When you design your exercise program for weight loss, you may find yourself focused on cardiovascular workouts such as walking, cycling and swimming. You need these types of exercises to burn calories and contribute to your weight loss, but do not overlook the power of the dumbbell. Adding dumbbell exercises to your weekly routine burns calories during and after the workout. The increase in muscle tissue from the dumbbell workout increases your metabolism so you burn a higher number of calories, even when you are at rest. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose.
Select dumbbell exercises for your major muscle groups. Use a dumbbell amount that is challenging on your final two repetitions of each set.
Include exercises for your shoulders, chest, back and arms. For example, perform shoulder presses, bench presses, back rows, arm curls and arm extensions.
Strengthen your lower-body with exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts and calf raises, all while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Complete core-strengthening exercises including sit-ups, side bends, wood chops, and side-planks holding onto the dumbbell.
Perform eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise for each major muscle group. Complete one to three sets of each. Aim to train with the dumbbells for 30 minutes to burn approximately 228 calories if you weigh 140 pounds or 261 calories if you weigh 160 pounds.
Complete your dumbbell workouts two or three days a week to burn calories and increase your metabolism -- this, along with a healthy diet, will lead to your weight loss goals. Allow two days of rest in between training days for complete muscle recovery.