How To Lose Belly Fat With Dumbbells

Picture of someone putting a tape measure around their bare belly

Working out with dumbbells is one of the most effective ways to help shift body fat. You can’t specifically target the fat around the belly but if you get the basics right then you will lose it from all areas of your body including your belly, lower back, hips and butt!

Before we get on to how to lose belly fat with dumbbells, let’s look at the factors that have to come into play to help shift it.

Man lifting up his sweatshirt to reveal his abs

Exercising To Lose Belly Fat

At the most basic level, fat loss comes as a result of burning more calories through exercise and daily activity than you consume by eating. But you also need to look after your body to help optimise it for losing fat in the first place. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, limiting stress and getting enough sleep all need to combine to optimise your body for stripping away fat.

A study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2016, showed that combining both cardio and resistance training is the best way to help fight fat. The study examined factors including body mass, fat mass, and lean body mass increase, amongst others, and compared performing cardio alone to undertaking a combination of both cardio and resistance (weight) training. The combination of cardio and resistance exercises were seen to improve body composition, reduce inflammation and increase metabolic activity (the rate at which your body burns calories) in those that participated.

When you add resistance training to your workouts you help your body to build muscle. Muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat, even when you’re resting, so the more muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn, resulting in increased fat loss. This is where those dumbbells come into play!

Dumbbell Workouts To Help Fat LossA pair of blue dumbbells in front of a set of weighing scales

Dumbbells can help you build muscle and burn a significant amount of calories when you train effectively. Typically, whole-body movements at a high intensity will be the most effective way of promoting the greatest level of calorie burning. As an added bonus, Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC – a process that’s created after dumbbell workouts – will help elevate your calorie burn levels for many hours afterwards. So you will not only burn lots of calories during your dumbbell workout, you’ll also continue to burn them at a higher rate afterwards as a result of your body attempting to return to a resting state.

During this return to resting state, your body rebalances hormones and replenishes fuel stores whilst also repairing cells and muscle which use up calories at a much more elevated rate than it would normally – adding to your calorie burn. Training with dumbbells in a high-intensity circuit workout will create this EPOC effect, although if you’re a beginner it is always best to start with lower-intensity workouts and build up to more advanced circuits as you become fitter. As always, listen to your body and don’t perform any exercises which cause pain or seem too strenuous or difficult when starting any new fitness plan.

A set of five dumbbells stacked into a pyramid with a blue sneaker andblue medicine ball in the backgroundCreating An Effective Dumbbell Circuit Workout

In order to create an effective dumbbell circuit workout you need to pay attention to the timing. A high-intensity interval workout is generally done with 15-45 seconds of work and then 30-60 seconds of rest to generate EPOC metabolic conditioning.

When putting together your dumbbell workout, choose between four and eight exercises. The entire workout doesn’t need to be any more that 15-20 minutes in duration due to its intensity, but obviously add on a bit of time before and after to warm-up before, and cool down after, your workout. Around five to ten minutes either side should be sufficient. You’ll need to choose how many rounds of this group of exercises you want to do, depending on how much time you have, but generally five to eight rounds is sufficient for a workout of four exercises and three to five rounds for up to eight exercises – but make it work for you.

So a thirty-minute workout could include a five-minute warm-up, followed by five high-intensity dumbbell exercises of around 15 seconds work and 45 seconds rest for one round. When you reach the end of each round, rest for up to 60 seconds and then start the next round. At the end of your final round perform a five-minute cool down to complete your extremely effective 30 minute fat-burning workout!

Dumbbell Exercises To Lose Fat Woman in black sportswear lifting dumbbells of a dumbbell rack

These are just some examples of really effective exercises to create a high-intensity fat loss circuit to burn lots of calories and create the EPOC effect.

If you’re new to this, practice without dumbbells until you are comfortable and can perform the exercises with good form. Remember to never sacrifice form for speed and don’t try to ‘push past’ pain. If you need to rest slightly longer between rounds then do so – remember this is about making it work for you and your level of ability and fitness.

Exercise One: The Dumbbell Thruster

Exercise Two: The Dumbbell Step-Up

Exercise Three: The Dumbbell Walking Lunge

Exercise Four: The Renegade Row

Exercise Five: The Farmers Carry

Close-up of a hand holding a black marker pen and ticking off a checklist

All The Elements You Need To Lose Belly Fat

The above is by no means a complete guide of how to lose belly fat with dumbbells, or even how to lose fat. As mentioned, there are many factors that come into play when working out to achieve fat loss but they don’t have to be overwhelming and it’s actually a relatively simple process of just applying the advice and incorporating the workouts into your day.

There are many tips on the internet on how to lose fat – but they are just that, tips. To make the change you need, and quickly, you should eat healthily and try to achieve a calorie deficit – so try to measure the calories you consume and start incorporating some high-intensity dumbbell workouts into your exercise regime. Just 30 minutes, three to five times a week (whilst staying active in-between) should see you losing fat, building muscle and moving you towards the physique you want.


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