The 9 Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Love Handles

Love handles are a particularly difficult area of fat to reduce or get rid of. They are stubborn and are often easier to lose with weight loss. It is not as simple as using abdominal exercises. They sit on and around the oblique section of the hips and abdominal area. Thus, a combination of fat loss and exercising the right areas in the correct ways will help to get rid of love handles. 

Today, we will cover all of the best exercises that will help you lose love handles:

9 Best Workouts to Get Rid of Love Handles

A combination of cardio, muscle training and body-weight exercises is best for reducing abdominal fat. To lose love handles, using a mix of the following 9 exercises in your workout will help you achieve that:

1 – High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The International Journal of Obesity discovered that shorter but more intense workouts, like HIIT, are more effective for targeting excess fat. These workouts will elevate your heart rate, make you sweat, and burn excess body fat. HIIT exercises that will encourage the loss of love handles include: 

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Cardio circuits including jumping rope, high knees, jump lunges, jump squats, and a few of the following exercises in this list

2 – Woodchoppers

Woodchoppers are a great high-intensity exercise that targets several areas of the body, including arms, shoulders, core, and thighs. The explosive range of motion activates the abdominal muscles to strengthen these areas as well as encourage fat burning.

=> Check our best exercises list to burn belly fat

To increase the intensity of this movement simply adds weights such as a dumbbell, kettlebell, or weighted ball. Hold this firmly with both hands to support the weight and perform the exercise by using the following steps.

  1. Stand at a feet-shoulder width distance and raise both arms above your head on the left side
  2. Bring your hands down towards the floor on the opposite side of your body by performing a squat and twisting your torso and hips
  3. Return back to the starting position and repeat 10 times before performing the exercise on the opposite side

3 – Russian Twists

The obliques are the most effective place to target when focusing on getting rid of love handles. This is where the fat sits and moving this area will increase fat burning and tone the area around the hips and waist. 

  1. Start seated on the floor with knees bent and feet hip-width apart 
  2. Lean your upper body backwards at a 45-degree angle, or until comfortable, and keep your back straight 
  3. Whilst engaging your core, twist your upper body to the left and place your hands on the floor
  4. Twist your upper body over to the right and place your hands on the floor
  5. Repeat this movement 10 times on each side

To intensify Russian twists, you can lift your feet off of the floor and/or weight. Make sure to keep your back straight if you choose to use these techniques to prevent injury.

4 – Side Plank Hip Lifts

Another exercise that encourages the reduction of love handles is side plank hip lifts. These require more full-body strength than some core exercises, which means they are ideal for full-body workouts.

  1. Lie down on your right side and prop your entire body up using your right elbow and hand, with your left leg stacked on top of your right foot
  2. Lift the middle section of your body, including your bottom and your hips, towards the ceiling 
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds and return back to the ground
  4. Repeat the side plank hip lifts 10 times on each side

You can boost the energy of this movement through weights, which should be held with the hand resting on your hip.  

=> Have a look on our best exercises to lose back fat

5 – Bicycle Crunches 

Bicycle crunches are a body-weighted movement that targets the upper abs and obliques. The upper body twists are what enhance fat burning and muscle toning of the core during this exercise. 

  1. Lie on your back, lift your legs and then bend your knees to create a table top position
  2. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows bent and lift up your chest up towards your knees by raising your head and neck off of the floor 
  3. Now it is time to form a bicycle motion – start by crossing over your right elbow to your left knee
  4. Whilst in this position, extend your right leg out at the same time
  5. Return back to the starting position and do this on the opposite side to complete both sides of the obliques
  6. Repeat this 10 times on each side

6 – Mountain Climbers

Cardiovascular HIIT movements are very effective for increasing fat loss. Mountain climbers require pace and core strength and when done correctly, these are one of the most efficient exercises for all over fat reduction.

  1. Start in a straight arm and straight leg plank position by propping your body up with your hands and feet
  2. Bring your right knee towards past your stomach to your left elbow, keeping your back and arms straight and core engaged
  3. Return to a plank and then repeat on the other side

Keep your core engaged and pace up throughout this exercise to increase efficacy. 

7 – Standing Oblique Crunches

Standing core exercises, like oblique crunches, are beneficial for getting rid of love handles, as the movements target your lower back and hips, as well as your core. Standing exercises, like this, are great for those who find mat exercises difficult. 

  1. Stand in a straight line with your feet slightly apart
  2. Keep your hands down by your outer thighs and lean over to one side
  3. Whilst keeping your back straight, touch your knee with your fingertips and then return to the standing position 
  4. Repeat on the opposite side, 10 times on each side 

For enhanced fat burning, increase the intensity of standing oblique crunches by holding a weight in each hand. 

