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5 Dumbbell Exercises for Women To Melt Belly Fat

Looking to decrease the size of your waistline? A set of dumbbells is your new best friend.

If you are a female who's looking to decrease the size of your waistline, then a set of dumbbells is your newest best friend. We spoke with Katie Kollath, ACE-CPT and co-founder of Barpath Fitness, and she's here to save the day with some easy-to-do dumbbell exercises for women to melt belly fat.

"Utilizing dumbbells will improve body composition if you're training hard with intention and following a great program," Kollath says. "Structuring your program with the most bang for your buck exercises will produce the best results. This will allow you to gain muscle, which means you will be leaner and have a better body composition overall. Utilizing compound lifts will recruit more muscle fibers and allow you to burn more calories during your training session."

So without further ado, grab your dumbbells, and head to the gym or your workout area. Your waistline is about to see some serious changes and better days ahead! Keep reading to learn all about Kollath's top-recommended dumbbell exercises for women to melt belly fat.

1. Dumbbell or Goblet Squats

dumbbell goblet squat illustration

The dumbbell squat is an excellent compound exercise that gets multiple muscles working at the same time. This includes your hamstrings, core muscles, quads, and glutes.

Kollath explains, "By engaging multiple muscle groups, dumbbell squats can help improve body composition in several ways. First, they can increase muscle mass in the lower body. This can lead to a more defined and sculpted appearance, as well as increased strength and power. Second, by working large muscle groups, dumbbell squats can increase metabolism and calorie burn both during and after the exercise. This can lead to fat loss and improved overall body composition. Third, dumbbell squats can improve overall balance and coordination, which can enhance performance in other physical activities and reduce the risk of injury."

To set up for the dumbbell squat, bring one dumbbell up to your chest, or hold a dumbbell in each hand up on your shoulders. To start, press your hips back, and then lower into a squat by bending your knees. Be sure your hips lower to below parallel to the ground with every rep. Press through your feet to come back up.

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2. Romanian Deadlifts

romanian deadlift exercise

Another great compound movement is the Romanian deadlift. To begin, hold a dumbbell in each hand placed in front of your quads at the top of your hips. Both knees should be slightly bent. Next, press your hips back, and bring the dumbbells down to the middle of your shins. Keep your hips at the same height during the motion. Bring the weights back up to standing to finish the rep.

3. Plank Dumbbell Drags

In order to combine the goodness that comes with performing planks and a dumbbell drag, plank dumbbell drags are a perfect choice. They are quite efficient at boosting your body composition by activating more than one muscle group at the same time while burning fat.

Kollath explains, "During a plank dumbbell drag, the body is in a plank position, engaging the core muscles, while the movement of the dumbbell works the upper body, including the shoulders, chest, and triceps. The added resistance of the dumbbell also increases the intensity of the exercise, leading to greater calorie burn and metabolic response. This can help promote fat loss and improve overall body composition. Additionally, plank dumbbell drags require a high degree of balance and coordination, which can enhance overall physical fitness and performance in other activities."

To begin the plank dumbbell drag, bring one dumbbell to the side of your body and assume a high plank position on both hands. If you placed the dumbbell on your left side, grab it with your right hand, and bring it to the opposite side. It's important to limit the shift of your hips while you perform the "drag" to each side.

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4. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses

This press activates your core musculature and the muscles in your upper body, Kollath points out. To get started, you'll plant your feet shoulder distance apart, holding a dumbbell in both hands at the height of your shoulders. Note that your palms should face forward, and you should have bent elbows. Activate your core while standing up straight with a lifted chest. Bring your shoulders back as you press the weights up above your head, completely straightening both arms. Hold this position for a moment before gradually lowering the weights to shoulder height.

"It's important to keep your core engaged throughout the exercise to maintain stability and prevent excessive arching of the lower back. Also, be sure to keep your elbows close to your body and avoid letting them flare out to the sides," Kollath tells us. "It's recommended to start with a light weight and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the movement. Always prioritize proper form over weight, and stop immediately if you experience any pain or discomfort."

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5. Dumbbell Rows

fitness woman performing dumbbell bent-over rows part of Christmas countdown workout

The dumbbell row wraps up Kollath's best dumbbell exercises for women to melt belly fat. You'll begin by placing your feet shoulder distance apart with a dumbbell in both hands. Hinge forward while maintaining a flat back and activated abs. Both arms should extend completely toward the ground. Next, bring both elbows back in order to row the weights toward your chest. Your shoulders should be down and back as you squeeze the blades together when you're at the top of the motion. Bring the weights back to the position you started in without touching them to the ground. Your core should remain engaged, and your back should be straight during the entire movement for good form. Don't forget to breathe out as you row the weights up to your chest, and breathe in when you bring them down.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa