Love handles can be a hard thing to shake and can make getting dressed for work, or for a special event, a dreaded and stressful experience. There’s nothing to “love” about even the smallest trace of love handles, which can leave you looking a little lumpy when you are wearing your favorite fitted shirts and blouses. Whether you’re post-baby or recently packed on a few pounds after vacation, there are exercises that can help you target your obliques and get rid of the love handles.
Crunch Away the Flab
Lie flat on your side and extend your legs so that your entire body is straight. Hold in your abs. Rest your right arm across your body, so that your right hand is touching your left side. Put your left hand behind your head and point your elbow up toward the ceiling. Use your obliques to power through this exercise. The “Prevention Magazine” website suggests lifting your right shoulder from the floor about 2 to 3 inches, while simultaneously lifting your left leg 12 inches. Hold this position for about 2 seconds to feel the burn in your obliques. Release and return to your starting position. Repeat this workout doing five to 15 reps on each side. Give your muscles a chance to recover by taking a one minute rest every one or two sets you do.
Hit the Pavement
Grab your running shoes, a friend and a water bottle, and hit the pavement for a jog through the park, or your neighborhood. If the weather is unbearable, hit the treadmill. Not only can running help reduce the appearance of love handles, it works your arm and leg muscles to help give you an overall toned look. WebMD notes that a 10-minute jog can help burn at least 100 calories.
Walk the Plank
Side planks can target your obliques and reduce the appearance of love handles. Start this exercise by lying with your face down. Use your forearms to hold up your upper body. For proper form, and to get the maximum benefits from the workout, ensure that your elbows are positioned beneath your shoulders. Turn your body to your left side, still using your forearm to support your upper body, then position your feet on top of each other. Your upper body should be raised slightly off the ground. Put your right hand on your hip, lie flat on your side or place your fingertips behind your head. The “Prevention Magazine” website suggests holding the position for five to 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise on the other side and do eight to 12 reps.
Roll and Curl
For this exercise, you need a stability ball. Get into the push-up position, then place your feet on top of the stability ball. With your hands planted on the floor, bend your knees and roll the ball to the right or left side of your chest. Then, move your legs back and repeat on the other side. Do this workout for 15 to 20 minutes.
- jogging on the beach image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com