Standing Ab Exercises With Dumbbell to Build Strong Core

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It’s always good to mix your core workout routine to target your abdominal wall from different angles. One way is to do ab workouts at standing position. These moves are easy to perform, easy for the lower back, and train multiple muscles at once. However, for people with advanced fitness level may find them too comfortable to do. The solution is to use weight for additional resistance.

Within this guide, I want to show you seven standing ab exercises with dumbbells.

1. Dumbbells Side Bend

side bend


This move targets the obliques and hip muscles.

  • Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and get into a standing position with a straight back.
  • Lower the weight, and with the power of your right oblique, pull it up.
  • Bend as much as you can for maximum contraction. You can even stop for a moment.
  • In a controlled way, lower the weight back to the starting position.

Depending on your aim, you can use a lighter dumbbell for higher reps for endurance development. Or, you can use a more massive load if you want to develop the size of your obliques. The minimum number of reps is 10-12.

2. Standing Crunches with Dumbbell

standing weighted crunch


This exercise targets your rectus abdominis, the muscle group that makes the six-pack look.

  • Grab a dumbbell with both hands and lift it in front of your head.
  • Lift your left knee to waist level and, at the same time, crunch your torso. The best is if you touch the DB with your knee and squeeze your abs for a moment.
  • Get back to the starting position and do the same with your right knee.

3. Dumbbell side to side

Dumbbell side to side

Dumbbell exercises that involve torso rotation strengthen the obliques well, but also useful for developing functional strength of the core.

  • Catch the dumbbell with both hands, and hold it in front of you with straight arms.
  • Slowly with controlled technique, twist your torso to the sides. Keep your feet on the floor and your back straight.

Don’t use a massive weight and perform it slowly to avoid lower back injury.

4. Twisting Dumbbell Wood Chopper

Woodchop is an excellent compound exercise that works many muscle groups at once. Also, it boosts your heart rate, so it may help to burn some calories. The execution requires some practice, but it’s worth. Instead of telling you how to do it, it’s better to check out the following video to understand better the whole execution.

5. Curtsy Lunge with Rotation

Curtsy Lunge

One responsibility of the core muscles is to keep the stability since it connects the lower and upper body. So, when you get into an unbalanced state, the muscles are activated. With curtsy lunge, we put the body into an unstable state, but the dumbbell and rotation make the job of the core even harder.

  • Held the dumbbell in front of you with stretched arms.
  • Step backward and put your left leg behind your right leg as if you want to make a cross and make a reverse lunge.
  • At the same time, rotate your upper body by holding the DB to the right.
  • Return to the standing position.

You can do this exercise only on one side, then switch or alternating the feet.

6. Plie Squat Twist

Plie Squat Twist

Let’s combine the squat and ab training. A great combo to enhance functional strength, and at the same time work the body as a whole.

  • Start with a wide stance with your feet slightly pointing outwards. Get the dumbbell at a waist level.
  • Make a squat till your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
  • Lift the DB with straight arms over your head and bend to the right while keeping the squat position.
  • Stand up and lower your hands to the starting position.
  • Do the same for the left.

7. Sumo oblique crunch

oblique crunch

It looks funny while we do this exercise, but it works the oblique and leg muscles well. So, don’t care about it. The gif above shows you without weight, but place the DB behind your neck or at chest level.

  • Get into a sumo squat and lower your body. Keep it during the exercise.
  • Tilt to do sides as far as you can with straight back.

Your turn: Create your standing ab workout with dumbbell

Pick at least three standing exercises above, and have at least three rounds with a minimum of 10 reps. This way you’ll have a complete core training.

Keep in mind that there is no need to use a too heavy load since it may lead to a weak form and injury. Pick a DB that you can handle comfortably, but it’s challenging enough. Also, to substitute hand weights, you can use a medicine ball, kettlebell, or even a big bottle of water.

Note: Always warm up before for at least 5 minutes.

To conclude

Standing core exercises with a dumbbell aren’t popular, but they are beneficial since these moves strengthen the entire core at once. Try them and tell us how they worked for you.

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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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