Work your core and burn fat with this 30-minute dumbbell workout

This high-intensity routine works your whole body, boosts your metabolism, and strengthens your abs

Woman exercising with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Traditional ab workouts, like sit-ups and crunches, are effective but can get boring quickly. Fortunately, you can use this varied high-intensity dumbbell routine to work your core, build ab muscle, and burn fat in just 30 minutes.

Whether training at the gym or exercising at home, you just need to grab a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. These are a space-saving option for at-home workouts, combining several weights in one, but you can also quickly change the load mid-workout.

This helps you select a challenging load for each move to get the most from your training. If you aren't sure where to start, use these beginner strength training tips to find the ideal weight to lift.

Once you've settled on a load, you can get going with this 30-minute routine developed by fitness YouTube and Certified Personal Trainer DanielPT (opens in new tab). Rather than focusing on a certain number of repetitions, you'll train intensely for short bursts with minimal rest.

The routine is split in two, with three supersets of three exercises in each half. To pack all this into the time, you'll do each move for 40 seconds, take a 15-second rest, then start on the next exercise.

Watch DanielPT's 30-minute dumbbell workout

This style of high-intensity training is a time-efficient way to reach your fitness goals, helping work your whole body, increase your heart rate, boost your metabolism, and develop your abs without spending hours on crunches and sit-ups.

While strengthening your abs is a worthy goal in its own right, your rectus abdominis six-pack muscle forms part of your core, a section of mid-body muscle. This group of muscles helps improve posture, promotes circulation, and aids stability. 

Although DanielPT's session sounds a lot like High-Intensity Internal Training (HIIT), the focus on muscle-building moves with weights means that this is an example of a High-Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT) routine instead.

Both techniques are similar, but HIRT workouts help you develop strength even when you're short on time. Plus, you get the benefits of a HIIT workout for fat loss, which makes it an ideal way to train if you want to build muscle and drop pounds.

Small tears form in your muscles for your body to repair when you exercise like this, which encourages muscle growth. To encourage this process, it's worth taking the best protein powders for weight loss to promote recovery without undoing the workout's fat-burning effect.

If you enjoyed this form of high-intensity weights workout, it's also worth picking up one of the best kettlebells and learning how to do kettlebell swings. This multi-muscle compound move works your whole body, boosts your metabolism, and builds your core.

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 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.