The love handles are an affectionate name for one of the most annoying and stubborn parts of the body. It’s the section at the side of your stomach that just doesn’t seem to disappear, no matter how hard you try.
It’s likely the type of exercises you’re doing that’s stopping the love handles from disappearing. Cardio and crunches just aren’t going to be enough. You need to work for the specific muscle groups.
Not to worry, though. You can get rid of your love handles in 14 days. The exercises that I have right here will help you target the specific groups that cause your problem. You’ll burn the fat and tone the muscles at the same time. Are you ready for a slimmer, toned body?
This is a full 14-day workout. You’ll want to do it every single day for the next 14 days. You can do other exercises around it, and I will cover some ideas and tips for your diet after the exercise program.
- Side plank – 10 seconds
- Side bends – 15 reps
- Russian Twists – 20 reps
- Side plank – 15 seconds
- Side bends – 20 reps
- Russian Twists – 25 reps
- Side plank – 20 seconds
- Side bends – 25 reps
- Russian Twists – 30 reps
- Rest day
- Side plank – 25 seconds
- Side bends – 30 reps
- Russian Twists – 35 reps
- Side plank – 30 seconds
- Side bends – 35 reps
- Russian Twists – 40 reps
- Side plank – 35 seconds
- Side bends – 40 reps
- Russian Twists – 45 reps
- Rest day
- Side plank – 40 seconds
- Side bends – 45 reps
- Russian Twists – 50 reps
- Side plank – 45 seconds
- Side bends – 50 reps
- Russian Twists – 55 reps
- Side plank – 50 seconds
- Side bends – 55 reps
- Russian Twists – 60 reps
- Rest day
- Side plank – 55 seconds
- Side bends – 60 reps
- Russian Twists – 65 reps
- Side plank – 60 seconds
- Side bends – 65 reps
- Russian Twists – 70 reps
Now that you have your workout plan for the next 14 days, it’s time to make sure you perform the exercises just right. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each exercise to work on the right muscle groups.
Getting the Side Plank Right
You’ve likely heard of the normal plank. This is a variation of that to work on the oblique muscles. It’s one of the most effective workouts and there are different versions that you can do depending on your abilities.
Start by lying on your side with your lower arm tucked under. Your elbow should be between chest and shoulder height, acting as the first point of your side plank. The second point is ideally your feet.
Raise up onto your elbow, keeping a straight line from elbow to feet. If you can’t hold this position, you can lower onto your bottom knee, keeping the upper leg straight. You end up with three points of contact doing this, but it will help you strengthen the oblique muscles.
When you can, move into the full side plank. You can also raise up onto your hand instead of your elbow. This will add more stretch and require more strength in both the arms and obliques.
Raise your upper arm into the air, pointing straight to the ceiling. This opens your chest but is best done when you have stability. Your upper arm can be a good support if you find yourself rocking forward in your side plank.
Do the exercise on both sides for the time stated. You can start with the side plank on one side, do the other two exercises and then finish on the other side. It’s completely up to you how you do the three exercises together.
Making the Most of Side Bends
Side bends require you to start from standing. You need to have your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side. Lower your body to the side, so your right arm attempts to touch your right foot. Only bend at the waist. Don’t twist your spine or bend from any other part of your body.
Raise yourself back up into a standing position to complete one repetition.
You will want to do the exercise slowly. This will help you strengthen the muscles better, as you force yourself to engage more. Doing the exercises quickly will help you use the momentum of the movement to do all repetitions, and you cheat yourself out on solving your love handle problem.
As you find the exercise easier, you can add a dumbbell on each side. This will help to add more weight as you pull yourself back up.
Completing the Russian Twists
Russian twists are an excellent way to work the side muscles, and you can increase the difficulty as you get used to the exercise.
Start by sitting on the floor with your feet in front. Draw up the knees, so your heels touch the floor and then sit back slightly, creating a 45-degree angle around your hips. You will need to engage the core muscles as you do this. The Russian twists will work on your abs as well as your oblique muscles.
Put your hands at chest height and twist while in the crunch position. Twisting to the right and then the left is one repetition of the exercise.
If you need to make it harder, you can get a medicine ball or dumbbell. Twist to move the weights to your sides and then return to the middle. Another option is to raise your legs off the ground slightly. This forces your core to hold more of your weight throughout the exercise.
What Do Your Rest Days Mean?