8 – Glute Bridges 

Glute bridges work your butt, glutes, and thighs. Love handles sit between your hips and your upper butt area, so the glutes are a great area to work on for reducing love handles.

  1. Lie down on your back flat to the mat and bend your knee, but keep your feet on the floor 
  2. Thurst your bottom and your hips up towards the ceiling until comfortable and hold the glute bridge for 2 to 3 seconds
  3. Slowly lower your back down to a flat position on the mat and repeat 

Add a weight to increase the intensity of the glute bridge, by placing it just below your stomach and hold it in place with your hands.

9 – Squats

Squats are primarily for increasing butt, thigh and glutes muscles. But, they are ideal for targeting the stubborn area of fat that sits around the upper thighs and hips. 

  1. Start in a standing position, feet shoulder or hip width apart and add a slight bend to your knee 
  2. Keeping your back straight and weight on the heels of your feet, bend your knees and lower your bottom down to the floor, as far as is comfortable 
  3. Hold the squat for 1 to 2 seconds and then revert back to standing, then repeat the squat 10 times

An easy way to intensify squats is to add a jump, which will increase fat burning. Or, a weight can be added, either dumbbell, kettlebell, weight or medicine ball. 

As love handles are a stubborn area of fat to get rid of, it is important to combine cardio and muscle training with a healthy lifestyle.

=> Discover our ultimate workout plan to lose weight at home

More General Tips To Get Rid Of Love Handles

According to the British Medical Journal, holding fat in specific areas, like the hips and waist, can cause serious health issues. Medical conditions that can easily arise from excess fat include heart disease and premature death.

The best ways to prevent or combat excess fat if to introduce some lifestyle and dietary changes, such as:

  • Eliminate sugar and processed foods: Foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat are a key cause of obesity, heart disease and other medical conditions. Eliminate these foods from your diet to get rid of love handles and improve your overall health.
  • Replace bad fats with healthy fats: introduce healthy fats into your diet. This includes avocados, cooking oils, fish, nuts, and seeds. Remember to consume healthy fats in moderation to ensure you do not exceed your daily nutrition intake.
  • Increase fibre and protein intake: fibre and protein are key nutrients for improved health. These are foods that do not contribute to gaining weight when eaten in the correct amounts. Foods such as complex carbohydrates, lean meats, and oily fish are great sources of fibre and protein.
  • Cut back on alcohol: alcohol can be very high in calories and can quickly cause weight gain, as well as other medical issues. A good option for cutting back is opting for alcohol-free choices.
  • Move more: increase your cardio activity and make daily goals. A daily step count of 10,000 is an ideal target for any adult.

Improve your lifestyle, physique, and health with these few steps. Getting rid of love handles can be easy with the right attitude, exercise, and diet. 

If you still have some questions or are unsure of the best way for you to get rid of love handles, see below for some answers:


How long until I lose my love handles?

Love handles are a stubborn area of fat to get rid of. It is impossible to see a huge difference in as little as a week. You have to start somewhere and the first week is essential for introducing all of the right exercises. Regular cardio involving HIIT should speed up results. 

Can squatting exercises reduce love handles?

Yes, squats are a great exercise for getting rid of love handles. They work your upper thighs and lower hips, which is where love handles sit. To increase the effectiveness of squats, you can add weights or jumps which will encourage quicker fat burning.

What foods make love handles bigger?

Foods such as sweets, biscuits, chocolate, fast foods, and refined carbohydrates are all contributors to an unhealthy diet and potentially weight gain. Cutting these out or reducing your intake is ideal for reducing love handles and other areas that hold excess fat.

Why is my love handles the last to go?

Stubborn areas of fat are often the last to reduce or disappear. This is due to them being a hard area to target when exercising. Typically, they reduce or go towards the end of a weight loss journey. 

As love handles are a tricky area of fat to target, use this as a guide for the best exercises and lifestyle changes to get rid of them. A combination of these 9 exercises and a healthy and active lifestyle will ensure the reduction of love handles, as well as other stubborn areas of fat. 

Do love handles mean you’re fat?

The bigger the love handles, the higher the fat retention in your body is. However, there are other reasons why love handles appear, including hormonal imbalance, age, lack of physical activity, and others.

Why do I have love handles if I’m skinny?

It is possible that if you have love handles while you’re generally described as skinny, then you have been losing weight in the form of lean muscle mass instead of fat. It is also possible that you have a hormonal imbalance.

For readers that have more questions or comments on these exercises, leave us feedback below.

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