Best Exercises to Lose Love Handles

November 21, 2023 / Workout
Best Exercises to Lose Love Handles

When it comes to toning up the body, love handles are one of those stubborn fats that just refuse to go away. The fat collected around your torso is much quite difficult to lose. However, with the combination of correct exercises and the right diet, one can successfully get rid of their love handles in a matter of weeks. Let’s take a look at the best techniques that can help one lose their love handles.

How to Get Rid of Love Handles

Getting rid of love handles involves a combination of targeted exercises, a healthy diet, and overall lifestyle changes. Keep in mind that spot reduction (losing fat from a specific area) is not entirely possible, so a comprehensive approach is essential. Here are some tips to help you reduce love handles:

lose love handles woman

1- Create a Calorie Deficit for Fat Loss

You want to lower your body fat, the amount of fat your body carries. Healthy goals are 10% to17% body fat for men and 15% to 24% for women. Losing inches around your waist or seeing more muscle definition in your body are indicators you are burning more fat.

  • To lose love handles, you need to create a calorie deficit, meaning you burn more calories than you consume.
  • Track your daily caloric intake and aim to reduce it slightly to promote fat loss.
  • Focus on nutrient-dense foods to ensure you’re getting essential vitamins and minerals despite the calorie reduction.

Calculate your daily calorie intake: Online calculator can help you estimate this based on factors like age, gender, weight, and height.

Metric Imperial
Target Daily Caloric Intake
These calculations are based on averages.

Remember that losing weight too rapidly can be unhealthy and may lead to muscle loss. Aim for gradual, sustainable weight loss by adopting a balanced approach to diet and exercise.

2- Nutrition: Eat at regular intervals

Losing love handles is tricky but not impossible. A lot of it has to do with the diet. You may be exercising a lot, but gulping down those cheese burgers and fries are going to nullify the effects of your exercise. Also if you miss meals, your cortisol levels will increase, which will in turn make you crave for high calorific foods.

The best thing to do in this scenario is to eat a balanced diet with 5 to 6 meals and a gap of 2 to 3 hours between meals. Treat breakfast as the most important meal of the day. Missing breakfast will spike up your insulin level and in turn make you eat more which will cause fat to deposit around your torso.

3- Cardiovascular Exercise:

Increasing your exercise and adding a variety of moderate and HIIT exercise can be a general guideline for helping to increase fat burn.

  • Engage in regular cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling, swimming, or brisk walking. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be particularly effective in burning calories and reducing overall body fat.

4- Strength Training:

Strength training is a crucial element in any fitness plan, especially when aiming to lose love handles and improve overall body composition. Include strength training exercises to build muscle and boost your metabolism.

Design your strength training routine to include exercises that target major muscle groups throughout the body. For example, Alexandra’s 3-day compound workout routine. This approach is efficient and helps burn more calories. If you are considering a more detailed program, learn the basics of push-pull-legs training.

  1. Include Compound Exercises:
    • Focus on compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. These exercises are effective for building strength and promoting overall muscle development.
  2. Examples of Compound Exercises:
    • Squats: Work the muscles in your thighs, hips, and buttocks.
    • Deadlifts: Engage your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and core.
    • Bench Press: Targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  3. Progressive Overload:
    • Gradually increase the resistance or weight you lift over time to continue challenging your muscles. This principle of progressive overload is essential for ongoing strength gains.

Aim for at least two to three strength training sessions per week. This frequency allows for adequate recovery between sessions.While strength training is crucial, combining it with cardiovascular exercise helps create a well-rounded fitness routine.

It’s essential to be patient and consistent with your training routine to see long-term results. If you have any health concerns or pre-existing conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare or fitness professional before starting a new exercise program.

5- Don’t compromise on sleep

Sleep is often underrated. People think that just because they can function with minimum sleep it is not that important. Without enough sleep your body is exhausted and you will find that you are too tired to carry about your day to day activities let alone exercise. Also, without adequate rest, the cortisol levels increase(1), and the effects of that are detrimental to your process of losing your love handles.

6- Cut down on alcohol

If you’re trying to lose your love handles, you should probably do away with those alcohol bottles. Drinking alcohol stores empty calories as a result of suppressing the production of testosterone. Heard of the infamous beer belly, right? Well, it’s the glaring truth of the adverse effects of alcohol.

