Ab Workouts With Dumbbells: 7 Effective Ab Exercises 2023 (2023)

Dumbbell workouts are awesome. Many are low-impact and easy for anybody, and the equipment investment is minimal and takes up little space in your home. What’s not to love?

Many spend all of their time on the treadmill, not realizing that strength training is just as important when flattening your stomach as cardio and nutrition. We’re here to help you get your form down and shape up the healthy way.

Our 7 Recommended Dumbbell Ab Exercises

  1. The Renegade Row
  2. Plank to Upright Row
  3. The Leg Loop
  4. The Dumbbell Thruster
  5. Lunges
  6. The Reverse Fly
  7. The Turkish Get-Up

The Best Dumbell Abs Workout for Weight Loss

You might be used to strengthening the upper and lower body separately with exercises like the triceps kickback or the hammer curl and other types of resistance training. Focusing on excess fat in the midsection means choosing a workout routine that strengthens your core muscles selectively.

To do this, let’s focus on the core. The best way to lose belly fat fast is to engage the abdominal muscles vigorously, with minimal rest between reps.

The Renegade Row

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The plank exercise is one of the ultimate ab exercises without any weights; to do a plank, assume the push-up position and hold yourself there, engaging the muscles of your stomach.

Including a dumbbell row into your plank routine will help you burn even more body fat. How?

  1. From a plank position, with two dumbbells in your hands on the ground, activate your core, drawing the belly in toward the spine.
  2. Steadily draw one of your arms back, rowing the dumbbell while keeping it close to your body.
  3. Return to your starting position in a controlled, and methodical manner.
  4. Repeat the process on the other side, continuing until you’ve completed as many reps as desired.

Plank to Upright Row

Another way to get the most out of your plank is to add an upright row, which basically entails hopping up and drawing the dumbbells up to your chest.

  1. Begin in a push-up position, engaging your core muscles, with two dumbbells, as with the previous exercise.
  2. Hop your legs up so that your feet are on either side of each dumbbell; you should be in a squat position.
  3. Lift the entire body up, standing straight. As you do this, draw both dumbbells up to shoulder height in an upright row.
  4. Return to your starting position – this was one rep.
  5. Keep going until you start to feel it.

The Leg Loop

Sit-ups are, of course, the classic way to achieve a flat belly. Doing them while holding dumbbells might sound awkward, but there are plenty of exercises that you can do from this position.

  1. While on your back, grab a dumbbell and lift your torso to a halfway sit-up position.
  2. Stretch your arms out in front of you, holding the dumbbell.
  3. With your knees slightly bent, lift both off of the ground in front of you.
  4. Through the loop in your arms, thread one leg through, all without letting your upper body drop.
  5. Remove this leg and repeat the process with the opposite leg.

The Dumbbell Thruster

The dumbbell thruster is sort of like an overhead press, only with two weights instead of just one. This dramatic display of athleticism is sure to have you huffing and puffing, but you’re going to look great after doing it.

  1. Begin in a deep squat with one dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, feet shoulder-width, and arms bent to either side.
  2. Straighten your whole body and assume a standing position, pushing both of the dumbbells upward at the same time as you do so.
  3. At your peak, your body should be extended fully and you should be holding the dumbbells as high above your head as possible. Slowly lower yourself to your original position.


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Lunges are another classic core-strengthening workout, but the proper form is vital if your goal is losing weight in your belly area.

  1. Grab two dumbbells and stand straight, feet shoulder-width apart. Your left and right arms should be straight on either side.
  2. Step forward with the front foot, usually the right leg, and assume the full walking lunge position, and sink until both the left knee and the right knee are bent to a ninety-degree angle. With your knees bent, push up your arms overhead until you feel the burn.
  3. Step back and repeat on the other side to complete one rep. For more calorie burn, perform this move as slowly and as deeply as possible. You can also add a curl by pulling your arms extended in with each rep.

The Reverse Fly

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This move helps you get your shoulder blades and back into alignment. It targets the rear delta area, increasing your strength and stamina in this oft-forgotten zone and allowing you to burn fat there in the process.

