Develop core strength without weights in just seven minutes

Short on time? You can work your abs and build a stronger core in less than 10 minutes

Man holding a plank
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's a popular myth, but you don't need to lift weights to get stronger—bodyweight exercises are a great way to develop practical muscle without equipment. And with this quick abs workout, you can develop core strength in just seven minutes.

It's an equipment-free routine, so you won't need any adjustable dumbbells or other weights for this session; just a bit of time and some space to work out. This makes it ideal to squeeze into a busy day or stay active while traveling.

Although many of us know our rectus abdominis, or abs, as the six-pack muscle, there's more to this area than aesthetics. Your abs form part of your core, a section of mid-body muscle responsible for balance, stability, and circulation. 

The short session was designed by popular YouTube trainer Fraser Wilson, best known for his series of at-home dumbbell workouts. His accessible approach makes it easy to follow along and focus on your form to get the most from each exercise.

Quick workouts like this often get you to exercise for 30 or 40 seconds before taking a short break, but not this workout. Instead, you train for 30 seconds and start the next right away to fit 14 moves into the seven-minute routine.

Watch Fraser Wilson's seven-minute abs workout

Wilson includes many well-known ab exercises like planks, sit-ups, and crunches. These have become workout staples because they effectively train your abs and core, but there's plenty of variety here too. 

You'll also take on many of the best workouts for abs like mountain climbers, Russian twists, and scissor leg raises to keep the routine engaging. Aside from developing a six-pack, there are plenty of reasons to build core strength with these exercises.

Your core is a collection of muscles around the middle of your body that includes your abs. These muscles work together to promote blood flow, improve balance, and reduce your risk of injury.

But a strong core also helps improve your workout performance, too. Take a squat, for example. As you lower down into a seated position, it's easy to arch your back accidentally, but that can cause pain and even injury.

By tensing your core, you can keep your back straight, improve your posture, and more effectively keep your weight in your heels as you lower down and return to standing to boost the exercise's muscle-building effect.

If you like the idea of a quick core workout, then it's also worth keeping one of the best ab rollers handy throughout the day. These inexpensive wheels help you roll out into a plank for an intense ab blast.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor 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.