Ab exercises with dumbbells

In fitness, it is customary to pump up the abs without weights. However, over time, your body weight begins to limit progress, causing muscle growth to slow down. Dumbbell ab exercises are a reliable and effective way to ensure consistent progression and the right level of training stress needed for muscle growth.

Features of abdominal training with dumbbells

The option of pumping the ab using weights is usually called power. However, it is he who provides a truly powerful load on the entire abdominal area. The abdominal muscles are almost no different from other muscles of the body. To progress, they also need a load that will gradually increase. Working with your body weight is good only in the beginning, although gradually its benefits fade away because the body adapts to the load.

To tone your abs with dumbbells, you need to perform a small number of exercises, allowing enough time for recovery. You should also pay attention to key points when working with weights:

  • Movements should be smooth and slow (due to the increased risk of injury).
  • Exercises are selected to eliminate increased stress on the lower back (no Roman chair).
  • Work with a small number of repetitions (10-12).
  • Rest between sets – 2 minutes.
  • Increase the weight used to maintain the progression of the load.

Top abdominal exercises using dumbbells

Most abdominal exercises can be adapted to work with weights, although not all movements will be equally effective. Several exercises are ideal for pumping up your abs using dumbbells. It is this group that will ensure the fastest progression.

Side bends with raised arms

A very powerful exercise that also works the shoulders and back (statically). It loads the entire core, but the movement should be done with caution for people who have back problems (hernias, protrusions, etc.).


  1. Stand straight, lift the projectile above you with outstretched arms with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
  2. Lean to the side so that the position of your arms does not change (movement only at the waist).
  3. Tilt to the right, to the left, then straighten out and repeat the movement.
Bend-overs with dumbbells on outstretched arms

For more powerful pumping of the body, it is recommended to combine bending with lunges (the body is tilted in a sitting position).

Dumbbell plank row

Complex abdominal exercise with dumbbells for men. Also suitable for women, but you must choose a weight with which you can perform at least 10 rows on each arm.


  1. Hold the dumbbells and get into a plank position.
  2. Pull one hand to your lower abdomen while simultaneously moving your shoulder and shoulder blade back.
  3. Take a short break, then return to the starting position, accept the support, and repeat the movement with the other hand.
Dumbbell plank raise

To make it more difficult, gradually move forward (walking a lizard/monitor lizard).

Lumberjack exercise

An explosive abdominal exercise with dumbbells for women, which effectively works the entire abdominal mass (with an emphasis on the oblique muscles).


  1. Hold the dumbbell with both hands and stand straight. Lift and hold it so that it is above your right shoulder.
  2. At a moderate pace, move the exercise diagonally towards the left calf (knee, if mobility is poor), while simultaneously performing a partial squat.
  3. Without pausing, return to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Lumberjack with dumbbell

It is important to perform the same number of reps on each side and keep your back straight throughout the entire approach.

Leg raise with dumbbell

These are regular lifts that are adapted to work with weights. Great for working out the lower abs.


  1. Lie down on the floor and cross your legs. Secure one part of the dumbbell with your feet and raise your legs up so that they are perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Begin to slowly lower your legs down, maintaining a slight bend in the knee (to minimize injury).
  3. At the bottom point, take a short pause, then, as you exhale, raise your legs to the starting position.
Leg raise with dumbbell

The difference with regular lifts is that when working with weights, the movement starts from the top. This makes it much easier to fix the projectile with your feet.

Rotating the dumbbell around the body

This exercise is initially performed with a kettlebell, but a dumbbell works well. Loads all the muscles of the core, although it does not lead to a strong contraction.


  1. Take a dumbbell with one hand (by the handle or a plate, whichever is more convenient), stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Begin to rotate the projectile along the body in a circle (with half-relaxed arms) clockwise.
  3. At the level of the buttocks, intercept with your other hand, and then perform the same rotation. The next interception is made in front of you.
Rotating the dumbbell around the body

When working with dumbbells, you need to pump your abs to failure. Because you need to calculate approaches not by the number of repetitions, but by the execution time.

“Russian twist”

One of the best ways to create powerful side abs. The Russian twist is considered a universal movement that is suitable for athletes with any level of physical fitness (but only with the right weight).


  1. Sit on the floor, tilt your body back slightly (back straight). Legs are bent at the knees at a right angle. The dumbbell is held in front of you with your elbows bent.
  2. Rotate your body while moving your hands with the projectile to the side.
  3. Move your hands to the other side and perform the same movement.

To complicate the movement, try to bring the dumbbell closer to the floor, but only without rounding your back.

Standing dumbbell bends

Bent-overs are often criticized, but only because beginner athletes do them incorrectly.


  1. Stand up straight, place one hand at your side, and hold a dumbbell in the other.
  2. Start leaning towards the hand holding the projectile at a slow pace.
  3. Pause for 1 second at the bottom point, then straighten up and slightly tilt your body in the opposite direction.
Side bends with a dumbbell in hand

Important Do not move your body too far in the other direction so that the movement does not resemble a pendulum. This abduction helps increase the amplitude and better stretch the muscles.

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