7 Quick Dumbbell Exercises To Keep Your Weight Down for Good
With warm weather and sunny plans around the corner, it's understandable you want to sculpt your best, fittest summer body. But getting into shape and losing excess weight isn't the only challenge—knowing how to keep the weight off afterward can be just as difficult. Along with establishing a calorie deficit (torching more calories than you consume), an excellent way to shed stubborn pounds is by moving your body through lifting weights, says Paizley Longino, CNC, CPT, and coach for STRIDE Fitness in Lubbock, TX. That's why we spoke with the experts who break down seven of the best quick dumbbell exercises to keep your weight down for good. Sculpting lean muscle will give your metabolism a boost and lower your percentage of body fat.
"By building an effective program using strength training with dumbbells you can create a habit that could not only help you lose weight but keep it off! There are so many more ways to incorporate dumbbells, so get creative and the possibilities are basically endless once you begin," Longino explains. "Dumbbells are handy, they come in various sizes, shapes, colors, as sets or even individually so that you can personalize your collection according to your movements and style."
Longino recommends doing total-body movements three times a week if you're a beginner, then bumping things up to four or five times a week and splitting up your workouts to focus on certain body parts. So without further delay, here are some quick dumbbell exercises to keep your weight down for good.
1. Reverse Lunge Thruster
The reverse lunge thruster starts with you standing tall and holding dumbbells in both hands. Your palms should face your body. To initiate the motion, take a stride back with one leg, maintaining a tall chest and an activated core. Your front heel should be planted on the ground. When stepping back to the front, hinge your elbows, and press the dumbbells overhead, completely extending your arms. Repeat on the other side.
2. Renegade Rows
This exercise will put your whole body to work. You'll start in a pushup/high plank position holding onto a set of dumbbells on the ground. Your legs should be extended and your core activated. Bring one of the dumbbells up toward your hip before lowering it back down and repeating on the other side. "This movement is challenging but it will be a game changer," Longino says.
3. Rear Delt Fly
Begin the rear delt fly standing with your arms hanging down and forming a "V" in front of your body as you bend forward and bring your hips back. Raise the dumbbells up and away from the "V" position as high up as you can bring them. "You should feel most of the movement in your rear delts as well as into your arms," Longino says.
4. Hammer Curl to Kickback
This exercise will improve your posture, build up your arm muscles, and activate your core muscles. You'll start with the dumbbells by your sides and your palms facing toward your body. Press your hips back, and hinge your elbows as you curl the weights to your shoulders. Once you reach the top of the motion, completely extend both arms behind you for the tricep kickback.
5. Gorilla Rows
"This move is an all-around power move because it challenges your legs, core, arms, and back at once," Longino explains. You'll start by bending both knees and hinging forward. Your core should be activated and your back flat. The dumbbells should be in both hands with your palms facing each other. One at a time, row the weights up toward your back.
6. Dumbbell Squats
To set up for dumbbell squats, you'll place your feet shoulder-width distance apart and hold a dumbbell in both hands at the height of your shoulders. Activate your core as you descend into a squat. Maintain a straight back. Make sure your weight stays in your heels as you lower down. Hold this position momentarily as you press through both heels to rise back up.
"When performing a dumbbell squat, it is important to keep your knees in line with your toes, and to avoid letting your knees collapse inward. Also, make sure to keep your back straight throughout the movement, and to lower your body in a controlled manner," Joy Veluz, coach for STRIDE Fitness, tells us.
To set up for deadlifts, place your feet shoulder-width distance apart. A set of dumbbells should be on the floor in front of you. Bend both knees a bit, and hinge your hips to grab the weights. Your palms should face down. Activate your core, keep your chest lifted, and straighten your back. Press through your heels in order to lift the weights, making sure they stay close to your body. Lift the weights until they're up by your hips and you're standing up straight. Hold this for a moment before bringing the weights back to the floor.
"When performing a deadlift, it is important to keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the movement. Also, make sure to lift with your legs rather than your back to avoid putting undue stress on your lower back. Finally, make sure to lower the dumbbell(s) back down to the ground in a controlled manner to avoid injury," Veluz explains.