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Lose those Love Handles: Ball workout


Possibly an over-adoring wife who later changed her mind, coined the name “love handles”.  Nothing to love here. Most of us just wish we could squeeze them to oblivion with anything but love! Many actually do try to do this by doing every kind of side crunch imaginable. Of course, just doing a move for a couple of muscles won’t melt it away in that exact spot. You probably have heard the famous saying “abs are made in the kitchen”. True. If you don’t feed it, it won’t store it. Another helpful truth, that makes me less hungry quite frankly, is “no oblique stands alone”.  Your sides are clearly connected to a front and a back, so learn to visualize this as a girdle, and work it as such. My following routine is a love handles melter that respects the obliques (located around the love handles) as part of a muscle girdle. It also not only uses internal and external obliques in flexion but also in challenging stabilization. Try this!

Lose love handles

Pike on the ball: works the whole “girdle”

  •  Roll out to push up position
  • Initiate the movement by engaging the deep abdominals gently
  • Pull glutes to the ceiling with straight legs
  • 3 SETS OF 8
  • This will work obliques along with deep abs (transverse) and outer abs (rectus), low back and shoulders, too
Lose love handles

Stabilization: Leg lift

  •  Place ball beneath ankles, turn feet out and keep them relaxed, body in check mark position.
  • Engage deep abdominals to stabilize the ribcage while you lift legs off the floor
  • 8 COUNTS OF 8 both sides
  • René’s Tip: Think of your abs as a shock absorber for the move. The better you stabilize, the deeper you work = more melting of love handles! Also relaxing your knees will give improved inner thigh work to the lower leg.
  • This will work obliques with glutes and thighs
Lose love handles

Flexion: Demand more than a side crunch

  •  In the same position, initiating the move in the center, bring the elbow to the thigh, thigh to elbow.
  • Lead through the center, not the neck
  • Flex the ribcage toward the hip and then extend it far away as you drop the legs. Keep the spine in the same plane all the while.
  • 4 COUNTS OF 8 both sides


This routine is really effective, as it includes many muscle groups outside the obliques. As I say often in class, I would never make you do this for nothing! This will get blood flow going around the hips and shoulders, strengthen thighs and glutes, as you work the whole “girdle”. So tighten your girdle, and hopefully those love handles won’t be feeling the love anymore!


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