No matter how well we eat or how much we exercise, many of us have certain parts of our bodies which just seem to refuse to lose fat.
For a lot of guys, that's the waist and lower back area. No matter how lean the rest of their physiques are, they're left with love handles. Accomplishing the goal of eliminating your love handles isn't easy; you'll have to be disciplined and put in hard work. You also can't just cue up the perfect workout and expect immediate results. Spot reduction, the idea of performing certain exercises to directly target and area of fat, is a myth. You'll need a more comprehensive strategy for success.
This is the simplest, most obvious point of focus, but it cannot be overstated, says Cavaliere. Even if you think you're doing everything right with your meal plan, like following the keto diet or adopting intermittent fasting, the fact remains: if you're consuming more calories than your body is working off, then you won't be able to burn the fat in those stubborn places like your love handles.
Don't Give Up Early
"We might want to get rid of that fat in the lower abdomen and the love handles, and maybe the lower back, but remember, we don't get to choose," says Cavaliere. "The body stores fat in a very particular way, especially in men. You lose it first in your face and neck, and the last place it comes off is the abdomen and the love handles and the waist... You have to persist, knowing that this is the pattern that we lose fat. It will go away, just a little bit more slowly."
Don't Just Train Your Abs
Straight forward-and-back moves like situps and crunches will train the abs (and by abs, he means your six-pack muscles, the rectus abdominis). But as Cavaliere points out, working your obliques through rotational exercises will help to create the definition that you're looking for once your body fat starts to go down.
Exercises like bicycle crunches and Russian twists might lead you to believe you're training your obliques, but the standard versions of these moves don't actually involve sufficient rotation of the body to activate the obliques.
When performing a bicycle crunch, Cavaliere recommends slowing down and twisting the entire body on each rep so that your elbow reaches the opposite knee, rather than letting the arm do the work. "It seems like a small point but it holds all the difference," he says.
Try the Stick Twist
This exercise, performed with a bar, pole or broomstick behind your shoulders, fixes your body in place and forces you to rotate.
"Lock your elbows in place and sit back to get that posterior tilt, and actually a bit of resistance against the abs and obliques into flexion, then drive the elbow across the body with the rotation of the torso; the torso and the bar are moving as one," he says. "Try to get an intense contraction of the obliques on every single repetition. Every repetition should be focused on quality, not the quantity."