10 Best Dumbbell Ab Workout To Build A Stronger Core

dumbbell ab workout

Want to feel invincible? It all starts with a strong core!

After all, studies have shown that a strong core offers a goldmine of benefits including improved balance, stability, and flexibility, enhanced athletic performance, quicker injury recovery, and more.

And one of the most effective ways to work your abs and core is by doing dumbbell exercises for abs. Dumbbells are extremely versatile and can be used to target different areas of your core muscles through a wide range of exercises, from traditional crunches and sit-ups to more complex movements like the Otis up and hollow rocks. 

In this blog, we’ll show you the best dumbbell ab workouts, including single dumbbell core exercises that’ll help you take your core strength up a notch!

Shall we begin?

10 Best Dumbbell Ab Workouts

Here are our 10 best dumbbell exercises for core strength.

1. Russian Twist

The Russian twist is one of the best exercises with dumbbells for core as it builds strength in your rotational muscles and enhances core stability.

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, hip flexors.

How to perform

  • Sit down on the floor with your feet lifted and your back tilted slightly backward so that your body is in a V-shape.
  • Begin by holding one dumbbell with both your hands and your arms extended out in front of you.
  • Keeping your core engaged, twist the dumbbell towards one side of your body.
  • Now twist your torso bringing your dumbbell to the other side.
  • Keep twisting from side to side for the desired number of reps.

Tip

If you suffer from lower back issues, keep your feet on the ground and/or use a lighter weight.

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2. Dumbbell Single Arm Otis Up

Sculpt your rectus abdominis with this amazing dumbbell core workout!

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, deep core muscles, shoulders

How to perform

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and extend your right arm toward the ceiling.
  • Place your left hand on your chest. 
  • Now slowly lift your upper body off the floor as you would do in a crunch.
  • Pause for a moment and lower back to the floor.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then switch sides.

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3. Dumbbell twisting toe taps

One of the best core exercises with one dumbbell for improving your core power.

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques

How to perform

  • Sit on the floor by leaning back slightly and your feet out in front of you.
  • Hold one dumbbell on your right side with both hands as shown in the video. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your core engaged, lift the dumbbell and reach for your left leg as you lift that leg, and then bring the dumbbell back down to the floor on your left side. 
  • Repeat the movement with the other leg.
  • Keep alternating between both sides for the desired number of reps.

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4. Dumbbell hollow rocks

A great dumbbell ab workout for improving your trunk stability.

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, hip flexors, quadriceps.

How to perform

  • Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Begin by holding one dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip and extend your arms straight above you.
  • Keeping your core engaged, lift your shoulder blades and legs off the ground so that your body resembles a boat. Your lower back should be pressed into the floor at all times.
  • Start rocking back and forth with your body as you maintain the hollow position throughout the exercise.
  • Perform the desired number of reps.

Tip

Ensure your head and neck are relaxed while performing this exercise.

5. Dumbbell woodchopper

This is one of the best single dumbbell core exercises that enhances your coordination and overall athletic performance.

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, back, shoulder, legs, glutes.

How to perform

  • Assume a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold a dumbbell with both your hands. Squeeze your core and raise the dumbbell over your right shoulder while turning your left foot inwards. This is the starting position.
  • Now lower the dumbbell down towards the left foot by moving your arms across your body explosively.
  • Pause for a second and return to the starting position.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then repeat on the other side.

6. Dumbbell T-pushup

Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, glutes, shoulders, triceps, middle back.

How to perform

  • Get into a plank position with your hands holding a set of light dumbbells right beneath your shoulders.
  • Perform a regular push-up by lowering your chest until it reaches the dumbbells.
  • As you go back to the top position of the push-up, lift your right hand towards the ceiling, while keeping your core engaged. 
  • Squeeze your glutes and then lower your right hand back to the ground and repeat the push-up.
  • Perform the same movement on the other side.
  • Keep alternating between both sides for the desired number of reps.

7. Dumbbell side plank snatch

One of the top core exercises with one dumbbell, the dumbbell side plank snatch can really put your core control and coordination to the test!

Muscles worked: Obliques, shoulders, glutes, shoulders, back, arms.

How to perform

  • Get into a side plank position on your right side with your right elbow directly under your right shoulder.
  • Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and let it rest on the ground with your left elbow bent to 90 degrees in front of your body. This is the starting position.
  • Lift the dumbbell explosively till your left arm is fully extended.
  • Now slowly lower it down such that your upper arm and forearm are at right angles to each other and then return the dumbbell to the ground.
  • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then switch sides.

8. Dumbbell Plank Row 

Muscles worked: Abs, shoulders, back, arms.

How to perform

  • Get into a plank position with your hands holding a set of light dumbbells right beneath your shoulders.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your elbow close to your body, pull one dumbbell up toward your chest.
  • Pause for a second and lower the dumbbell to the starting position.
  • Repeat this movement on the other side.
  • Keep alternating between both sides for the desired number of reps.

  • 9. Dumbbell sit-ups

    This is an excellent dumbbell ab workout to engage your stabilizer muscles and improve your overall core stability.

    Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, quadriceps, hip flexors.

    How to perform

    • Sit on the floor and grab a dumbbell with both hands.
    • Place the dumbbell close to your chest and lie on your back with your feet slightly bent and your heels touching the floor. This is the starting position.
    • Now squeeze your core and raise your upper body toward your knees until your forearms touch your thighs. 
    • Pause for a moment and then return to the starting position.
    • Perform the desired number of reps.

    10. Dumbbell side bend

    Set your obliques on fire with this awesome dumbbell ab workout.

    Muscles worked: Abs, obliques, core muscles.

    How to perform

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Hold one dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing in. Keep your left hand on your hip. This is the starting position.
    • Keeping your core engaged and your back straight, inhale and bend down to your right as far as possible.
    • Pause for a second, exhale, and return to the starting position.
    • Perform the desired number of reps on this side and then switch sides.

    Check out our top dumbbell exercises for the biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, and lower back here!

    Tips to get the best out of your dumbbell ab workout

    Here are a few expert tips to bear in mind while doing a dumbbell ab workout!

    1. Go easy on the weights

    If you’ve never done dumbbell exercises for abs before, you must start with light weights so that you can focus on your form and technique and avoid injuries. Once you get comfortable with a particular exercise, you can gradually increase the weight.

    dumbbell ab workout

    2. Engage your core

    While performing dumbbell exercises for stomach, draw your belly button towards your spine. This will not only activate your core but also help stabilize your spine and protect your lower back.

    3. Use slow and controlled movements

    One common mistake that people commit while doing dumbbell exercises for stomach is using momentum to lift the weight. Instead, you should focus on slow and controlled movements that will engage your muscles more effectively and prevent injury.

    4. Maintain good posture

    When doing dumbbell exercises for core strength, focus on keeping your chest lifted, your shoulders down and back, and your spine neutral.

    dumbbell ab workout

    5. Don’t forget to breathe

    Inhale as you lower your dumbbell and exhale as you lift it. That should be your mantra when you practice exercises with dumbbells for core.

    6. Variety is key

    Muscle growth can happen only if you keep challenging your muscles in different ways. So make sure you keep things fresh by trying out a wide variety of dumbbell ab workouts.

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    Final words

    Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned gym-goer, there is a wide range of dumbbell exercises for abs and core that you can incorporate into your routine.

    So grab Burnlab’s adjustable dumbbell set, try these awesome dumbbell ab workouts, and sculpt a strong, well-defined midsection!


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