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Can You Do Cardio With Dumbbells?

Both resistance training and cardio exercises can be done at the same time without conflict. Combining them, on the other hand, results in the most efficient possible workout session. To raise your heart rate, burn more calories, and improve your cardiovascular health, you must make a few adjustments to your existing strength training routine to increase its intensity. Following the instructions for these cardio exercises with dumbbells is a good place to start if you want to get more out of your workout. You might discover that you are enjoying yourself more as well.

can you do cardio with dumbbells

What Can Cardio Weight Training Do for You?

Compared to running on a treadmill, cardio weight training can help you burn fat and improve your cardio in a shorter amount of time. You can get a cardio workout that is more effective and done in less time by using a couple of dumbbells. Running is great for cardio and building lean muscle, but you can get the same results with dumbbells. Do you want to know another advantage of exercising with dumbbells? These strength-training workouts will not only cause you to burn fat while doing them but also cause your body to continue to burn fat even after you have finished working out! Workouts that combine cardio with weight lifting will keep your body burning fat for hours after you have finished your strength training session. Workouts using dumbbells have the additional advantage of being portable and requiring little in the way of equipment or space to perform. It is a significant advantage.

Cardio Workout with Dumbbells

Bent-Over Row

Stand with your feet about the width of your shoulders apart, and your knees bent just a little bit. Bend over to a 45-degree angle, keeping your back straight and your abdominal muscles engaged. Do this while holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing the body. After that, straighten your back and raise the weights above your head until they are level with your shoulders, and then slowly lower them. (You will continue your repetitions while in the bent position.) The legs do not move at any point in time during the exercise.

Bicep Curl

It would be best to hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms by your sides while standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Curl the weights up to your shoulder while keeping your upper arms still and your elbows close to your waist. With your palms facing up, curl the weights up to your shoulder. Slowly lower your arms back down to your sides. It would help if you did the same thing on the other side.

Curtsy Lunge

Holding a dumbbell in front of you at chest height while using both hands to do so (hold it close to your chest). Begin by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Next, lift your right leg and cross it behind you while keeping your core engaged. Finally, lower your body into a lunge position. The next step is to bring the opposite leg in front of you with the knee bent, hold the position for one second, and then slowly return to a standing position.

Floor Press

This exercise is similar to a bench press but performed on the floor. To begin, get into a prone position with your back pressed firmly against the ground, your knees bent at a ninety-degree angle, and your feet planted firmly on the ground. The next step is to take 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 (at this point, your arms should be bent at either side at an angle of 90 degrees), and then slowly press them back up and straight out like you did when you started. (Attention should be paid to the chest muscles being worked.)

Front Squat

Maintaining a shoulder-width stance and holding dumbbells in both hands while keeping your arms at your sides, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintain a strong core contraction as you squat down until your legs form an angle of 90 degrees, keeping your chest lifted and your gaze fixed directly in front of you the entire time. Then, return slowly to a standing position.

Goblet Squat

It would be best if you were standing with your feet further apart than shoulder-width apart and one dumbbell held in both hands with the same end of the weight in front of you. The next step is to bend down slowly until the other end of the dumbbell almost touches the ground. Keep your back straight, and your core engaged throughout this movement. After that, slowly return to a standing position.

Hammer Curl 

To begin, position your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart. Next, please put your hands on a set of dumbbells and hold them (palms facing inward). Next, curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders while keeping your elbows close to your body. Make sure that only your hands and forearms are moving during this movement. After curling the weight up to your shoulders, pause for a second and slowly lower the weight back down. Then, on the other side, repeat the process.

Lateral Raise

First, get into a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand and stand by your sides (palms facing in). Raise the weights straight out to either side, forming a “T” shape with your body as you do so. Then, lower your arms back down to the starting position in a controlled manner. You all must raise your arms at the same pace and at the same time. It would be best if you did the same thing on the other side.

