How to Do Situps With Dumbbells

The situp is a classic abdominal exercise that works the front part of your midsection, called the rectus abdominis, as well as your hip flexors. Standard situps are performed with your arms across your chest or behind your head as a straight body weight exercise. You can also add weight to the movement by incorporating a dumbbell into the situp. Weighted situps will help build and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

Step 1
Lie on the floor or a slant board while holding a dumbbell in front of your chest with one hand on each end. Tense your abdominal muscles, and complete a full situp, keeping the dumbbell in a stable position in front of your chest. Lower your torso slowly, and repeat.

Step 2
Hold a light dumbbell in each hand, and lie back on a slant board or on the floor. Bend your elbows, and hold the dumbbells near your shoulders. Raise your torso all the way up, and reach over past your right knee with your left hand. Lower yourself and repeat, this time reaching past your left knee with your right hand. Continue alternating until your set is complete.

Step 3
Hold a dumbbell by the ends up over your head and lie back on the floor or on a slant board. Lift your torso all the way up until you're in a situp position, keeping the dumbbell over your head for the duration of the exercise. Lower your torso, and repeat.


Don’t use dumbbells that are so heavy they strain your lower back, and stop if you experience any low back discomfort.


  • When holding small dumbbells in each hand, perform a one-two punch after raising your torso into a situp position for a modified boxing exercise.

Things You'll Need

  • Slant board
  • Dumbbell