Best Dumbbell Abs Exercises – Build Rock Solid Midsection with Weights

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dumbbell exercises for abs

Learn the best core exercises with weights

To tell the truth one of my weakest points is my midsection that is why I always search for and try new types of workout routines, and that is how I bumped into dumbbell exercises for abs.

I believe the most efficient abdominal exercises are the bodyweight ones, mainly the various leg raises, but I think it is always advantageous to add some new types of moves to my abdominal workout. From my experience, the two most powerful equipment for core training are the ab wheel and dumbbells.

Here I’m going to focus only on the dumbbell core exercises.

What are the benefits of abdominal exercises using weights?

  • With the help of them you can improve traditional exercises such as Russian Twist, crunches, etc.
  • You can add an extra boost to your routine since you can strengthen and tone abdominal muscles in different angles.
  • Weight training for abs helps to build a firm and lean muscle mass.
  • They help not be bored with doing the same types of activities all the type.
  • Most of the core exercises with dumbbells are compound ones this way more muscle groups will work together, not just your core muscles, such as your shoulders, arms, and chest. It leads to more calorie burning and with that weight loss.

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Can you build six pack with these moves?

If you have some belly fat, you need to get rid of it. You can achieve that by balanced, healthy diet and cardio workouts. It is a fact that only doing free weight ab exercises will hardly help. These activities make your core muscles stronger and leaner.


  • Warming up and stretching is crucial before any types of workout, but it is critical for abs workout with dumbbells. You should especially focus on you lower back to avoid injuries. Hence, I recommend doing these activities at the end or in the middle of your workout session.
  • Do not use too heavy weights! You should pick a set of dumbbells that you can use comfortably and allow you to perform the motions correctly and to do the right amount of sets and reps. If you are a beginner, do these moves without weights until you learn how to do them properly.

The best dumbbell exercises for abs video

In the video playlist below, you can find the best dumbbell exercises for flat stomach that I do, and I know they work efficiently. Then you can read about each of them below.


V-ups: It works the lower and upper parts of the abs. You should keep your legs and upper body straight. Do the follow range of motion so as to stimulate the muscles efficiently.

Alternate Bicycle Punches: Bicycle is proven to be the most efficient core exercises that even burn belly fat effectively. There is a reason fighters do this move. It works the entire core. However, a strong lower back is required.

V-Up Dumbbell Crunch: I believe this is the best type of crunch, and if you do it with weight, it is a killer. It is especially beneficial for upper abs. Hold your legs straight and focus on your midsection while do the motion.

One Arm DB Reach Under Left and Right: This is a powerful plank variation that adds an extra boost for obliques, as well as chest and shoulder muscles. It helps to develop those muscles that are responsible for proper balance and posture.

Alternating V-up Crunches: It works the same muscles as the traditional ones, but they increase the heart rate more so it is good for cardio.

Anyway, the first video is a complete, intermediate ab workout with dumbbells presented by Funk Roberts. He suggests to do each exercise for one minute and do as many reps as you can. Have 15 seconds rest and repeat the circuit once or twice.

Another very powerful dumbbell oblique training is Side Bend. It is my favorite free weight move to strengthen my obliques and hips. Watch the video how to do it correctly.

Russian Twist is another powerful compound exercise for hips and obliques, but it you should have strong lower back to keep the position. Watch the video tutorial below.

Woodchop is another compound movement that strengthen the entire midsection, but it does good for your shoulders and back as well. Follow the guide below.

Swinging is beneficial for your lower back and helps to burn calories.

Turkish Get Up is a compound strength training that works all muscle groups. It is usually done by kettlebell, but a dumbbell is as good. You can use heavier weights for this movement. It is not easy to perform correctly so watch the video below for the instructions.

abs with weights - turkish get up

Turkish Getup | Credit:


Single Arm Overhead Press is not a typical core exercise. Lifting heavy weights with one arm over your head develops core muscles efficiently since it is hard to keep your balance.

Single Arm Farmer’s Walk is known from strongman competitions. Pick a rather heavy dumbbell and walk for a specific distance or time. Since you should hold the weight for long time on just one, your core muscles are engaged to keep the balance.

Press sit up is an advanced version of the regular exercises. The problem is that most of the people do sit ups poorly leading to back pain. Start with lightweight and keep the proper form.

Barbell ab rollout is an advanced alternative to the ab wheel. Since the bar is heavier it is much harder to roll in, but it makes your core muscles incredibly strong.

Note: Instead of dumbbells you can have an ab workout with a weight plate. Almost the same exercises can be done.

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Example ab workout with weights for guys

Within this routine there are types of exercises with a single dumbbell.

  1. Weighted Levitation Crunch: It is an advanced variation for regular crunches. Lie on the floor, and press the dumbbell up with straight arms. Do the crunches, but always keep the dumbbell vertical. Do not allow the weight to move forward because you get momentum which ruins the effectiveness.
  2. Weighted Diagonal V Sit: This ab exercise works your obliques and lower abs. But pretty hard!
  3. Dumbbell ab wheel rollouts: This is almost the same as if you were using an ab wheel. But, much harder.
  4. Sprinter tuck ab wheel: This move mainly targets your lower abs. Place the dumbbell under your feet and pull your knees towards your chest. This is among the best weighted ab exercises for lower abs.

Depending on your level of fitness do 3-4 rounds.


I believe these are the best abs exercises with dumbbells. You can integrate one or more moves into your workout routine, but below you can find a sample dumbbell ab workout.

To sum up, if you want to add some extra boost to your core training I recommend to try these movements. You will see that dumbbell exercises for abs are beneficial to build core strength.

Related: Find standing ab exercises with weights here.

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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