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How to Lose Love Handles With Free Weights

by
author image Kay Tang
Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.
How to Lose Love Handles With Free Weights
Men workout with kettlebell exercises. Photo Credit michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Love handles consist of excess body fat that collects on the sides of your waist. Combine fat-burning workouts with a nutritional plan that induces a calorie deficit to lose your love handles. By performing circuits with free weights, you can enhance your capacity to burn fat, according to the “Men's Health Better Body Blueprint: The Start-Right Stick-to-it Strength Training Plan” by Michael Mejia. Isolation exercises for your obliques can tone the muscles under your love handles and help to strengthen your core for heavier weight training. Perform five to 10 minutes of light cardio as a warm-up for weight training.

Big Lifts for Big Burn

Step 1

Perform heavy compound exercises -- deadlifts, rows, bench presses and squats – which recruit the several muscle groups and thrust your metabolism into overdrive. Aim to complete 40 minutes of a well-paced circuit, which can burn as many as 400 calories and help to melt away love handles.

Step 2

Incorporate a deadlift into your circuit training, which has a much greater metabolic cost than isolation exercises for your abs and obliques. Begin by setting a loaded barbell on the floor.

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Step 3

Stand with your feet under the bar and shoulder-width apart, pointing your toes forward. Bend your knees, sinking into a squat, until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Step 4

Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, positioning your arms just outside your legs. Exhale and straighten your body to lift the weight up, extending your knees and hips.

Step 5

Pause at the peak position for a second and then return to starting position. Perform eight to 12 reps for one to four sets.

Burn Fat with a Metal Orb

Step 1

Perform a 20-minute kettlebell workout, which equates to a combination of a half hour cardio session and a half hour of weight training, and burn as many as 272 calories, according to the American Council on Exercise. Begin with a 8- to 15-lb. kettlebell if you’re woman. Use kettlebells that range between 15 to 25 lbs. if you’re a man.

Step 2

Execute a circuit that consists of a kettlebell deadlift, single-arm swing, Turkish get-up, pushup, rows with one arm, walking lunge and shoulder press. Finish the circuit by targeting your core musculature with the halo exercise in which you slowly circle the kettlebell directly overhead.

Step 3

Take advantage of unique kettlebell exercises, such as the single-arm swing, which offers a rigorous workout for your core and builds your glutes and quads. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and putting the kettlebell between your feet. Brace your abdominals to prepare for the swing.

Step 4

Bend your knees and push your hips back to sink into a squat, which is your starting position. Grasp the kettlebell with your dominant hand. Exhale and explode upward, swinging the kettlebell forward and up in a sweeping arc. Thrust your hips forward, extending your knees and straightening your body.

Step 5

Keep your feet planted on the floor and maintain a straight wrist throughout the exercise. Allow the kettlebell to swing until your working arm is parallel to the floor. Inhale and allow the weight to swing back down, returning to starting position.

Step 6

Perform six to eight reps of each exercise in your circuit, resting for 30 seconds between exercises, in the first week of training. Increase the number of reps to up to 12 in the second week. Execute two circuits during weeks three and four, and aim to complete three circuits for weeks five and six. Increase the number of reps gradually until you can do 15 reps per exercise.

Max Out on Intensity

Step 1

Use Tabata-based, high-intensity interval training, which ideally applies to free weight workouts and dramatically raises your heart rate for up to a minute, according to “The Muscle & Fitness Guide to High Intensity Interval Training” by Mark Gilbert. By using maximal effort, the leap in intensity produces quick gains in endurance and fat burn.

Step 2

Balance your weekly training by working your push muscles in workout A and conditioning your pull muscles in workout B. Perform a circuit of free weight and bodyweight pushing exercises -- an example of a Tabata regimen -- which include bodyweight squats, pushups, incline pushups, dips, calf raises, overhead presses with dumbbells and Bulgarian squats for each leg with dumbbells.

Step 3

Limit the duration of each exercise to 20 seconds done at maximal intensity. Use a 1:1 tempo – one second for the concentric phase and one second for the eccentric phase -- for each exercise. Take a 10-second rest interval between each exercise.

Twist to Target and Strengthen

Step 1

Target your obliques with isolation exercises, such as wood chops, torso twists on an exercise ball or side bends, and use dumbbells to boost the intensity.

Step 2

Begin a torso twist on an exercise ball by lying supine on an exercise ball with only your upper back on the ball. Bend your knees at 90 degrees, planting your feet on the floor and keeping your body straight and aligned with your thighs. Raise your hips to a level slightly lower than your shoulders.

Step 3

Hold a dumbbell with both hands, one hand over the other in a neutral grip. Extend your arms over your chest. Rotate your torso to your right until your arms are parallel to the ground. Follow the movement of your arms with your head.

Step 4

Pause at the peak position for a second and then reverse the twist to return to starting position. Aim to complete 12 to 15 reps for each side.

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