15 moves in 15 minutes to strengthen your abs and increase your fitness levels

Work your abs and burn calories at the same time with this time-efficient workout

woman doing abs workout
(Image credit: Getty Images/Westend61)

If you want a workout to target your abs and raise your heart rate, this is the routine for you. 

It combines cardio-boosting moves with abs-strengthening exercises to create a double-edged session that takes just 15 minutes, making it a great way to get your fitness fix when you're short on time. 

The workout was designed by personal trainer Joe Wicks to be accessible for all, so you won't need any extra equipment. Some of the exercises take place on the ground, so you might benefit from a yoga mat, but this is only an optional extra. 

It consists of 15 minute-long sections; one for each exercise. These are then split into 35-second work periods and 25 seconds of rest. 

Watch the routine below to find out which moves await you, and try to copy Wicks' technique for each exercise when giving it a go for yourself.

Watch Joe Wicks' cardio and abs workout

Cardio exercises like the star jumps and lateral shuffles found in this workout will raise your heart rate. As a result, your body has to work harder to pump blood (and supply oxygen) to the working muscles, leading to increased calorie burn .

Over time, this can also increase your cardiovascular fitness—the ability of your heart and lungs to provide your muscles with oxygen during exercise. Boost this and, even if you have to run for the bus or turn on the jets during your walk to work, you'll be able to breathe easy. 

By mixing cardio elements with core strengthening exercises, you're not only burning calories but also developing your midsection muscles which contribute to improved posture, mobility and overall strength. 

If you're not used to workouts like this one, you'll probably feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the following day. This is normal and is the result of tiny tears in your muscles that have happened during your workout.

Your body uses protein to help repair, strengthen and grow your muscles, so it's important to eat several types of protein throughout the day. To help you hit your daily protein quota, it can be worth keeping topped up with a post-workout shake using one of the best protein powders for weight loss.

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.