13 Effective Exercises to Reduce Side Fat

Many people experience side fats, which seems unable to reduce. Side fat also is known as love handles, which is an extended area of skin from hips. These fat accumulations happen in the abdominal area, hips, and sides.

What causes side fat?

Fat retention is the main cause of side fat accumulation. Generally, fat accumulates in the body when you eat more calories than you can burn. Gradually, these fat cells become prominent in some body parts. Here are the factors contributing to side fats formations.

  • Age
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Physical inactivity
  • High consumption of sugar, fats, high-calorie foods
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Slow metabolism
  • Underactive Thyroid

Risk of Side Fats

Side fats are not harmful, but they may cause underlying risk factors for chronic health problems including

  • High cholesterol
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Liver problem
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis

Here are the best exercises to reduce side fats.

Starfish Exercise

Starfish exercise is a simple exercise that does not need any special event. This exercise technique reveals all good and less positive things.

Starfish workout is suitable for everyone and does not require any specific age.

How to do it?

  • Starfish exercise is very simple.
  • Manage smooth and controlled movements of legs and arms. Keep breathing by placing arms and legs accurately.
  • Keep a pillow behind your head and lie or sit over the chair at the front edge of the chair and keeping head over the back of the chair.
  • Drop your head backward, and it should be below your spine.
  • The starting position should be on a bean bag or chair. If you are unable to manage over the chair, then try on the floor with the help of a rolled towel by keeping under your shoulders. Keep your arms relaxed.
  • As you breathe out, move your head upward and keep the arms and legs on each other till your right arms cross on your left arm to right leg cross over the left leg. Continue in curled firmly in the fetal position.
  • Hold your breath for 5-seconds while maintaining this position.
  • As you inhale, turn your head as your move legs and arms first upward and outward, go back to the beginning position. Keep this position for 5-seconds.
  • Repeat this with your left leg and arm over your right arm and leg. Your head movement should be managed with legs and arms movement while doing this exercise.

Side Plank Circles

Side plank circles work on your side fat, muffin tops, oblique muscles, lower belly, and tone your butts. This pose helps to strengthen your core and make your belly muscles firm. It gives a good workout for your core and side muscles and helps in fat reduction.

How to do it?

  • Take a side plank position and take down your knee closer to the ground. Raise your upper leg till it gets horizontal and become straight.
  • Start making a big circle with your leg.
  • Make 20 circles clockwise and another 20 anticlockwise and then do this for another side.

Oblique Crunch

Oblique crunch work on your muscles of oblique and eliminate all the side fat. It helps to reduce the fat of the upper and lower body.

How to do it?

  • Lie down over your back and raise your legs with flexed knees till your calves form a horizontal position.
  • Keep the left hand back of your head and make your right arm straight to your side.
  • Now hold your right forearm over the ground, raise your left side of the torso and try to reach your left elbow to the left knee.
  • Move your left knee to your left elbow as you raise your left torso.
  • Perform 10-reps and do for another side.

Piked Elbow Twists

Piked elbow twist is the best exercise for reducing side fat as this exercise target your oblique muscles. This movement was introduced by Pop Pilates tutor Cassey Ho to reduce love handles.

How to do it?

  • Lie down over the ground by keeping your straight legs and arms stretched.
  • Raise the straight legs and arms in the sitting position till your body get off over the ground and balancing butt.
  • If you find difficulty in maintaining straight legs, you can try to flex your knees till your calves form horizontally.
  • Twist your torso using your right side and flex your right arms and try to touch your right elbow to the floor.
  • Twist your body toward your right side, flex your right arms, and try to reach the right elbow toward the ground.
  • Try changing your sides and perform 20 reps.

Triangle with Dumbbell

Triangle pose is the best stretching workout for reducing side fats. This exercise targets your hamstrings muscles. Adding dumbbells in the movement work effectively for oblique muscles toning.

How to do it?

