Abdominals

Weighted Ab Workouts At Home: 8 Best Dumbbell Core Exercises

weighted ab workouts at home

Bodyweight ab exercises are vital if you’re looking to enhance your core strength. But it’s weighted ab exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to muscle hypertrophy and better functional capacity.

Core workouts at home (or in the gym) can be made more challenging by adding resistance and placing extra tension on your core muscles.    

In this article you’ll discover the most effective weighted ab exercises to boost strength, create definition and better protect your spine.  

8 Weighted Ab Workouts At Home

By incorporating free weights, such as a medicine ball or pair of dumbbells, you can increase the resistance placed on your core leading to greater strength gains.

When doing our abs workout at home, proper form should always be adhered to.  

For example, when performing core exercises like the crunch, you should roll up the spine to maintain a rounded lower back.  This helps to prevent injury and low back pain.  

When starting out, don’t be tempted to use heavy weight as this could impact your form and range of motion.  Start light and progress gradually.

Let’s dive in to the exercises!

Medicine Ball Crunch

medicine ball crunch
  1. Lie on the ground and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. 
  2. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell with both hands directly above the front of your chest and lock out your elbows.
  3. Push your lower back into the ground and engage your core muscles.  
  4. From here, raise your shoulders and upper back away from the ground moving in an upward plane of motion.
  5. Be sure to keep your arms straight throughout.  You should feel your upper abs contract.    
  6. Perform between 8 to 12 repetitions.  

Dumbbell Leg Lower

dumbbell leg lower
  1. Lie on the ground with your legs outstretched and feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Hold a dumbbell or medicine ball with both hands directly above you.  This is your starting position. 
  3. Press your lower back into the floor. 
  4. Now raise both legs up until your feet point towards the ceiling.  Keep a slight bend to your knees.
  5. Pause briefly at the top before lowering your legs back down, stop just before your heels touch the ground.  
  6. Repeat for between 10 to 15 reps.  

Standing Dumbbell Oblique Twist

  1. Adopt a standing position with your feet just beyond shoulder width apart with a slight bend to your knees.
  2. Take hold of a dumbbell in each hand and hold them out to your sides so that your arms are straight and parallel to the floor.  Your palms should be facing the floor.   
  3. Retract your shoulder blades as this will help to keep your arms stable.  
  4. Rotate your upper body so that your right arm moves out in front of you and your left arm moves out behind you.  Do this in one fluid motion.  
  5. Try and keep your head and hips facing forward throughout the movement.    
  6. Without pausing rotate back the other way.  
  7. Keeping doing this for a count of 30.  

Standing Dumbbell Side Bends

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and holding a dumbbell in your right hand. 
  2. Place your left hand on your hip for stability.  
  3. Keeping the dumbbell down by your side, bend your torso to the right side lowering the dumbbell as you go.  
  4. Perform between 10 to 15 reps then place the dumbbell in your left hand and repeat exercise.  
  5. Make sure that you complete an equal number of reps on either side.  

Dumbbell Plank Rotation

dumbbell plank rotation
  1. Place a couple of dumbbells on the ground and get yourself into a high plank position. 
  2. Take hold of the dumbbells making sure they are directly under your shoulders.  
  3. Place your feet at just past shoulder width apart and rest on your toes. 
  4. Pick one dumbbell up and rotate around so that you press the dumbbell up towards the ceiling.  
  5. With control, return the dumbbell back to floor and then repeat on the other side.  
  6. Complete 10 reps on each side.  

Russian Twists

russian twists
  1. Take a seat on the floor with your legs out in front of you. 
  2. Adopt a slight bend at the knees with heels resting on the ground.  
  3. Using both hands, take hold of any type of free weight such as a kettle bell or weight plate.  
  4. Lean your upper body back slightly as this will allow for a full range of motion.
  5. Rotate your upper body from side to side lowering the weight down by your hip.  
  6. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps.  

Single Arm Toe Reach

Single Arm Toe Reach
  1. Lie down on your back and bend your knees keeping your feet flat on the ground. 
  2. Take hold of a dumbbell in your left hand
  3. Take your right arm and place it out to your side with palm facing the ceiling.  This will help stabilise you during the movement. 
  4. Raise your left leg and left arm up so your hand and foot points towards the ceiling.
  5. From here, raise your upper body off the ground attempting to pushing the dumbbell towards your left foot.  
  6. Repeat for 10 reps and then switch to work the opposite side.  

Dumbbell Wood Chop

  1. Adopt a shoulder width stance whilst holding a dumbbell with both hands. 
  2. Engage your abs and rotate your hips to raise the dumbbell up and over your right shoulder.
  3. Simultaneously rotate your left foot inwards. 
  4. To lower the dumbbell, bend your knees to squat down and twist your torso to the left.  
  5. At the same time, bring the dumbbell down to outside of your left knee.  
  6. Do this as one fluid movement as though performing a wood chop.
  7. Complete 8 to 12 repetitions on either side.  

Stretching the Abdominals Post Workout

Once you’ve completed the above abs exercises, you’ll want to stretch out the muscles to cool down.

What’s more, stretching will help to improve your flexibility and may help to limit delayed onset muscle soreness.

Perform the Cobra pose to provide a sufficient stretch to the abs post workout. 

  1. Begin by lying down on your belly. 
  2. Rest on your hands with your arms extended.  
  3. Slowly raise your torso and tilt your head back slightly.  
  4. Be sure not to overarch your back or tip your head back too much.  
  5. Maintain this position for around 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. 

Benefits of Strong Abs

Better Core Stability

The abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques, provide stability and support to both your spinal column and pelvis.  

When you develop a strong core this helps to maintain correct posture reducing the risk of back pain and injuries whilst enhancing overall body stability.

Improves Sports Performance

Many athletic activities, such as running, jumping, throwing, and twisting, require a stable core.

Strong abdominal muscles contribute to better balance, power generation, and coordination, leading to improved sports performance across a range of disciplines.  

Better Functional Movements

Good core strength is essential for performing daily activities with ease and efficiency.

Whether you’re lifting heavy objects, bending, twisting, or reaching, a strong core helps to generate and transfer force effectively, reducing strain on other parts of the body thereby improving functional movement.  

Injury Prevention

If you have weak abdominals muscles this can result in muscle imbalances, poor posture, and increased stress on the lower back.  

When you strengthen your core, you can reduce the risk of injuries, especially to the lower back and hips.

Aesthetics And Body Composition

Well-developed abs can contribute to that often longed for six pack.  Strengthening your abs, along with a balanced diet and overall exercise routine, can help reduce belly fat and improve body composition.

Conclusion

Incorporating weighted ab workouts into your home fitness routine can revolutionize your core training and lead to a multitude of benefits.

Adding resistance to your abdominal exercises is a great way to elevate your strength, stability, and overall fitness levels and keep your workouts varied.  

However, it’s essential to remember that safety and proper form should always be considered. Be sure to select appropriate weights for your ability and progress gradually.  

Listen to your body’s signals to prevent any injuries. Consistency, patience, and dedication are key to reaping the full benefits of weighted ab workouts.  

It’s important to note that while strong abdominals offer many benefits, a well-rounded exercise routine that includes working out all muscle groups plus cardiovascular training is crucial for overall fitness and health. 

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