Four moves, two dumbbells and 30 minutes for stronger arms and abs

Develop upper body strength and improve your balance, posture, and performance with this short routine

A man performing a weighted abs exercise with a dumbbell
(Image credit: Getty)

We love a good arm workout, but we're also partial to some targeted abs exercises. Fortunately, with this short session, you don't have to choose between the two. 

The workout from Sweat app trainer Britany Williams is designed to target your arms and abs simultaneously with just four exercises—talk about time-efficient. 

You only need a pair of dumbbells to tackle it too. We like using our Core Fitness set, which tops our roundup of the best adjustable dumbbells, but you can use any fairly light fixed pair or even a couple of cans of beans if you don't have any weights handy. 

The aim is to complete 12-15 repetitions of each move, one after the other. You'll rest for 60 second between exercises, and should complete each exercise three or four times, so this session should take less than 30 minutes.

It's important to focus on your form to get the most from your workout and avoid injury. Watch Williams demonstrate the four moves below and practice each one to master the technique. Then, when you feel ready, give the workout a go. 

Watch Britany Williams' dumbbell arms and abs workout

Williams says the key to getting the most out of the best abs workouts is to "keep the core engaged by minimizing the distance between your rib cage and your hips while maintaining a neutral spine".

Training this area is the key to unlocking plenty of health benefits too. The rectus abdominis (responsible for the six-pack shape) is the best-known core muscle, but people often overlook the likes of the spine-stabilizing transverse abdominis and the internal and external obliques, which power twisting, bending and rotational movements.

Strengthening these muscles can lead to improved balance and stability, as well as improved sporting performance as you have more power in your midline to swing a golf club or support your torso while you squat. It can even help prevent injuries by taking weight off your lower back when you lift things.  

As well as hitting your abs, the exercises in this workout will tax your triceps—the muscles that run down the back of your upper arm. They will also engage your chest and shoulder muscles, so you get plenty of bang for your buck. 

After you've finished this workout, you might be wondering what to do the next day. You might consider targeting other muscles with a back workout or one of the best leg workouts.

Alternatively, if you want to give your body a break from lifting weights, why not recover with a lower-intensity activity like trying these anti-aging yoga moves.

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.