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The #1 Best Dumbbell Workout To Get Shredded Abs in 30 Days

Sculpt a lean, well-developed core with a trainer's go-to dumbbell routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Sculpting shredded abs goes beyond aesthetics; it enhances overall performance. Defining your core muscles contributes to a visually appealing physique and boosts your gym workouts and daily movements. The secret is to approach core training comprehensively. Incorporate movements in various directions—up and down, stabilize and squeeze, rotate side to side, and resist rotation. A lean, well-developed core is a powerhouse of strength and functionality. So the next time you head to the gym or gear up for an at-home fitness session, be sure to check out the #1 best dumbbell workout for abs in 30 days.

Plug these ab exercises into your workout time to achieve shredded abs in one month or less. While I can't control your effort, consistency, or dietary choices, I can share my most potent core exercises. Some of these moves might deviate from the traditional ab workout routine, but rest assured, they're more effective. Explore these exercises and propel yourself forward in your fitness journey toward reaching your goals!

Keep reading for my #1 best dumbbell workout for abs in 30 days. And when you're finished, be sure to check out the 7 Yoga Exercises a 69-Year-Old Instructor Does To Look Half Her Age.

Dumbbell Dead Bugs

Let's initiate this dumbbell workout for abs with a functional and dynamic stability exercise that effectively sculpts your midsection: the dumbbell dead bug. This movement engages vital core muscles and challenges your ability to stabilize the hips, lower back, and abs while extending each leg. Moreover, the exercise incorporates time under tension training, ensuring sustained muscle engagement for optimal results.

Begin by lying flat on your back. Next, lift your legs to a 90-degree angle and extend your arms, holding dumbbells directly above your shoulders. Keep your lower back pressed into the mat as you lower your left leg toward the floor, then return to the starting position. Keep both arms straight above your shoulders, reaching slightly toward the ceiling. Repeat on the other side. Focus on controlled movements, squeeze your core, and maintain a stable lower back position. Breathe out as you extend, and inhale as you return. Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps per side with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

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Weighted Side Planks with Hip Dips

This workout move will sculpt your obliques. Weighted side planks alone are challenging, and incorporating hip dips intensifies the burn for building defined abs. Emphasize a strong side plank stance, and maintain a controlled tempo during the hip dips to amplify the intensity and effectiveness of each repetition.

Lie on your side with your bottom elbow beneath your shoulder and your feet stacked. Place a dumbbell on your top oblique. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your feet. Next, lower your hips without touching the ground, and return to the plank position. Repeat for a set number of reps on one side, switch to the other, and repeat. Focus on stability, exhale during the dip, and inhale when returning. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps per side with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

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Planks with Dumbbell Pull-throughs

Once you master the standard plank, the next step is elevating the challenge to enhance core stabilization and reinforce anti-rotation capabilities. The plank with dumbbell pull-through engages every muscle fiber in your core, emphasizing functional anti-rotation movement. Who said getting shredded abs can't be functional?

To perform the plank with dumbbell pull-through, begin in a plank position with a dumbbell placed beside you. Squeeze your abs in the plank and use one hand to reach under your body, grabbing the dumbbell and pulling it across. Keep your body straight by engaging your core, and then pull the dumbbell back to the starting position with your other hand. Perform three to four sets of 10 to 15 reps per side with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

Dumbbell Chops

dumbbell wood chopper exercise illustration

Next up in this dumbbell workout for abs is the dumbbell chop. Among core exercises, few match the intensity of the wood chop. This movement activates your trunk in a rotational pattern, engaging various abdominal and back muscles for stability. The involvement of both legs and arms provides stability and mobility. Versatile in execution, it adapts to different positions and resistance tools; dumbbells, kettlebells, cable machines, and med balls offering variety and heightened challenge. This flexibility enables a targeted focus on various muscle groups, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the exercise.

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and staggered, holding a dumbbell at one hip. If the dumbbell starts on your right hip, step your left foot forward, and vice versa. Next, execute a diagonal chopping motion, lifting the dumbbell from hip to opposite shoulder while rotating your torso and squeezing the abs. Maintain a slight bend in your arms as you repeat the chopping motion for the prescribed reps. Repeat the chop on the other side. Focus on engaging the core, exhale during the lift, and inhale during the return. Keep a slight squat position, and maintain proper form to avoid injury. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps per side with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

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Dumbbell Straight Leg Sit-ups

Dumbbell straight-leg sit-ups are superb for isolating your abs by eliminating leg involvement. The crucial element lies in emphasizing a powerful core squeeze during the descent of each repetition. Execute this aspect effectively, and you'll progressively inch closer to achieving shredded abs with each set.

Performing dumbbell straight leg sit-ups involves lying on your back with your legs straight and holding a dumbbell above your forehead, arms straight. Engage your core as you lift your upper body toward your toes, and reach the dumbbell toward the ceiling. Keep your legs straight, and lower your upper body with control while inhaling. Perform three sets of 10 to 20 reps or 30 to 45 seconds with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

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Dumbbell Dead Bug Crunches

It's time to increase the intensity and push through the reps with dumbbell dead bug crunches. In my program designs, these crunches typically come after core workouts for a reason. Their concise movement allows for high-volume sets, precisely targeting your abs. After engaging the core with functional movements designed for effective ab shredding, this final set is where you truly sculpt and define those abs.

Begin in the standard dead bug position, ensuring your back is firmly pressed against the floor and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold a dumbbell above your chest with straight arms. Execute a controlled crunch, reaching the dumbbell toward the ceiling. Maintain control during the descent, ensuring your shoulders only touch the ground once completing all repetitions. Complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps with 60 seconds of rest between sets. Perform the last set as a set to near failure.

Jarrod Nobbe, MA, CSCS
Jarrod Nobbe is a USAW National Coach, Sports Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, and writer, and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 12 years. Read more about Jarrod
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