The 3 Best Love Handles Exercises
Have you been trying in vain to lose your side
fat? Check out 3 of my favorite abs exercises that target your love handles.
by Ed Scow, NSCA-CPT (aka The Fit Dad)
- Fitness and Nutrition Expert to the true superheroes - busy Moms and Dads! and Author
of Fat Loss To
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
using one while traveling. I was getting
cabin fever because the conference was in the same hotel I was staying, so I'd eat breakfast, sit in the
conference till lunch, then go back until dinner and then go back to the hotel room after dinner. If
you've ever traveled this way then you know how horrible it can be!
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
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 crunch
variations, twisting and torquing their bodies into weird positions just so they could work those hard to
I 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 obliques, 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
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.
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
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
2) Cross Body Mountain
Climber – This is one of my favorite abs
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 and make you breathe
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 abs, and then bring one knee up toward your chest but point it toward the opposite
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
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, but if you'd rather do it
for a set number of reps, then shoot for anywhere from 10-20 per leg.
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
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 full
body exercise, which will burn more fat and make you stronger all over.
To do 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
To make it easier, spread your feet wide. To make it more difficult, bring your feet closer together or raise one foot off the
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.
I recommend the second option because doing all 3 in a row will
put quite a bit of tension on the shoulders and you don't want that to limit your workout
Either way it turns your regular workout into an effective love
If you found this article and video useful, I'd really
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The preceding article was written by Ed Scow, aka "The Fit Dad". To learn more about Ed's story, click here.
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