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Get Rid of Love Handles with Dumbbells: A Complete Guide To Targeted Love Handle Loss

Get Rid of Love Handles with Dumbbells: A Complete Guide To Targeted Love Handle Loss

 Table of contents




So, you want rid of those love handles, and you think your hips are a bit pudgy?


Fear no more; you can do something about this, and I am here to help you achieve your goal.


We will discuss several topics, including,


  • 5 Dumbbell exercises to kill love handles 


  • The role of dumbbells when using them for weight loss 


  • A warm-up routine


  • Cardiovascular exercises


  • Maintaining a healthy diet.

And more.




5 exercises to get rid of love handles with dumbbells


1) Side plank dumbbell raises





  • Start in a side plank position, with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your feet stacked.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your top hand.
  • Lower the dumbbell under your body and then raise it back up towards the ceiling, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.
  • Complete the desired repetitions on one side before switching to the other.


Recommended reps:

8-10 reps on each side, more if you are more experienced.


 What muscles does the exercise target:

  • Obliques - Waist muscles (Prepare to kill your love handles)
  • Quadratus lumborum - The deepest abdominal muscle




2) Dumbbell renegade rows




  •  Begin in a high plank position, each hand gripping a dumbbell and wrists aligned under your shoulders.
  • While maintaining a stable core, row one dumbbell up towards your hip while balancing on the other.
  • Lower the dumbbell back down and alternate rows between each arm.


Recommended reps:

8-10 reps (4-5 rows on each arm), more if you are more experienced.


What muscles does the exercise target:

  • Core muscles
  • Back muscles
  • Arm muscles

Sculpt your waistline and build bigger arms with dumbbell renegade rows!




3) Russian twists





  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and heels on the ground, holding a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
  • Lean back slightly to engage your core and lift your feet off the ground.
  • Twist your torso to one side, bringing the dumbbell towards the floor beside your hip.
  • Rotate to the other side, passing the dumbbell to the other hand. Repeat in a controlled manner.


Recommended reps:

12-15 Russian twists on each side, more if you are more experienced.


What muscles does the exercise target:

  • latissimus dorsi
  • obliques
  • transverse abdominis.
  • rectus abdominis.
  • scapular muscles.

And more. 





4) Dumbbell wood choppers





  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell with both hands.
  • Start with the dumbbell at one hip and then swing it diagonally across your body and overhead to the opposite side in a chopping motion.
  • Engage your core as you twist and perform the movement with control. Repeat on one side before switching.


Recommended reps:

8-10 reps, more if you are more experienced 


What muscles does the exercise target:

  • Obliques
  • Transverse abdominis 



5) Dumbbell side bends





  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand.
  • Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your core engaged and your back straight.
  • Slowly bend sideways at the waist to one side.
  • Feel the stretch on the opposite side of the bend.
  • Return to the upright position.
  • Repeat on the other side.


Recommended reps:

10-12 on each side, more if you are more experienced.


What muscles does the exercise target:

  • Obliques (external and internal)



And there it is, our curated list of the best love-handle dumbbell workouts. Keep reading if you would like to find out more, such as understanding targeted fat loss and love handles, warm-up routines, why we get love handles, and more. If you click HERE, it will take you to the table of contents, where you can then skip ahead to what you would like to read.





Warm-Up Routine for Love Handle Workouts

Warm up routines are very beneficial in terms of preventing injury and allowing the muscles to achieve a full range of motion, don't skip the warm-up, avoid injury and be more efficient.


"Warming up increases your heart rate and therefore your blood flow. This enables more oxygen to reach your muscles. A warm-up also activates and primes the connections between your nerve and muscles, which improves the efficiency of movement"

Warm-up and cool-down | NHS inform


2 Warm-Up Routines to try.


  • Jumping Jacks - Perform 2-3 sets of 20-30 seconds each. Jumping jacks raise your heart rate, engage your core, and help increase blood flow to your muscles.


  • Torso twists - Perform 2 sets of 15-20 twists on each side. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a light dumbbell with both hands, and twist your torso from side to side to engage your obliques.


Let us know how these go in the comments!




Understanding love handles and targeted fat loss.


First off, I want to let you know that it is not possible to target a particular area when it comes to losing weight, but that's fine; you just need to reframe your mindset and start thinking about weight loss in general.


Losing weight, especially quite a lot of weight, gets rid of those pudgy areas that were there before, for example, love handles.


