6 Best Fat-Burning Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbbell is an effective tool that can help burn fat and gain muscle. (Image via Unsplash / Aaron Barrera)
Dumbbell is an effective tool that can help burn fat and gain muscle. (Image via Unsplash / Aaron Barrera)

It’s no secret that fast high-intensity cardio works the best when it comes to fat-burning. However, there's a common misperception that if we aren’t jumping around the room or moving fast on a bike or running path, we just aren’t being efficient.

If you’ve seen a person working out with nothing but dumbbells, you probably think they are wasting their time. It looks like a slower version of lifting weights, right? You might be surprised to know that it can be just as effective.

Best Dumbbell Exercises for Fat Loss

Here are six great dumbbell exercises that can help you increase your metabolism (burn fat) while building a strong and shapely body:

1) Bench Press

Dumbbells are an excellent tool for burning fat and building muscle definition in the pectoral area. They also work the shoulder muscles. The key aspect to remember with dumbbell exercises, just like all exercises, is to squeeze at the top of the movement.


To do this exercise:

  • Lie on the bench with dumbbells held at your sides and palms facing upwards.
  • Straighten your arms, lifting the weights above your chest.
  • Keep going till your arms are straight above your chest; don’t touch them together.
  • Bring the weights back down just past shoulder level, lowering with control.
  • Repeat this process in any dumbbell exercise, and make sure you perform each repetition with control.

2) Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

This deadlift version can burn fat and give your hamstrings a good workout.


To do this pose:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward and dumbbells at your sides.
  • Shift your hips back, and bend your knees as you lower the dumbbells towards the floor (keeping them angled on the outside of your legs).
  • Maintain a neutral spine while lowering the weight till you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Come back up to standing, contracting the glutes and hamstrings on the way up.

3) Alternating Overhead Press

The alternating overhead dumbbell press can help you burn even more fat, especially in your shoulders and chest.


Here's how to do it:

  • Hold two dumbbells at shoulder height, with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders, and turn your wrists so that the heels of your palms face each other.
  • Press one dumbbell up towards the ceiling till your elbow meets your ear.
  • Bring the weight back down to shoulder height, and switch arms; repeat till you've done all the reps.

4) Single Arm Row Hold

The single arm row hold can help you with fat-burn and build muscle in your lats, shoulders, chest, upper back, biceps, and legs.


To do this exercise:

  • Lie down on the floor, with a dumbbell in your left hand.
  • Lift your knees one inch off the floor, and row the dumbbell close towards your chest.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can. Rest; switch sides, and repeat.
  • If holding with your knees off the ground is too challenging, keep them on the floor.

5) Overhead Tricep Extension

The overhead tricep extension is a great fat burning, muscle building and calorie torching exercise. It works your triceps, shoulders, and core.


Here's how you do this workout:

  • Stand tall, and grasp a dumbbell in both hands, with your arms at your sides.
  • Lift it over and behind your head till your arms are extended out straight.
  • Lower the weight till your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Don't let them swing out to the sides. Press the dumbbell straight up as you straighten your elbows.
  • Lower it back down slowly to complete one rep. Repeat

6) Dumbbell Reverse Fly

The reverse dumbbell fly workout targets the back of the shoulders, upper back, and part of the arms. It's good for fat burning and muscle nutrition.


Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing each other.
  • Bend your knees slightly as you hinge forward till your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your back flat, and slowly raise the dumbbells out to your sides.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together, and lower the weights back down. Do that until you’ve completed all your reps.


If you're serious about transforming your body in the best way possible, incorporating a healthy workout routine is an absolute must.

While you may have heard that jogging or other cardio exercises are the most efficient way to lose weight, dumbbell workouts are more effective. So it's important to know which dumbbell workouts and moves work well for burning fat so that you can incorporate them in your fitness plan.

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Edited by Bhargav