6 Best Dumbbell Exercises for Men to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Dumbbell exercises boost weight loss and build muscle. (Photos via Pexels/Tima Miroshnichenko)
Dumbbell exercises boost weight loss and build muscle. (Photos via Pexels/Tima Miroshnichenko)

Dumbbell exercises are an easy and effective way to develop muscle and lose fat. They boost muscle activation and stabilization and even recruits more muscles during exercise. These workouts force the muscles to work unilaterally so that you can identify the weak ones and work on them.

Compared to other weight exercises, dumbbell workouts are generally a safer option and more beneficial at overloading muscles for hypertrophy. Another benefit of training with dumbbells is that once you’ve completed your strength training, the body continues to burn calories and fat for several hours.

That's because more muscle density allows you to burn fat not just during exercise but at other times also. Dumbbell exercises help increase fat loss, build overall body strength and endurance, develop muscle mass, and amp up your cardio.

So, are you ready to level up your workout and burn fat along the way? Look no further, as we’ve compiled few of the best dumbbell exercises you must try in your next workout session at the gym.

Dumbbell Exercises to Shed Fat and Build Mass

Try the following five exercises for men in your next full body strength training session to give a kickstart to your weight-loss journey:

1) Goblet Squat

Goblet squats are a full body weight loss exercise that’re suitable for all fitness levels. They boost glute activation and help enhance thoracic and hip mobility as well.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand tall holding a dumbbell with both hands. Position the dumbbell in front of your chest, and keep your feet at shoulder width.
  • Maintaining the position of the dumbbell, push your hips back, and sit into a squat while keeping your back straight and neck neutral.
  • Slowly drive back up by pressing your heels into the floor, and repeat the exercise.
  • Continue for ten reps, and aim to complete at least three sets.

2) Dumbbell Uppercut

Dumbbell uppercuts are one of the best dumbbell exercises to elevate heart rate and give the body a significant cardio hit. This exercise helps develop full body power and especially tones the upper body.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand. Position the dumbbells at shoulder level using an underhand grip, and take a boxing stance.
  • Begin to punch upwards starting with your left arm while also pivoting your left foot at the same time.
  • Return your left hand and leg to the starting position, and repeat the punching movement on the other side.
  • Complete ten reps on each side, and ensure that you maintain a stable and tight core.

3) Two-arm Dumbbell Stiff-legged Deadlift

It's one of the best free weight dumbbell exercises that can help reduce lower body fat.

This exercise targets the entire lower body muscles, including the glutes, hips, calves, and hamstrings. It also strengthens the posterior chain muscles and prevents lower back and hip injury.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Slowly hinge at your waist. Lower the weights to the top of your feet, and try to go as down as you can without arching your back.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat the exercise.
  • Complete three sets of 15 reps.

4) Dumbbell One-arm Swing

The dumbbell one-arm swing is a great full body workout that targets both the upper and lower body muscles, including the hamstrings, glutes, abs, shoulders, quads, and core.

When done correctly, this exercise not only engages the posterior chain muscles but also helps develop muscle mass, boosts grip strength and strengthens the muscles in the shoulders, lower back, and quads.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Take a standard squat position, with a dumbbell in your right hand.
  • With one slow motion, swing the dumbbell forcefully through your legs, and immediately drive yourself forward.
  • As soon as you push forward, bring the dumbbell up over your head, and straighten your legs at the same time.
  • Return the dumbbell to the starting position, and perform a few reps.
  • Change sides, and perform a few more reps.

5) Step-up

This exercise targets the hamstrings, glutes, core, and quads, and maximizes glute activation. It's a single-leg exercise that enhances the stabilizer strength of the deeper muscles, thereby protecting the muscles against injury.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Stand in front of an elevated surface with a dumbbell in both hands, and place your left foot on top of it.
  • Push up using your heel, and lift yourself to place your right foot on the platform.
  • Step back down with your right foot first while flexing your hip and left knee.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other side.

6) Dumbbell Surrender

Surrenders are a full body fat-blasting dumbbell exercise that challenges the hamstrings, shoulders, glutes, quads, and core.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start the exercise in a kneeling position, and hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides.
  • Step forward with your right foot, and stand up while pressing the dumbbells over your head.
  • Kneel down again one knee at a time, and return the dumbbells to your sides.
  • Repeat the exercise from the starting position using your left leg.
  • Complete 15 reps.


The aforementioned dumbbell exercises are effective and can help you achieve great weight loss results.

If you're new to strength training, start these dumbbell exercises with light weights before gradually going for heavier weights as you develop more strength. Be consistent with your practice, but do not overtrain your muscles.

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Edited by Bhargav