Strength training and using dumbbells is an important part of a weight loss plan, as it not only burns calories during the exercise session, but also increases calorie burn at rest, preserves and builds muscle mass, and helps you look smaller and firmer. Here are some ideas to help you lose 10 pounds using dumbbell workouts.
Choosing the Right Exercises
Choose dumbbell exercises that work large muscle groups, rather than ones that isolate smaller muscles. Squats, lunges and step-ups engage the quads, glutes and hamstrings, which are the large muscles in the lower half of your body. These muscles are your body’s calorie burning furnace. Try these techniques:
Wide Sumo Squat
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and point your toes outward. Hold a single dumbbell with both of your hands as if it were a goblet. Sink into a squat, taking care to not allow your knees to bend over your toes. Sink into the squat with a four-second count, and spring up to the start position with a one-second count. Complete 3 sets of 8 squats.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward with your left leg, and drop your right knee down as close to the floor as you can while taking care to keep your left knee at a 90 degree angle. Stand up and step forward with your right leg and drop your left knee down. Continue over a distance of 30-yards, rest for 1 minute, and repeat 3 times.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step with your left foot onto a bench that is 12 to 18 inches high. Touch your right foot to the top of the bench and then step back to the floor. To increase difficulty, lift the toes of the right foot off the floor as you step up with your left leg. This forces you to fully engage your quadriceps as you step up. Do this starting with your left leg 12 times and then switch to the right leg. Repeat 3 times.
Upper body dumbbell exercises that engage large muscle groups include the chest press and the push press. For the chest press, lie on a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand. Press the dumbbells up in the air trying to keep them in the same plane as your chest. Slowly bring them back down toward your chest. Keep your elbows out so that the dumbbells move naturally over your shoulders. You should feel a stretch in your chest. Press the dumbbells back up. Repeat 10 times and do 3 sets.
For the push press, stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend your elbows so that the dumbbells are up by your shoulders. With your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, slowly squat down. Quickly stand back up straight and use the momentum to straighten your arms, and push the dumbbells directly up. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Choose dumbbells that are heavy enough to make the last few reps of each exercise feel difficult. Muscle is built during rest, so make sure you allow 1-2 days in between weightlifting sessions. Support your weight training and weight loss with a healthy, thoughtful diet. Lean proteins (chicken, fish and egg whites), whole grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado and nuts) help build muscle and burn fat. Avoid junk food, drink plenty of water, and watch the scale (and your jean size) go down.