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5 Best At-Home Workouts To Shrink & Tone Love Handles

Sculpt a slimmer waistline with these productive home workouts.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Love handles, the stubborn pockets of fat around the waist, can be a challenging area to tone and are a common concern among my clients. However, with the right at-home workouts, you can target this area effectively, helping you achieve a slimmer waistline. I've designed the following five at-home workouts to shrink love handles and tone this part of your body.

These routines are chock-full of a range of exercises designed to shrink the excess fat surrounding your waist. Incorporate these workouts into your fitness regimen, maintain a balanced diet with an emphasis on protein, and eat in a calorie deficit to see noticeable results over time. Consistency and dedication are key to seeing positive results over time. Read on to learn all about the best at-home workouts to shrink love handles, and when you're done, don't miss People Swear by the 30/30/30 Plan for Weight Loss: 'Completely Changed My Body'.

Workout #1: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Circuit

HIIT workouts boost your metabolism and burn calories, leading to overall fat loss. The targeted twisting and bending movements in these exercises engage the obliques, effectively trimming and toning love handles.

1. Russian Twists

illustration of how to do the russian twist core-strengthening exercise

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and lift your feet off the ground. Holding a weight or simply clasping your hands together, twist your torso to touch the ground on each side. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

2. Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle crunches

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your legs off the ground, and bring your right elbow toward your left knee while straightening your right leg. Repeat on the other side, creating a bicycle pedal motion. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

3. Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers

Start in a plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Bring one knee toward your chest, then switch legs in a fast, running motion. Keep your core engaged to maximize the impact on your love handles. Complete three sets of 30 seconds each.

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Workout #2: Pilates Side Plank Series

Pilates emphasizes core strength and stability. The side plank series specifically targets the obliques, promoting love handle reduction by toning and strengthening the waistline.

1. Side Plank with Hip Dips

side plank hip dip

Begin in a side plank position with your elbow directly under your shoulder. Lower your hips toward the floor, then lift them back up. Repeat on one side before switching to the other.

2. Side Plank with Leg Lift

side plank leg raise

Maintain the side plank position. Lift your top leg toward the ceiling, engaging the outer thigh. Lower the leg back down, and repeat on each side.

3. Side Plank with Twist

side plank with rotation

Begin in a side plank position. Engage your core, and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels. Incorporate a twist by reaching your free arm underneath your body and toward the floor. Return your arm to the starting position, completing the twist. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

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Workout #3: Cardio Dance Workout

Cardio dance workouts are an enjoyable way to burn calories while targeting love handles. The dynamic movements engage the core, promoting fat loss in the waist area.

1. Standing Oblique Crunches

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your knee toward the opposite elbow, engaging your obliques. Repeat on both sides in a fluid, dance-like motion. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

2. Hip Swirls

hip circles

Stand with your feet apart and your hands on your hips. Circle your hips in a controlled, circular motion, engaging the entire core. Change direction after three sets of 30 seconds, then repeat.

3. Can Can Kicks

Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your right knee toward your chest while keeping your left foot firmly on the ground. Extend your right leg straight out to the side, kicking it diagonally across your body. Swing your right leg back to the starting position, bringing your knee back toward your chest. Repeat on the left side. Complete three rounds of 30 seconds on each side.

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Workout #4: Oblique-Focused Strength Training

Targeted strength training builds muscle and increases calorie burn. These exercises specifically work the obliques, reducing love handles by toning and defining the waist.

1. Side Plank Hip Lifts

Start in a side plank position on your elbow. Lower and lift your hips while maintaining the plank. Switch sides, and repeat. Complete three sets of 12 reps on each side.

2. Wood Choppers

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight with both hands. Rotate your torso diagonally, bringing the weight toward the opposite hip. Return to the starting position and repeat on both sides. Complete three sets of 12 reps on each side.

3. Supermans

illustration of superman back extensions exercise

Start by lying face down on a mat with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight. Inhale, and engage your core as you simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground. Your body should resemble a "flying" position. Hold the lifted position for a brief moment, focusing on contracting your lower back muscles. Exhale, and slowly lower your arms, chest, and legs back down to the mat. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

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Workout #5: Yoga for Love Handles

Yoga promotes mindfulness and body awareness. The stretching and twisting movements in these poses target the love handle area, enhancing flexibility and encouraging overall fat loss.

1. Triangle Pose

Stand with your feet wide apart. Reach toward one foot, keeping your legs straight. Repeat on both sides. Hold the pose for up to two minutes on each side.

2. Boat Pose

boat pose exercise

Sit on the floor, leaning back at a 45-degree angle. Lift your legs and arms, forming a "V" shape with your body. Hold the position, engaging your core. Maintain the pose for up to two minutes.

3. Tree Pose

tree pose

Start in a standing position with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Shift your weight onto your left foot, grounding it firmly into the floor. Lift your right foot, and place the sole against the inner left thigh, toes pointing down. You can also position it on the inner calf if maintaining balance is challenging. Bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position, or extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Hold the pose for up to two minutes.

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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