  1. Stand with your legs straight and feet hip-distance, a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be hanging out in front of you, sort of like you’re about to do a deadlift.
  2. Drawing your weights overhead, lift both arms out to either side like a pair of wings.
  3. Slowly resume your first position. Continue until you can’t continue any longer.

The Turkish Get-Up

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This one is kind of a weird one, but this fat-burning exercise is guaranteed to have you on the floor if you’ve never tried it before.

  1. Lie on the floor with your right foot bent and drawn in. Your left arm should be outstretched. Your right arm should be off of the ground and holding a dumbbell.
  2. Using your left arm, push yourself up. Press your left hand into the floor as you lift the dumbbell with your right arm.
  3. Use your left foot to enter a sideways plank, continuing to push yourself up with your right foot and your left arm. Keep the dumbbell as high up as possible.
  4. Pull your left leg back into a kneeling position. Continue rising until you are standing upright, stabilizing yourself with your left leg until both feet are on the ground.
  5. Return to your starting position and do the same thing on the other side.

Can Dumbbell Abs Workout Help You Lose Belly Fat?

It goes without saying that getting in your daily dose of exercise is very important[1].

For those of us who are already in decent shape, our workout might be more generalized – a little run here, perhaps a swim, or a bike ride tomorrow. If you’ve got real goals, such as the desire to lose weight in your belly and midsection, there’s a lot that you could be doing to concert your effort.

Nutrition and supplementation are two obvious ways to get ahead. Weight training is another powerful way to increase how effective your workout is when belly fat is your main concern. Why?

How Does Dumbbell Abs Workout Help You Get in Shape?

Weight training helps increase core strength by increasing the load that each repetition(rep) imposes on the muscles of the body. It also confers a neurological effect as the brain learns the action of the exercise, reinforcing and stimulating the fibers of the muscles as they rebuild themselves and perform the action of the workout in the future.

Yes, you read that right: dumbbell abs workout not only tones up your muscles themselves. The cumulative neuromuscular development[2] is actually your body learning how to move more effectively. This allows you to lift higher payloads, continue exercising long past your previous point of exhaustion, and do new things that you weren’t able to do before.

Once you’ve got the mechanical advantage on your side, the rest is easy. If you want to burn fat, the exercises that you include in your routine should be fat-burning, sweat-inducing, and just a little bit more than you’re able to handle without running out of breath.


If you want to lose belly fat, you probably don’t need any additional professional medical advice. The more muscle mass you’re able to develop, the easier and more enjoyable all the dumbbell exercises will be for you. After falling into the habit, your mission to lose belly fat will become a normal part of your everyday lifestyle.

Fat loss is the goal. Are you prepared to do what it takes to live your best possible life? The more calories you can burn, the more that you’ll be able to eat afterward while still maintaining your weight. After all, isn’t that sort of the dream?

+ 2 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial processhere

  1. CDC (2020). Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html [Accessed 19 Oct. 2021].
  2. Google Books. (2011). Weight Training. [online] Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Kr-tDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=what+is+weight+training&ots=XBoQj42TpA&sig=6zzcjAeVGBtr1UBVeVWL5vye8UQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=what%20is%20weight%20training&f=false [Accessed 19 Oct. 2021].


Can dumbbells give you abs? ›

And if you're sick of doing sit ups, you've come to the right place. By adding in some weight to your ab training, you'll be giving your body the stimulus it needs to adapt and grow – so you can start seeing some real results. One of the easiest ways to train your abs is by using free weights.

How do you strengthen your abs with dumbbells? ›

Exercises to try
  1. Russian twist. Sit with your legs in front of you. ...
  2. Dumbbell rowboat. Sit with your legs in front of you. ...
  3. Suitcase crunch. Share on Pinterest. ...
  4. Alternating overhead press. Share on Pinterest. ...
  5. Side plank raise. ...
  6. Long arm dumbbell crunch. ...
  7. Weighted situps. ...
  8. Squat to overhead press.
Nov 23, 2020

Can you lose belly fat with dumbbells? ›

Helps lose fat faster – Mixing up your dumbbell workout with HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training ) will help you lose harmful abdominal fat at a much faster rate. Versatile exercise – You can use dumbbells in various exercises to focus on different muscle groups and gain strength while losing stubborn fat.

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