Isn't that ironic that one of the things we hate the most are named "love handles"? Yes, I'm talking about the belt of fat that we get when we start getting fat. For some this "belt" is just a small problem, for others it can mean a struggle.

First off, if you want to get rid of love handles, know that there are no exercises that will just drop the fat off the "obliques" (the actual name of this section). Instead, you need to keep in mind the simple and big-picture approach to eliminate body fat: have a healthy weight loss diet plan  and cardio exercises.

If you ask me about the best exercises to get rid of love handles I can give you a list of cardio exercises: running, swimming, jogging, jumping, tae-bo, etc. These will be your weapons to get rid of the extra fat on the sides. If you have a park nearby you can start jogging in the mornings. If not, a workout DVD or an elliptical machine can do wonders in your mid-section.

Having cleared that up, it's good to know that there are stomach exercises designed to strengthen and firm the obliques. They can help you also reducing the love handles visually, as tight muscles help us look thinner.

Exercises to Lose Love Handles

The Bicycle Maneuver or Twist Crunches

This is as excellent stomach exercise that should be part of any stomach workout. It has been determined as the stomach exercise that triggers the most activity, and of course it is great to work out the obliques and reduce love handles. Here's how to do it.

1. Lie on your back and bend your knees, so they form a triangle with the floor.
2. Now lift your hands and put them behind your head slightly without pushing your neck and also without locking your fingers together.
3. Twist to the left and at the same time bring your right knee up to meet the elbow, the left leg should be extended without touching the floor.
4. Twist to the other side.
5. Repeat.

The Side Plank

This is a great isometric exercise that will strengthen your obliques and make them tight as rocks. It is a variation of the "plank" another great stomach exercise that works the inner abdominal muscles.

1. Lie on your left on the floor with your feet on of top of another. Just like standing but on the side.
2. Now lift your body so it just stands on your left hand and your foot. Your body should be straight, just like a plank – hence the name.
3. Hold the tension for 30 seconds.
4. Repeat on the other side.

The Side Twist
This exercise doesn't work your stomach muscles as good as the other ones, but it is great to work out the obliques and increase your heart rate as well. Here's how to do it.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Twist your torso crossing one arm in front of you.
3. Repeat on the other side.

This exercise needs a lot of reps to be effective. Don't worry, it is easy since you have little resistance.

Remember that in order to lose the love handles, you need to work with patience and determination and spend your time doing cardio training. So, you will do better by setting a weekly schedule to work out.

These are very effective exercises, but if you want a complete plan to lose the love handles, I recommend Mike Geary's book, "the Truth About Six Pack Abs". Which contain plans for people on all fitness levels and with great illustrations.