You only need three moves, one dumbbell, and 10 minutes to build core strength
This short, high-intensity routine strengthens your abs, develops your core, and makes a perfect workout finisher
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- (opens in new tab)
- Sign up to our newsletter Newsletter
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your ab workouts, adding the same tired cluster of sit-ups to the end of your regular exercise sessions.
This is better than nothing, but we can't help but feel your core deserves more. That's why we've found a short, effective ab finisher that will hit your midsection in less than 10 minutes.
To give this workout a go, all you need is a single dumbbell. Our tried and tested selection of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) are great options for home workouts as you can adjust the weight to suit your strength level, but a fixed weight dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a full water bottle will also do the trick.
This session, designed by certified personal trainer Alex Rice (opens in new tab), also only uses three exercises, but that doesn't mean you're in for an easy ride; this is the kind of finisher that will make your abs burn while building core strength, balance, and coordination.
Rice recommends completing all three exercises as a circuit with minimal rest in between, and repeating this circuit three times through.
You can watch Rice perform the movements in the Instagram post below. Try to match her tempo and form when you do the workout to make sure you're getting the most out of each exercise.
Watch Alex Rice's ab workout
A post shared by Alex Rice | Workouts (@alexricee) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
Rest periods are a key part of many workouts. This is particularly true in resistance training, where breaks of 60 seconds or more allow your muscles to recover so you can hit your next set with renewed strength and intensity.
However, finishers are a form of metabolic conditioning (or metcon) that help you tap into the last bit of energy you have at the end of your session. As such, rest times are often kept to a minimum, spiking your heart rate and boosting your metabolism in one final burst of effort.
Hearing this, you might be tempted to rush through these movements to get the workout over as quickly as possible, but Rice stresses the importance of moving slowly and intentionally.
Finding control with ab movements is an easy way to increase the time your core muscles spend under tension, making them more challenging and quickly improving your core strength. So, instead of seeing how quickly you can complete this workout, try to move more slowly every time you do it.
Many of the best ab workouts (opens in new tab) are floor-based, but if you're not a fan of that training style, try this standing abs workout (opens in new tab) instead. Or maybe you’d prefer a cardio finisher? If that's the case, we have the perfect equipment-free workout (opens in new tab) for you, and it only takes 15 minutes.
Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.
Build a stronger core in just 12 minutes without weights—here's how
Workout You don't need weights to strengthen your core, just try this 12-minute, no-equipment routine instead
By Lois Mackenzie • Published
Use these 10 yoga stretches for beginners to boost your flexibility
Fitness You don't need any equipment for this this beginner-friendly 10-move routine from a certified yoga instructor
By Annabel Lee • Published