An often overlooked part of the body, the obliques are the icing on the cake for abs. For most of us, we've had too much icing on our cake and have love handles we want to get rid of.
Regardless if you are working on your obliques for the full package, you want to be more athletic, or if you are trying to get rid of your muffin top, the exercises below will help. Of course, not mentioning anything about your diet is just doing you an injustice.
Related - How to Lose Belly Fat
Dietary Tips For Your Love Handles
Look, your love handles have grown because you like food. There's nothing wrong with that.
But what is wrong is trying to out-exercise a bad diet. It really doesn't work.
Sure, you may be able to manipulate some macros to drop some water weight, but you can't sustain the lifestyle you already have without some changes in how much you eat.
Choose nutritious sources of food, ideally, ones that don't come in a box or pre-cooked for you. They are terrible for you, full of sugar, wreck your metabolism, and generally make you feel bad after eating them.
While you can technically eat whatever you want, maintaining a balance between how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn is still one of the main drivers in how your love handles will look.
Below is a small yet detailed list of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates you should try to incorporate more into your diet.
- Cottage Cheese
- Greek Yogurt
- Navy Beans
- Dried Lentils
- Whey Protein
- Real Butter
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Dark Chocolate
- Fatty Fish - Salmon, Trout, Mackeral, Herring
- Full-Fat Yogurt
- Sweet Potato
No, eating fats don't make you fat. Sugars do.
Start cooking 80% of your meals with nutritious foods and enjoy the other 20% of whatever else you like. Have a couple slices of pizza, enjoy some ice cream. Life is about living, so don't give up every pleasure you enjoy.
Just learn to moderate it.
10 Exercises For Your Love Handles
#1 - Crouching Tiger Push-Up
Want to be like the Karate Kid? Now you can.
Start by getting into a push-up position. Do a complete push-up and press your body back. You will be in a deep squat position, just vertical.
Once you've pulled your legs as close to your ribs as you can, straighten your legs and roll your body forward back into a push-up position.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 20.
#2 - Side Plank Crunch
A somewhat advanced move, the side plank crunch packs a punch to the obliques. Start by getting into a side plank position.
Side crunch your knee to your elbow and return to the side plank position.
- Repeat for each side 2 sets of 15.
#3 - Plank Up-Down
For this exercise, get into a push-up position. Next, drop one arm down to rest onto your forearm and follow up with the other.
Now that you are in a plank position, straighten one arm and push yourself back up into a push-up position.
- Repeat for 2 sets of 20.
#4 - Knee Drop
Knee drops work your obliques like a Russian twist. The difference is you are twisting your legs side to side instead of your upper body.
Lay on the ground with your arms extended to your side for support.
Pull your knees up as if you were sitting in a chair. In a slow and controlled manner, drop your knees to one side. Return to your starting position and drop your knees to the other side.
- Repeat for 2 sets of 15.
#5 - Mountain Climber
A great exercise for conditioning and a full body exercise, mountain climbers are fun and require no equipment.
Get into a push-up position. This is your starting position. Run in place, going at a speed you can maintain without compromising your form.
- Perform mountain climbers for 2 sets of 30 seconds.
#6 - Passing the Ball
This exercise works great with a partner. If you do not have one, simply use a wall. You can be seated or standing with this exercise.
Put your back to your partner or wall and work together to pass the ball from your left side and receive it on the right side.
The twisting motion is like a weighted Russian twist. If using a wall, simply tap the wall every time.
- Perform this exercise for 2 sets of 60 seconds.
#7 - Hanging Leg Raise
One of my favorite exercises, hanging leg raises have many variations that can blast your obliques. Instead of crunching your legs straight up to your chest, try to twist and crunch your left knee up to your right pec.
Return to the hanging position and repeat for the other side.
- Do 2 sets of 20.
#8 - Russian Twists
Russian twists are an easy exercise to perform and they put your obliques through the ringer. Sitting in a sit-up position, start twisting side to side.
Add in a weight for added resistance, if needed.
- Complete 2 sets of 30 seconds.
#9 - Kettlebell Swings
You may see kettlebells around the gym and wonder what they are for. Grab one and let's get to work. Stand with your feet about high-width apart, chest up, and shoulders back.
Grab the kettlebell tight, but keep your arms loose. Squat and swing the kettlebell between your legs.
Drive through your heels like a squat and straighten your body. Let the weight of the kettlebell carry the momentum and use your core and body to swing the weight.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 15.
#10 - Medicine Ball Slams
Have some stress or anger to get out? This exercise is just for you.
Grab a slam ball and hold it above your head. Slam the ball straight into the floor, using all of your core to produce the force.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 12.
Dietary changes along with implementing these workouts will melt those love handles away, leaving behind the striations and V-cut you've been working towards.