  • Stand by keeping your feet wide distant. Point left foot at your left side and keep the right foot front.
  • Using dumbbell in the right-hand use more weight dumbbell and straighten your arm above head, somewhat sideways.
  • Flex your left side and try reaching the ground on the left by using your left hand.
  • Try to go as much as low possible for you without compromising the position by keeping back straight.
  • Perform 15 reps on both sides.

Mermaid Exercise

The mermaid pose is an excellent posture of yoga. It can be hard to stumble across pictures of this pose as you navigate from many social media sites. It is a favorite pose of everyone and interesting to feel like a mermaid.

Mermaid is an advance variation for performing intense challenges. It is also a variation of advance prep posture performed with one-legged -king pigeon. Performing mermaid pose helps to increase hip flexibility, balance, and spine flexibility.

The mermaid pose is more beneficial for all side body. It helps to open your front torso and chest regions. Performing this pose helps to create a stretch in joints of shoulders, and hips. This pose also helps to strengthen your core muscles and balance. This stretch is helpful for groin and thighs for improving the range of motion. It eliminates muscle tension and lowers the back pain. Having good hip flexibility helps in performing the everyday task easily.

This pose also works to open heart muscles and extend your chest for improving blood circulation.

How to do it?

  • Lie down over your right side using straight legs and feet piled together.
  • Cross your ankles and put them together.
  • Place your legs somewhat forward and let them rest over bum cheek and not on hips.
  • Raise your legs upward as high as possible and take them down back.
  • Perform 15 reps.

Leg Lifts

Lifting leg is an effective exercise for side fat reduction. It targets the iliopsoas, which is anterior hip flexors. It uses abdominal muscles for balancing your body while motions of leg raise. Leg lifts also increase the strength of rectus abdominal muscles, external and internal oblique muscles.

Side leg helps to activate your abs, including obliques muscles. Raise your legs to engage your inner thighs and butts while putting abdominal muscles extended. It helps to develop core strength and improve your balance. It also targets your back muscles and reduces the pain.

How to do it?

  • Lie down on the side, keep your knees, ankles, shoulders, ears, and knees aligned.
  • Turn your legs slightly in a front direction like a banana shape to balance your lower back.
  • Support your head with your hand or extend your lower arm outside to the side and let your headrest. Your arm placement helps balance the movement. Keep your core engaged as you lift legs.
  • Draw your abdominal muscles inside and breathing. Allow your body to stretch as your breath and move down to cull length with your spine.
  • As you breathe out, engage your core and raise your legs a few inches off from the ground.
  • Focus on putting your inner legs combined from hip bones to heels.
  • Breath in as you reduce legs behind down to the ground, stretch your body in a balanced movement.
  • Perform 5-8 reps, then move another side.

Hip Dips


Hip dips are an effective exercise for toning muscles of oblique and reduce side fats.

How to do it?

  • Bring your forearm into the plank position and roll toward one side in the forearm like side plank pose.
  • Once you can balance, keep your hands free over your hip and begin dipping lower hip toward the floor upward and downward.
  • Perform 15 reps on both sides.

Dumbbell Side Bend

The dumbbell side bend is one of the advanced versions of side bend. It stretches side muscles and removes side fats. Getting enough strength of oblique is essential to manage proper posture to protect your spine. There are two different obliques heads, and both are engaged as you perform side bend activity.

The side bend is helpful to exercise for side fat reduction. This exercise develops strong oblique muscles. Perform this exercise by holding a single dumbbell in a standing position.

While performing side bends, skip using heavyweight. Putting more stress on the spine causes injury like a herniated disc.

How to do it?

  • Take a dumbbell in your both hand and stand over feet with a distance of hip-width.
  • Move your waist toward your left side as you get down and sweep arms in arch position as you flex.
  • Get straight and do it again for the other side.
  • Perform 20 reps for each side.

Tummy Tuck

The tummy tuck is a total body exercise, which effectively works for toning your arms, abs, and reduce excess side fat.

How to do it?

