The best dumbbell exercises to burn fat

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Published: April 1, 2019

There’s a misconception out there that if you aren’t jumping, really hitting the bike or running that you won’t be efficient. But we are here to prove otherwise by showing you the best dumbbell exercises to burn fat. We’ll provide you with an accessible, easy way to create great fat burning workouts for men as well as women. Strength training, especially with dumbbells, burns fat not only while you work out, but after you work out as well. This happens because when you have more muscle density you burn more fat all the time. The fat melting doesn’t occur just during the workout. After a good strength training session, the body continues to burn fat for several hours.

The workout we have prepared for you is not an average strength training programme. We will make your muscles multi-task while incorporating some powerlifting. Most of the moves use various joints at the same time, and a little bit cardio to boost their effectiveness.

Do eight repetitions of each exercise the first time you do it. Then start working your way up to 12 reps. Choose the weight of your dumbbells relative to your strength, but after your eight reps, you will feel the muscles burning. Our advice is to try a few sets of dumbbells in order to choose carefully and avoid injuries. But maybe buy several different ones so you have heavier weights for certain moves and lighter weights for others.

Weights on a gym floor
Strength training using heavier dumbbells burns fat extremely effectively because even after you finish working out.

#1 on our list of best dumbbell exercises to burn fat: The plank!

Well, it’s a variation of the legendary abs burner – the plank to upright row. Start in a plank position with arms and legs stretched. Keep hands shoulder distance apart holding dumbbells. Walk or jump both feet outside your hands coming into a low squat like you’re sitting back into a chair. Press your weight back onto your heels. Squeeze your glutes (your butt muscles) and then come to standing. Pull dumbbells up slowly to chest height letting elbows point out to the sides as you lift dumbbells. Then release arms back down with control. This amazing exercise can be used as cardio as well, with lighter weights.

The plank to upright row is effective in targeting almost your whole body, but more exclusively:

  1. Improves the core strength and endurance,
  2. Melts fat in the gluteus area,
  3. Opens and strengthens the chest,
  4. Sculpts the arms and shoulders.

#2 top fat burner: Squat thruster

Start standing with feet shoulder width apart and go into a squat position. Our expert female fitness trainers always say it’s imperative you keep your back straight through all these exercises. Don’t put pressure on your spine, lift your chest, and put knees behind toes. The elbows are bent and dumbbells are at shoulder height. Use your lower body to thrust up into a standing position the press the dumbbells overhead extending the arms long. Then lower back to starting position. This will best target your shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings.

Girl doing lunges and pushing a dumbbell above her head
Pushing weights above your head while during squats or lunges really challenge your strength.

#3: Forward lunge bicep curl has been promoted to one of our best dumbbell exercises to burn fat

Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart. Strongly step forward with one foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge. Bring weights in towards the shoulders to complete the bicep exercise then push off with the front foot and return to start. Repeat on the other side. This one will work mostly on your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and biceps.

#4 will work best on thighs and gluteus: Cross behind lunge + lateral curl

Some of the best dumbbell exercises to burn fat start in a standing position with feet hip distance apart with dumbbells held alongside the legs. Cross your right foot behind your left leg and bend both knees just like in a regular lunge. This is a hard one. Go back to the starting position and extend your arms out to your side with a slight bend in the elbow. Slowly lower the arms back to your sides and repeat with your left foot stepping back. You will hate us but your shoulders will… Well, also hate you. But when you build and sculpt those bad boys, you’ll learn to love us. Also working hard here: quads, gluteus, back muscles.

#5 is that stretch not to be underestimated when creating the best dumbbell exercises to burn fat: The deadlift

Start the exercise in a standing position with your feet at a hip distance. Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs. Squeeze your abs and be mindful of your spine as you slightly bend the knees, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor. Also, squeeze your lower backside and incorporate your hamstrings to lift and return to the standing position. Remember, this is just one of three ways to do a deadlift. Your gluteus and hamstrings open and stretch during this exercise, allowing for improved muscle flexibility.

#6: The renegade row

Start this exercise in a full plank position with the dumbbells in your hands, with your arms extended, while balancing on your toes. This may be one of the most powerful arm workouts for women, because not only it defines your biceps and triceps at the same time, it kills your core as well. Tighten your core, pulling the belly in towards your spine. Next, pull the right dumbbell up toward your right hip bone keeping the weight close to your side. Slowly put it back on the floor and repeat with the left dumbbell. The renegade row is excellent for your triceps, core, and back.

Man without shirt during a renegade row
The renegade row really pushes your core, engages the triceps, and works out your back.

#7 on the best dumbbell exercises to burn fat countdown: Sumo squat + V Raise

Hold the dumbbells with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Turn your feet outward, as in any sumo squat position. Bend the knees lowering down into a deep squat. Squeeze your glutes when you straighten your legs into a standing position. Tighten the stomach and lift your arms up and out into a V shape. Lower your arms to return back to the starting position. The #7 engages your glutes and your back.

#8: Side-to-side squat and swing

Start with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, with a dumbbell in your right hand. Take a step out to the side with your right foot and sit back into a deep squat. The dumbbell will swing back under the legs then up to chest height while you jump up. Switch the dumbbell to the other hand, while you squat on the opposite leg this time. Targets: chest, gluteus, quads, hamstrings.

#9: Surrenders should really start to work you out at this stage

Begin in a kneeling position holding the dumbbells at your sides. Step forward with one foot and stand all the way up while pressing the weights overhead. Kneel down on one knee at a time returning the weights to your sides. Repeat from the starting position with the opposite leg. This will really burn those gluteus, quads, hamstrings and especially the shoulders. Good luck with this one.

Finally, #10: Leg loop

Start seated on a mat with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Keep the dumbbell nearby. Lean back and lift your legs into a tabletop position, parallel to the floor. The leg loop works wonders on your core, burning any belly fat you might be fighting! Take a dumbbell in one hand. Pull the knee on the same side in towards the chest and extend the other leg long so you can loop the dumbbell under the bent knee through to the other hand. Once the dumbbell is through repeat on the other side. 

Now that you’ve reached the end, repeat, of course!

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