Let us start by saying that love handles are a completely natural part of the body. We all store fat differently, and love handles appear when excess fat is stored around the hips and abdominal area. Now we are not saying that love handles are a bad thing, they are called love handles for a reason – to be loved, and that is exactly how we should feel about every part of our bodies.
There’s a common myth that to get rid of our love handles we need to do exercises that target that part of our body. But that’s not the way our bodies work. You can’t choose where you put on, or lose fat, our bodies decide that. So whilst using a muscle will develop that muscle, it won’t just burn fat in that specific area.
In order to lose your love handles, or indeed your ‘bingo wings’ or belly fat, you need to create a calorie deficit (i.e. burn more calories than you consume). You can do this both through diet (reducing calories) and exercise (burning more calories).
Love handles workout
Here’s a workout with 5 excellent exercises for love handles that burn through the calories and will help you say goodbye to your excess fat if you wish to do so.
After warming up, set a timer for 30 seconds per exercise in the circuit. Do one after the other, no rest in between. Rest for a minute at the end and then repeat twice more. Keep the heart rate up, but make sure you’re still aiming for quality on each exercise.
1. High knees
Run on the spot, keeping your knees high, it’s simple but gets hard pretty quickly, as your heart rate rises, and you burn through the calories.
2. Glute bridges
Lie face up on your mat with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the floor and towards the ceiling until they form a straight line with your knees and shoulders. Make sure to squeeze your glutes and engage your core whilst doing this. Remember no rest between rounds, straight into it! Not necessarily a massive calorie burner, but strong glutes are vital for most of these other exercises, as well as running etc. Plus getting up and down off the floor is great for increasing the calorie burn. If you can do single leg bridges then 30 seconds per leg.
Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep your chest lifted whilst you squat your hips down to the floor. Stand back up straight again and repeat. Squats use big muscle groups which means more calories burnt. And given that muscles burn more calories than fat (even when we’re sitting down, doing nothing) building up our leg muscles will further increase the calorie burn. Don’t worry, you’re not going to get really muscley legs, you’d have to do a loooooot of squats for that. Make them hard enough (e.g. using weights, pulsing or making them super slow) so by the time the buzzer goes you’re ready for a break!
4. Mountain climbers
These are a burner, but worth it! Mountain climbers will get your heart rate up and have you sweating in no time. Get into the high plank position and ensure your back is flat. Keeping your core engaged, lift your right knee and to your right elbow, then return to the starting position. Then, lift your left knee and bring it to your left elbow, then return to starting position. Once you’ve got the move, take the speed up.
Another great lower body exercise that really gets those big muscle groups working. Lunges are also really good for strengthening your body for running, so you’re killing 2 birds with one stone. Keep your core engaged as you move one leg forward in front of the other and bend your knee with your front foot flat on the ground. Your body should lower to the floor.
The Auro app offers a great range of workouts and exercises for love handles as well as overall body fat. Let your pocketable personal trainer guide you through your bodyweight workouts and help you excel your fitness in 2021. Download your workouts on your phone wherever you go. Start your 14-day free trial today!