Whether you want to burn fat, build muscle, or improve your athleticism, you can perform cardio with dumbbells.
Doing cardio exercises with dumbbells helps increase strength, endurance, speed, and mobility.
In this article, I’ve shared the best dumbbell cardio exercises that will take your fitness to the next level and help you achieve your best physique.
From males to females, anyone who wants to perform weighted cardio training can explore this comprehensive guide.
25 Best Dumbbell Cardio Exercises to Enhance Aerobic Fitness
1. Dumbbell Carrying Walk
The carrying walk is also known as the farmer’s walk. It bolsters many muscle groups from the upper to the lower body and helps improve cardiovascular fitness.
It requires you to grab one dumbbell in each hand and walk as long as you want.
2. American Swing
American dumbbell swing is an explosive and high-intensity cardio move that strengthens the upper body and helps increase speed, endurance, and aerobic fitness.
To perform this exercise, grab a dumbbell and stand in the shoulder-width stance and swing the dumbbell in front of you until your arms are straight overhead.
3. Front Squat to Overhead Press
The Front squat to overhead press is a dumbbell compound exercise that works on legs, shoulders, core, and arms simultaneously.
It also helps burn decent calories in a quick time, improve stamina, and tone muscles.
To perform this movement, grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand upright in a shoulder-width stance. Lower into a squat until your thighs are aligned with your glutes and knees. Stand back and press the dumbbell overhead to complete the one rep.
4. Cossack Squat
The Cossack squat is a lower-body strengthening exercise that hits the quads, glutes, hips, and inner thighs and provides decent stretch to the legs.
Adding this exercise to a dumbbell cardio workout routine can help you improve overall health.
To perform this exercise, stand in a wider stance with your feet two times wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms straight between your legs. Squat down to your right, pause for a moment, then switch to the opposite side.
5. Straight-arm Sit-up
The sit-up is an excellent exercise to hit the abdominal muscles and improve cardiovascular fitness.
It annihilates many calories in a short time and scales up your endurance level.
To perform this exercise, grab one dumbbell in each hand and lie on the floor with your face up. Lift your torso until you feel the full contraction in your abs.
6. Squat Pulses
The squat pulses are a lower body exercise that bolsters the quads and glutes, raises your heart rate, and improves your cardiovascular fitness.
To do this exercise, grab a dumbbell and stand upright with your shoulder-width apart. Lower into a partial squat as many times as you like. Do it fast.
7. Russian Twist
The Russian twist is a core-strengthening exercise that targets the external and internal oblique, helps sculpt the midsection, improves hip mobility and balance, and increases muscle endurance.
To perform this exercise, grab a dumbbell, sit on the floor with your legs straight, and twist your torso from right to left and the opposite for the desired time.
8. Crush Grip Bent Over Row
The bent-over row is a strengthening exercise that hits the lats and traps and helps build a solid back.
It only builds your back muscles but also sheds calories and improves overall body composition.
To perform this exercise, grab the sides of a dumbbell, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and lean your torso forward. Drive your elbows until the dumbbell touches your belly.
The step-up is a strength, mobility, and cardio exercise that strengthen and tone legs and glutes, destroy plenty of calories, and level up cardiovascular fitness.
To perform this exercise, grab one dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms straight by your sides. Step your right foot on the bench, followed by the left one. Reverse the movement to the complete one rep.
10. Lunges to Torso Rotation
The lunge to torso rotation is a multi-movement exercise that involves many muscle groups throughout the movement, including the legs, glutes, hips, core, arms, and shoulder.
It helps develop strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health and can be an excellent part of your aerobic training.
To perform this exercise, grab a dumbbell and keep your arms straight in front of your chest. Perform a lunge, then twist your torso to the right. Return to the start and repeat on the opposite side.
11. Seated Low to High Chop
The woodchop is a core building exercise that stimulates the love handles and helps build a sturdy midsection.
It also torches many calories in a short time and helps achieve a toned body.
To perform this exercise, sit on your knees with your torso upright. Grab a dumbbell and keep your arms straight close to the right side of your hip. Contracting your abs, raise your arms up until the dumbbell is over your left shoulder. Return and repeat. Perform an equal number of reps and sets on each side.
12. Standing DB Wood Chop
The standing wood chop works the same muscle as the seated oblique twist. However, your abdominal muscles are highly activated during the standing oblique twist. You can do them interchangeably in your dumbbell cardio exercise program.
13. Single-Arm Snatch
The single-arm snatch is a high-intensity exercise that ignites calories at a fast pace, increases strength and speed, and improves athleticism.
It is generally a part of Crossfit training, but you can also add it to your personalized cardio routine.
