One of the persistent questions when it comes to exercise for weight loss, is whether to prefer weight training or aerobic activity.

In the past, those who wanted to reduce weight chose cardio over resistance training. However, dumbbell exercises significantly increase strength, tone your body, and promote weight loss.

One can do dumbbell exercises at home or in the gym. They are suitable for people of all fitness levels.

Some of the best dumbbell exercises for weight loss include the following.

  • Dumbbell squats
  • Dumbbell lunges
  • Dumbbell deadlifts 
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Dumbbell bent-over rows
  • Dumbbell shoulder press

According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), strength training exercises like dumbbell exercises can help increase your metabolism. As a result, it leads to weight loss. The CDC recommends that adults engage in strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Dumbbell exercises have numerous potential health advantages. But an overweight person may wonder if they will help them lose weight. For example, do exercises using dumbbells reduce belly fat?

 Read on to find the answers.

Dumbbell Exercise for Weight Loss

Dumbbell exercises are a great way to lose weight and get in shape. They are relatively inexpensive. One can do it at home or in a gym.

They are effective because they allow you to use a variety of muscle groups in your body. As a result, it helps boost your metabolism and burn more calories. 

What Does Research Say?

Studies have shown that strength training exercises like these can help you lose weight and improve your overall physical health. However, in one study, people who did a combination of cardio and strength training did not result in significantly reducing more fat mass or body mass reductions over AT alone. 

Another NIH (National Institute of Health, U.S.) study found that strength training can help increase your metabolism and burn more calories.

Furthermore, a  review of 58 studies revealed that resistance exercise for at least four weeks could reduce body fat by an average of 1.46%. Additionally, visceral fat surrounds your abdominal muscles, and body fat mass may dramatically reduce.

Dumbbell Exercises for Weight Loss – An Overview

Dumbbell exercises can be an effective way to lose weight and get in shape. But before trying any dumbbell exercise at home, always remember to start with a weight that is comfortable for you.

Later, gradually increase the weight as you become stronger. It is also essential to use the proper form to avoid injury. If you have questions about which exercises are best for you, consult a fitness professional or trainer.

For those who seek a fitness trainer and are interested in HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts with dumbbells, HealthifyMe can be a helpful resource. Our amazing fitness trainers can help you identify your need and thus  include dumbbell exercises in your weight reduction journey. 

According to one study, people can burn more calories during a HIIT session with an HRS (hydraulic resistance system) than during a steady-state workout session of the same duration. 

The app considers the user’s preference for the intensity and duration of the workout and the type of available equipment. The app can generate a customised HIIT workout with dumbbell exercises based on this information.

It may include exercises such as dumbbell squats, dumbbell lunges, dumbbell push presses, and dumbbell rows. These exercises can help build muscle and increase metabolism, contributing to weight loss.

Dumbbell Exercise to Try at Home

Dumbbell Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. 
  • Lower your body as if sitting back in a chair, keeping your back straight and your core engaged 
  • Now, push it through your heels to back to the starting position.

An 84 kg person can burn around 222 calories in 30 minutes of performing dumbbell squats. This exercise works the muscles in your legs, glutes, and core.

Dumbbell Lunges

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, and step forward with one leg
  • Lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground
  • Next, push through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position
  • Now, repeat it with the other leg

An 84kg person can burn around 178 calories in 30 minutes of performing dumbbell lunges. This exercise targets the muscles in your legs and glutes. 

Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Lie on your back on a flat bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level
  • Press the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended
  • Lower them back to the starting position

An 84 kg person can burn around 178 calories in 30 minutes of performing a dumbbell bench press. It works well for your chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. 

Dumbbell Rows

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. 
  • Then, bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight. 
  • Next, row the dumbbells to your sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together. 
  • Finally, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. 

An 84 kg person can burn around 178 calories in 30 minutes of performing dumbbell rows. This exercise targets the muscles in your back, biceps, and core. 

Dumbbell Deadlifts

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart for dumbbell deadlifts
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs
  • Keeping your back straight and core engaged, bend at the hips
  • Lower the dumbbells towards the ground
  • Squeeze your glutes to return to the starting position.

The HealthifyMe Note

Dumbbell exercises can be a practical part of a weight loss program that includes a healthy diet and cardiovascular exercise. By strengthening your muscles and increasing your lean body mass, you can help your body burn more calories at rest, contributing to weight loss. However, it is essential to remember that weight loss ultimately depends on the balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure, so focusing on a balanced approach that includes diet and exercise is crucial.


Including dumbbell exercises in your routine can help you lose weight. When you engage in physical activity, your body burns calories. The more intense the training, the more calories you burn.

By adding dumbbell exercises to your workout routine, you can increase the intensity of your workouts and burn more calories, which can lead to weight loss. However, it is essential to remember that diet also plays a crucial role in weight loss. 

For quick weight loss, you need to create a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. So, in addition to exercising with dumbbells, it is also essential to focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can you lose weight by using dumbbells?

A. Yes, it is possible to lose weight by using dumbbells. Dumbbells can help you build muscle and increase your metabolism. As a result, it can help you burn more calories and lose weight. However, it is crucial to remember that weight loss ultimately depends on creating a calorie deficit. Therefore, in addition to strength training with dumbbells, you may also need to pay attention to your diet. You can also incorporate multiple forms of physical activity to see results.

Q. Will dumbbells reduce belly fat?

A. Dumbbells can help you build muscle, but they will not specifically target fat loss in any one area of your body. To lose belly fat, you may create a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume. It can be possible through a combination of diet and exercise. 

Resistance training with dumbbells can help you build muscle. It also boosts your metabolism, which can contribute to overall fat loss. Still, it is not a specific solution for belly fat. To lose fat in this area, you should focus on overall weight loss through a healthy diet. In addition, you must create a regular exercise routine that includes cardio and strength training.

Q. Which dumbbell weight is best for weight loss?

A. There is no one “best” dumbbell weight for weight loss. The appropriate weight for you will depend on your current strength, your goals, and your training program. Generally, starting with moderate weight is best and gradually increasing it as you become stronger. This will help prevent injury. Moreover, it will ensure you are adequately challenging your muscles. It is also essential to consider your overall diet and exercise program when trying to lose weight. A combination of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and a balanced diet is usually the most effective approach.

The Supporting Sources

1. Benefits of Physical Activity, Center for Disease Control and Prevention

2. How much physical activity do adults need? Centre for Disease Control and Prevention,Physical%20Activity%20Guidelines%20for%20Americans.

3. Evidence mounts on the benefits of strength training, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

4. Willis LH, Slentz CA, Bateman LA, Shields AT, Piner LW, Bales CW, Houmard JA, Kraus WE. Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Dec 15;113(12):1831-7. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01370.2011. Epub 2012 Sep 27. PMID: 23019316; PMCID: PMC3544497.

5. Can you boost your metabolism? National Library of Medicine

6. Wewege MA, Desai I, Honey C, Coorie B, Jones MD, Clifford BK, Leake HB, Hagstrom AD. The Effect of Resistance Training in Healthy Adults on Body Fat Percentage, Fat Mass and Visceral Fat: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2022 Feb;52(2):287-300. doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01562-2. Epub 2021 Sep 18. PMID: 34536199.

7. Falcone PH, Tai CY, Carson LR, Joy JM, Mosman MM, McCann TR, Crona KP, Kim MP, Moon JR. Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Mar;29(3):779-85. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000661. PMID: 25162652.

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