You don’t have to hit the gym regularly to strength train and lose fat. Using dumbbells or your own body weight, you can build fat-burning muscle mass from the comfort of your home. A 2009 review in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” suggests strength training reduces body fat and chronic disease risks. Train each muscle group two to three days weekly for best results, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The American Council on Exercise suggests resting one day between weight-training workouts to allow your muscles to recover. If your primary goal is to lose weight, add cardiovascular exercise to burn more calories and enhance fat loss.
Complete your leg workout using your own body weight or dumbbells for resistance. Perform a serious of lunges, squats, deadlifts and calf raises. Do two to four sets of eight to 20 reps for each leg exercise you complete, suggests ACSM. If 20 repetitions are easy, try increasing the amount of weight you hold when squatting, deadlifting, lunging and doing calf raises.
Chest and Abs
Perform a variety of chest and ab exercises to strengthen these two muscle groups and burn fat working out at home. Complete two to four sets of push-ups, chest presses and chest flyes for your chest workout. Alternate between jack-knife sit-ups, straight-arm crunches, leg raises, oblique crunches and bicycle crunches for your abdominal routine. To change things up a bit, try an abdominal kickboxing workout video to strengthen and tone your abs while in an upright position.
Biceps and Triceps
It’s easy – and convenient -- to strengthen and tone your arms at home using dumbbells. Complete two to four sets of each biceps and triceps exercise. Choose from standing biceps curls, hammer curls, barbell curls – if you have a barbell at home – triceps extensions, triceps kickbacks and triceps chair dips. Complete your biceps exercises before beginning your triceps workout, or superset biceps and triceps exercises while resting for very short periods between sets.
Shoulders and Back
Use lightweight dumbbells to work your shoulder and back muscles, increase total body strength and get rid of unwanted fat. During your shoulder workout at home, alternate between front raises, lateral raises and shoulder presses. To train your back muscles, choose exercises such as bent-over reverse flyes, bent-over rows, deadlifts and back extensions using a stability ball or lying on your stomach on the floor.
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise: American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Calculate Your 1RM Estimate
- The Ochsner Journal: Exercise Aspects of Obesity Treatment
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