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10 Beginner Exercises to Melt Love Handles

Reveal a slimmer waistline with a trainer's beginner-friendly exercises.

Let's be honest: You don't love your love handles. This excess flab that clings onto your hips and belly is a true frustration whenever you zip up your jeans or slip into a more form-fitting outfit. This area of body fat—also called the "muffin top"—can be challenging to lose, but with the right diet and exercise tips and tricks at your fingertips, you'll see the flab melt right off. We spoke with Ronny Garcia, CPT, Blink Fitness, who breaks down 10 of his best beginner exercises to melt love handles. If you're kicking off your fitness journey, these exercises are a stellar place to start.

"These exercises are primarily core and HIIT-focused," Garcia explains. "Core exercises provide stability for the entire body, and HIIT exercises are known for their ability to burn calories both during and after the workout. This is known as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). It boosts metabolism and helps the body continue to burn calories even after the workout is complete. These exercises also engage your entire body, working multiple muscle groups."

Keep reading to learn all about Garcia's 10 beginner exercises for love handles. And when you're finished working out, be sure to read up on these 10 'Wall Pilates' Exercises To Shrink Love Handles.

Russian Twists

woman demonstrating Russian twists

Start Russian twists by sitting on the ground with bent knees. Lean back just a bit, maintain a straight back, and lift your feet off the floor. Twist your torso to the left, then to the right, touching the floor with your hands on each side. Complete 15 to 20 twists per side.

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Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle crunches

Lie down on your back, and place your hands at the back of your head. Lift your legs off the floor, and bend them. Alternate between bringing your right elbow toward your left knee while extending your right leg, and then bringing your left elbow toward your right knee while extending your left leg. Complete 15 to 20 reps per side.



Assume a forearm plank position with your legs extended behind you and your body forming a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the plank for 30 seconds up to a minute. Slowly increase the amount of time you hold the plank as you progress.

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Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers exercise

Start in a high plank, keeping your core tight and your body straight. Quickly alternate between bringing one knee to your chest, and then the next one, as if you're running in place. Aim to do mountain climbers for 30 to 60 seconds.

Side Planks

side plank

Assume a side plank with your elbow under your shoulder and your feet stacked. Lift your hips to form a straight line from your head down to your feet. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds per side.

Leg Raises

leg raise

Lie flat on your back, and place your hands under your hips. Lift your legs toward the sky, making sure they stay straight. Lower them without letting them touch the ground. Complete 12 to 15 reps.

Standing Oblique Crunches

Stand tall, place your feet shoulder-width apart, and position your hands at the back of your head. Lift your right knee toward your right elbow as you crunch down. Do the same motion on the left side. Complete 15 to 20 reps per side.

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Reverse Crunches

reverse crunch

Lie down flat on your back with your hands at your sides. Raise your legs toward the sky, and curl your hips off the ground. Then, lower your legs, making sure they don't touch the floor. Complete 15 to 20 reps.

Side Leg Raises

side lying leg raises illustration

Lie down on one side, and stack your legs. Raise your top leg toward the sky before lowering it. Complete 15 to 20 reps per side.


illustration of burpees

It's time to wrap up with some burpees. Start standing tall, then squat down, place your hands on the ground, and jump both feet back to assume a high plank. Lower your chest toward the ground to perform a pushup. Then, jump your feet up to meet your hands. Explosively jump up, lifting your arms toward the ceiling. Complete 10 to 15 reps.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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