Here’s how you can do it:
14. Dumbbell Cluster
The dumbbell cluster is an explosive exercise that improves strength and speed. It engages multiple muscles from the upper to the lower body and helps ignites calories at a quick pace.
You can play this video to see how to perform a dumbbell cluster in the right way.
15. Dumbbell Surrender
The dumbbell surrender is a powerful exercise that reinforces legs, glutes, and shoulder muscles and helps build a muscular physique.
It also improves speed, lights up significant calories, and promotes cardiovascular health.
Dumbbell surrender is a combination of lunge and overhead press; you can see how to do it in the below video.
16. Push Jerk
The dumbbell push jerk is a Crossfit exercise that helps improve strength, explosiveness, and stamina.
It primarily stimulates the shoulder muscles, but the quickness of this exercise allows you to light up plenty of calories in a short time.
To perform the push jerk, hold one dumbbell in each hand, stand in the hip-width stance, and keep your arms straight overhead. Slightly bend your knees, then your dumbbells upward until you stand back upright.
17. Shadow Punches
The shadow boxing punches also help shed calories at a quick pace, level up endurance, and help achieve better body composition.
Grab one dumbbell in each hand and throw the hook, uppercut, and straight punches in the air for as long as possible.
The dumbbell thruster is a combination of a squat and overhead press. It stimulates various muscles throughout the body, especially the legs and shoulders, and helps develop strength and aerobic fitness.
To do this exercise, grab one dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows, and keep the dumbbell beside your shoulder with your palms facing in. Lower into a squat, then press the dumbbell overhead until your arms are fully extended.
19. Clean and Press
The dumbbell clean & press is a total body exercise that targets the legs, glutes, shoulders, and core and enhances strength, explosiveness, and endurance.
It includes multiple movements, including the deadlift, snatch, and Arnold press. The combination of all three movements level up aerobic fitness, improve athleticism and burn fat.
20. Pop Squat
The pop squat is a high-intensity exercise that fires up lower body muscles, elevates heart rate, and boosts cardiovascular fitness. It involves squatting and jumping, making it an excellent dumbbell exercise for cardio workout training.
To perform this exercise, grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand in the sumo stance with your toes pointing out. Perform a squat and while you return to the standing position, jump and bring your feet together.
21. Hip Thrust
The hip thrust is a lower body exercise that bolsters the hamstrings and glutes and helps increase strength and mobility. It doesn’t pump your heart quickly but can be an effective exercise to integrate into your cardio program.
To perform a hip thrust, lie on the floor with your face up and knees 90 degrees bent. Place a dumbbell over your hips and thrust your hips until your knees and chest are in a straight line.
22. Pendley Row
The Pendlay row is an upper-body exercise that targets the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and posterior delt.
It is performed at a quick pace and enhances endurance and strength, making it an ideal pick for dumbbell cardio workout training.
23. Incline One-arm Plank Rowing
The incline one-arm plank rowing is a compound movement that stimulates the abs, back, and posterior delt. You can do it at a fast pace to maximize calorie burning, increase endurance levels, and build up cardiovascular fitness.
24. Lateral Delt Raise
The lateral delt is not as quick as other dumbbell cardio exercises. However, it bolsters the shoulder muscles, which are involved in various exercises you’ve seen above.
To perform this exercise, grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your arms straight by your sides. Raise your arms out until they are parallel to the floor.
25. Plank Dumbbell Drag
The dumbbell plank drag bolsters the core, arms, and shoulder muscles simultaneously and helps increase strength and endurance.
The faster you do it, the more calories your body burns.
30-Minute Dumbbell Cardio Workout to Level up Your Fitness
- 30-second DB Carrying Walk
- 10 American Swing
- 10 Front Squat to Overhead Presses
- 10 Straight-arm Sit-ups
- 15 Crush Grip Bent Over Rows
- 10 Hip Thrusts
- Perform as many rounds as possible in thirty minutes.
- 10 Cossack Squats
- 10 Thrusters
- 15-sec Russian Twist
- 10 Step-up/leg
- 10 Standing DB Wood Chops on each side
- 8 Pop Squats
- Repeat as many times as possible in 30 minutes.
- 15-sec Squat Pulses
- 5 Clean and Presses
- 5 Single-Arm Snatches/arm
- 10 Dumbbell Clusters
- 10 Pendley Rows
- 10 Incline One-arm Plank Rows on each side
- 10 Lateral Delt Raises
- Aim for three to five rounds.
- 5 Lunges to Torso Rotation/side
- 10 Seated Low to High Chops/side
- 5 DB Surrender/side
- 15-sec Shadow Punches
- 10 American Swings
- 8 Pop Squats
- 15-sec Plank Dumbbell Drag
- Shoot for three to five rounds.