Most people think of dumbbells as a way to increase upper body strength, but did you know that they can also be incorporated into your next core workout? Adding light dumbbells to your core exercises is a simple way to amplify your core results while also increasing your arm strength. As your strength and ability improve, you can easily make your workout more challenging by increasing the weight of your dumbbells. Dumbbell core strength exercises are effective and easy to do. If you do not have dumbbells at home, try substituting common household items like water bottles or soup cans. You can also try these exercises without resistance, especially when you are first getting started.
1. Russian Twists
Begin in an upright seated position on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest height. Lean your upper body back and lift your feet off the floor. Engage your core and rotate your upper body to one side. Return to the center position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. Start with 1 set of 5 repetitions on each side.
To make this dumbbell core strength exercise easier, keep your feet on the floor as you go through the movement.
2. Around the Body
Begin in an upright standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your body. Engage your core and transfer the dumbbell to one hand. Reach behind your body with the dumbbell and transfer it to your opposite hand. Reach around your body to return to the starting position. Repeat the sequence of movements. Start with 1 set of 5 repetitions in each direction.
3. Straight Arm Swings
Begin in an upright standing position with your feet considerably wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your body. Engage your core, bend your knees and hinge from your hips to lower your seat into a semi-squat position as you swing the dumbbell between your legs. Raise back up to a standing position as you swing the dumbbell overhead, squeezing your glutes at the top position. Repeat the sequence of movements. Start with 1 set of 10 repetitions.
4. Straight Arm Sit Ups
Begin by lying on the floor with your legs extended in front of your body. Hold a dumbbell in one hand with your arm extended above your body at chest height. Engage your core and hinge from your hips to lift your upper body to an upright sitting position, raising your weighted arm to an overhead position. Lower your upper body down to the starting position and repeat the movement. Start with 1 set of 10 repetitions.
5. Renegade Plank
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Step back with both feet to move into a straight-arm plank position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Engage your core and pull one arm back in a rowing motion, keeping your elbow close to your upper body. Lower your arm down to the starting position and repeat the movement with your opposite arm. Start with 1 set of 5 repetitions on each side.
All of these dumbbell core strength exercises are impactful for building core strength and toning your tummy, with or without resistance. When first getting started, try going through each exercise without resistance, then add and increase the weight of your dumbbells as your abilities improve. Dumbbells can be purchased in most sporting goods stores or via your favorite online supplier but be aware of inflated shipping charges that can result from the weight of the equipment.
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