8 Core Moves You Can Do With 1 Dumbbell 

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer

Do you want to hone your six-pack? If so, then you should take a look at these 8 core moves that you can do with one dumbbell. 

Improving your stomach muscles can be a slow and painful process, especially if you are the kind of person who prefers to use various pieces of equipment.

8 Core Moves You Can Do With 1 Dumbbell 

But what if we told you that you don’t need a home gym or a bunch of equipment to work your core? 

While bodyweight moves can have a profound impact on your stomach, they also come with the drawback of recruiting the muscles in the middle of your abdominals, which means there are still other components that will need some work.

Fortunately, you can now maintain your core with simple moves that require little or no gym equipment.

In this article, we have compiled a list of 8 core moves you can do with one dumbbell, which can be done from home and will provide you with great results. 

8 Core Moves With 1 Dumbbell 

These core moves only require a single dumbbell and can be performed at home or in your own workout space.

Most of the exercises we have decided to showcase can be completed in less than 30 minutes and should be performed using the following tips.

We also advise adding some variety to your exercises, which means you should use different moves every week. 

1. Dumbbell Lean & Drag 

For the first move on our list, we have chosen the dumbbell lean and drag, which requires the user to hold the dumbbell in one hand while moving into a push-up position.

Following this, you will need to slide the dumbbell down to the opposite foot and back to the original position.

During this step, you will also need to raise your hips into a pike, before returning to the starting position. 

For the best results, we recommend a total of five reps on both the right and left sides. You will also need to switch directions between the movements. 

2. Dumbbell Ab Slam 

The next exercise we have decided to showcase is a little more complicated, as it involves various components.

To start, you will need to lie supine with your knees bent at 90 degrees.

Hold the dumbbell in both hands and bring it to the space between your legs as you perform an explosive sit-up.

Once the dumbbell has touched the ground, you can use the weight to return to the starting position.

This exercise can be used to strengthen the rectus abdominis and can be performed in three sets of ten reps. 

3. Dumbbell X-Up 

To perform this exercise, you will need to lie on your back with your limbs extended into an x shape.

Hold the dumbbell in both hands and place it on the ground above your left shoulder. While keeping your body flush to the floor, bring the dumbbell from your shoulder to the opposite ankle.

Return to the starting position and then repeat on the other side, as this will recruit the oblique muscles

4. Dumbbell Burpee 

This next exercise can be made even more difficult through the use of a 20-pound dumbbell, however, we recommend practicing perfect form with the movement prior to adding weight.

Begin in a standing position with the dumbbell in both hands and then squat down while keeping your back straight.

During this process, you will need to leave the dumbbell on the floor and move into a push-up position.

Once the push-up has been completed, take the dumbbell into your hands and move into a low squat before returning to the original position. 

5. Dumbbell Oblique Twist 

To start this exercise, you will need to lie supine with one leg straight and the other bent flat against the floor.

Hold the dumbbell in both hands and extend your arms above your head.

For the next step, you will need to keep your arms straight while performing a sit-up. Do this until your torso is upright.

8 Core Moves You Can Do With 1 Dumbbell  (1)

Keep your arms straight while rotating your core and then lower yourself into the starting position. 

The best thing about this exercise is that it works both the rectus abdominis and the main obliques, which makes it one of the best core moves available.

You can perform 10-15 reps for each side and make sure you are working at a slow tempo. 

6. Dumbbell Side Plank With Rotation 

If you are new to home exercise, it is best to perform this move without the dumbbell, as this could prove to be too difficult.

Place your forearms on the ground and move into a plank position, then take the dumbbell in your free hand and move it beneath your torso before rotating it towards the ceiling.

Wait for a few seconds and then return the dumbbell to the previous torso position.

For this move, advanced trainees can use a 10-15 pound dumbbell and perform two sets of 10 reps on both sides. 

7. Dumbbell Superman Pass 

Named for the famous DC superhero, this exercise asks the trainee to lie on their stomach and hold a light dumbbell at both ends with their arms extended at the front.

After this, you will need to let the dumbbell go with one hand and use the other to place it behind your lower back.

Once in this position, you can transfer the weight of the dumbbell from the right to left hand before returning the weight to its original position.

This exercise works to strengthen the lower back muscles and can be used to tone your glutes. It also comes with the benefit of improving your shoulder mobility. 

8. Dumbbell Kneeling Reach Over 

To perform this final exercise, you will need to place one knee on a mat and extend the other leg to the side.

Hold the dumbbell in one hand and extend the other straight out to the side, while also keeping the dumbbell in the correct position above your right shoulder.

Once you have done this, you can move the dumbbell arm elbow towards the opposite hip.

When this has been completed, the dumbbell will need to be lifted over your head and to the opposite side of your body, which should cause tension in the oblique muscles.

Return the dumbbell to your shoulder and remain in the starting position. 

If you are still a novice, you should complete this exercise for a few weeks without the use of a dumbbell, as this will strengthen your muscles and get you prepared to use the weight.

You will also need to keep your arm straight and locked in the same position.

Once you have mastered the move, it can be performed in 3 sets of 10-15 reps on both side. 

Final Thoughts 

Toning your core can be a simple process, and you do not need special equipment to ensure a great physique and strong stomach muscles.

In fact, you can use a single dumbbell to obtain a defined six-pack, which is perfect for both novice and advanced trainees alike.

The exercises showcased above can be performed in the comfort of your own home and should take less than 30 minutes to complete.

However, we do recommend using different methods each week to add some diversity to your normal exercise routine. 

TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
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