The 15-Minute Weighted Ab Exercises

By Mark Barroso

Do this workout at home, outdoors or in the gym to build core strength and burn calories fast. All you need in this fast-paced workout is two dumbbells, between 5-20 pounds each depending on your fitness level.

The workout is divided into three parts: the first part will target the rectus abdominis or the front abdominal wall, the second part will target the internal and external obliques (the side of our stomach) and the last part is designed to burn maximum calories by using the entire body. A mat is recommended to protect the lower back.

Power through this 15-minute abs workout to increase your core strength and chisel a better midsection.c


Do each couplet (pair of exercises) for three rounds. Couplet 1 and 2 require 35 seconds of work interspersed with 15 seconds of rest. Couplet 3 calls for 30 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest between exercises.


Couplet 1

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis

3 rounds of 35 seconds work and 15 seconds rest

Dumbbell Ab Slam

How to Do It: Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Hold one dumbbell with both hands overhead and behind you so your upper arms are against the floor. This is the starting position. Quickly bring the dumbbell from behind you to between your legs, effectively doing a situp. Tap the dumbbell on the ground between your legs and return the weight to the starting position. This move should be done using momentum–be explosive when bringing the weight to the ground. 

Dumbbell Situp with Pass

How to Do It: Lie on your back with knees bent at 90 degrees. Hold one dumbbell in each hand using an overhand grip with arms extended towards the ceiling. The weights should be held over your face. This is the starting position. Do a situp and simultaneously bring each dumbbell to the outside of each ankle. Let go of the dumbbells and return your torso back to the ground. Now, do another situp and go grab the dumbbells you just put next to your feet. Reverse the motion, keeping your arms straight, and return back to the starting position with arms straight above your face. That’s one rep with the weights and one rep without the weights.

Couplet 2

Muscles Worked: Internal and External Oblique

3 rounds of 35 seconds work and 15 seconds rest

Dumbbell X-Up

How to Do It: Lie on your back with arms and legs separated so you’re shaped like an “X” or “starfish.” Hold one dumbbell with both hands so arms are extended against the ground above the right shoulder. Bring the dumbbell from the right side of your body to the outside of your left knee or left ankle. Return the weight back to the starting position. Do four reps going from the right shoulder to the left ankle/knee. Then, switch sides by starting with the dumbbell above the left shoulder and bringing it to the outside of the right ankle/knee. Do four reps from left to right. Your legs stay put against the ground the entire time.

Dumbbell Woodchop

How to Do It: Grab one dumbbell with both hands and place it outside of the right foot. Both knees should be bent and you should look like you’re almost curled into a ball on your right side. This is the starting position. Bring the dumbbell across your body, extending both arms above the left shoulder. Reach as high and across as possible towards the left side. Pivot both feet towards the left as you do this. Now, return the weight back to the outside of the right ankle by pivoting the feet towards the right. That’s one rep. Do four reps from right to left. Then, switch side by starting with the dumbbell at the outside of the left ankle and raising it diagonally until your hands are above the right shoulder. Do four reps from left to right too.

Couplet 3

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders

3 rounds of 30 seconds work and 10 seconds rest.

Dumbbell Swing

How to Do It: Grab the dumbbell with both hands using a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and stand with legs wide with knees slightly bent. Using glutes and core, swing the dumbbell from between your legs to shoulder height. Bring the dumbbell back to starting position under control. That’s one rep.

Dumbbell Burpee Cluster

Muscles Worked: Rectus Abdominis, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders

How to Do It: Stand with one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other (neutral grip). Squat down and get into pushup position with your hands above the dumbbells on the ground. Hop your feet back into a low squat position with the weights above the shoulders. From this position, drive your legs and hips vertically as you press the weights overhead. You should be standing with arms extended and weights overhead in the same neutral grip. Bring the weights back down to the top of your shoulders, then back down to your sides. That’s one rep.

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