Strength fitness, Fitness & Training

Dumbbells and Abs: 5 Original Exercises to Push Your Limits

Small dumbbells used in weight training can be used in a wide variety of exercises to diversify your workouts. To prove it, here are 3 exercises with only 1 dumbbell that will make you work your abs and push your limits.

How Do I Use Dumbbells and What Are Their Benefits?

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Dumbbells are small weights, often used in pairs to train the whole body. They are very versatile and can be used to work on one or both sides of the body, depending on your objectives.

In a weight lifting exercise, the use of 2 dumbbells – one in each hand – solicits the muscles in a different way than a fixed bar with the same overall load because energy is spent keeping them stable. The movement is quite technical: by working with dumbbells, you gain precision.

Compact, they can fit into any home fitness space, even a small one, to give infinite variety to strength training sessions. Depending on how they are used, they can help increase muscle power or resistance. By playing with the weight of the loads and the number of repetitions of the gestures, the work can be focused on strength or endurance.

Give Your Workouts a New Dimension with This Fitness Accessory

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Like all fitness accessories, dumbbells have their classic movements, such as:

  • The pullover, floor press or bench press that works the pectoral muscles with a wide range of motion on a weight bench.
  • Single-arm shoulder press, lateral raises or military bench press, in a seated position, to work the shoulders and trapezius muscles.
  • Variations of squats and lunges that work the leg muscle groups.
  • Various other movements.

With a bit of imagination, it is possible to use dumbbells with a broader range of movements and adapt their everyday use to increase the difficulty of many strength training exercises! Are you ready to reinvigorate your training session with some awesome workouts?

Abs: 5 Intensive and Original Exercises to Try with 1 Dumbbell

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Incorporating dumbbells into your ab workouts has the advantage of amplifying their effects: by adding extra resistance, they force you to mobilize more muscles to maintain a stable position. Here are 3 intense exercises targeting the abs with just 1 dumbbell. Are you up to the challenge? Just remember to adjust the load gradually to get your body used to the effort.

Side Plank with Dumbbell

Stand on one side, supporting yourself on one forearm and one foot, with your legs straight. Keep your body straight and your shoulders vertical to the elbow on the ground. Grasp the dumbbell in front of you with your free hand and bring it up to arm’s length as high as possible. Bring the dumbbell toward your chest and repeat the movement several times.

Alternating Pullover and Squat with Dumbbell

Lying on the floor with your feet flat and your knees bent as if you were doing a crunch, grasp the dumbbell at the back of your head with both hands. Bring it down to your belly, passing through a position in which your arms are vertically stretched. Rise up by contracting your abs to a squat position. Hold for a few seconds, then do a squat if you wish before slowly lowering back to the floor to return to the starting position. Do this movement in sets.

V-Up with Dumbbell

In a classic V-up, you start from a lying position and form a V by mobilising your abdominal muscles to try to touch your outstretched legs in the air with your arms. Have you ever tried to do the same thing while holding a dumbbell at arm’s length?

Oblique Twists Revisited

Sitting on the floor, straighten one leg and bend the other so that the sole of your foot is level with the knee of the outstretched leg. Hold your dumbbell in front of you with both hands. Lie down (keeping your legs in the same position and the dumbbell at arm’s length), then stand up to return to the starting position, rotate your pelvis (the famous twist) to challenge your obliques, then perform the opposite movement. Repeat the exercise, remembering to alternate between the two sides.

Dumbbell Crunches

In this variation of classic crunches, hold a dumbbell at arm’s length above you, which will make it much harder for you to do the exercise – for the better.

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.