The dumbbell is a versatile exercise tool that can help you build a weight-loss routine.
Dumbbell workouts can help you accomplish your goal to lose weight. A combination of resistance training, cardio and a healthy diet will ensure you're on the right track. The best dumbbell workouts for losing weight will target your upper and lower body -- a whole body approach to dumbbells will give you a balanced and toned look while you begin shedding fat.
The key advantage of working with dumbbells is that they allow you to engage more muscles in your workout than you would expect. For example, a dumbbell bench press targets the chest, but as Pat Manocchia points out in his book вЂњAnatomy of Exercise,вЂќ by using dumbbells, you also hit the biceps. The reason for this is dumbbells require you to engage unrelated muscles to stabilize the movement of the weight. You don't need to know the precise anatomy of a dumbbell exercise before you begin hitting the weights -- but know that by using dumbbells, you're using more muscles than you would otherwise.
Exercise: Cardio and Resistance Training
Cardio is long-term movement at a low-intensity. In contrast, resistance training is short-term, high-intensity exercise. Resistance training exercise lasts under a minute but requires you to lift heavy amounts of weight. You must repeat your resistance training exercises with rests in between, such as bicep curling for 10 repetitions, resting for three minutes and repeating the process for two or three sets.
Cardio vs. Resistance Training
Weightlifting and cardio burn calories -- both can apply dumbbells. Constant cardio, exercise that elevates your heart rate, changes how your body expends energy; it allows your body to burn off fat more quickly. Weightlifting, or resistance training, expends calories and increases metabolism, both effective at helping you lose weight. The choice to focus on cardio or resistance training is one of personal preference -- but the best method is often to find a balance between the two.
Whole Body Workouts
For the upper body, dumbbells are usually pushed upward or raised upward from the floor. For the lower body, dumbbells are held in-place, with your body being the key mover. Examples of the best dumbbell exercises include the bench press, which targets the chest; curls, which target the biceps; triceps dumbbell kickbacks, bent-over one-arm deltoid raise, seated lateral raise, rear deltoid raise, upright row, shoulder shrug and the push press. For the lower body, dumbbell squats work the thighs, while calf-raises engage the calves and forward lunges work your glutes and thighs -- the stiff leg deadlift, side lunge and backward dumbbell lunge are also effective dumbbell workouts for losing weight.
If you are new to dumbbells, ask for assistance on which exercises work which areas -- avoid inventing your own exercises, as doing so can lead to injury.
Whether you focus on a more cardio-heavy program or more weight-training program, you should design a routine. For cardio exercises with dumbbells, use light weight and engage in your exercises quickly and consistently. For weight-training, use heavier dumbbells, perform an exercise five to 10 times, rest for a few minutes, and repeat the exercise; you can safely do this in three to five sets. Avoid overtraining -- you need to give your muscles time to rest. Engaging in three or four sessions per week is enough to see weight-loss results.