  • Stand using your feet placed at distant and engage abs.
  • Flex forward by keeping your legs straight and walk front using your hands until you form a plank position.
  • Flex the right knee and try to reach your right below.
  • Now get your knee toward the center and reach your chest.
  • Then, perform it to your left and touch from the left elbow.
  • Keep your leg straight and do it again for the left leg.
  • Try doing for alternate side and perform 15 reps.

Russian twists

The Russian twist is another effective workout to reduce side weight. You can also perform it by adding weight. Beginners can perform Russian twists without adding weight. As you can perform it easily, try adding weight.

How to do it?

  • Begin in a seated position over the ground by placing your butt on the ground. Keep your knees flexed and feet flat over the floor.
  • Engage your abdomen and lean your body back to form a 45-degree angle to the ground. In case of not using weight, try to clasp hands together. If you are holding weight, then hold in the above abdomen.
  • Still, with flexed knees, raise your feet over the ground to balance your butt. Cross your ankles for additional support.
  • Turn your torso toward the right side and get clasped hands or weight to the right side.
  • Turn your left and touch your hands or the weight to the left side.
  • Perform this exercise for 30 seconds.

Mountain climber

The mountain climber move helps to raise your heart rate and strengthen your muscles. It increases your speed and reduces side fats.

How to do it?

  • Begin with a plank position. Lie down flat on the ground to start in a plank position.
  • Keep your hands under your shoulders and roll your toes as they press into the ground and push upward. Your arm should form straight but not locked. Align your body from your head to toes.
  • Raise your right foot above the ground and draw the right knee to your left elbow. Keep your abs engaged.
  • Stay in this position for some time and get back to the starting pose.
  • Do it again on the other side.


Doing bridge exercises also helpful for lowering side fats. It also strengthens your glutes.

How to do it?

  • Begin with lying on your back and keep your knees flexed, your arms should beside and keep palm flat against the ground.
  • Gently raise your lower back and butt above the floor to align knees and shoulders.
  • Compress your glutes and hold for 30 seconds, until you feel the fire in your glutes and abs.
  • Gently release muscles and get yourself down toward the ground.
  • Perform this 10-times.
  • As you feel the move comfortable, make it more challenging.

Side Fat: Prevention Tips

Reduce Added Sugar Consumption

Healthy eating is essential to prevent fat build-up in every part of the body. Avoiding foods with added sugar helps to clean your system. Added sugar available in foods like candies, cookies, soda, and energy drinks. More sugar consumption also increases the risk of health problems such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart problem.

Consume Healthy Fats

Adding healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, fatty fish, and seeds keep your side fat at bay. Healthy fats are more delicious than unhealthy fats, which prevent more calorie consumption.

Add More Fiber

Combining fiber food with abundant insoluble fiber in your normal diet helps to limit side fats. You can get soluble fiber in foods like oats, nuts, beans, vegetables, and fruits. Eating more fiber keeps you full for a longer time and slows down your digestion process. It also limits your frequent hunger. Feeling full for a longer time helps to reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.

Stay Active

Stay active throughout the day is a simple way to burn more calories and reduce side fats. Many people have an inactive lifestyle due to sitting over desk job for long hours which result in fat gain. Create a lifestyle with simple changes in your daily life and walk around do chores for reducing weight.

Stress Less

Stress is a big ailment of everyone in day to day life. Feeling negative cause to increase mental stress and effect on physical health. Increased stress can also cause belly fat. Stress is the main problem to imbalance your hormones and fat metabolism and contributes to fat build-ups. Try to avoid things causing you headaches, anxiety, and digestive issues.

Lift Weights

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Try to engage yourself in weight lifting activity to reduce side fats. Include weight training in your daily routine to get the benefits. Lifting weight helps to contract your muscles again a specific resistance and help in developing strength.

As aerobic training helps to burn calories while workout, the resistance training develops lean muscles and burn more calories while resting. You can combine aerobic exercise and resistance training to get effective fat burning results.

