To Top

Top 10 Effective Workouts for Love Handles

A flat and well-toned abdominal region is a desirable physical characteristic that might seem impossible to achieve if you are dealing with stubborn love handles. Despite their enticing name, love handles are not visually appealing, loveable, or easy to handle. While they may be stubborn, they are not impossible to get rid of. 


Unfortunately, most people believe they can get rid of their love handles only. Fat spot reduction is a myth, so you will not get results from focusing on abdominal exercises. You need the right balance of exercise and good nutrition to permanently get rid of your muffin top.


Read on for the most effective foods and exercises to get rid of love handles.

What are Love Handles


Love handles is a common term used to describe the excess fat sitting on the side of the waist. The fat is above the hips and accumulates because of fat retention around the abdominal area. They are also referred to as muffin tops because the love handles assume the shape of a muffin in a case.


What Causes Love Handles?


Before discussing how to get rid of this development of fat, it is important to understand what causes them. Love handles are stored fats around the abdomen region. They come about when you consume more calories than you can burn. 


The body is forced to convert the extra calories into fat, which it stores in the abdominal region. While fat can accumulate in different body parts, fat is commonly stored in specific areas of the body, like the hips, abdominal area, and lower back. Therefore, a poor diet is the main cause of love handles, especially when you opt for fast foods and sugary drinks with high calories and empty calories that don’t fill you up. 


However, some factors influence body fat distribution and can contribute to love handles. They include:


  • Age- as you get older, your body composition changes, and there is a higher likelihood of developing love handles. The older you get, the more your muscle mass decreases while the accumulation of body fat increases. Thus, it could lead to more fat accumulation around the waist and hips. Besides the loss of muscle mass, there is a hormonal shift as we age. Women get reduced levels of estrogen, while men suffer a reduction in testosterone which further encourages weight gain.


  • Hormones they serve as chemical messengers and help the body regulate body processes. Insulin, growth hormones, leptin, and sex hormones can affect your body’s metabolism, appetite, and fat distribution. When your hormone levels fluctuate a lot, they encourage body fat accumulation.


  • Physical inactivity- if you are not physically active, you will not be burning as many calories, and thus, fat could accumulate in your body. This is true, especially if you are eating high-calorie foods and not engaging in physical activity.


  • Low-quality sleep and stress- when you are stressed or sleep deprived, the body releases cortisol, a glucocorticoid that could boost your appetite, affect metabolism, and cause your body to store more fat. Cortisol is a metabolic hormone that encourages fat storage around the tummy region. 


  • Medical condition- some medical conditions like hypothyroidism, if untreated, encourage weight gain and could be the cause behind your love handles. 


Risks Associated with Love Handles


While love handles aren’t dangerous, the accumulation of body fat in the abdominal region increases your health risks of suffering from:


  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiometabolic conditions
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease


What Not to Eat


If you are working on losing your love handles, you should watch what you eat. Remember, you cannot out-train a bad diet. So, keep away from foods high in calories and sugars. These foods include:


Packaged foods- most packaged foods are heavily processed and don’t have nutrients like fiber, which help prevent weight gain. Therefore, they are high in empty calories, and they increase insulin levels in your blood after consumption, which encourages the conversion of the food into body fat which might be stored in your abdominal region


Sweetened beverages and sugary sweets- eliminate any sugary sweets, treats, or beverages from your diet if you want to lose your muffin top. Added sugars don’t provide any nutrients. They offer high calories that encourage weight gain. 

Top 10 Effective Workouts for Love Handles


While you cannot reduce fat in a specific spot around your body, exercises can help get rid of love handles. A combination of weight lifting and cardio can aid weight loss and eliminate fat. 


Below are the names and instructions of 10 workouts to try:


1. Bicycle Crunches


These are great exercises to try that will help tone your midsection and waist. They also help with stability, flexibility, and coordination.




Lie flat on your back.

Lift your legs and bend your knees.

Contract your abdominal muscles as you twist your left elbow toward the right knee as you extend your left leg.

Do this 15 times.

Switch and do the same on the opposite side.


2. Back extensions using a barbell


This exercise will improve the strength and stability of your spine. It also will help with balance and range of motion for your lower back.




Tightly hold a barbell on your upper back.

Ensure the bar is resting on your traps. Align it with your shoulders.

Hinge at your hips.

Brace your core- instead of bending your back.

Slowly bend forward but don’t bend your torso too far.

Raise yourself back up with your body parallel to the bench.