So while targeted weight loss in a particular area doesn't work, losing weight in general does. When someone loses weight, you can see the changes, such as a slimmer face and a more toned and defined body.


You never see them have a really slim waist line and a muscular body but a really pudgy face, do you?


Losing weight is a full body process and targeting one area won't work.


Now that we have cleared that up, there is some good news: there are exercises you can do to slim your waist line and lose weight in general, which means you can kill those love handles too! So stick with me, and I'll show you how.




What are love handles and why do we get them?

Love handles consist of excess fat around the waist, they are mainly present in people who are overweight.


"Love handles are another name for the excess fat that sits at the sides of the waist and hangs over the top of pants. Also known as a muffin top, this fat can be hard to lose but is possible with the right nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle changes"

17 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Love Handles (


You get them if you are carrying excess weight. Your body stores fat in many places, and one of those places can be the hips.


love handles example - overweight person with saggy hips






Why spot reduction does not work.


What is spot reduction?

Spot reduction is the idea that you can do specific exercises to get rid of fat in particular places; for example, arm exercises will reduce fat within the arms.

A further example is "Get rid of love handles with dumbbells." Ok, we're sorry for baiting you with the title, but we just knew you would google this term, and it is our moral duty to present you with the facts 😊.



Why doesn't it work?


The body does not just pick and choose areas to burn fat from; unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.


When you exercise, your body uses energy from fat stored all over the body, not just in the area you are trying to target.


Your goal should be overall body fat reduction, which is much better than just losing fat in one area, right?


Imagine how much more work you'd have to do and how much more specific exercising and fitness would be if your body was designed in a way that spot reduction was the only way to ditch the weight.


It would be exhausting!



The confusing part.


Ok, so you can't burn fat in specific areas, but you can build muscle in specific areas.


While this may be confusing, it is also good news. You can do exercises to build muscle around your core and strengthen the abdominal muscles, which will help eliminate your love handles, provided you are following a healthy diet and working out regularly.


Building muscle in one area is possible because the muscle fibres are in a particular region; unlike fat loss, muscle growth is specific to the area being targeted.


If you consistently train a particular muscle group, such as your biceps, with appropriate resistance and intensity, it will lead to localised muscle development in that area.


"Fat loss is a result of a negative energy balance — meaning that in order to lose fat you must consume fewer calories through food than you expend through activity and exercise.

Therefore, if you’re simply doing thousands of abdominal crunches to get washboard abs but aren’t respecting the laws of thermodynamics (calories in vs. calories out), you might increase the strength capacity of your abs but you certainly won’t reduce body fat in that area.

In addition, genetics do play a role in determining where on your body you will lose body fat first"


Spot Reducing Body Fat vs. Spot Shaping Lean Muscle | by Max Weber | Medium


Here is a paragraph taken out of


"So, while targeting specific body areas during exercise can be effective to build muscle and shape those areas, it won't necessarily help you lose fat in that specific area. Instead, you'll need to address your overall diet to reduce the amount of fat that is stored, and increase your activity level to try to burn the fat that has already been stored throughout the body"


 Why You Can't Spot-Reduce Fat and What to Do Instead (












The Role of Dumbbells When Eliminating Love Handles


Dumbbells are among the most versatile pieces of equipment when it comes to fitness; you can target just about any muscle group you want with a pair of dumbbells.


In terms of your core and hips, dumbbells come in quite handy as the ideal equipment to kill your love handles.


Dumbbells allow for a wide range of exercises, which means you can target many muscle groups in different ways. For example, they allow for a variety of oblique-focused exercises that work the muscles along the sides of your torso while also working the core muscles and building muscle around the core.



Dumbbell recommendations for future reference


Jordan Fitness - premium urethane dumbbell set 2.5kg-25kg (2.5kg increments, 10 pair), fantastic for beginners looking to work hard and incorporate progressive overload.


The only selection of pairs you will ever need, with a range of 2.5kg -85kg, there's a pair for everyone. 








Muscles around your core and waistline that you can target to get rid of love handles using dumbbells.


  • Obliques - The sides of the abdominal area
  • Transverse abdominis - In the abdomen
  • Rectus abdominis - indirectly targets these muscles - Between the ribs and the pubic bone



Other than that, overall core engagement can be achieved, helping you to tone your midsection and burn fat all around your body.


Most dumbbell exercises require core engagement for balance and stability. As you build muscle, you will begin to see that your body is more muscular and that you are slimmer than before.




