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10 Low-Impact Exercises To Banish Love Handles

Get rid of the stubborn pockets of fat around your waist with these low-impact moves.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Love handles, those stubborn pockets of fat that accumulate around the waistline, can be frustrating to deal with, to say the very least. While spot reduction isn't possible, incorporating targeted exercises into your routine can help tone and strengthen the muscles in the abdominal and oblique regions. I often recommend low-impact exercises as they are gentle on the joints while still providing a challenging workout. That's why I rounded up 10 of the best low-impact exercises for love handles to help you achieve a slimmer waistline.

Incorporate these low-impact exercises into your fitness routine to effectively target and banish those love handles. Remember to pair them with a balanced diet and regular cardiovascular exercise for best results. Always listen to your body and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.

Russian Twists

illustration of how to do the russian twist core-strengthening exercise
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Russian twists engage the entire core, including the obliques, to help tone and define the waistline.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lean back slightly, and lift your feet off the ground. Clasp your hands together, and twist your torso to the right, bringing your hands beside your hip. Return to the center, and twist to the left. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

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Side Plank Hip Lifts

side plank hip dip
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Side plank hip lifts target the obliques and help stabilize the core while strengthening the muscles along the sides of the body.

Begin in a side plank position with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and your feet stacked. Lower your hips toward the ground, then lift them back up. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Complete three sets of 12 reps on each side.

Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle crunches
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Bicycle crunches are a dynamic exercise that engages the entire core, including the obliques, to help sculpt and define the waistline.

Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the ground, and bring your knees toward your chest. Straighten your right leg while bringing your left knee toward your chest, simultaneously twisting your torso to bring your right elbow toward your left knee. Switch sides, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee. Complete three sets of 20 reps.

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Standing Oblique Crunches

Standing oblique crunches target the oblique muscles while also engaging the stabilizing muscles of the core and lower body.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place your hands behind your head. Lift your right knee toward your right elbow while crunching your torso to the right. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Standing Side Crunches

standing side crunches
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Standing side crunches target the obliques and help improve balance and stability.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended overhead. Crunch your torso to the right while bringing your right knee toward your right elbow. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side. Complete three sets of 12 reps on each side.

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Seated Leg Circles

Seated leg circles target the lower abs and obliques while also improving hip mobility.

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your hands placed on the ground for support. Lift your right leg off the ground, and draw large circles in the air, clockwise. (You can also lift both legs off the ground and complete circles with them together.) Reverse the direction of the circles. Complete three sets of 10 reps in each direction on each leg.

Plank with Hip Dips

plank hip dip
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Plank with hip dips strengthens the entire core, including the obliques, while also improving stability and balance.

Begin in a forearm plank position with your elbows beneath your shoulders and body in a straight line. Dip your right hip toward the ground, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the left side. Complete three sets of 12 reps on each side.

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Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers target the obliques and lower abs while also improving hip mobility.

Lie on your back with your legs raised and your knees bent. Keeping your upper body stable, slowly drop your knees to the right as far as you can control. Return to the center, and repeat on the left side. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Toe Touches

illustration of woman doing toe touches exercise
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Toe touches target the upper and lower abs while also engaging the obliques.

Lie on your back with your legs extended toward the ceiling. Lift your shoulders off the ground, and reach toward your toes. Lower back down, and repeat. Complete three sets of 20 reps.

Side-Lying Leg Lifts

side lying leg raises illustration
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This list of low-impact exercises for love handles wraps up with the side-lying leg lift. Side-lying leg lifts target the outer thighs, hips, and obliques, helping to tone and sculpt the waistline.

Lie on your right side with your legs straight and stacked on top of each other. Lift your left leg toward the ceiling, keeping it straight. Lower it back down with control. Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Tyler Read
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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