The Russian Twist
Tone down your love handles with the Russian twist, which is a classic workout for toning the abdominal area can be very effective when done the right way.
Lie down on the floor and tuck your feet under something heavy and immovable like a barbell. You can also have a friend hold your legs so that they don’t move.
Bend your legs at the knees. Pull up your torso, so that your upper body makes a ‘V’ with your thighs.
Keeping your back straight, clasp your hands together and extend your arms so that they are perpendicular to your torso.
Take a normal breath and twist your torso to the right on the exhale until your arms are parallel to the floor.
Breathing normally, hold the position for a beat and swing back to the starting position on the exhale.
Repeat the motion, twisting your torso to the left side and back.
Beginners should start with 10 twists only. Gradually increase the frequency to 2 or 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
As the endurance of your body builds up, you can also hold a weight (medicine ball or weight plate) in both the arms for variation.
Oblique reach is a simple exercise that works your entire midsection, focusing especially on oblique muscles.
Lie on the floor with your back straight and bend your knees to a 45-degree angle.
Start with your hands behind your head.
Inhale deep, reach your right hand toward the side of your right shin and crunch.
Exhale slowly while going back to the starting position.
Repeat the similar step with your left hand and left shin.
This completes 1 cycle. Do 10 such reaches when you are beginning, and increase up to 3 such sets of 10 reaches each from your right and left hand.
Note: Aim to keep your pelvis still while doing this exercise.
Side planks are great for abdominal as well as thigh muscles, but this variation will truly make an impact on the persistent folds of fat on the sides of your belly.
Lie on the ground on your side with your legs straight and on top of each other.
Place the lower elbow (of the side you are using to lie on the floor) on the floor, directly underneath your shoulder.
Align your head with the spine and push up your body with the support of your lower elbow. Hold your body in the position.
Place the upper arm at the back of your head. Crunch to your lower side on a deep inhale.
Exhale slowly, and get back to the starting position.
Do this 10 times on each side, and that completes a set. Start from 1 set a day, and gradually increase to 3 sets.
Method 4: Lunge with a Side Twist
lunge with a side twist
Lunge with a side twist is a great core exercise to get rid of love handles. It will also build lower body strength and balance.
Stand with your feet apart.
Step forward with your left foot out into a lunge position.
Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and clasp your hands together in front of your chest.
Twist your upper body to the left, moving your arms in tandem with your torso. Also, make sure that you don’t twist at your knee.
Now get back to the original position and move the upper body to the right side.
This completes 1 repetition of the exercise. Start from 10 such reps and build your body the strength to carry on 3 such sets.
Start without weights on your hands. You can then carry weights in the form of a medicine ball, weight plate, or dumbbells, when your body has built up enough strength.
cardiovascular exercises like cycling
Cardio is the classic way to burn excess fat. Choose the exercise that you can stick with or keep up with a variety for the sake of change.
Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, cycling, running, and jogging are a great way to burn the excess fat stuck on your waistline.
Duration of 30 to 40 minutes of such activities per day for 4 days a week can help you get rid of love handles.
You can try each of them for 10 minutes a day, or you can maintain different days for different activities.
Controlled breathing rate during such activities is essential. Maintain a steady breath.
Do not exhaust yourself completely. It’s not necessary to carry on all the activities in a stretch. Give your body a rest when needed.
diet for love handles
The right diet is almost as important as exercise when it comes to making an attempt to tone down abdominal muscles in the body. You should never skip meals and starve your body as your body will require sustenance to keep up with your new workout regime.
Apart from a diet rich in fiber, protein, and other vital nutrients, your diet should include food rich in antioxidants as they reduce inflammation, which results in lesser fat storage in the body.
Also, go for slow and complex carbs that will take longer to process in your gut, keeping you feel full for longer. Some obvious pointers include avoiding saturated fats, processed sugars, and excess of caffeine and sugars in your diet.
Here’s a list of foods that you should stick to:
Upgrade your classic healthy oatmeal and go for oat bran for breakfast as it is packed with healthy protein and fiber. Swap your regular cereal with shredded wheat as it is rich in fiber and contains zero sugar.
Sweet potatoes are slow carbs and will keep you full for longer. Black beans are another filling food with low fat and high fiber content.
Go for protein-packed lean meat such as chicken and turkey. Also, tuna is considered the best option in fish when it comes to weight loss in the belly region.
Eggs are another great source of protein. Instead of frying the eggs, have them boiled or poached.
Yogurt is a great dairy food, provided that you’re not lactose intolerant. It will feed the gut flora and help keep your digestion on the right track.
Opt for brown rice instead of white. Black rice is an even better option as it is replete with fiber and antioxidants and contains less sugar.
Include lentils, chia seeds, quinoa, and chickpea in your diet. Replace the generic pasta with chickpea pasta to get double amount of protein, almost half the amount of carbs and 8 times more fiber. Give sprouted bread a try or cook a meal of quinoa.
Ditch the unhealthy dips and bring guacamole into the fray. Eat it as a salad; scoop it up with corn tortilla chips or use as a healthy sandwich spread as avocados are high in fiber and heart-healthy monosaturated
Go for low-calorie filling snacks packed with protein, fiber, and other vital nutrients. Munch on frozen green peas, almonds, walnuts, crunchy pumpkin seeds, or tiger nuts. Pumpkin seeds are great for muscle build-up. Tiger nuts are actually tubers that make them a great alternative for people with nut-allergies.
Include fresh fruits and leafy greens in your diet. Go for organic spinach, kale, watercress, and purslane. Apples, pears, plums, and berries are good choices for fruit consumption. Raspberries, in particular, are considered nutritional powerhouses.
Keep your body hydrated with fruit-infused water, which gives you the best of both. Another healthy drink option to have white tea. It boosts lipolysis or fat breakdown in the body; blocks formation of fat cells boosts liver’s ability to transform fat into energy.