it toward your chest, then point it toward your left elbow. Extend your leg back to the starting position and immediately bring your opposite leg up to the opposite elbow.
I usually instruct clients to do this exercise for time rather than a certain number of repetitions and it varies from 20 seconds to 40 seconds.
This love handles exercise should be done quickly and explosively so you look like you’re running along the floor…only you’re not truly running because that would look of weird.
3) Push-Up Plank Extension – The plank extension variations are the types of exercises that if you see them done don’t look very hard, but if you do them properly they knock your socks off at their difficulty and effectiveness.
This is not only a great love handles exercise, but a great abdominal exercise and full body exercise, which will burn more fat and make you stronger all over.
To perform it, get down into the top push-up position so only your hands and feet are touching the floor. Brace your abdominals and extend one arm straight out in front of you until it is parallel to the floor. Hold for 1 count, then return to the starting position and repeat with the other arm. Continue back and forth until you’ve completed 6-10 extensions with each arm.
Make sure that you keep your abdominals braced and don’t rock back and forth as you’re extending your arms otherwise you turn a great love handles exercise into a worthless one.
To make it easier, spread your feet wide. To make it more difficult, bring your feet closer together or raise one foot off the floor.
Performing these 3 love handles exercises either before or after your regular workout will take your fat burning intensity up a notch and will help carve a rock hard stomach.
You can add them in a couple different ways. You can do them in a circuit after your regular workout, performing each exercise in a row with no rest between, or you can pair them up with an exercise like squats or push-ups in a superset fashion to give a little extra kick to your workout.
Either way it turns your regular workout into an effective love handles workout.
Have a great day!
The Fit Dad