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7 Simple Dumbbell Exercises To Lose Weight in 30 Days

Using free weights can make a major difference in your weight loss progress.

If you want to lose a few pounds, we suggest you listen up and grab a pair of dumbbells. Dumbbells are key when it comes to resistance training or strength training, which is essential for a solid weight loss routine. Why? Well, strength exercises help you shed weight by sculpting lean muscle tissue, Beaumont Health explains. Having a solid amount of muscle mass will torch more fat as opposed to muscle. This will help you maintain strength as you drop weight. To get you started, we're here with seven simple dumbbell exercises to lose weight in 30 days.

To learn everything you need to know, Eat This, Not That! reached out to Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM—a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who has helped develop the Body Program at Ro, who explains, "Resistance training (and the subsequent muscle recovery and repair) burns calories, so it helps with weight loss itself."

It's important to note that eating at a calorie deficit will not only help you to lose fat mass, but you'll also unfortunately lose muscle mass. To compensate for this, Dr. Bohl says, "Using dumbbells and engaging in other strength training activities is therefore the best way to maintain as much muscle mass as possible during a weight loss journey."

Typically, dumbbells are helpful in working out the upper body, but they can also assist in adding weight to your body for an effective lower-body workout. Dr. Bohl points out, "For example, if you hold small dumbbells in your hands when doing calf raises, you're adding more weight to your body and challenging your calf muscles more than without them. You can also hold dumbbells when doing squats or lunges for a similar effect."

Here are seven upper-body exercises to perform with dumbbells when your goal is to lose weight in 30 days. Be mindful that successful weight loss is a combination of diet and exercise.

1. Bicep Curls

close-up woman performing bicep curl

Every basic arm workout includes bicep curls. While holding your dumbbells in both hands, curl your arms upward. Your palms should face up. This exercise is an excellent workout for your bicep muscles.

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2. Hammer Curls

This next move is pretty similar to bicep curls, but for hammer curls, both palms will face inward. This exercise will work the brachioradialis and brachialis muscles along with your biceps.

You'll set up with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Make sure your elbows don't move too far in front of or behind your body as you bring the weights up, BarBend explains. Once you reach the top of the curl, in a gradual and controller motion, lower the dumbbells back down.

3. Tricep Extensions

overhead tricep extension exercise with dumbbells

For this exercise, you will hold both dumbbells with bent arms. Then, you will extend your arms against the force of gravity. This will target your triceps in the back of both arms. Dr. Bohl notes, "There are actually several variations of these depending on where you're holding your arms (over your head, behind your back, etc.). As long as you're straightening your arms while moving the dumbbells against gravity, the exercise is effective."

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4. Delt Fly

For this next move, you will hold a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet should be planted shoulder-width distance apart. Press your hips back, keeping your arms extended toward the floor, MasterClass explains. Bend your elbows just a bit. Then, raise your arms to each side before lowering them back down. Repeat the move for six to 12 reps.

5. Overhead Press

woman holding dumbbells doing overhead press for dancer arms workout

The overhead press focuses on your deltoid muscles; this compound exercise also exercises your triceps. To set up, assume a stance with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at the height of your shoulders, MasterClass instructs. Then, press the weights over your head before slowly bringing them back down.

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6. Chest Press

The chest press can be accomplished with a workout bench and dumbbells. According to Dr. Bohl, this particular exercise is "one of the best chest workouts you can do."

To perform this exercise, you'll lie down flat on your back, holding a dumbbell in both hands, WebMD explains. Position yourself so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor and form a 90-degree angle with your upper body. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the ground. Gradually bring the weights up before lowering them down with control.

7. Dumbbell Row

woman performing dumbbell row exercise

For this final exercise, you'll set yourself up on a workout bench with one knee and arm planted on it. Face the floor, and keep your back even with the ground. Use your arm to support yourself on the bench, then lift and lower the dumbbell—rowing it up toward your torso and then back down. This will work your biceps and upper back muscles.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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