How To Lose Love Handles - 10-Minute Pilates Abs Workout

Pilates is a great exercise for so many different areas of your body and one of those areas is your love handles.

This can be a very difficult area to lose weight from but Pilates can help build muscle and reduce fat in this problem area.

Many Pilates exercises focus on strengthening your core and they can help you create those trim abs and obliques that so many of us desire.

Pilates uses slow and steady but focused movements and will challenge your muscles in a variety of ways.

Most Pilates exercises don’t take that long to do at all. In only 10 minutes, you can get a great abs workout to target your love handles.

In this article, we will teach you how to lose love handles with a 10-minute Pilates abs workout.

You can do the following exercises in any order that you wish.

Remember to move with slow and controlled movements and to focus on your breathing throughout the practice.

The Hundred

This is one of the most basic and standard exercises in Pilates.

It can target several different parts of your body, including your abs, obliques, and love handles.

  • Lie down on a gym mat on your back with your body straight and relaxed.
  • Lift both of your legs from the floor and hold them at an angle. You should aim for an angle of around 45 degrees but you can go higher or lower depending on your fitness level. The important part is to keep your legs off the floor and at a height where they are solid and don’t shake.
  • Curl your head and shoulders from the mat and keep your chin tucked. Your lower back should remain in contact with the mat.
  • Keep your arms straight and beside your body with your palms facing down.
  • Quickly pump your arms up and down. You don’t need to move your arms too far, only a few inches up and down, but don’t let them touch the floor. Do this five times as you inhale and five times as you exhale.
  • Repeat this for 10 breaths in and out.

Single-Leg Stretch

This is another simple and straightforward exercise that will see you working your core and puts particular focus on your sides and obliques.

  • Lie down on a gym mat on your back with your body straight and relaxed.
  • Lift your legs and bend your knees. Bring your knees up so that they reach toward your chest. Place both of your hands on your shins and curl your head and shoulders from the mat. Keep your chin tucked and your lower back on the mat.
  • Keep your left knee tucked into your chest and extend your right leg out straight. Your extended leg shouldn’t touch the floor and you should be able to hold it steady without it shaking. Place both hands on your left knee as it’s tucked into your chest.
  • Swap sides. Extend your left leg straight and bring your right knee tight to your chest with both hands on your right shin.
  • Alternate both sides and complete 10 to 15 times. Remember to keep your lower back on the mat, your chin tucked, and your core engaged.

Criss Cross

Criss Cross

Criss Cross features a twisting movement that gets you to work out your entire core as well as your lats. 

  • Lie down on a gym mat on your back with your body straight and relaxed.
  • Lift your legs and bend your knees. Bring your knees up so that they reach toward your chest.
  • Place both of your hands behind your head. You can interlace your fingers or leave them loose, depending on your preference. Make sure that you keep your elbows wide and pointed out away from your head. Lift your head from the mat.
  • Bring your left shoulder off the mat and toward your right knee. At the same time, extend your left leg out straight so that it hovers in the air and doesn’t touch the mat.
  • Switch sides. Bend your left leg and bring it close to your chest as you extend your right leg straight. Lift your right shoulder toward your left knee.
  • Continue to alternate sides, bringing one knee close to your opposite elbow while straightening the opposite leg. This will keep your body twisting. Your lower back should remain on the mat as your core remains tight.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times on each side.


This is a slower and more sedate exercise than the ones we’ve introduced already, but it can still give your abs a great workout.

If you’re feeling the strain from some of the other exercises but don’t want to stop your workout prematurely, this is a great exercise to switch to.

  • Lie down on a gym mat on your back with your body straight and relaxed.
  • Spread out your arms so that they lie flat on the mat and are at the same height as your shoulders. Make sure that your palms are facing up to the sky.
  • Lift your knees to a 90-degree angle. They should be directly over your hips and your shins should be parallel to the floor.
  • Lean to the right so that both of your knees fall to the floor. Keep your lower back flush with the mat as you do this. Your knees shouldn’t touch the floor so make sure to keep them a couple of inches higher.
  • Slowly bring your knees back to the starting position over your hips. Repeat on the left hand side. Do this 10-15 times.

Plank Leg Lift

Planks are a common exercise in so many different types of workouts.

They’re one of the simplest but most effective exercises you can do to work your core and adding leg lifts make your ab muscles work even harder.

  • Assume a neutral plank position. Your body should be supported by your arms and legs, with your arms straight and hands positioned directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your legs straight and feet together with your weight balanced on your toes. Make sure that you have a solid base.
  • Lift your left leg from the floor. Try to keep it straight and raise it as high as you can without going past the height of your shoulders. Lower it back to the mat and repeat with the right leg.
  • As you raise each leg, try to keep your core, butt, and quads engaged and solid. This will give you a more stable base and will prevent your hips from rocking or your spine from becoming unaligned. Remember to keep your neck in a neutral position and your head down.
  • Repeat 10-15 times on each side.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we introduced a variety of Pilates exercises that target your abs and love handles in only 10-minutes.

Remember, however, that Pilates isn’t a quick-fix type of workout and it will take several weeks of consistent practice for you to see visible results.

Pilates is very effective for love handles but you do need to put the time and effort into your workout.

We hope that you enjoy this workout and can reduce your love handles!