Have you joined the millions of people across America this summer working on their beach bodies? Perhaps, you’ve glanced critically in a full-length mirror and weren’t happy with your reflection. Are one of your problematic body areas your dreaded love handles?
If so, you’re in good company, because it’s an area that most people complain about their bodies. Even with proper diet and exercise, that pesky side fat may be the last to go. It takes some time and determination, but you can reduce your love handles.
Your lower abdomen is a complex system of powerful muscles that give your inner body core its strength. Some of the most prominent muscles in this group include the rectus abdominis muscles, commonly called your six-pack. It also includes your external obliques at your side, which can carry extra fat and form unwanted love handles.
If you ignore extra fatty deposits and allow the pounds to creep on, it will increase your body mass index and put you into the obese category. Recent health statistics say that at least 40 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. What’s even more alarming is that the obesity epidemic also affects many children and teens.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a king’s ransom on a gym membership that you may not use anyway. This oblique-concentrated exercise regimen doesn’t require a bunch of pricy equipment, and you can do these maneuvers at home or outside. For optimal results, you should do this series of exercises at least 30 minutes a day.
The 411 on Sets and Reps
If you are new to the fascinating world of fitness training, some terms may be foreign. Most exercise diagrams will include basic instructions about what equipment you need, how to do the exercise, and how many sets and reps to do. Once you understand the terms, it will make more sense.
Most exercises have a series of steps that progress back to the original position, and that is considered a repetition, usually called reps. A set equals how many times you do the prescribed number of reps with rests in between. Sets and reps will vary according to the exercise program, like the one to reduce your love handles.
Before you start this or any other exercise regimen, talk to your primary healthcare provider if it is right. If you feel any undue pain while performing these exercises, stop at once and rest. Remember to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and take a break whenever you need it.
These weight training exercises can be even more beneficial when you remember to add mindful breathing to them. While you are doing each movement, be aware of your breath and inhale deeply through your nostrils, and slowly exhale through your mouth. This mindful breathing helps calm your mind and boosts oxygen throughout your whole body.
Setting the Stage
You don’t need your neon leotards and headbands like the iconic exercise videos from the 80s unless you’re feeling nostalgic. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that will allow you to move with ease, and you won’t feel restricted. Consider cool, breathable material that will keep you from overheating while you are working out.
To set the mood, why not set your mobile device to play some upbeat tunes as you exercise? Except the Paul Bunyan, most of these exercises are safe for your kids. Just allow plenty of space for everyone to move safely.
Six Ways To Reduce Love Handles and Shred Calories
Are you ready to burn some fat and reduce love handles? It only takes about 30 minutes a day, and you will be pleased with the results. Here are six exercises for you to try to reclaim your obliques and swimsuit body.
1. Russian Twists
Although nobody is positive that the Russians invented this exercise to reduce your love handles, some fitness experts say it was developed to train soldiers in the Russian military. Whatever its origins, Russian twists are ideal exercises for you to strengthen your oblique muscles and lose the extra side fat.
For this simple exercise, you’ll need a medicine ball or medium-sized hand weight. Sit on your exercise mat with your legs bent and both feet on the mat. Stretch your arms straight out while holding the weight or medicine ball.
Now, smoothly lean your upper body down until your back forms a 45-degree angle from the floor. Move your arms side to side as you twist your upper body while keeping your feet from moving. Moving from one side to the other equals one set, and you should aim to do four sets of 15 reps.
2. Making Waves
Sorry, this isn’t your ordinary play with a jump rope. A battle rope is a heavy-duty corded rope used for fitness exercises like this one. They vary in thickness, weight, and length and have a hook that connects them to the wall.
To do the wave, choose a battle rope with thickness and weight that is comfortable for you. Connect your rope securely to the wall and stretch it out on the floor. Stand with your feet in line with your hips and bend your hips and knees into a slight squat.
Now, grab the end of the rope with both hands while your arms are hanging down straight toward your chest. Stand up suddenly and swing your arms above your head while extending your hips and knees. It will make a series of waves in the rope.
Squat back down into the start position and repeat the movement. Do four sets of these with 30-second reps and a 30-second rest in between sets. It won’t take long for you to reduce your love handles with this core-strengthening exercise.
3. Hanging Leg Lifts
Who says you can’t just hang around and reduce your love handles to reveal strong, lean obliques? This exercise combines classic chin-ups with leg lifts. All you need is a vertical pole that is strong enough to support your weight.
The good news is that you don’t have to raise your body as you would in a chin up. Just grab the bar, lift your legs straight out, and support your weight with your arms and torso. Hang for about 5 seconds, lower your legs, and repeat. Do four sets for 20 reps, with rest in between times if you need it.
4. Kneeling Squats
Wouldn’t it be great if every exercise to reduce your love handles were this simple? The principle behind this exercise is tightening your abs and obliques to burn fat and build muscle. You can do it on a mat or the bare floor.
Kneel on the floor with your bottom resting on your knees and your hands resting at your sides. Take a deep breath while you tighten your abs and obliques, hold it for about 5 seconds, and slowly release your breath. Do 1 set in 60-second intervals and see the benefits of this mindful breathing exercise.
Hint: Try this exercise if you suffer from knee pain!
5. Burpee Jumps
You probably know about the classic Burpee exercise from physical fitness classes in high school. It can be modified to work various muscle groups, like this one, to reduce your love handles. The only equipment you need is a comfortable exercise mat that won’t slip.
Stand straight with your feet together in the starting position. Bend your knees and waist until your palms are flat on the exercise mat. Kick your feet backward until your legs are straight out and your toes are bent on the mat as if you were ready to do a pushup.
Kick your feet back toward the starting position, stand straight up, and give a little leap into the air while landing on your feet. Do four sets of 15 reps with a few seconds of rest in between sets if you need it.
6. Paul Bunyan
This unique exercise is an homage to the legendary giant lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. The only difference is that you will be using a sledgehammer instead of an ax, and you will be pounding a rubber tire instead of a tree trunk. For safety and best practices, do Paul Bunyan maneuvers outdoors in a spacious garage with others safely out of range.
Place a large rubber tire on a mat, so it doesn’t slip. Make sure you stand next to it. Raise your sledgehammer in the air and swing it into the tire as hard as possible. You should allow your upper hand to meet your lower hand. Raise the sledgehammer and repeat it. Do 20 reps, switch sides, and do 20 more reps for a total of 4 sets. You may consider wearing gloves to protect your hands.
Final Thoughts on Blasting into High Gear to Reduce Love Handles
Now is just a good time as any to burn fat from your waistline and get healthier. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider first, especially if you have any medical conditions. As you reduce your love handles, you may discover other exciting exercises to tone the rest of your body.