Love Handles: The Real Way To Get Rid Of Them
Love handles. Strange name, right? No matter what cutesy names you call them, no one really loves those rolls of flab that pop over the waistband of your jeans and ruins the sleek line of fitness clothes, clingy sweaters, and tailored shirts.
“Love handles are one of the most common reasons people exercise and hire a personal trainer,” observes certified trainer Jason Keigher CSCS, CPT, who works with clients in New York City. It’s often after an ab workout consisting of thousands of crunches that frustration finally leads people to get help from a fitness pro.
“Most people think that doing crunches will get rid of love handles, but they are misinformed,” Keigher says. When done properly, crunches do tone muscles, but the problem is, love handles don’t contain an ounce of muscle. They’re fat, and to burn fat you need a healthy diet and a rigorous cardiovascular program, he explains.
Work your body correctly, and you will certainly see results, says Sylvia Nasser, a certified personal trainer on Long Island, NY.
Getting Rid of Love Handles: The Right Strategy
Nasser recommends an overall plan for 30 to 45 minutes of cardio three to four times a week, strength training (including the exercises below) two to three times a week, and a day of rest every week so your body can rebuild muscle. She emphasizes that using a variety of cardio approaches will be the most effective — don’t just stick to only the elliptical or just a few spinning classes.
Getting stuck in a cardio routine can lead to a plateau. Instead, you want to keep challenging different muscle groups. She’s also a fan of high-intensity interval training programs to burn fat, instead of working at the same steady pace throughout your workout. On the treadmill, for instance, alternate two minutes at your usual pace with 1 minute at a faster speed.
Your initial goals will be weight loss and trimming down the fat. Once you’ve done that — or at least made significant headway — you can start to tone the muscles underneath your love handles. As you burn fat and increase your metabolism through building muscle, that extra padding will eventually go away.
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Before you get started, Keigher has a caution for women who may have a diastasis, a midline split in the abdominal muscles around the bellybutton, usually a post-pregnancy problem. First, check with a doctor and a trainer for ways to correct the diastasis and then get their go-ahead to do this type of ab workout.
Don’t forget to incorporate ab strengthening moves, such as bicycle crunches and side planks. If you have any questions about the right way to perform ab moves, be sure to consult with a trainer.
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