Dumbbells can be used to exercise more than just your arms, shoulders or chest. Challenge your abdominal muscles by incorporating these weights into your next workout. These six exercises will help you uncover your six-pack in no time.
Start: Stand with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Hold a pair of light dumbbells to one side of your body so that both weights are just outside your knee. Your arms are straight.
Finish: Keeping your arms straight and your eyes forward, lift the dumbbells up and across your body in an arcing motion as you straighten your legs. Finish with both arms stretched over your shoulder and your opposite heel off the floor as if you were about to begin chopping wood. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position — remember to work your abs on the way down. Finish the set on that side, then repeat on the other side.
Start: Lie on the floor in the crunch position—knees bent, feet flat on the floor. With both hands, hold the sides of a dumbbell on your upper chest, just below your chin.
Finish: Keep your lower back pressed against the floor as you use your abs to crunch your rib cage toward your pelvis. Your shoulder blades should rise a few inches off the floor. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
|Swiss-Ball Weighted Crunch
Lie on a Swiss ball with your head slightly below your chest. Hold a dumbbell by its sides at your upper chest. Your shoulders should move a few inches off the ball as you perform your crunch.
|Long-Arm Weighted Crunch
Start: Lie on the floor with your knees up and your feet flat. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand and stretch your arms straight back behind you.
Finish: Crunch your rib cage toward your pelvis. Don’t generate momentum with your arms — make your abs do all the work. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
|Weighted Russian Twist
Start: Sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat, hold a light dumbbell at the ends with your arms extended straight out in front of you. Lean back until your torso is at a 60- to 75-degree angle from the floor. Pull your belly in.
|Swiss-Ball Weighted Russian Twist
Do the exercise while sitting on a Swiss ball instead of on the floor. Your hips and legs may shift a bit because of the ball’s instability, and you won’t be able to lean back as you did on the floor.