Renegade Row

Put both hands on a pair of dumbbells and get into the plank position. The next step is to keep your abdominals engaged while keeping your left arm straight. Next, while keeping the rest of your body in the plank position, pull the right dumbbell towards your waist until your right tricep is parallel to your back. Then, slowly lower your right arm back to the mat. On the other side, repeat the process.

Single Arm Overhead Press

Maintaining standing while holding a dumbbell in your left hand and bringing it up to your shoulder (palm facing inward). Maintain a strong core engagement and bring your shoulders back and down; do not let them rise. Raise the weight above your head until your arm is perpendicular to the ground and your bicep is near your ear, and then slowly bring the dumbbell back down to your shoulder from where you started. Do the same thing on the other side.

Dumbbell Exercises That Burn Fat

It is not your typical strength training session, so you should prepare accordingly. On the other hand, if you train your muscles in various ways and include some powerlifting in your routine, you will end up with a high calorie and fat burn, in addition to a little bit of cardio. It is because most of the moves target multiple joints and muscles at once, and most of them will cause your heart rate to skyrocket.

Cross Behind Lunge Lateral Curl

To begin, get into a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your hands alongside your legs holding dumbbells.

  • You will be performing a cross-over step by crossing your right foot behind your left leg and landing on the ball of your back foot with your knees bent.
  • Return your right foot to the starting position, and while doing so, extend your arms out to the side of your body while keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Repeat the motion by stepping backwards with your left foot while gradually lowering your arms to your sides.


Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart and the dumbbells resting in front of your thighs. It will be the starting position for this exercise.

  • Contract your abdominal muscles and maintain a flat back while bending your knees ever-so-slightly and bringing the dumbbells closer and closer to the ground.
  • To lift yourself and return to the upright position, squeeze your glutes and focus on using your hamstrings and legs.

Forward Lunge Bicep Curl

Keep your feet hip-distance apart and your stance tall. Take a sizable stride forward with one foot, and bring the rest of your body toward the ground. When you are at the bottom of the lunge, you should have both legs bent at a 90-degree angle.

  • After bringing the weights up towards the shoulders to finish the bicep curl, push off with the front foot and return to the starting position.
  • It should be repeated on the other side.

Leg Loop

To begin, find a comfortable seated position on a mat with your knees bent, and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Keep a dumbbell close at hand. Next, pull your abdominal muscles toward your spine, lean back, and lift your legs into a tabletop position parallel to the ground.

  • Hold a dumbbell in one hand while you do this.
  • While bringing the knee on the same side towards the chest, extend the other leg out to the side as far as you can. It will allow you to loop the dumbbell through the space under the bent knee and onto the other hand.
  • After you have passed the dumbbell through, repeat the motion on the other side.

Plank to Upright Row

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First, get into a plank position with your arms and legs extended, your hands shoulder-width apart, and dumbbells in each hand.

  • Walk or jump with both feet outside your hands, and lower yourself into a squatting position as if sitting back in a chair.
  • Put some pressure on your heels and press your weight back onto them. But first, contract your glutes and the muscles in your buttocks, then stand up.
  • To perform an upright row, slowly pull the dumbbells up to chest height while letting your elbows point out to the sides as you lift the weights. It is one rep of the exercise.
  • After that, bring your arms back down under control.

Plie V Raise

It would be best if you were standing with the dumbbells in your hands, and your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes turned out.

  • Knees should be bent, and a deep plié should be achieved by lowering down.
  • To get into a standing position, squeeze your glutes and straighten your legs like you’re going to run.
  • Contract the abdominal muscles and lift the arms to the side to form a V shape.
  • Bring your arms back down to your sides to return to the starting position.

Side-To-Side Squat and Swing

Put a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your feet slightly further apart than hip-width apart to begin.

  • Squat down into a low position while stepping your right foot out to the side and then sitting back into the squat.
  • Allow the dumbbell to swing back under your legs before bringing it up to chest height while jumping.
  • To perform a side squat on the other side, switch the dumbbell to the other hand and come into the starting position.

