The Ultimate 10-Minute Six-Pack Workout With Weights
When you choose to work with weights in your fitness sessions, there's a very good chance you're looking to tone your arms or build muscle in your legs. What you may not immediately think of is taking advantage of the same kind of focused resistance when it comes to working on your core. If you're looking to sculpt a tight, toned six-pack, then a pair of dumbbells may be your new favorite tool. We chatted with an expert who shares the ultimate 10-minute abs workout you can do with weights, so grab a set, and let's get to it.
Michelle Razavi, the founder of functional snack company, ELAVI, and a certified fitness trainer at Equinox who teaches what is aptly been deemed the "Best Abs Ever" class, explains to Eat This, Not That! you should aim to do the following five exercises for one minute each with a rest before repeating the entire circuit. All you need is a couple of dumbbells and 10 minutes of your time!
Keep reading to learn all about Razavi's 10-minute abs workout, and next, don't miss Simple Yet Effective Exercises for Instant Abs That Trainers Love.
1. Russian Twists with a Dumbbell
Razavi suggests kicking things off with Russian twists. This exercise puts a dumbbell to good use. To perform the move, you'll want to sit down and keep your knees bent. Pick up a single dumbbell with one hand holding either end.
Now that you're in position, begin to twist to one side and then to the other. While you do this, Razavi instructs you to activate your oblique muscles. Breathe out while you twist and breathe in when you're back at the center. Keep this up for a total of 45 seconds or until you become too tired to maintain proper form. Rest for 15 seconds before moving on.
2. Dumbbell Plank Drag
Next, it's time for the dumbbell plank drag. Get down into a normal plank position, making sure your feet are slightly wider than hip-width distance apart. You'll now need two dumbbells placed behind your hands.
Start the movement by using one hand to pull—or drag, as the name implies—a dumbbell to the opposite side of your body before switching and doing the same with the other arm. As you do this, use your core muscles to keep your body as steady as possible. Razavi explains, "This will fire up multiple core muscles including obliques, lats, and your lower belly."
Do this exercise for 45 seconds or as long as possible before resting for 15 seconds.
3. Suitcase Crunch
For the suitcase crunch, you'll want to sit down, but this time with your legs out in front of you in the tabletop position. Go back to using just one dumbbell and hold it with both hands.
Kick things into gear by pulling yourself into a crunch while holding the dumbbell above your knees. When you push your legs back out, lift the dumbbell and move it behind your head. As you do this, be sure to keep your back flat to activate your lower abs and transverse abdominis.
Just like the first two exercises, aim to keep this up for 45 seconds. Then, rest and transition for 15 seconds.
4. Toe Touch Crunch and Leg Lifts
Keep up the crunch with a toe-touch variation that includes leg lifts. Razavi says, "[This exercise] will target your transverse abdominis muscles, lower abdomen muscles, and upper abs."
Remain in a seated position while holding a dumbbell with both hands. Begin to do a crunch as you move the dumbbell to your toes. Squeeze the muscles in the lower section of your abdomen, and push your lower back into the mat. Keep this contact as you move back down and allow one leg to lower before the other. Repeat the movement. If you want, Razavi points out you can modify the action by bending your knee, if necessary.
Perform this exercise for 45 seconds before resting and transitioning for 15 seconds.
5. Forearm Plank Dumbbell Tap
The final exercise in your 10-minute abs workout will have you doing another plank. But this time, Razavi recommends a forearm plank with a dumbbell tap.
Place your feet in a wide stance beneath you, and put a dumbbell beside you around six to 12 inches away, depending on your needs. Once you're all set up, grab the dumbbell with one hand and bring it in front of you for a quick tap, and then alternate. Keep your body steady. "This will challenge your stabilizing muscles to keep your body still as you alternate your weight from one arm to the other," Razavi says.
Complete this final exercise for 45 seconds before resting and transitioning.