Despite the fact that having love handles means there’s more of us to love, most people don’t like having them. Not only do love handles make it hard to wear tight clothing without them being noticeable, but they can also indicate certain underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
“Fat can accumulate anywhere in the body, but there are certain factors that increase the likelihood for retaining fat in the hip, lower back, and abdominal areas. Factors that contribute to love handle formation include:
- hormones, especially too much cortisol
- age (belly fat accumulation is particularly common as you get older)
- lack of physical activity
- diet high in fats, sugars, and high-calorie foods
- sleep deprivation
- undiagnosed or untreated conditions that slow down your metabolism (hypothyroidism — or underactive thyroid — for example, makes it difficult to burn off extra calories)” – healthline.com
Luckily, you can get rid of side fat by doing certain exercises consistently, and also eating a diet full of fresh, natural foods like fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. In this article, we’ll go over how you can get rid of side fat with just 5 exercises. Let’s get to it!
The 5 Exercises That Melt Side Fat
With a hand weight of your choosing, stand with your feet hip-width apart and place the weight in both hands above your left shoulder. Then, twist your body toward your right hip as if you’re chopping wood (hence, the name of this exercise!) Pivot your feet and knees as you twist. Then, bring the weight back up to your left shoulder and repeat for 20 reps. Switch to the other side and repeat for 20 reps.
2. Russian Twists
Most of you have probably heard of this exercise. You’ll definitely feel your abs burning after this one! To perform it, sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lean your torso back at a 45 degree angle. Get a dumbbell, and hold it on each side. Then, lift your feet up, and either cross them at your ankles or leave them side-by-side. Put all your weight in your butt for balance. Then, twist your torso to the right and touch the dumbbell to the ground. If this isn’t possible, simply reach as far as you can to your right side without losing your balance. Then, repeat on the left side, and keep twisting back and forth until you’ve done 50 reps. Make sure you keep your feet off the ground and your torso leaning back.
3. Side Plank Hip Lifts
The only weight you’ll need for this exercise is your own body weight! Get into side plank position with your elbow, legs, and hips flat on the ground. Keep your body in a straight line and raise the lower half of your body up into a side plank. Lower your body and repeat for 15 reps, and then do 15 on the other side.
4. Bicycle Crunches
Ah, yes, another exercise that seems to be in all the ab videos, and for good reason! Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground and simultaneously move your right elbow toward your left knee until they meet. Quickly switch to the other side so that your left elbow meets your right knee. Continue this as long as you can, but aim for 30 reps.
5. Heel Touches
Yay, you’ve made it to the last exercise! These are fairly simple to do. Just lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and arms out by your sides. Then, raise your chest toward the ceiling, and bring your right hand down toward your right heel. It’s okay if you can’t touch it; just reach as far as you can. Bring your arm back up, and then bring your left arm down toward your left heel. Repeat for 15 reps on each side.
Note: Do each of these exercises for three circuits at least three times per week.