Dumbbells are a good addition to your workout because they increase the challenge to your muscles, making each exercise in your routine more effective. They are also perfect for busy women who typically work out at home because they don't take up a lot of space and they're inexpensive. If, like many women, your abs are a trouble spot, there are dumbbell exercises to target the area. Just remember to add cardio and a low-calorie diet for the most benefit.
Stability Ball Dumbbell Fly
A stability ball is good for your abs because it challenges your balance, making your core muscles work harder. To do a stability ball dumbbell fly, sit on the ball with a dumbbell in each hand. Walk your feet forward until your shoulders rest on the ball and your knees are bent with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Extend both arms above you, with your hands aligned with your shoulders. Engage your abs and slowly lower the dumbbells out to your sides, keeping your arms straight. Return the dumbbells to the starting position to finish one fly.
Dumbbell Side Bends
Dumbbell side bends work the sides of your stomach, helping pull in the muscles at your waist, which helps you look slimmer all the way around. To do the exercise, stand with your feet together. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and bring your other hand to rest behind your head. Slowly bend at the side holding the dumbbell, lowering the weight about 6 inches. Return to the starting position to finish one side bend. Complete one set, then switch the dumbbell to the other hand.
Stability Ball Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension
The stability ball dumbbell overhead triceps extension exercise might sound like it targets your arms. It does, but balancing on the ball during the move also works the fronts and sides of your stomach. To do the move, sit on a stability ball, plant your feet firmly on the ground and extend your arms above your head, holding one dumbbell with both hands. Slowly lower the dumbbell down behind your head until the weight lightly rests at the back of your neck. Raise it back to the starting position to finish one extension.
Crunches with Pullovers
For many women, crunches are their go-to move for working the abs. The move is effective, but modifying it increases the stomach-flattening benefits. To do the move, lie on the floor, hinge at the hips and extend your legs straight up. Hold a dumbbell with both hands and raise them over your head, keeping them from resting on the ground. Keeping your legs in place, do a crunch, bringing the dumbbell up toward your feet. Lower your body back down, bringing the dumbbell back over your head to finish one crunch.
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.