Why are love handles so hard to lose? Endless crunching and full-body planks alone won’t target that belly fat that sits on your side waist. To lose those love handles, you need to shed fat—and to whittle your waist, you’ll want to follow a strong nutrition plan.
As you burn off that fat, you’ll also want to incorporate twisting exercises that will carve your body into a sexy hourglass physique. Here, celebrity personal trainer Nicole Glor, creator of the NikkiFitness exercise videos, shares her top exercises to help target those unlovable love handles.
Hold a regular plank with arms extended, and then balance on your left foot while bringing your right knee under you toward your left elbow. Keep your hips low to the ground. Return to full plank by placing your right foot back down, and repeat on the other side. Aim for a minute of plank knee crossing.
Side-planks are great for carving your obliques, and holding one leg in the air adds an extra challenge. Plank on your right hand or forearm and lift your left straight leg off the right leg and toward the sky. Lower the right leg and repeat 10 times. Move into a plank on the other side and repeat the single-leg hip raise plank on the other side.
Get into a side-plank on your left forearm. Lift your hips off the floor, lower them to tap your left hip to the floor, and lift again to the plank position. “This works your obliques in an extreme way if you do 20 or more,” says Glor. Repeat the hip taps on the other side.
Get into a side forearm plank or a full side-plank on your right arm. Lift your left arm to the sky and stagger your feet so your top (left) leg is in front. Sweep your left (top) arm toward the mat and “thread” it under your right armpit, reaching for the back of the mat while rotating your hips to face the ground and balancing on your toes. Rotate your body back to a side-plank and repeat 15 times. Then do the same on the other side. You could add a light dumbbell for an extra challenge once you feel comfortable doing this without additional weight.
Get into a full plank on your forearms or hands. Balance on your right toes as you bend your left knee out to the left and toward your left elbow. Return to start. Repeat 20 times, then do the other side.
Do this cardio booster to kick-start fat burning. Start by simulating a jump rope by twirling your hands and using your biceps to move your “rope” while bringing your knees up to belly-button height. Repeat for 20 reps.
Next, hit the deck to do cardio mountain climbers. To work your abs and continue the cardio burn, jump lightly onto the floor on your hands and feet into plank position. Keeping your gaze above your fingers and your hands directly under your shoulders, start “running” your knees in toward the chest one at a time, “climbing” the floor. It’s almost the same as the standing knee hop but you’re holding yourself up with your arms and abs. You could also do this holding a sturdy surface a few feet off the ground if you need to.
This kickboxing-type move will target your sides and those love handles.
Stance: For a left side-kick, put your weight on your right leg with your knee and toe pointing out to the side at 45°.
1. Chamber: Think of the kick in four counts. Count one is hinging at the hip and dropping your right shoulder to the right, firing your core while bending your left leg and bringing the left knee toward your navel.
2. Impact: Flex your foot, straighten your left leg, and kick, making sure to keep your heel diagonally up and toe diagonally down. Visualize this as if your front hipbone (or “front pocket” of your kicking leg) turned down toward the floor, and your “back pocket” rotated up to the ceiling. Look at your foot with each kick to ensure appropriate form. As you kick, drop your opposite shoulder toward the floor. Your obliques will work to get the kick up in the air.
3. Retract: For count three, quickly retract your knee back toward the core and place your foot back to the floor for count four.
“If you find it difficult to align your kick properly, instead of aiming for your opponent’s head, aim for the stomach or knee,” she says. Master the foot alignment first, and then work on the height. Even with a kick aimed at the (imaginary) opponent’s knee, you are challenging your core and backside.