This seven-move abs workout will build core strength and six-pack muscle

The short routine from fitness expert Zanna van Dijk will make your core burn and get results in no time

Woman doing a weighted Russian twist
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our post-lockdown schedules mean it can be hard to keep up with the workout plans you put in place throughout the pandemic. If you're short on time, you need to prioritize the exercises with the most to offer.

You may already be doing many of the best workouts for abs. Still, you add more core-building intensity into your routine with this seven-move abs workout with dumbbells from social media fitness expert Zanna van Dijk.

After you've found a weight that's comfortable to protect your form, but still a challenge, according to van Dijk, the best way to get started is to "set a timer for 40 seconds on, 15 seconds off, and go for 3 rounds to get a 20-minute workout. Brace yourselves for the burn!"

The workout is short but effective, allowing you to build solid abs in no time. While many people aim for the six-pack, a strong core also improves stability, prevents injury, promotes good circulation, and improves workout performance.

Interestingly, you can start to see results in as little as four weeks with regular practice. One study found that some measures of core stability improved after a month-long training program. 

After starting as a personal trainer in 2014, Zanna has built a reputation for accessible fitness tips. While she's best known for her training, van Dijk also co-founded Stay Wild Swim, which uses reclaimed ocean plastic in its inclusive swimwear collection. 

Although posted to Instagram, the workout is broken into minute-long shorter videos, so you don't have to learn the entire routine at once. Instead, you can quickly watch Zanna's tutorial, then try the move yourself to work on your form.

Zanna van Dijk's seven-move abs workout

  • Oblique dips (left)
  • Oblique dips (right)
  • Plank drags
  • Russian twist to V sit
  • Knee tucks
  • Single-arm sit up (right)
  • Single-arm sit up (left)

Each move includes dumbbells to increase the intensity, so it's worth investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. These are a great option, allowing you to increase the weight as you develop strength.

If you're after another quick abs workout that you can dip into when time allows, consider picking up one of the best ab rollers. These wheels with handles build a strong core and offer full-body exercise. 

James Frew
James Frew

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 2013 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.