Squat Thruster

Beginning in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart, bend your knees to lower yourself into a squat position. Maintain a straight back, a lifted chest, and knees behind the toes. The dumbbells are at shoulder level, and the elbows are bent in a bent-over rowing motion.

  • Lift yourself to standing using your lower body, then press the dumbbells overhead while extending your arms as far as they can.
  • Then return to the position from which you started.


Begin by getting into a kneeling position while holding the dumbbells at the sides of your body. To prevent injury to your knees, always kneel on a cushioned surface or a workout mat.

  • While standing completely upright and pressing the weights above your head, take a single step forward with one foot.
  • Begin by bringing the weights back to your sides as you kneel on one knee at a time.
  • Perform the movement with the opposite leg, starting from the same position.

Dumbbell Exercises FAQs

How to Strength Train With Dumbbells?

Your workout experience and your desired fitness level should guide your approach to training with dumbbells. You can perform a wide variety of exercises with dumbbells. These exercises range from compound movements, such as squats, which work for multiple muscle groups at once, to muscle-isolating movements, such as curls for the biceps. Your routine for working out with dumbbells should include these various exercises because even the most basic isolation exercises can help you become more proficient at complex compound exercises. You might have access to a wide variety of dumbbells if you work out in a gym or have a complete home gym set up in your own space. If, on the other hand, you are beginning, it is recommended that you invest in a medium set as well as a heavy set of dumbbells. It will enable you to carry out various exercises using dumbbells. Once you have this information, you will be able to fine-tune various aspects of your workouts, such as the number of repetitions and sets you complete (as well as the amount of rest you take between them).

Do Barbells and Dumbbells Use Different Muscles?

Whether you use a barbell or dumbbell, your exercises will have the same effect on your target muscles. For instance, the quadriceps are the primary target of both the barbell back squat and the dumbbell goblet squat, but they also engage the glutes and hamstrings. Likewise, a curl with a barbell and a curl with dumbbells similarly work the biceps. However, the activation level will change depending on how your body moves. As previously mentioned, you will move when working out with dumbbells than a barbell. For example, when performing a dumbbell goblet squat, the proper form requires you to keep your torso more upright than you would if you were performing a back squat. Therefore, it places less emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings and places more emphasis on the quadriceps, which is how it feels for many people. Also, when curling with dumbbells, instead of a straight bar, you can supinate or twist your wrists outward as you bring the weight up, whereas curling with a straight bar does not allow this movement. Again, this can result in greater activation of your upper arm’s biceps and forearm muscles. In contrast to barbell moves, Dumbbell exercises differ from barbell moves in one significant way: because of the greater range of motion (ROM) and freedom of movement involved in dumbbell exercises, they recruit a greater number of “stabilizer” muscles than barbell variations do. However, when coaches and trainers talk about stabilizers, they typically refer to relatively small muscles, such as the rear delts, rotator cuff, serratus anterior, and levator scapula in the upper body or the gluteus minimus and piriformis in the hip region. Because stabilizer muscles are smaller and less powerful than prime movers like the pecs, lats, quads, and glutes, the more an exercise allows you to rely on prime movers rather than stabilizers, the more weight you will be able to move. Your stabilizers are the limiting factor when performing a given movement with dumbbells as opposed to a barbell because, as the saying goes, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. Then, exercises involving dumbbells activate more muscles (big and small ones combined), whereas exercises involving barbells get the most out of the larger muscles. However, this does not necessarily imply that the latter is superior for gaining muscle.

Can Dumbbells Increase Weight?

The progression is simple if you are working out with free weights such as dumbbells, move on to the following weight increase (usually a five lb. increase in most dumbbell sets). Therefore, when it is time to increase the weight on a barbell squat, you should add ten additional pounds if you currently lift 100 pounds.

At What Age Can You Start Weight Training?

Children between 6 and 8 typically develop an interest in sports, which is a good age for them to start resistance training. After all, moving with proper form requires adequate muscular strength, so participation in sports should require some form of resistance training in some form.

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