When you think of ways to lose weight, hours a day on the treadmill is often what comes to mind. Sure, aerobic exercise like jogging on a treadmill is great for weight loss, but resistance training can also help. Dumbbells are effective resistance training tools, since they’re relatively inexpensive and there are many different exercises you can do with them.
Muscle Burns Fat
Plain and simple: More muscle leads to more calories burned. Dumbbell exercises help strengthen and tone your muscles, which is great for weight loss. Why? Lean muscle tissue burns far more calories compared with fatty tissue. So, the more lean muscle you accumulate, the tighter your body will look and the more calories your body will naturally burn throughout the day.
Fat Burning Weekly Workout
Dumbbell exercises can certainly help you lose weight in the long run, but to really attack body fat, a combination of aerobic and resistance training is an effective strategy. A 2003 study published in the "Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science" found that alternating cardio with resistance training days six days per week burned more fat compared to aerobic exercise alone. Make each workout 30 to 60 minutes long and work at a moderate-to-vigorous pace to promote fat loss.
There are dumbbell exercises out there to target every major muscle group. You can exercise the chest and shoulders by doing bench presses, flyes, shoulder presses and lateral dumbbell raises. Exercise your arms with biceps curls, overhead triceps extensions, triceps kickbacks and concentration curls. Deadlifts, lateral dumbbell raises and dumbbell back extensions are effective back workouts. Squats, lunges and calf raises exercise the leg muscles and glutes. Weighted crunches target the abs and obliques for a firmer, sexy midsection.
Sets and Reps
Each dumbbell workout should take no more than 60 minutes. Always use moderately heavy dumbbells that allow you to do 10 to 12 repetitions while maintaining good technique. You’re using the right amount of weight if rep number eight or nine is challenging to lift. It’s also important to get plenty of rest between dumbbell workouts, at least a full day in between. Exercise each major muscle group once per week for a total of three or four sets.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.