This Fast-Paced Dumbbell Workout For Fat Loss Also Builds Muscle

Man performing renegade row exercise at home
(Image credit: elenaleonova / Getty Images)

There’s no single workout that will help you hit your weight loss goals by itself (and it needs to be paired with a suitable nutrition plan), but some are more helpful than others. This dumbbell workout is a great addition to any routine, helping you to burn fat and build muscle, as well as improving your cardio fitness. 

It’s been put together by Sarah Spence, personal trainer at F45 Brixton, and should take around 30 minutes to perform, depending on how long you need to rest during and in between the four rounds of six exercises.

About Our Expert
About Our Expert
Sarah Spence

Sarah Spence is a certified personal trainer and studio manager at F45 Brixton. Spence also offers online personal training plans, and is a trainer for 1Rebel London and online for the app Show Up. Spence qualified as a certified personal trainer (NASM-CPT) in 2020 and also has a BA in English Literature from the University of Leeds.

Dumbbell Workout For Fat Loss Instructions

“This workout will build muscle, increase strength, get your heart rate up and get you in that fat-burning zone,” says Spence. “There are six exercises in total and four rounds. Rest when you need it but try to keep moving as much as you can and limit rest between exercises.

“A medium pair of dumbbells is best for this, you should be able to move quickly and explosively but still feel challenged by the weights.”

Dumbbell Workout For Fat Loss Overview

Complete four rounds of the following.

  1. Dumbbell squat to press x 10
  2. Dumbbell reverse lunge x 10 each side
  3. Renegade row x 8 each side
  4. Dumbbell Romanian deadlift x 10
  5. Dumbbell star jump x 30
  6. Devil’s press x 10

Dumbbell Workout For Fat Loss Form Guides

1 Dumbbell squat to press

Reps 10

“Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart and the dumbbells by your shoulders,” says Spence. “Squat down, then drive up and press the dumbbells above your head. Use power from your hips to help push the dumbbells up.”

2 Dumbbell reverse lunge

Reps 10 each side

Stand holding the dumbbells by your sides. Step back and bend both knees to lower until both knees are bent at 90°. Push back up through your front foot to stand. Alternate legs until you’ve done 10 reps on both sides.

“Keep your feet hip-width apart and don’t get too narrow in the lunge,” says Spence. 

3 Renegade row

Reps 8 each side

“Start in a high plank position with your hands on the dumbbells,” says Spence. “Push into one dumbbell and row the other dumbbell up towards your hip. Keep your hips as still as possible, you can drop to your knees if needed.”

4 Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

Reps 10

“Stand holding the dumbbells in front of your legs,” says Spence. “Keep the dumbbells touching your legs as you push your hips back, keeping the knees soft. Bring the dumbbells down to just below the knee—this may vary depending on your hamstring mobility. Keep your back flat and chest proud. Stand up tall using your hips, keeping the dumbbells close to your legs. This movement should feel controlled.”

5 Dumbbell star jump

Reps 30

“This will raise the heart rate,” says Spence. “Start with the dumbbells on your shoulders. Punch the sky with the dumbbells as the feet jump out. Jump your feet back in and bring the dumbbells back down to your shoulders. Move as quickly as possible.”

6 Devil’s press

Spence has detailed a modified version of the devil’s press—you don’t need to lower your chest to the floor.

Reps 10

“Start in a high plank position with your hands on the dumbbells,” says Spence. “Jump your feet forward so they land outside your hands with your heels on the floor. Sit back into a squat position and then stand tall lifting the dumbbells overhead. Try to use the power from standing up to lift the dumbbells, then control the movement on the way down back to a high plank.”

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.