In multiple surveys that I conducted on my sites over a 6 year period women preferred the dumbbell workout over any other type of home fitness gear workout which speaks volumes about how comfortable women are with weight training.
So much for all the nonsense male trainers love to talk about how women fear weights! Women LOVE weights and use them all the time. The trick to using dumbbells the right way for a lean toned body with natural curves is to stick with dumbbell exercises that burn fat AND strengthen without adding bulk.
The main reason the fat burning dumbbell workout is so popular among women who want to burn stubborn fat and look great is versatility.
The dumbbell is one of the most versatile pieces of fitness gear than can be used to strengthen as well as burn fat, improve endurance, posture and function which are all keys to getting a lean toned body with sexy female curves.
The main issue most wome have with weights these days is not really knowing how much weight to use to avoid bulking up in areas where women CAN and DO bulk up (thighs, core, upper back). Women write to me a lot about this so it does happen.
If your goal is to add lean muscle in areas where you need it to balance your body shape then stick with a moderate weight and be sure to stick with the more dynamic fat burning dumbbell exercises that also improve functional and corrective posture too.
The exercises here are just a few examples of dumbbell moves that burn fat, strengthen and tone without adding a ton of bulk in the wrong places. Remember that some weight is great but too much weight is not necessary especially if you have a naturally athletic build (cone and ruler shapes).
WHAT TO CONSIDER IF CHOOSING REGULAR DUMBBELLS SETS VS. ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS - If you've decided that adjustable dumbbells are not for you and you're thinking about buying regular dumbbells then here are some quick tips that can help you decide what to get.
Neoprene Dumbbells vs.Vinyl Dumbbells (like the 8 lb ones in my videos) are very similar and also very comfortable and easy to grip. They range from very light to moderately heavy and can be used for a variety of exercises and fatloss workouts. Either set is easy to find new or used and often come with a useful storage rack.
Downside: you will not find anything larger than 15 lb dumbbells in either category so if you're advanced and doing workouts that require heavier weights this is not the best option for you.
Main difference: is that over time the vinyl will peel away while the neoprene will just break off in chunks. Either way you end up with exposed metal weights but only after years of use. Best exercise to test them with is lunge with overhead press.
Hex Dumbbells vs. Rubber Coated Hex Dumbbells (like the 10-15 lb ones in pic here) are heavy duty, range in weight from light to super heavy, cost about the same, and can be used for all types of fat burning workouts.
Downside: if you start getting into heavier weights these can take up a ton of space and racks tend to be on the expensive side for either one.
Main difference: is the rubber coating and the rubber grip. This increases comfort, reduces wear and tear on your floors and on your hands and for some reduces the intimidation factor. Best exercise to test these with is a press or row.
THE BEST ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS - Looking into adjustable dumbbells or dumbbells sets that are going to help you get better fatloss results from your fat burning workouts? Here's what you need to know about all the different dumbbell styles.
2x25lb Bayou Adjustable Dumbbells-Quality Chrome Plated Steel - 5 in 1 weights adjust from 5 all the way to 25 lb. each and are the closest feel to the type of dumbbells you'll find in a gym (hex dumbbells and rubber coated hex dumbbells). They are easy to adjust, and work really well with all fat burning exercises.
Other things to know: These weights are heavy duty chrome plated steel construction and can be bought with a bench that has a convenient storage area built in. Downside: Can be tricky to order so be sure you pay attention to the number of dumbbells you are getting for the price you are paying.
Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells adjust from 5 lb to 52.5 lb with a quick click and are awesome for 3 main reasons. They replace all those dumbbells that take up a ton of space and can end up misplaced. They are super comfortable and feel like real dumbbells and you can switch the weight out easily so you can move quickly from one exercise to the next without wasting any time.
Other things to know: They have a 2/5 year warranty, are typically found for less online than in stores, have gotten rave reviews by tons of users, come with a dvd, just came out in a lighter more affordable version 2.5 lb to 20 lb.
Downside: They are a bit more fragile than other adjustable dumbbells so you definitely can't drop them on the floor. They can't be held from the ends for more dynamic exercises.
PowerBlock SportBlock Adjustable 3- to 24-Pounds per Dumbbell Set have been around for ages and are great for 2 main reasons. They are super versatile going from 5lb to 90lb with one quick pin adjustment so you can share them and move quickly through supersets and circuits. They are also incredibly durable and will last you a long time.
Other things to know: The micro loading feature is awesome for working up to a heavier weight. The expanding feature allows you to buy a lighter set then expand into a heavier set when you're ready. They will save you tons of money over time. Downside: They are a bit bulky and not as comfortable as real weights. They are not easy to use with fullbody exercises like chops, kettlebell swings, lunges with twists.
MOST AFFORDABLE ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS
Chrome Dumbbell Set with Case - I got a set of adjustable dumbbells just like this one about 5 years ago for about $40. I had access to 2 gyms and a private training studio but needed to be able to do quick workouts at home. I didn't want to spend much money, and could design my workouts with minimal weight adjustments to avoid having to screw and unscrew weights on. A great choice if you don't have much money to spend.
Advantages: These are the the most affordable adjustable dumbbells you can buy but other advantages include being able to use just the plates or just the bar for quick shoulder exercises and ab workouts. Being able to buy additional plates for heavier back and chest work for very little money.
Disadvantages: Now that I do home gym workouts 100% of the time versatility has become a huge issue and may be an issue for you. Also the screw caps tend loosen during workouts causing the plates to shift a bit. You can buy adjustable dumbbells with clamps instead of screw caps. Finally the ends of the bars are rough and when moving quickly can get caught on your workout shorts or yoga pants. Best exercise to test these with is squat curl to press.