Approximately 64 percent of adult women older than age 20 are considered overweight or obese, according to the Weight-control Information Network. Losing weight is not just about how you look but about body function, health and quality of life. Exercise is an essential component to help shed fat safely and effectively. Using a set of dumbbells can help women burn calories in the privacy of home. While a dumbbell routine by itself won't promote significant loss of inches, it will tone you and help replace fat with lean muscle. This contributes to a leaner physique when combined with calorie-burning cardio exercise.
Dumbbell workouts fall under the category of resistance training and should be performed two to three times per week on nonconsecutive days, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Perform one exercise for each major muscle group, or a total of eight to 12 different exercises. Start with one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions. You may need to invest in a few different sets of dumbbells with varying weights. Some muscle groups are stronger than others, but all need to be challenged. Using too light or too heavy of a dumbbell will not give you a safe, effective workout.
For this workout, have your dumbbells and a towel or exercise mat set up. Perform the following exercises, in order, for your back, chest, legs, shoulders, triceps, biceps and core. Start with a dumbbell row for your back, then lie on the floor and perform a bench press with the dumbbells for your chest. Stand up and do a front squat for your thighs followed by a standing lateral raise for your shoulders. Move to a dumbbell deadlift for your lower body, and move to an overhead extension for your triceps. Perform a standing calf raise and end with a standing bicep curl. Finish on the mat and choose two to three abdominal/core exercises using your own bodyweight for a complete workout.
Methods of Training
Circuit training is a method of resistance training that will help you burn more calories during your dumbbell workout and lose inches. In a circuit, you perform each of the exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. This will get your heart rate up and keep it up so that you get cardiovascular benefits as well as resistance training. Perform your circuit one to three times through with one to two minutes rest between each circuit.
While a dumbbell workout will aid you in losing inches, you should also combine a healthy, balanced diet and cardiovascular exercise to see the best results. Change the dumbbell exercises you perform every six to 12 weeks to continually challenge your body, and prevent boredom. Increase the dumbbell weight when an exercise becomes too easy with your current weight. Focus on proper form and technique to avoid injury, and always consult with your physician before you begin any exercise program.
- Weight-control Information Network: Overweight and Obesity Statistics
- American Council on Exercise: Dumbbell Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Bodyweight Exercises
- Bodybuilding.com: Circuit Training
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription: American College of Sports Medicine
Bethany Kochan began writing professionally in 2010. She has worked in fitness as a group instructor, personal trainer and fitness specialist since 1998. Kochan graduated in 2000 from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist and certified YogaFit instructor.