6 Abs Moves Which Use Dumbbells

Shirtless man performs punch-up crunch exercise
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You don’t need to use weights for your abs workouts, but adding a little resistance can help once bodyweight moves cease to pose a challenge. Head to the racks in your gym, or browse our selection of the best dumbbells, and try this dumbbell abs workout or add some of the exercises below to your training. 

Punch up

  • Hold dumbbells with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Turn your body to one side and perform an upper cut.
  • Twist to the other side and perform an upper cut.
  • Alternate sides with each rep.

Standing Russian twist

  • Hold a dumbbell straight out in front of your chest.
  • Turn your torso round to one side.
  • Twist from side to side powerfully keeping your back upright.

Weighted crunch

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding a dumbbell by your chest.
  • Curl your shoulders off the floor, keeping your lower back in contact with the mat.
  • Pause at the top and lower slowly to start.

Punch-up crunch

  • Hold dumbbells and lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Curl your shoulders off the floor and punch straight out with one hand
  • Return slowly to start and repeat with your other hand on the next rep.

Weighted corkscrew

  • Hold a dumbbell between your feet and raise your legs to vertical.
  • Lift your hips off the floor and push your feet towards the ceiling.
  • At the top of the move, twist your feet to one side, lower and repeat on the other side.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in both hands.
  • Keeping your back straight, bring the dumbbell to the outside of your thigh.
  • Twist your torso and bring the dumbbell up and over the opposite shoulder.

Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.