How To Lose Love Handles: 11 Best Exercises & Tips!

“Love handles” is a common name that refers to the body fat that lies on top of the hips. Despite their simple nature — it’s just subcutaneous fat above the hips — love handles seem to have garnered a collective hatred. Many people dislike love handles and aim to get rid of them to increase muscle definition on their belly and sides.

One way to get rid of love handles is through diet and exercise. People who want to lose weight should focus on eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. Cardio exercises, such as running or biking, are particularly effective at burning calories and reducing body fat.

love handles exercie

What are Love Handles?

“The term “love handles” first appeared in the late 1960s. It refers to any weight that may have accumulated around the sides of an individual’s waist. This weight may also be visible extending over the edge of their pants or skirt.

“Muffin top” is another term people may use to describe body fat that extends above the edge of their waistline. The term references the shape of a muffin in a muffin case.

Both “love handles” and “muffin top” are commonly used terms to describe excess weight around the waistline. These terms are typically used to describe overweight or obese individuals.”

As a reminder, spot reduction doesn’t work 

It doesn’t matter how often you work out your side muscles, you won’t be able to get rid of love handles without a calorie deficit. Losing body fat is all about numbers — a simple equation of calories in versus calories out. Any health professional will tell you that the source and quality of your calories do matter, but at the end of the day, a calorie deficit is a calorie deficit. The same goes for a surplus.

If you want to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. You can achieve this by either eating less or exercising more. A combination of both is ideal. Strength-training exercises help build muscle, while cardiovascular exercise burns calories and fat. While there is no one specific diet that works for everyone, paying attention to your eating patterns is essential to losing weight. Knowing how many calories you eat and burn each day will help you create a deficit and lose weight.

What Is the Best Exercise to Get Rid of Love Handles?

Although you can’t specifically target body fat reduction around the waistline, there are a few things you can do to help promote weight loss. A combination of cardiovascular exercises and weightlifting can help. Additionally, you can try incorporating exercises that target specific areas of the body, such as the hips and abdomen. While these exercises won’t remove fat directly from these areas, they can help improve muscle tone and contribute to weight loss.

1. Bicycle Crunches

exercises for love handles

Bicycle crunches are a great way to tone your abs and reduce overall belly fat. To do them, lie flat on your back with your legs lifted and knees bent. Then contract your abdominal muscles and twist your right elbow toward your left knee while fully extending your right leg. Repeat on the opposite side, 15–30 times.

2. Side Plank Leg Raises

exercises for obliques

Start by lying on your side with your elbow down and forearm perpendicular to your torso, and place your right hand behind your head. Brace your core, then lift your hips and knees off the floor. Keeping your waist level with the rest of your body, bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow, then return to the starting position.

3. Side Crunches

love handles exercise

Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent, one leg on top of the other, and place your right hand behind the head. Lift your torso and squeeze the obliques. Lower your body back to the floor, repeat, and then switch sides.

4. Russian Twists

russian twist

The Russian twist is a great way to work your abs and improve your core strength. To do the Russian twist, start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent. Then, twist your torso to the left and hold for a few seconds. Next, twist to the right and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this 30 times. If you want a challenge, try holding a weight while you do the Russian twist.

5. Cross Body Mountain Climbers

best core build exercise

Come into a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Bring your right knee in toward your left elbow, keeping your abs and obliques engaged the whole time. Return to the starting position, and then repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of as many reps as possible.

6. Sledgehammer Overhead Strikes

Sledgehammer Overhead Strikes

To grab the sledgehammer, put your left hand on the bottom and your right hand near the hammer. Raise it above your head and over your right shoulder, and then bring it down toward the center of a tire, like you’re chopping wood. To switch sides, put your right hand on the bottom and your left hand near the hammer instead.

Sets: 4
Reps: 20

7. Hanging Leg Raises

hanging leg raise

Grab a bar and just hang. Flex your abs and lats, and slowly raise your feet up to the bar, remembering to keep your legs straight.

Sets: 4
Reps: 20

8. Deadlift


Deadlifts are effective at building strength in your lower back and legs.

The first thing you need to do is stand with the bar above your feet—your stance should be narrower than shoulder-width. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and bend your knees until your shins touch the bar. The bar should remain above the middle of your feet. Next, keep your shoulder blades directly over the bar and pull it up, keeping it close to your body. Once the bar passes your knees and thighs, lock your hips and knees.

Sets: 4

9. Jumping Burpee


Start standing with your feet together. Bend at the knees and waist and place the palms of your hands on the ground. Kick your feet backward so that you are in a plank position. Kick your feet back in, stand back up, and immediately jump in the air. Land on your feet.

Sets: 4
Reps: 16

10. Cross Crunch

best oblique exercise

Cross crunches are a bodyweight ab exercise that helps build core muscles and tone your oblique muscles.

To do them, place your hands in front of your head and lift the upper portion of your torso using only your stomach muscles. Many people use these belly fat exercises exclusively, but by adding a few more exercises to your routine, you’ll get more out of your workout.

11. Cable Side Bend

cable machine to reduce love handles

The cable side bend is simply a variation of the side bend typically performed using dumbbells. It’s utilized to build the oblique muscles of the core, which gives the midsection a more aesthetic appearance and helps to create the V-taper look. 

Chief Components of a Behavioral Weight-loss Program

1. Calorie Reduction:

Your calorie goals should take into account your daily activity level and how many calories you need to consume in order to maintain your weight. You can create a deficit of 500-1000 calories by reducing your intake and increasing your physical activity. You can do this by practicing portion control, and reducing your consumption of calorically dense foods, such as those high in fat and sugar. Finally, increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are typically lower in calories and higher in nutrients.

2. Cardio

Love handles are a type of excess fat that can accumulate around the waistline. To get rid of love handles, you need to do cardio exercises such as running, cycling, and swimming. Cardio exercise is high-intensity training in which your caloric expenditure increases, helping you to burn fat as fuel. We recommend an overall plan for 30 to 60 minutes of cardio three to four times a week. In addition to cardio, strength training exercises two to three times a week can help tone the muscles around the area, and a day of rest every week allows your body to rebuild muscle.

How many exercises you should do to get rid of love handles?

There are a lot of different exercises that you can do in order to work out your love handles. But for this workout, we’re going to focus on four or five exercises. Do three sets of 12 to 16 reps for each exercise, and take a 45-second break in between sets or exercises.

What did these obliques and side belly exercises do?

Oblique exercises can, however, help enhance the definition of the waistline as you slim down with regular cardio and dieting. Core exercises including balance ball crunches, cable twists, cable wood chops, medicine ball Russian twists, planks and side planks all help develop strength and muscle tone in the exterior and interior obliques. Enhanced tone provides visible muscle definition, and toning yields strength. Stronger obliques contribute to abdominal and spinal stability and can help prevent injury.