Repeat 12 sets.


3. Plank


Planks help improve your posture, get rid of back pain, and also help with flexibility and coordination.




Lay facing downwards on your belly.

Prop your forearms, toes, and head as you face the floor.

Keep a straight line as you engage the abdominal muscles and stay parallel to the floor.

Maintain the position for 30 seconds or a minute.

Return to the floor.


4. Mountain climbers


This exercise is great because it uses muscle groups throughout your entire body. Doing mountain climbing will strengthen your arms, back, shoulders, legs, and core.




Assume a plank position.

Bring your left knee to your chest while your right left remains extended.

Hold the position for a few seconds.

Switch the leg in a swift movement, so the right knee is up by your chest.

Be careful and ensure you distribute the weight evenly. Avoid shifting your weight to one foot.

Repeat 30 sets. A set is complete when you bring both knees to the chest.


5. Deadlift


Deadlifts, your core’s favorite exercise! Deadlifts can reduce lower back pain, improve jump performance, and activate your core. They are among the best exercises for training your hip extensors.




Stand with your feet close together.

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and allow it to hang by your side.

Tighten your core, lean forward, and lift your left leg or the same side of the body holding the dumbbell.

Lower the dumbbell as low as you can while keeping your back straight, neck aligned with the spine, engaged core, and chest up.

Keep the left arm holding the dumbbell close to you to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your back.

Hold for a whole for one count.

Tighten your core, and lower your left, then return to standing.

Do 5 reps and switch the dumbbell to the other hand. Repeat the process for a total of 10 reps.


6. Abdominal scissors


These are great to try to strengthen your core.




Lay on your back.

Place your hands on your sides or under your glutes.

Extend your legs and keep them straight.

Cross the legs over each other and alternate them without letting your legs drop to the flow.

As you cross your leg, ensure you engage your core and that your lower back is firmly pressed against the floor.


7. Side planks


This exercise strengthens your core without stressing your back and can help improve your balance.




Lie on one side and use one arm to support yourself.

Place one leg on the other to form a straight line.

Raise your hip from the ground and maintain the position for 30 seconds or a minute.

Repeat on the other side.


8. Woodchoppers


This exercise is great for strengthening abdominal and back muscles.




Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Raise your arms above the head on the right side.

Bring down your hands on the left side and do a squat as you twist your midsection and hips.

Repeat several times and do the same on the opposite side.


9. Russian Twists

These are great at strengthening your core, obliques, and spine.




Assume a seated position.

Lean back slightly and bend your knees.

Twist your torso towards the right and hold your position.

Then switch and turn your torso to the left and hold.

You can add a weight to increase the difficulty and do 30 reps.


10. Cardiovascular exercises


You will need to lose overall body weight to get rid of love handles. Therefore, you need to do a variety of exercises, including cardio. Exercises like running, jogging, or cycling will help burn calories and eliminate love handles.


You can also try dancing as part of your cardio routine. For example, the twists and turns in belly dancing involve a lot of movement for the hips and abdomen and can help you lose calories around your abdominal region. 


Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Get Rid of Love Handles


Besides the above exercises, you can adapt some simple lifestyle changes to get rid of love handles. First, ensure you drink enough water. When your body is well hydrated, it reduces the chances of fluid retention, which could make your love handles bulge more.


Second, replace sugary foods and alcohol with more nutritional food. Sugary food and alcohol encourage love handles as they are high in empty calories. Instead, opt for healthy food and a balanced diet to keep you fuller for longer and avoid excessive calorie consumption. 


Focus on eating more healthy fats like nuts, avocados, and seeds. Healthy fats will leave you feeling full for a long time and reduce the calories you consume, helping you lose body fat. Also, load up on fiber-rich foods to slow digestion and reduce the calories you consume to help lose weight. 


Third, ensure you get quality sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep will increase cortisol levels, which can promote weight gain. Aim for at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. 


Lastly, focus on being more physically active and moving a lot. Walking, running, or jogging works on the whole body and helps burn calories, which will help burn fat around your abdominal region. 



Wrapping Up


You can manage your love handles by conditioning workouts and nutrition. So, ensure you eat healthy foods rich in fiber and fats to keep you fuller for longer and reduce your calorie consumption. We have highlighted exercises that can help get rid of love handles. Remember, spot reduction is ineffective, so you might want to do a full workout, including cardio and strength training, for better and faster results.





Instantized Creatine- Gains In Bulk

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in advice