Drinking alcohol causes fluctuation in your blood sugar levels resulting in the secretion of stress hormones by the body. Actually most of the times when you drink alcohol you end up eating a lot of other unhealthy and high calorie stuff which in turn is directly related to accumulation around the belly area. If you are trying to lose weight, especially around your torso, it is best to limit your consumption of alcohol.

7- Lifestyle

Your lifestyle is closely related to exercise which in turn influences your fitness level. Anyone who has achieved his/her dream physique understands that fitness reflects your way of life. If you consistently dedicate a few hours of your day to exercise you will not only have an athletic built body but you will also learn how to incorporate routine in your life. (7 Steps from Obese to Athletic Body)

love handles man

10 Effective Exercises to Lose Love Handles

Cardio workouts are important to lose fat all over. A minimum of 20 to 30 minute cardio every day is necessary for overall fat loss. Remember, these are general guidelines, and it’s essential to listen to your body. If you’re a beginner, start with fewer sets and reps and gradually increase as your strength and endurance improve. For those more experienced, you may adjust the intensity by increasing the weight or the number of sets and reps.

1- Bicycle Crunch: 3 x 15-20 Reps

Bicycle Crunch

This exercise improves your strength and core stability, and targets your external and internal obliques, improving trunk stability and side flexion.

2- Windmill: 3 x 15 Reps per side

Kettlebell Windmill

This exercise offers a good workout for your obliques, with added benefits for your glutes, legs, and shoulders. Begin with a light kettlebell or dumbbell, while increasing the size of the weight as you progress to make the exercise more challenging.

3- Side Planks: 3 x 30 seconds to 1 minute per side

Side Plank

Those who say that planks are easy have definitely never held that position before. In addition to the original plank pose, there are many variations to the pose that can be practised for targeted fat loss. Side plank dips and side twists can help tone your torso. Perform the plank face down. Now slowly turn towards your left and lift your left arm. Now twist your body inwards. Again, Plan reps and sets till you leave your comfortable zone.

4- Mountain Climber: 3 x 15-20 Reps

Mountain climber

This exercise helps a lot of muscle groups and it sure is very effective in burning a lot of fat in a small amount of time. It works a lot of muscle groups including your arms, back, abdomen, hips, and legs.

5- Hanging leg raises: 3 x 10-12 Reps

Hanging Leg Raises

From the exercises that help lose belly fat and love handles, hanging leg raises are the best of the lot. All you need is a bar. Grab one and just hang just like you used to when you were a kid. You need to flex your abs and slowly raise your feet up, keeping your legs straight in the process. Plan reps and sets till you leave your comfortable zone.

6- Swimming: 3 x 15 Reps


This exercise works the stabilizing muscles on either side of your spine, along with your buttocks and hamstrings. When performing it, try to make the movements on each side as symmetrical and balanced as possible. As you progress, you can speed up the exercise.

7- Dead Bug: 3 x 15-20 Reps

Dead Bug

This exercise is a functional core strengthening exercise that works the lower and upper body muscles. Helps increase your core strength while losing your love handles.

8- Bridge pose: 3 x Hold for 10-30 seconds per repetition

Bridge Pose

If you’re looking to target your love handles and muffin top and at the same time gaining core strength you try the yoga posture bend called Setubandhasana. This pose tones your abdomen and strengthens the spine.

Lie on your back and fold your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms by your sides. Your palms should face the floor. Now lift your pelvis off the floor such that your head and neck are flat on the floor. Holf this pose for 10 seconds. Repeat this for 3-4 times.

9- Twisting Hyperextansion: 3 x 15 Reps

Twisting Hyperextension

This effective exercise helps strengthen the spinal stabilizing muscles of your lower back. A powerful and versatile movement, it improves rotational strength and spinal control and stability.

10- Russian Twist: 3 x 10-12 Reps

Russian Twist

This exercise is designed to improve your spinal flexibility, as well as building strength across your core. As with any movement that twists the spine, be sure to carry it out with good form and control.


Getting rid of love handles involves a multifaceted approach that combines a healthy diet, regular exercise, and lifestyle adjustments. By adopting these strategies, you’ll not only sculpt your waistline but also improve your overall health and well-being. Embrace the journey, stay committed, and watch as your efforts lead to a healthier, happier you.

Posted by
Robert George
Robert, a certified fitness coach skilled in creating personalized exercise programs, excels in offering emotional support and motivation to her readers. As a fitness copywriter and coach, she has inspired countless individuals to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential.