I tried this dumbbell abs workout, and my core felt it after only four moves

Improve your posture, balance, and stability with this four-move routine

dumbbells on the ground
(Image credit: Future)

I always try to add abs workouts into my weekly exercise routine — strong abs are crucial for stability, posture and overall core strength, after all.

But, to be honest, these sessions definitely aren't my favorite, and I find I need to track down a good, quick routine to help me stay motivated. And I wanted one that would add weights like adjustable dumbbells into the mix to keep things varied. 

So, when I came across this four-move workout from Krissy Cela, co-founder of the EvolveYou training app, I knew it would be perfect to try.

To take part you only need one dumbbell (although I also used a yoga mat for some extra cushioning on my spine). 

How to do Krissy Cela's abs strengthening workout

There are four moves — 15 tucks, 20 bikes, eight single-arm sit-ups on each side, and 15 toe taps — performed as a circuit for three rounds. Watch Cela's video below for demonstrations of each one. 

Watch Krissy Cela's abs workout



How I found Krissy Cela's abs workout

When I look for an abs or core workout, the main thing I want to know is the benefits it'll give me. Yes, a more toned midsection is a bonus, but, as a runner, I mainly look to improve my strength and stability. 

That's why I really enjoyed doing the single-arm sit-ups in this routine. As I lifted my upper body off the yoga mat, I could immediately feel my core kick into action to stabilize my torso, and with each rep my movements became more precise and accurate.

The toe taps, on the other hand, were definitely humbling and challenged me the most. By the third round my abs were cooked, and I was very happy to be within touching distance of the finish line.

I think the dumbbell weight I chose played a role as well. I needed to find a weight that was challenging but didn't affect my form. After some experimentation, I landed on an 18lb load which made the routine hard, but achievable. 

Would I do this workout again?

This workout pushed my abs and core muscles to their limit. But, while this was definitely challenging, I still enjoyed the session and I'm already looking to do it again to help strengthen my core and continue to improve my stability.

If you try this workout for yourself, remember to prepare and recover properly with a thorough warm-up and cool-down. Some people also like to drink a post-workout smoothie to help fuel the recovery process. 

These are often packed with protein — a vital nutrient your body needs to repair and strengthen the damaged muscle fibers. If you're looking to build lean muscle, the best protein powders for weight loss are a great place to start. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.