Team Jillian

November 27, 2012

Help for Love Handles

Q: What kind of exercises can I do to target my "love handles" and get rid of them once and for all?

A: This answer is the same one I have for any spot-reducing question you guys could ask. Both belly bulge and love handles are about excess body fat, not lack of muscle. Crunches and ab exercises are therefore not the solution. The best way to reduce these problem areas is to reduce your overall body-fat percentage, and we all know that that requires diet and exercise.

That said, I'm actually experimenting with different stretches and light isolation exercises for specific areas of the body. These stretches will bring blood, and thus oxygen, to these problem areas — my theory is that the oxidization will help break down the fat. And hey, stretching is always beneficial!

For love handles, try this side-bend stretch in conjunction with diet, exercise, sodium reduction, and 80 ounces of water a day:

Side Bend 
(Do this stretch at least three times throughout the day.)

To stretch the triceps, upper back, abdominals, and obliques.

Here's how you do it: 
Bend to one side while holding your opposite arm overhead, then quickly stretch to the other side, raising the other arm. This drill should be done in a controlled, continuous fashion for 10 stretches on each side of your body.


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