To Lose Love Handles Requires a One-Two Punch

by John Winaby

If we are going to lose love handles or fat from any area on the body it will require not only the right exercises, but also an improved diet. Exercise only helps to firm and tone up the muscles which are beneath the skin; however, a reduction in calorie intake will ensure that the extra pounds you have gained around your waist will be lost.

When it comes to exercising in order to help tone and firm up the muscles around the stomach so that you eliminate the love handles you now have, I suggest doing between 2 and 5 abdominal exercises at least two times a week. Doing this will help to train the muscles and which will improve the appearance of your stomach and waist as you lose the fat.

As I’ve said in other articles, love handles exercises are any exercises that contribute to the reduction of the fat that has accumulated over the oblique muscles and are not specific exercises that focus on or engage the obliques. In other words, walking or jogging could also be called love handles exercises because they also would contribute to fat reduction in that area of our bodies. However, in this article we take a look at a few of the exercises that do focus and engage the obliques and are worth considering doing in order to rid yourself of those unwanted love handles and will contribute to a smaller waist.

1. Basic Crunch Exercise – This works on the wide flat muscle which runs from the breastbone down to the top of the pelvis and is referred to as the rectus abdominis. You need to lie on the floor with your feet apart (same width as your hips) with your your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Now cradle your head in your hands. I prefer to lace my fingers and make sure that your elbows are at least rounded slightly inwards or pointing toward the ceiling. Then tilt your chin just a fraction towards your chest and pull those abdominal muscles in. Now as you curl your head, neck and shoulders up and off the floor exhale through your mouth and remain at the top of this movement for a moment before slowly lowering yourself down once more to the floor. Remember to inhale as you do this part of the exercise.

2. Twist Crunch – This exercise is designed for improving the condition of the rectus abdominis muscle and also the external and internal oblique muscles that wrap around your waist. As with the basic crunch exercise lay on the floor, feet apart and hands behind your head. Then as you begin to raise your neck, head and shoulders off the floor, twist them and your body towards the left breathing out as you do this movement. Hold for several seconds before lowering yourself back down to the floor and breathing in. Now you need to repeat this exercise again but this time you twist your body to the right. When doing this particular love handle exercise make sure that you are not just twisting your elbows but your neck, shoulders and head also. The only way you can really be able to tone and firm up the muscles that surround your waist and stomach is to concentrate as you do each exercise and make sure that you twist your body from the middle with this particular one.

Here’s a tip I learned years ago from a bodybuilder named Franco Columbo. You can use this tip anytime and anyplace. You know how guys sometimes draw their stomachs in to suddenly become like one of those “after” pictures in a before and after contest? Well believe it or not, this is an exercise. Of course it can be very uncomfortable depending on how far you’ve sucked it in and how long you attempt to hold it there. But if you can draw it in to point that is comfortable and hold it there whenever you think of it, you will strengthen the muscles and it will become increasingly more comfortable over time.

Do you ever pay attention to your self talk regarding your physical condition, your routine and/or your diet? Words are very powerful, especially when they come from you. Your subconscious mind is listening and recording every word you say. That is how you created your self image and you are continually recreating it everyday. Begin to praise yourself for anything and everything that you do to make progress. And if for some reason you fail to make any, find something positive to say to yourself. Here’s an affirmation I learned from Denis Waitley you might like to use in that situation. “That’s not like me. I’ll do better next time”.

Also, make sure you are thinking positively. Self talk and thinking go hand in hand. I’m sure you’ve heard the old cliche that you can do anything you set your mind to. So set your mind on your desired result and think about how it will feel to be the you that you want to be. Be determined. Others have done it. Why not you? Why not now?

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