Blast calories in just six minutes with this three-move weighted cardio workout

Combine cardio and dumbbells for the ultimate calorie crunching workout

Woman standing outdoors holding two dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Want to burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health and also build muscle? It’s been a long standing debate which is better to burn calories: cardio or strength training? While cardio burns more calories, lifting weights can burn calories up to 72 hours post-workout. Plus, it creates muscle, which helps speed up your metabolic rate and burn fat. This six-minute workout combines the two, so you can lose weight and burn fat – all you’re going to need is a pair of dumbbells.

However, as well as helping us burn lots of calories, these two styles of training also have many other benefits. Incorporating cardio into our fitness routines is also important for keeping our heart healthy and reducing our risk of conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Whereas, according to British Weight Lifting, lifting weights is also key to increasing our metabolism, controlling our blood sugar levels and increasing bone density.  Combining the two together is therefore not only the perfect combination to losing weight healthily, but also keeping our bodies functioning healthily too.

Make sure you're wearing your best workout shoes for this session, as some of the exercises require good stability, so you don't want to risk injuring yourself. There's three exercises in total and you're going to do each one for 20 seconds — so have your timer to hand and get ready to give them your all! Your going to do six rounds in total (if you can do eight, even better) and you'll want to use light to light-medium dumbbells. Here's your workout:

  • Dumbbell ice skaters
  • Dumbbell squat jumps
  • Star jumps with dumbbell front raises

Don't have dumbbells? Just fill up two large water bottles instead! The best type of are ones with handles so they're easier to hold (like the keg water bottle in our best gym water bottle guide). If you enjoyed that workout, we've got another strength and conditioning workout that'll help you burn calories with just three bodyweight exercises.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.