Effective Weight Loss Exercises

The most effective weight loss exercises are a combination of strength training and fairly intense cardio/aerobic workouts. There are a number of studies that have found this to be the fastest way to lose the weight and replace bulky body fat with lean slimming muscle for a more compact look. 

By using the two together, you can improve your overall body tone, achieve better health and raise your physical fitness to a higher level. And, these quick and easy exercises can be done in the comfort of your home with just a couple of inexpensive and compact dumbbells.

THE MYTH - Many individuals are under the illusion that lifting weights will bulk them up, but the fact is that unless you are consuming a ton of calories, lifting weights will create a leaner physique - not a hefty one. 

The new muscle that you add will burn extra calories to help you lose the weight correctly. Strength training can also help to target problem areas on your body and eventually replace the fatty spots with muscle.

Effective Weight Loss Exercises

Strength Training

Strength training provides some of the most effective weight loss exercises available. These routines will automatically activate your metabolism to burn extra fat and calories for hours, even when your workout is over. Combining the dumbbell exercises below with your cardio routine will boost your muscle definition and reduce unwanted body fat.

couple exercising with dumbbells
couple cardio training

There are a countless number of strength training exercises that are available to you as you progress with your exercise plan. We have provided five popular ones along with pictured instructions to help you get started:

  • Start with a regular strength training workout 2-3 times a week (never two days in a row) using the pictured exercises shown below.
  • Warm up with 10 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, exercise bike, or treadmill.

  • For each exercise, aim for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps, resting for no more than 30 seconds in between each rep and a 1-2 minute rest between sets.

Dumbbell Front Squats

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise weights to shoulder height with elbows bent and palms facing outward. 

  • Lower down into a squat position. Hold for a few seconds and return to starting position.


front squat position #1
front squat position #2Kim Demonstrating the Front Squat

Lying Tricep Extension

Exercise Instructions:

  • Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and dumbbells held resting on the floor at your sides with palms facing in.

  • Engage your abs and lift the dumbbells straight up above you as pictured.

  • Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells until they are almost touching the floor on either side of your head.

  • Raise the dumbbells back up once again without moving your upper arms until they are fully extended and finish your reps.

lying tricep extension position#1
lying tricep extension position #2
lying tricep extension position #3Kim Demonstrating the Lying Tricep Exercise

Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a pair of dumbbells hanging straight down in front of you with your palms facing your body. 

  • Bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight. Lower until your back is parallel to the floor, squeeze your glutes and return to the starting position.

stiff legged deadlift position#1
stiff legged deadlift position #2

Dumbbell Overhead Press

  • Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, lift a pair of dumbbells to shoulder height. Bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle, with palms facing forward. 

  • Lift the weights upward until your arms are straight. Be careful not to lock your elbows or hyperextend your arms. Return to starting position.

dumbbell overhead press position #1
overhead press position #2

Bridge with Weights

 Exercise Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold one dumbbell in both hands across your lower abdomen or hips. 

  • Lift your hips off the ground into a bridge position, making sure not to over arch your back. Lower to starting position.

bridge with weights position #1
bridge with weights position#2Kim Demonstrating the Bridge Hip Raise with Weights

Cardio Exercises

There are many effective cardio exercises to help burn extra calories. The key is to use a variety of cardio routines that will have you using different muscles and keep you fresh.

One day you should go for a run or an elliptical workout (if you have access to a gym), and the next day go for a long walk. Try and do some cardio at least every other day.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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