You’ll notice that you do have three rest days during the 14-day program. This doesn’t mean you get to slouch in front of the TV and eat your weight in chocolate! To get rid of love handles effectively, you need to do a mixture of both cardio and weight exercises.
Your rest days just rest from your bodyweight exercises. It’s best to use these days to get some cardio in. There are different types of cardio that you can do. Some of the most effective for love handles are swimming or rowing. The two exercises work all the muscles in your body and will sculpt everywhere.
You can also opt for running, jogging, or walking. The choice is up to you. Make sure you do a cardio exercise that you enjoy.
Some people will pull out exercise DVDs or opt for gym classes. You can also opt for circuits or dance workouts. Doing something you enjoy will help you stick to your routine, even after you’ve finished the 14-day workout. The routine will be good for you in the long run.
You can also do some of the cardio on the days of your other workouts. Just a 30 minutes swim at the end of the workout to stretch out the muscles or enjoy a 30-minute walk with your friends to burn off some extra calories.
You will want to keep one of the rest days as a pure rest. Your body will need some time to recover. While you can opt for a swim or walk, don’t push yourself to burn more calories. You want something that will help to stretch your muscles, boost your happy hormones, and make you feel good.
Burn the Fat Calories with the Right Diet
It’s not all about your exercise plan. If you want to lose the love handles, you will need to go on a diet. It’s all about creating a calorie deficit to burn the calories in the fat.
The great thing about dieting with an exercise plan is you encourage the metabolism to take calories from the fat. The muscle calories are easier to take and the body will take them first, especially in the short term. When you build the muscle, you force the body to take the calories from the fat instead. This means the love handles will start to disappear.
You want to eat so that you consume 500 fewer calories a day than your body needs to burn. So, if your body burns 2,000 calories a day, you’ll want to eat 1,500 calories. This helps to create an effective and healthy calorie deficit. You won’t lose the weight too quickly, which makes it easier to sustain in the long term.
500 fewer calories a day is 3,500 calories a week. This will equate to about a pound weight loss. For a short time, you may be able to reduce your calorie intake by more to help lose extra weight quicker. Whatever you do, don’t eat less than 1,200 calories a day. This is the bare minimum that your body needs to survive throughout a day. If you continue to eat less than this, your body’s metabolism will slow, and you put yourself at risk of many health problems.
Moving On After the First 14 Days
If you continue to follow the above exercise plan forever, you will find that you get bored. To help maintain and continue toning your love handles, you’ll want to add a few extra exercises to your routine. You can also remove some and add new ones.
Switch your side plank holds to hip lifts. Rather than just holding the plank, you lower your hips to the floor and then raise them back up. This is something to do when you’re holding the plank from your toes and not your knee. Do up to 25 hip lifts on each side, to begin with. You can then work your way up to doing more.
You can also do planks, but do up-downs instead of just holding the position. Up-downs involve moving from your elbows to your hands and then back to your elbows. The tricky part is to keep your core and hips stationary, as it’s very easy to twist them to make the up-downs easier. Do up to 50 of these.
The bridge is an excellent hold when you want to add a quick extra exercise in. You lie on your back with your knees bent and feet firmly on the floor. Keep your hands by your hips and engage the core. Raise the hips off the floor, creating a straight line from chest to knees. You’ll need to work the butt muscles to hold the position.
You have two options with the bridge. You can either hold the position for 10 seconds and then work your way up in 5-second increments like you would with the side plank or you can do bridge lifts. The bridge lift is very simple: you lower your hips to the floor and then raise them back up again, holding for about 5 seconds with each raise. You’ll want to work your way up to 50 lifts for best results.
Finally, it’s the bicycle crunches. These will work your whole abs, improving your core and your posture. Start in the Russian twist position, but with your hands at your ears. Lift the feet off the floor and pull your left knee towards your chest while you straighten your right leg. Twist your body, so your right elbow touches your left knee. Go back to the starting position and then repeat on the other side. This is one repetition, and you want to work up to 50 repetitions for the day.
It’s Time to Get Rid of the Love Handles
The initial program will help you reduce your love handles within a 14 day period. You’ll see and feel the difference in your oblique muscles. As you continue, and in one new exercise at a time. Don’t forget to change the order of the exercises you do so you don’t get bored.
And remember that it’s not all about exercise. You need to change your diet, creating a calorie deficit to help you lose weight. After all, your love handles are fat!