Develop abs and core strength in only seven moves with this dumbbell routine

This short dumbbell session works your abs, develops your core, and improves performance

Woman performing Russian twist dumbbell exercises
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want to build muscle around your abs, you might imagine that you need to do hours of crunches and sit-ups. Thankfully, you can boost your workout's muscle-building results and develop core strength at the same time with this seven-move dumbbell routine.

You don't need much equipment to get started, just a single dumbbell. If you're at the gym, pick a weight that'll challenge you but isn't so heavy it affects your form. But if you're training at home, it's worth investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells.

These customizable weights are a space-saving way to build muscle, combining several dumbbells in one. Plus, they're a flexible option, especially for beginners, allowing you to gradually increase the load as you get stronger.

Once you have a weight to hand, you can tackle fitness YouTubers Tiff x Dan's (opens in new tab)seven-move dumbbell ab routine. There's no set time limit; you'll be working to a repetition count instead, aiming for between 12 and 15 reps per exercise.

Whether you're new to training your abs and core or could use a refresher, check out Dan's demonstrations before starting to perfect your form and get your technique just right to get the most from your training and avoid injury.

Watch Tiff x Dan's weighted ab workout

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The duo recommends doing three rounds of this seven-move routine for a complete ab-building workout, but you could do a single round if you want to add a core-focused routine to the end of your regular training.

Most people use the terms abs and core interchangeably, although there are differences. Your rectus abdominis six-pack abs muscle forms part of your core, a section of mid-body muscle that connects your upper and lower body. 

Because of its central role in your body, using core strengthening exercises helps improve your workout performance, aids stability, promotes blood flow, and reduces your risk of lower back pain or other injuries.

That's why Tiff x Dan's routine includes weighted variations of workout staples like crunches, twists, and holds, which help you build core strength and ab muscle in a time-efficient way by increasing the resistance of each of these classic bodyweight moves.

If you have one of the best kettlebells nearby and want to add some variety to your training, it's worth learning how to do kettlebell swings. This multi-muscle move boosts your metabolism, works your whole body, and strengthens your core.

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.