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The Best Abdominal Exercises with weights

Are you bored with the typical ab exercises? Do you want to add variety and difficulty to your workout and get better results? If the answer is yes, we have what you are looking for.

In this article we are going to introduce you to 10 exercises for abs with weights that will not only help you work your abs but also your core and that we are sure, will make you achieve your goals in less time.

1- Renegade Row

This exercise works the core while strengthening the upper body.

  • Start in a high plank, holding a dumbbell resting on the floor with each hand. Move your feet past your shoulders.
  • Pull the right elbow back, lifting the dumbbell toward the chest, keeping the right elbow close to the torso, abs tight and hips down.
  • Lower the weight for one repetition; repeat on the opposite side.
  • Do three sets of 8 reps with each arm.

2- Lateral rotation plank

Twisting in plank position activates the core and challenges your stability.

  • Start in plank position with your belly button tucked in and glutes squeezed while holding a one-kilo dumbbell in each hand. Keep your wrists stiff to protect your joints. Spread your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Raise your left hand toward the ceiling, rotating your entire torso – keep the movement smooth and controlled. Your pelvis will rotate, but keep it level without letting it rise or fall.
  • Bring your left hand back to the floor and repeat this action on the other side to complete one rep.

3- Dumbbell Woodchop

This dynamic exercise works the obliques and upper abdominals while keeping your heart rate elevated. Although this is a full body movement, it doesn’t require a lot of space, so you can do it almost anywhere. It can be done with a medicine ball.

  • Squat down and twist to the left to hold the dumbbell on the outside of your left leg. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale and lift the dumbbell diagonally across your body, twisting to the right until the dumbbell is above your head. Pivot on the left foot as needed.
  • Control the dumbbell back to the starting position to complete one repetition.
  • Remember: you are moving with strength but also with control. Don’t get carried away with the momentum of swinging the barbell.

4- Russian Twist with dumbbell

This classic move focuses on the obliques, and adding a dumbbell or medicine ball adds to the challenge.

  • Holding a dumbbell with both hands, sit on the floor with your knees bent and your heels half a meter away from your buttocks. You can also do the more advanced movement by lifting your feet three or four centimeters off the floor.
  • Lean back slightly without rounding your spine at all. It is very important, and difficult, to keep your back straight.
  • Pull the navel toward the spine and slowly twist to the left, bringing the weight to the left side. The movement is not large and comes from the rotation of the ribs, not the swinging of the arms. Inhale through the center and rotate to the right. This completes one repetition.

5- Overhead Dumbbell Circles

As you stabilize your core while circling the medicine ball, dumbbell or kettlebell overhead, your abs will feel the heat. Your arms will feel it too.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your spine neutral, lift the dumbbell overhead
  • Begin to rotate the dumbbell to the left in the largest circles you can make while keeping your torso still and stable.
  • Reverse direction and do the same number of reps on each side.

6- Dumbbell Double Crunch

The slow, controlled pulse of this exercise keeps the abs engaged, and adding the weight of a medicine ball or dumbbell speeds up the abs and increases the burn

  • Start lying on your back, with your legs in the air and your toes toward the ceiling, while holding the medicine ball across your chest with your arms straight. Contract your abdominals (draw your belly button in toward your spine) to press your lower back against the mat while lifting your head, neck and upper back off the mat.
  • Exhale and round your lower back so that your lower pelvis rises as you lift your upper body a few more inches off the mat. Point the dumbbell toward your ankles as you perform this double crunch.
  • Inhale and lower your pelvis and upper back two centimeters toward the floor.

7- Lunge with twist

This stride variation works the entire body, and adding the twist ensures that the abs get a little extra attention.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell with hands with arms extended in front of you.
  • Keep your core stable and take a big step back with your right foot, then lower your body until both legs are bent at 90-degree angles.
  • As you come down into the stride, turn your torso to the left.
  • Re-center your torso with your arms straight and exhale as you straighten your legs. Bring the feet back together and step back with the left leg, turning to the right.
  • This completes one repetition.

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8- Dumbbell Drag Plank

This move tests your stability as you balance your weight on one arm and simultaneously pull a dumbbell from one side of your body to the other.

  • Start on all fours with a medium-weight dumbbell on the left side of your body.
  • With your palms flat, rise from your knees and stand on your tiptoes; your legs should be straight. Gently squeeze your glutes to activate them and keep your hands just below your shoulders.
  • Contract your abdominals to hold yourself upright and keep your buttocks from sticking out. Remember to keep the navel in.
  • With your head and spine aligned, keep your back flat; don’t let it curve. Look about an inch forward and keep your chin tucked. Imagine your body as a long, straight plank.
  • Keeping this shape, grab the dumbbell with your right hand and pull it underneath your body until it’s on the right side of your body. Be sure not to rotate your hips.
  • With control, grab the dumbbell with your left hand and pull it under your body until it is back on the left side of your body.
  • This counts as one repetition.

9- Turkish Dumbbell Raise

Although it may seem difficult at first glance, by practicing slowly you will be able to perform the Turkish get-up in no time

This exercise not only involves your abs, but also your chest, arms, glutes and back.

  • Start lying on your back with your left leg straight on the mat, right leg bent, foot resting on the floor, left arm extended on the floor at a 45-degree angle and right arm holding the dumbbell over your shoulder, with your triceps on the floor and your elbow at a 45-degree angle to your body
  • Lift the weight above the chest, keeping your eyes on it, until the arm is straight but not locked at the elbow
  • Push into the left forearm to sit up. Rising onto the left palm, lift the hips off the floor and slide the left leg behind the body until kneeling on the left knee with the shin parallel to the top of the mat
  • Slide the left foot back behind the body to come into a kneeling lunge with both legs bent at 90 degrees
  • Push through the feet to stand up by bringing the feet together under the hips
  • Reverse the entire movement to return to the start. This is one repetition.

10- Dumbbell Swing

This is a very complete exercise that will not only help you work your abs, but also your core, forearms and glutes. It is a fundamental exercise and is usually done with a kettlebell but it is also possible to do it with a dumbbell.

  • Stand with your feet slightly hip-width apart, holding a heavy dumbbell like a cup
  • Rotate from the hips and bend the knees as you reach the dumbbell back and between the legs, keeping the back flat and core engaged
  • Push the hips forward to swing the dumbbell to shoulder height and lower back down to start. That’s one repetition.
David A.

David A.

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