Love handles: they are not nearly as sexy as they sound! In fact, anyone who carries this excess side fat knows that its presence can practically ruin the look of a tight outfit AND add unwanted inches to the midsection. Definitely not a look that anyone wants to flaunt!

That said, love handles are actually quite simple to get rid of– all it takes is a healthy diet and a sensible core-toning daily routine. Here are 5 super effective exercises that will help you transform those flabby love handles into tight, toned muscle. For full tutorials, be sure to follow the links below!

  1. Master the Russian Twist

    If you are a bit of a beginner when it comes to working out but want to get rid of those love handles fast, look no further than the Russian Twist, a weighted exercise that leads to speedy results.

    Sit down on your mat with your legs bent at a 150-degree angle in front of you and place your heels directly on the floor. Next, grab a medicine ball (start out light to prevent injuries!) and place it on your side, next to your hip— that’s one rep.

    Repeat on either side 50x. If this exercise feels too easy for you, modify it by lifting your legs up off the mat and crossing them in front of you.

  2. Do a set of oblique crunches

    Ready to make your flabby sides really feel the burn? If so, then it’s time to try the side oblique crunch, a full-body exercise that puts a ton of pressure on that core.

    Get started by shifting to either your left or right side, making sure that your feet are stacked on top of one another. One arm should be at a right angle, with its forearm resting flat on the ground–this is the neutral position. Once you’re settled, place your other palm on the back of your head, so that its elbow points straight up towards the ceiling.

    From there, pick your hip off the ground, taking care that your energy is coming from your core. When done correctly, the arm that is reaching towards your head will curve, and you will feel a deep stretch in your obliques. Breathe out and ease yourself back down to the mat. Repeat 10x on each side.

  3. Pedal away the fat with bicycle crunches

    Get back to basics with a few sets of classic bicycle crunches. Though it may be fairly common obliques exercise, few are able to master the form right out of the gate, so here’s a simple step-by-step to follow:

    Lay with your back flat on the mat and lift both legs into the air about 1-foot up of the ground with your toes pointed, then bring each knee towards your chest. Repeat several times until you feel confident in the motion. Next, place both hands behind your head, with fingertips touching and”pedal.” Each rep requires you to turn shoulder-to-knee as you rotate through the cycle.

    Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.

  4. “Chop” your way to leaner sides

    This lumberjack-inspired oblique workout is just the way we like our exercises— simple yet super, super effective!

    Get started by grabbing that medicine ball that you used in your Russian Twist (again, be sure that you start light!) and position yourself so that you are standing with your feet hips-width distance apart and your knees slightly bent. This is your neutral position.

    Hold the medicine ball level to your torso and engage your core. Next, bend your arms slightly and swing the ball up directly above your right shoulder (it should sit about 4 inches above your head). In the same motion, swing the ball towards your left knee and finish in a medium squat. For the best results, be sure to twist at the waist before returning back to holding the ball above your right shoulder. Repeat 15x on each side.

  5. Perform alternating toe touches

    Finish up your obliques workout by getting on your back for some relaxing (not!) alternating toe touches. Here’s how it goes…

    Start with your back flat on your mat with your toes pointed in front of you, then, simultaneously lift your right leg towards your chest while reaching your left hand to the right’s ankle. Sweep down to the neutral position then repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

    This exercise might seem easy, but it can kick your butt faster than you can say “tight abs!” For this reason, start off simple with 2 sets of 20 reps on each side. 

What we love most about all of these exercises is that you can do them from the comfort of your own home. To get advice from a personal trainer on more side fat-blasting techniques, be sure to watch the video below. Bye-bye love handles!

Do you have some extra side fat you’d like to get rid of? What’s your take on these exercises? How do you keep your midsection lean and toned?