Dad Bod

The Ultimate 15-Minute Love Handle Workout Will Blast Your Waist

You can’t spot target fat loss, but this workout can help hide your love handles.

A man doing an ab wheel roller during a love handle workout at the gym.
Exercises and Workouts for Men To Get in Good-Enough Shape

Despite their adorable name, love handles — excess fat around the lower stomach and back — are a source of insecurity and discomfort for many, many people. In fact, this area of the body is among the most popular treatment areas for liposuction. Now, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with having a little extra to hold and to love. But if you do want to get rid of your love handles, we’ve got you covered.

Many attempt to target their love handles with exercise. But unfortunately, reducing fat in a specific body area isn’t realistic. Generally, people lose fat from all over their body when they lose weight. And the areas where you tend to accumulate fat first, like love handles, also tend to be where you lose fat last.

No exercise is going to result in targeted fat loss to get rid of love handles. That said, specific exercises are better than others for reducing their appearance. And, when paired with proper nutrition and stress management, exercise can lead to fat loss in this area of the body.

Building muscle means burning more calories at rest, helping you avoid gaining fat — and helping you lose it. Strength training can also help you build up other areas of your body, like your shoulders and lats, to make your waist appear smaller in comparison. Additionally, strengthening your core will actively engage and tighten your abdominal muscles, gradually leading to a reduction in waist size over time.

So, which exercises should you prioritize to make your love handles less obvious? Julia Schaefer, personal trainer and owner of Aspire Athletics gym in Seattle, recommends the following 15-minute workout to slim down and reduce the appearance of love handles.

Stomach Vacuums

What it works: Abs

How to do it: Pull in your abdominal muscles while exhaling.

Though seemingly simple, stomach vacuums can be very difficult to master. Yet, they have an immense payoff over time.

Note that it’s easier to do stomach vacuums on an empty stomach in the morning, especially when you’re first learning them. If you’re completing the routine another time of day, there’s no need to include them.

How many: 3 sets, 20 seconds each

Stability Ball Pikes

What it works: Abs, hips, quads, shoulders, arms, pecs

How to do it: Begin in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground and your feet on the stability ball. Stack your shoulders, elbows, and wrists in a line. Exhaling, lift your hips toward the ceiling and pull your feet toward your midline. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Inhaling, lower your hips to the starting position.

How many: 3 sets of 8-10 reps, or as many as you can complete in three minutes

Ab Wheels

What it works: Abs, back

How to do it: Start kneeling, holding an ab roller as close to your knees as possible. Roll straight out in front of you, stopping when you reach the natural end of your range of motion. Squeeze your core and roll back to start, moving slowly and focusing on controlling the movement through your core.

You’ll be able to go further forward with time as you get stronger and more familiar with the movement.

How many: 3 sets of 10-12 reps, or as many as you can complete in two minutes

Dumbbell Pullovers

What it works: Pecs, lats

How to do it: Lie face up on a weight bench, feet planted on the ground. Hold a dumbbell at one end with both hands, behind your head. Keeping a slight bend in the elbows, press the weight over your head, until it’s above your chest. Lower the dumbbell back behind your head. Keep your movement slow and controlled.

How many: 3 sets of 8-10 reps or as many as you can complete in three minutes

Dead Bugs

What it works: Abs, back, shoulders

How to do it: Lie on your back, arms pointed toward the ceiling. Bring your knees over your hips, bending to create a 90-degree angle between your calves and thighs. Reach your right arm straight back toward your head while straightening and lowering your left leg toward the floor, until both are parallel with the ground. Hold, then return to start. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.

Make sure you’re controlling the movement through your core, and focus on not letting your lower back do the brunt of the work. Be sure to keep your back flat against the floor throughout the movement.

How many: 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each side, or as many as you can complete in three minutes


What it works: Abs

How to do it: Lie on your stomach and bring yourself up on your elbows, stacking your elbows under your shoulders so that your forearms are parallel. Plant your feet and pull your hips off the ground, focusing on drawing your abs inward. Hold.

Squeeze every muscle in your body as tightly as possible, creating tension to ensure you get as much as possible out of the exercise.

How many: 3 sets, for 30 to 60 seconds each