20 moves in 20 minutes to build core strength without weights

This high-intensity routine works your abs and strengthens your core in just 20 minutes

Man holding a plank position
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your core—a section of mid-body muscle that includes your abs—plays a crucial role in your balance, circulation, and workout performance. But you don't need to lift heavy weights to see ab-defining results—just this 20-minute equipment-free workout.

The high-intensity routine includes many of the best workouts for abs to help train your core. This area includes your rectus abdominis (abs), the muscle best known as a six-pack. 

But a stronger core also enhances your posture, reduces the risk of injury when working out, and can help improve your form in other exercises. All you need is Tiff x Dan's (opens in new tab) 20-minute abs workout if you want to get started. 

The session is led by Dan and includes 20 equipment-free core strengthening moves. To fit all of that into just 20 minutes, you'll do each exercise for 45 seconds, take a 15-second rest, then progress to the next move. 

This fast-paced workout style is known as HIIT—High Intensity Interval Training. The aim is to keep the intensity up throughout the routine to raise your heart rate for long-lasting effects.

Watch Tiff x Dan's 20-minute abs workout

This boosts your metabolism so that you burn energy during the session and for hours after. That's why a HIIT workout for fat loss is such an effective and sustainable way to hit your weight loss goals.

Reducing your overall body fat is also essential to developing visible abs. There's a common belief that you can spot-target specific body parts to reduce fat in that area, but research says otherwise.

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (opens in new tab), "abdominal exercise did not result in [any] change in measures of abdominal fat." However, it did "improve abdominal muscular endurance."

That's what makes Tiff x Dan's short routine so effective; the ab workout builds muscle and improves core strength, while the fast, intense pace helps increase your heart rate and burn fat.

It's also worth investing in one of the best ab rollers if you're after a quick way to work your abs. These portable wheels are a great way to build core strength without breaking the bank.

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.


In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.