Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Angelica L Dumapit and Physician Brandon Yew on May 16, 2022

Best Love Handles Workout Tips To Help You Slim Down

Can exercising too much work against you if you are trying to get rid of your muffin top? Our physicians weight in on the best love handles workout to get you ready for warm weather.

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Many Americans are always on the lookout for the best love handles workout to help them slim down for good.

If you’ve been trying to get rid of your muffin top without success, then the tips in this article can help.

In this guide, our physicians weigh in on the best love handles workout to help you feel your best. Plus, you’ll learn how too much exercise and bad posture can work against you.

What Are Love Handles?

Overeating and living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to love handles.

Love handles are also known as a muffin top. These terms refer to the fat around your abdomen and lower back areas. It’s often caused by excessive food intake and lack of exercise.

According to registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician Brandon Yew, “Chronic work stress and unhealthy dietary habits cause Spleen Qi Deficiency and Liver Qi Stagnation. This results in the accumulation of stagnant fluids, Dampness, and Phlegm in the body. When coupled with sedentary posture, these pathogenic factors tend to build up around the abdomen, giving rise to love handles.”

Love handles can do more than make you not want to put on a swimsuit. Abdominal fat that’s associated with “muffin tops” and “love handles” affects your posture and increases the risk of heart disease and heart failure.

According to Simon Shen, Doctor of Chiropractor, “The patient may also have poor posture, which indicates lack of core activation. Not activating your core muscle means that there is less energy burnt, and more accumulation of fat around the waist area.” 

How To Use TCM To Support Your Love Handles Workout

TCM can help get rid of love handles through herbal medication, acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, and tuina (Chinese manual therapy). All of these are formulated carefully by a TCM physician to address specifically the unique body constitution of every individual patient. Hence, it is best to always first consult the TCM physician for proper assessment. 

Herbal formulas

Below listed are some TCM herbal formulations to help get rid of love handles: 

  • Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi: Strengthens Spleen Qi; dispels Dampness and Phlegm 
  • Chai Hu Shu Gan San: Soothes Liver Qi circulation; dispels Dampness and Phlegm 
  • Xing Sha Ping Wei San: Dispels Dampness and Phlegm; promotes digestion and Qi circulation 
  • Wu Ling San: Dispels Dampness and stagnated fluids 
  • Ling Gui Zhu Gan Tang: Strengthens Spleen Qi; dispels Dampness and stagnated fluids 
  • Liu Mo Tang: Dispels Qi Stagnation and Phlegm 
  • Jian Pi Wan: Dispels Dampness and Phlegm; strengthens Spleen Qi and promotes digestion 

Physician Yew cautions, “Please always bear in mind that the herbal formulas provided above are meant for varying etiologies behind love handles. As such, it is strongly advised to not purchase any of them to self-medicate without first consulting a licensed TCM professional.”

Acupressure

Acupressure is an easy self-help remedy. It works by placing fingers or a blunt object like a massage stick at certain acupoints and applying an appropriate amount of pressure.

The purpose is to elicit a tolerable sensation of soreness or tenderness, in order for it to be effective. At the same time, massage in both clockwise and anticlockwise circular motion 20 times each. Repeat for at least 3 minutes per acupoint. 

Distal acupoints: 

  • He Gu LI4: Helps soothe the Liver to dispel stagnated Qi, aids the Spleen in dispelling Dampness and Phlegm
  • Zu San Li ST36: Strengthens Spleen Qi to dispel Dampness, Phlegm, and stagnant fluids
  • Yin Ling Quan SP9: Propels Spleen Qi to dispel Dampness, Phlegm, and stagnant fluids
  • Feng Long ST40: Propels Spleen Qi to dispel Dampness, Phlegm, and stagnant fluids
  • Tai Chong LR3: Soothes the Liver to dispel stagnated Qi, improving Qi and fluid circulation

Localized acupoints: 

  • Zhong Wan RN12
  • Tian Shu ST25
  • Da Heng SP15
  • Jing Men GB25
  • Dai Mai GB26 

According to Physician Yew, “Do take note that the effect of acupressure for getting rid of love handles is quite limited. It is meant to be a supplement to acupuncture treatment, which is way more effective. Thus, it is still strongly recommended to seek professional help from a licensed TCM practitioner who can perform acupuncture safely and effectively.” 

Love Handles Workout: Why Diet And Posture Matter

If your goal is to get rid of your muffin top, then diet plays an essential role. Working in a calorie deficit will help you lose weight, but you may not be able to control where it comes from. Supplementing your healthy diet with a slimming essence can help aid in the weight loss process. Meanwhile, a digestive enzyme supplement can help you break down food to support proper energy levels.

As Doctor Shen noted, “Diet looks at the energy input and exercise, energy output. The input and output need to be balanced or purposely imbalanced to achieve a certain result. If the patient is looking at losing weight, then they need to make the input less than the output. Love handles are fats around the abdomen, which is a prime location for fat storage. It is impossible JUST to lose fat in certain areas of the body. General fat loss will help the ultimate goal for patients.” 

“Making sure you engage your core whenever upright during the day will help tighten the abdominal muscles. With a toned core, it will help to tighten the waist and reduce the obviousness of the love handles. Contracting and toning up the core helps to increase the core muscle metabolism rate. With the core being active when the patient is upright at a higher metabolism rate, it will help to burn more energy and lose more fats,” noted Doctor Shen. 

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