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Dumbbell Workouts for Cardio Weight Training - Burn Fat and Gain Cardio

Dumbbell Workouts for Cardio Weight Training – Burn Fat and Train Cardio

Dumbbells can be used for all sorts of cardio and weight training workouts. Today we’re going to talk specifically about using dumbbells for cardio and strength workouts, but that’s not all they’re good for. Whether you are looking to burn fat, calories, build fitness or more muscle dumbbell workouts can be used to accomplish any of your fitness goals.


Fitness Gains: What Cardio Weight Training Can Do for You

Cardio weight training can help you burn fat and improve cardio in less time than a treadmill workout. While running is great for cardio and building lean muscle, you can get a cardio workout that’s more effective and done in less time with a couple of dumbbells. Want to know another benefit of dumbbell workouts? These strength training workouts will not only burn fat while you’re doing them, but they’ll keep your body burning fat after you workout, too! Strength training and cardio weight lifting workouts will have your body burning fat for hours after you’ve finished your workout. Another great benefit is that these dumbbell workouts can be done anywhere with little equipment and space needed. 


The Key to Cardio Weight Lifting Workouts

The key to cardio weight lifting workouts with dumbbells is creating a high intensity workout with incomplete rests. High intensity and little to no rest is what creates the cardio aspect of the workout; it will get your heart rate up (and staying that way) throughout the course of your workout. And all it takes is 20-30 minutes!


Recommended Dumbbell Workouts


The easiest way to create an engaging dumbbell workout that gets the cardio and fat burning results you’re looking for is with a circuit workout. For a full body workout we recommend finding 10 dumbbell exercises that target a combination of upper body, lower body and core. Set a timer or fitness watch for one minute and do each exercise (as many reps as you can) for one minute straight. Once the minute is up, rest five seconds and do the next exercise for one minute. Repeat this until you’ve done all 10 exercises, then begin a second set. If you want a longer cardio weight lifting workout, repeat for a third set.

Workout Equipment Needed:
  • Workout shoes
  • Dumbbell set(s) (weight needed will vary based on the individual)
  • Yoga Mat
  • Fitness watch or timer

Workout tip: To find the dumbbell sizes that are best for you, we recommend starting with smaller weights and building up to larger weights as you need to. Also, for this circuit you might want to start with several weights next to your mat so you can use heavier dumbbells for some exercises and lighter dumbbells for other exercises.


1. Bicep Curl

Bicep curl

Stand with your feet hip width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand and your arms by either side. Keeping your upper arms still and elbows in close to your waist, curl the weights up to your shoulder (palms facing up), and slowly lower your arms back down to your sides. Repeat this on your other side.

Targets:  Biceps


2. Curtsy Lunge

Curtsy lunge with dumbbells

Using both hands, hold a dumbbell in front of you at chest height (hold it in close to your chest). Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and while keeping your core engaged, lift your right leg and cross it behind you and lower your body into a lunge. Then bring that leg up in front of you with a bent knee and hold for one second and then lower it back to standing.

Targets: Legs, glutes, hips


3. Single Arm Overhead Press

Single arm overhead press

Stand holding a dumbbell in your left hand with the dumbbell raised to your shoulder (palm facing inward). Keep your core engaged and your shoulders down (don’t let them raise). Raise the weight over your head until your arm is straight above and your bicep is close to your ear and then lower the dumbbell back down to your shoulder. Repeat on your other side.

Targets: Deltoid, triceps


4. Goblet Squat

Goblet squat with dumbbells

Stand up, feet further than shoulder width apart, with both hands holding the same end of one dumbbell right in front of you. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, slowly bend down until the other end of the dumbbell almost touches the ground. Then slowly rise back to standing.

Targets: Quads


5. Lateral Raise

Lateral raise with dumbbells

Start standing with a dumbbell in each hand and by your sides (palms facing in). Leaning forward a few degrees, raise the weights straight out to either side (your body will form a “T” shape) and slowly lower your arms back down. Be sure to raise your arms at the same speed and at the same time. Repeat this on your other side.

Targets: Deltoids, shoulders


6. Front Squat

Front squat with dumbbells

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells in each hand and arms by your sides. Keep your core engaged as you squat down until your legs form a 90-degree angle while keeping your chest up and looking straight in front of you. Slowly return back to standing.

Targets: Quads, Calves, Hamstrings, Low Back


7. Bent-Over Row

Bent-Over Row with Dumbbells

Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing the body), bend over 45-degrees, back straight and abdominals engaged. Then lift the weights straight up until they’re parallel with your shoulders and then lower the weights. (You’ll continue reps in the bent position). Legs remain motionless throughout the exercise.

Targets: Back, deltoids

8. Hammer Curl 

Hammer curl

Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands (palms facing inward). Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders, making sure only your hands and forearms are moving), pause for a second and then slowly slower the weight back down. Repeat on the other side.

Targets: Biceps


9. Floor Press

Floor press

This is like a bench press but done on the floor. Begin lying down with your back flat against the floor and knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the ground. With one dumbbell in each hand, start with your arms straight in front of you (above your chest) and slowly lower the weights towards your chest (arm is now bent at either side at a 90-degree angle) and slowly press them back up and straight out like you started. (Focus on the chest muscles being targeted).

Targets: Pectorals


10. Renegade Row

Renegade row with dumbbells

Begin in a plank position with dumbbells in each hand. Keeping your abdominals engaged and left arm straight, pull the right dumbbell towards your waste until your right tricep is parallel to your back (while keeping the rest of your body in a steady plank position), and slowly lower your right arm back to the mat. Repeat on the other side.

Targets: Triceps, core, lower back


Dumbbells are great for cardio and strength training. In just 20 minutes you can get a high intensity cardio weight workout at home or at the gym. One of the great things about this workout is that you can easily increase or decrease the intensity by doing more or less reps of each exercise each minute. Doing more reps will increase your cardio and doing less reps will make the workout a little easier. You can also adjust dumbbell weights to make the strength training portion of the workout easier or harder. Bottom line is, this dumbbell workout is a great foundation for a cardio weight workout that’ll have you burning fat and building strength in no time. And what’s also great is that this is a workout suited for beginner to advanced exercisers alike.


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