What dumbbell workouts are good for working your core?

A one-dumbbell routine that hits every muscle in your all-important core, allowing you to blitz your obliques, abs and back with a handful of carefully-selected moves. And if worse comes to worst and all the dumbbells are in use, you can do this workout with a weight plate or kettlebell.

Do the following five moves in order, performing 15 reps of a lift then moving on to the next one without rest. After the final move, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat. Do six circuits in total. Make the circuit easier with a lighter dumbbell, or harder with a heavier one.

1.Hold a dumbbell in both hands. Bend from the hips to lower the weight between your legs, then push your hips forward to raise it up to shoulder height. Reverse back down to the start.

2.Stand tall, holding the dumbbell in one hand. Keeping your chest up, lower the weight – this will hit your obliques. Complete all the reps, then switch hands and repeat.

3.Squat, holding the weight in both hands to one side. Raise it across your body to head height, then back down. Do all the reps, then switch sides.

4.Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent, holding the dumbbell to your chest with both hands. Use your upper abs to raise your torso, then lower slowly to the start.

5.Start at the top of the crunch but with your feet off the ground. Rotate back and forth, keeping your abs braced. A twist to one side then the other counts as one rep.


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