Incorporating Cardiovascular Exercises


Considering losing weight is an important aspect of losing your love handles, cardio is quite essential. Cardio is often intense, which is great for shedding extra weight. Coupled with dumbbell exercises to kill love handles, you're well on your way to achieving your goal.


Why cardio is beneficial for weight loss?


"Cardio is not a requirement for fat loss, but it certainly helps. Cardio burns more calories during your workout, while strength training helps you build muscle so that you'll burn more calories 24/7. The best fitness plan for lasting fat loss is a combination of cardio and weight training"




Cardio based exercises to try

  • Stair climbing
  • Elliptical trainers 
  • Running
  • Swimming


Do one of these for 30 minutes a day or more for five days of the week. If you focus on cardio and do the five exercises discussed above, you should hopefully see incredible results!





Maintaining a Healthy Diet


Perhaps the hardest part of all is the dreaded diet. Fear not; the only limitation is you.


Maintaining a healthy diet is very important if you want to lose weight. As they say, you can't out train a bad diet.


We don't want you to go crazy and get all scientific about things, like weighing meals and whatnot, at least for now. Below we will list foods and meals to include in your diet and the estimated recommended calorie intake for weight loss and building muscle combined (The calories cannot be truly accurate as we do not know your weight).



Foods to incorporate into your diet. 


  • Lean meats (chicken breast, turkey, lean cuts of beef)
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, trout)
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Plant-based proteins (tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils)


Complex carbs:

  • Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, oats)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans and legumes
  • Fruits (berries, apples, bananas)
  • Vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale)


Healthy fats:

Healthy fats support overall health and hormone production.

  • Avocado
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds)
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel)


Veg and fruits:

  • Colorful vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower)
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard)
  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits)

Drink water too!



Sample meals you can try


  1. Grilled chicken breast with quinoa and steamed broccoli.
  2. Salmon fillet with sweet potato and a side salad.
  3. Omelette with vegetables, spinach, and feta cheese.
  4. Greek yogurt parfait with mixed berries and a sprinkle of nuts.
  5. Lentil and vegetable stir-fry with tofu and brown rice.
  6. Turkey and avocado whole wheat wrap with a side of mixed greens.


an image based example of a healthy plate


Foods to avoid

  Processed Foods:

Processed foods are often high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium. They provide little nutritional value and can contribute to weight gain.


Sugary Snacks and Sweets:

Sweets, cookies, cakes, sugary cereals, and other high-sugar snacks can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels and promote weight gain.


Sugary Beverages:

Fizzy drinks, energy drinks, sugary fruit juices, and excessive amounts of sugary coffee drinks can add empty calories to your diet.


Deep-Fried and Fast Foods:

Fried foods and fast food options are often high in unhealthy trans fats, saturated fats, and excess calories.


Overall, you can have some bad things from time to time; it is all about moderation


Estimated calorie intake:

Important note - A calorie deficit must be achieved to begin weight loss.

For weight loss -  1,500 to 1,700

For muscle gain - 2,250 to 2,500


Protein is extremely important when trying to achieve both weight loss and muscle gain.


As you are doing both, try this advice.


It takes a deficit of 3,800 calories to lose a pound of fat and a surplus of around 1,600 calories to build a pound of muscle. By multiplying these numbers by your weekly body composition goals, you can find your target weekly calorie balance

Body Recomposition: How to build muscle and lose fat | Spartan Race


It is not entirely clear and it is impossible to work this out without knowing your weight personally, try and find a balance.




Can you exercise away love handles?

Yes, but exercise by itself is most likely not going to get you the best results; you need to combine cardio, diet, sleep and weight training with exercises such as the five dumbbell exercises we discussed earlier, i.e., exercises focused on building muscle around the core.



Can lifting weights get rid of love handles? 


Weight training is quite beneficial for losing your love handles as it is focused on muscle building. Combined with its often intense nature, which leads to an increased calorie burn, it is a great way to ditch the love handles.


However, a proper workout routine, a clean diet, and good sleep are often the best remedies for building muscle and losing weight. This is not a one solution type scenario; every one is different. Some people lose weight and their love handles quite easily, others do not. Using the information from this article and putting it into practise will deliver the best results; what have you got to lose? Apart from your love handles.








There you have it. We hope this article has helped you and provided some guidance moving forward. Follow the advice in this article, and you are well on your way to getting rid of your love handles.

Comment down below what you are going to try and how this article helped you; we would love to see your results if you give it a shot. Email us at





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