The Best exercise for love handles will be definitely your search if you have been feeding on an unhealthy diet for many years and have led a sedentary lifestyle. The word love handles sound very romantic but believe me all the people who have these are looking for how to lose love handles. 

What are love handles

Love handles are extensions of fat around your waist, most prominently on sides of the waist and on back. Their typical manifestation is muffin top which appears when you wear a skirt or trouser because this excess fat gives appearance of a muffin top over your clothes because of the fat bulging over the clothes. Belly fat and love handles often go side by side.  

Why are they called love handles? Perhaps only a person other than the one having this excess fat will call them love handles. Most probably they are called love handles because during love making, males can hold on to this extra fat. 

a woman with muffin top

What causes love handles

Before we answer what exercises get rid of love handles, it is important you understand a few things about them. Because the best way to get rid of your love handles may not be just exercise alone.

First we need to understand that love handles are extra fat in your body around waist line. Secondly, this is subcutaneous fat which means that it is not deeper in the body. And thankfully it is not as dangerous as the visceral fat which surrounds the body organs. (1)

Love handles are caused by extra fat accumulation in the belly area. And we know the reasons why we get fat. Primarily it is because we do not eat healthy diet and do not move enough. 

How to lose those love handles

Earlier we had written in detail about how to get rid of love handles. Here is a summary of things you need to do to lose your love handles. 

  • Stop drinking sugar-sweetened beverages of all kind
  • Avoid processed food and any foods with added sugar
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Eat more of lean protein like chicken, eggs, fish
  • Increase intake of high fiber diet
  • Make healthy fats part of your diet. 

Now that we have covered your diet part, we now move to workouts to get rid of love handles. 

Best Workouts for losing love handles

We should understand that no workout will be able to just lose fat in the area where love handles are. Science has shown that you can not reduce fat at particular spots in the body by exercising only for those spots. Fat in the body is reduced throughout the body and fat loss from love handles will be part of that. 

So, practically speaking best exercises to burn fat will also best exercises for back fat. Therefore, as a starter, you should follow US Dietary Guidelines for physical activity which state that you should at least do moderate physical activity like walking, cycling, running, jogging or swimming etc for 150 minutes every week.

Simultaneously, you should be lifting weight or doing resistance training for two days in a week. If you are really serious about losing love handles, you should increase the moderate intensity exercise to 300 minutes every week. You can start with brisk walking which is one of the best exercises to burn fat.

When you are searching for ways to lose muffin top, the resistance training or weight lifting is even more important because these will help you tighten your muscles beneath that fat layers of love handles. You should be aware that this is a stubborn fat because when you start losing fat, it starts with visceral fat because probably body knows to get rid of more dangerous fat first. But lifting weight will tone your muscles which will help decrease the muffin top appearance. 

How do I tone my love handles

But it not just cardio exercise that is required. You can tone the appearance more quickly though it will not cause any direct fat loss. The Best exercise for love handles that will tone them include 

  • Bicycles crunches. Try to start with 15 bicycle crunches and then increase gradually to 30. 
  • Side plank hip lifts. Start with 10 and also take the number to 30 gradually. Do planks get rid of love handles? Not directly but these can be used as part of some of the best exercises for love handles. And they surely tone your love handles to improve their appearance. 
  • Russian twists. Target 50 russian twists to tone love handles (25 on each side)
  • Woodchopper. Start with 10 woodchoppers on each side and increase the reps to 20. 

The bottom line

While it is possible to tone love handles by targeted exercise, not even the best exercise for love handles can lose fat in that area directly. 

The best strategy to lose your love handles is to watch what you eat and get physically active. This is the only sustainable way of getting rid of love handles. 


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