Get Adequate Sleep

Sleep imbalance or reduced sleep cause to increase cortisol levels in your body, which causes fat gain on your sides. Not getting enough sleep shown the link between the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Sleep is a crucial part of a healthful body. Having less sleep hugely influences your weight. When you don’t sleep, your body becomes more likely to increase weight. You will become lazy and tempted to avoid doing exercise. You will also feel quickly weak without doing an activity.

Sleep is also like nutrition for your brain. Everyone requires to sleep at least 7-8 hours in the night for proper body functions and fat reduction.

Do Whole Body Exercise

Doing a specific part of fat reduction exercise is good but doing whole body workout is more effective for reducing side fats. Try doing whole body workout with aerobic exercise to work on large parts of your body muscles.

Increase Protein Intake

Including high-quality protein in your daily diet helps to reduce side fat and manage the good shape of your body. Protein helps to keep you full between your meals and reduce the fast-food snack urge.

According to studies, a diet with rich protein helps effectively for lowering fat than the diets with low proteins. You can consume high-quality proteins like nuts, seeds, eggs, seafood, legumes, meats, and poultry for a healthy diet.

Increase Your Cardio

Doing aerobics or cardiovascular exercise helps to increase your heart rate for an extended time. Aerobic exercise assists in calorie burning and excess fat reduction in your body and slim down your side fats.

Many people fear to do high-intensity workouts of aerobics such as running and spinning. However, there are different low impact and simple aerobic exercises to perform.

Swimming or working on the elliptical machine or a normal walk is the best way to get done aerobic exercise. Experts advise performing at least 20 minutes of activity every day.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for good health. Water is an essential fluid for hydration. Many people choose sweetened beverages such as teas, juice, and sports drinks but make good choices without added sugar to reduce extra calories. Consuming added sugar causes to accumulate fat gain.

According to studies, the high consumption of sweetened beverages is linked with weight gain, especially in abdominal regions. However, drink enough water to stay hydrated.

Include Complex Carbs

Replacing refined carbs like pasta, white bread, white rice with a complex carb like beans, sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice helps to reduce side fats.

Unlike refined carbs that cause hunger, complex carbs make you feel satisfied for a longer time and prevent hunger. It happens because complex carb takes more time to get digested.

Try a HIIT Workout

HIIT is a high-intensity interval training, which is an effective exercise for reducing side fat. HIIT exercise involves short rounds of intense aerobic workout, and each is followed with recovery time.

Use Mindful Eating

Focus and pay more attention to your food and how they make you feel while eating helps to reduce side fats. Mindful eating involves focusing while eating. It helps to manage control over your eating habits and result in fewer calories.

Mindful eating helps to prevent distraction while eating and less effect on your moods. It is the best option to get healthier, both mentally, and physically for fat reduction.

Try engaging abs with Pilates moves

It can be difficult to exercise effectively to enjoy. Pilate is another option for beginners to benefit abs. This exercise helps to promote your posture, flexibility, and core strength.

Including pilates exercise to your routine helps in weight loss and shrink side fats.

According to the study of 30 people with obesity, and overweight discovered significant fat reduction after eight weeks of pilate exercise. They found a fat reduction in hip and waist circumferences. You can modify pilates depending on the fitness level and specific age.

Avoid Alcohol

Cut down alcohol consumption to increase the chances of fat loss. Consuming more alcohol have a link with obesity and body fat.

According to the study of 2,000 people, excessive alcohol consumption had a link with a high risk of obesity.

Alcohol causes to increase hunger by activating brain cells that are responsible for appetite. Alcoholic beverages contain added sugar and extra calories, which contribute to weight gain.

Eat Whole Foods

Eating whole food is another way to reduce side fat as the whole food provides unprocessed nutrients.

Avoid highly processed foods such as fried foods, fast foods, which are bad for fat loss. According to studies, eating processed food is more likely to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Add more whole and natural foods in your diet to shrink side fats. Eat whole foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and seeds.

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