Working out regularly with dumbbells makes your body more efficient at burning calories, which can help you lose stomach fat. Stomach fat includes two kinds of fat: subcutaneous fat, the layer of fat directly under the skin, and visceral fat, the most dangerous fat on your body. Visceral fat blankets your internal organs, affecting your insulin, cholesterol and inflammation levels. Fortunately, you can combine dumbbell workouts with cardio exercises and reasonable calorie reduction to preserve your muscle mass as you lose stomach fat. This will improve your physique and reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Perform a circuit training workout for at least 20 minutes three times a week. A 150-pound person burns an estimated 756 calories in an hour of circuit training, according to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of exercises with dumbbells, such as squats with shoulder presses, lunges, side lunges, dumbbell rows, flys, butterflies and dumbbell pullovers. Rest only 30 seconds between sets to burn the maximum number of calories. Complete one circuit of the exercises if you're a beginner, and progress to two circuits and then three circuits as you become stronger.
Perform moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week. Gradually increase your exercise duration and intensity to burn more calories. Aim to increase your aerobic exercise to 60 minutes a day to effectively burn fat, the American Council on Exercise advises. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise includes brisk walking and low-impact aerobic classes while vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise includes jogging, running and step aerobics. Using light dumbbells during aerobic exercise increases your calorie burn.
Use light dumbbells during your aerobic workouts, if your doctor approves. Start with a pair of 1-pound hand weights, and don't exceed 3 pounds. Using hand weights during an aerobic session boosts your calorie-burning rate by five to 15 percent, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Keep a pair of dumbbells in sight of the table where you eat. Use them as a reminder of your hard work to stay mindful of your caloric intake. Practice portion control, and include vegetables at every meal to improve your nutrition and reduce your consumption of high-calorie foods.
Full-body and compound movements, such as squats and squats with shoulder presses, burn more calories and boost your metabolism more than small muscle exercises, such as biceps curls.
Perform abdominal exercises, such as crunches, the plank and the side plank, to strengthen the muscles that stabilize your torso and reduce your risk of injury from your dumbbell exercise plan.
Confirm your exercise intensity with the talk test. At moderate intensity you should be able to carry on a conversation; at vigorous intensity you should be able to speak a few words but not carry on a conversation.
Stretch all of your muscle groups for 10 minutes after each workout. This improves your flexibility and can reduce muscle soreness and your risk of injury during your dumbbell exercise program.
Consult your doctor about any medical concerns and before starting an exercise program.
- Cleveland Clinic Health; How 'Love Handles' Are Linked to Heart Disease; September 2009
- President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: Exercise and Weight Control
- American Council on Exercise; How Can I Get Rid of Belly Fat?; Jessica Matthews; April 2010
- American Council on Exercise; Do the Benefits Outweight the Risks if Individuals Hold Dumbbells...; Cedric Bryant; December 2009