These Are the Dumbbell Exercises a Trainer Recommends to Burn Fat Faster
Cardio can relieve stress and keep you in shape, but if you want to burn fat and lose weight, it's important that you add weight training to your routine. Lifting weights like dumbbells will help you build muscle mass, a sure-fire way to boost your metabolism and burn more calories and fat throughout the day. "Supercharging your fat loss by incorporating dumbbells into your workout can be imperative to total body success," Eric Fleishman, an ACE-certified personal trainer, told POPSUGAR. "The key is to use the dumbbells not only in traditional exercises, but also to add weight to activities usually associated with body weight movement. These functional techniques add power and athleticism to normal activities and increase overall circulation."
Try doing these exercises as a circuit three times a week. Add in cardio on alternating days for a foolproof, fat-burning routine that will help you lose weight and gain muscle in the process.
It's important that you do a dynamic warmup before you pick up a set of dumbbells. This helps you stretch and activate your muscles at the same time, and it doesn't have to be complicated. "My favorite warmup is walking backwards," Eric said. "It raises agility, increases balance, and teaches your body a new skill to be stored away for later in your muscle memory. It also forces the hip flexor, a muscle that spends most of its life moving forward, to shoot backwards, putting your body in a state of shock."
Eric recommends a six- to 12-minute warmup (choose one or more of these dynamic exercises) to get the most out of your strength-training circuit.
- Stand with your feet together, holding a 10-lb. dumbbell in each hand.
- Take a large step forward with your left foot, as if you were stepping over a puddle. Slowly lower your back knee toward the ground, until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Press through your left heel as you bring your right leg up and forward, stepping into a lunge on the other side.
- Perform three sets of 15 lunges.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out. Hold a 15-lb. dumbbell with both hands in front of your abdomen (roughly where a belt buckle would be).
- Bend your knees and slowly lower your hips toward the floor, until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
- Push through your heels and return to a standing position.
- Perform four sets of 20 reps.
- Hold a set of 8-lb. dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Raise the dumbbells toward your chest in a bicep curl, squeezing your biceps at the top of the movement.
- Continue upward, pushing the dumbbells over your head (as shown) in a shoulder press.
- Carefully bring the weights back down to your sides.
- Perform four sets of 15 reps.
Eric recommends yoga-based stretching after a weight-lifting circuit to help keep your hamstrings, lower back, and quads limber. Try mixing and matching the moves below to build a 10-minute cooldown that works for you: