Dumbbells are an ideal addition to your workout routine because they are inexpensive and convenient but offer big results. When you hold dumbbells in your hands while doing abdominal exercises, it increases your total body weight, making your core muscles work harder. MayoClinic.com suggests doing two or three strength-training sessions each week, including at least one set of 12 repetitions of each abdominal exercise at each session.
Woodchop with Dumbbell
Woodchops work the front and sides of your abdominal muscles. To do the move, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in front of you with both hands. Activate your abdominal muscles and squat as you twist your torso toward your right foot, continuing to hold the dumbbell with both hands. As you stand, bring the dumbbell up to your left shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat to the other side to complete one repetition.
Stability Ball Dumbbell Press
You might think of building your chest and arms when it comes to presses, but performing them on a stability ball challenges your balance, which works your abdominal muscles. To do the exercise, sit on a stability ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Walk your feet out and lie down, with the ball resting at your shoulder blades. Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle and your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle as well, aligned with your shoulders. Press the dumbbells up until your elbows are straight. Lower to the starting position to finish one press.
Side-lying Arm Rolls
The side-lying arm roll exercise works your entire abdomen, making it a good choice for toning and slimming your middle. To do a side-lying arm roll, lie on your back with your knees bent and a dumbbell in one hand. Extend the hand with the dumbbell straight above you at shoulder level and allow the other to rest on the floor at your side. Keeping the arm with the dumbbell stationary, slowly rotate your legs and knees toward the arm resting on the ground. Hold the position for a second or two and return to the starting position. Finish one set and repeat the move with the other arm in the air.
Standing Twist with Dumbbell
Twisting moves work your abdominal muscles, and the standing twist with dumbbells is beneficial for your entire core. To do the move, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in both hands. Keeping the dumbbell close to your body, twist to one side, then the other. Keep your head and legs in place, moving only your abdominal muscles throughout the move.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.