Lose the love handles with diet and exercise.
Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Love handles are deposits of fat directly over your oblique muscles, which run along the sides of your waist. To burn this fat, you need to eat a little less and work out a little more, but you should also perform some specific exercises to target and tone your obliques. Always spend a few minutes warming up before exercising, and introduce new exercises slowly and gradually into your workout routine to avoid muscle soreness and possible injury.
Try the Side Plank
Side planks are an isometric exercise. This means that while your muscles are generating tension, there is no actual movement. Isometric exercises are held for a specific time rather than performed for a set number of repetitions. To perform a side plank, lie on your side and rest on your elbow. With your legs straight, lift your hips up so your body forms a straight line. Hold this position for 20 to 60 seconds and then rest. Roll over to the other side and repeat. Make this exercise more demanding by resting on your outstretched arm instead of your elbow or raising your upper leg. Make it easier by bending your legs and resting on your knees.
Walk Like a Waiter
Most love handle exercises are fairly static and involve sitting, lying down or standing. The waiter's walk is different; you are, as the name suggests, going to walk like a waiter holding up a tray. Not only does this make for a fun workout, but it will also increase the number of calories you burn. Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and lift it above your head; keep your arm perfectly vertical. Once you have your weight balanced, start walking around your training area. Walk for time or for distance. Swap arms and repeat on the opposite side. Focus on keeping your chest up and your torso vertical at all times. If you don't have the space to walk around safely, march on the spot instead.
Do Saxon Side Bends
Saxon side bends are named after oldtime strongman Arthur Saxon. This exercise is efficient since it works both sides of your waist at the same time. Raise your arms above your head and stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Without tipping forward or backward, lean from your waist to the left and to the right. Perform 10 to 20 repetitions each side. Make this exercise more demanding by holding a medicine ball or dumbbells in your hands. Because of the long levers involved, even a light weight can feel very demanding, so be conservative with your weight selection.
Have a Ball
Russian twists can be performed using a cable machine, sitting on the floor with a medicine ball or lying on a stability ball. Of all the versions, stability ball Russian twists are the most comfortable to perform. Sit on the ball and walk your feet forward until your torso is horizontal and the ball is securely positioned below your shoulders. Raise your arms so they are perpendicular to your body and clasp your hands together. For balance, place your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your butt so your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Keeping your hips level, rotate your upper body and roll slowly onto your right shoulder. Pause for a second and then roll over onto your left shoulder. Continue rolling from one side to the other until you have completed 10 to 20 repetitions per side. Make this exercise more demanding by holding a single dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands. When using weights on a stability ball, be sure that the ball is properly inflated.