20 minutes, 2 light dumbbells and this no-repeat workout to strengthen your core

Try this no-jumping, low-impact core workout with weights for stronger abs, lower back and better posture

15-minute dumbbell full body workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While we can all agree that having a six-pack isn't the most unattractive thing. That said, focusing on your abs only during workouts might leave your lower back and your obliques – the 'side abs' – more vulnerable to injury. It's best to train the whole of your core, which is easy thanks to this 20-minute core workout with weights.

And before you start panicking, this brilliant exercise routine only uses light dumbbells, which is the best way to go. Instead of lifting the heaviest home weights you can find, focus on the movement and the muscle you're trying to work. Research says that strengthening this 'mind-muscle connection' can be the key to faster muscle development. In fact, the same study says that if you go too heavy (60-80% of the maximum weight you can potentially lift), this benefit disappears!

The instructor in the above video doesn't talk, so we recommend consulting the below exercise list before you start the workout and paying attention to the video. This is a no-repeat, low-intensity workout, but it's also fast-paced: exercises are performed for 30 seconds with a 10-second break in between. The exercise list looks long, but remember, you'll only do them for a short time.

  • Walk It Out
  • Squat + Crunch
  • Down Dog Knee Drops
  • Squat + Crunch
  • Low Plank Climbers
  • Thruster + Twist
  • Thruster + Twist
  • Core Rotations
  • Step Back + Crunch
  • Leg Raise + Climber
  • Climber Hold
  • Knee Downs
  • Leg Raise + Climber
  • Climber Hold
  • Alternating Knee Drops
  • Sumo Side Bend
  • Squat + Side Punch
  • Side Punches
  • Oblique Push Back
  • Oblique Push Back + Crunch
  • Oblique Crunch Pulses
  • Oblique Push Back
  • Oblique Push Back + Crunch
  • Oblique Crunch Pulses
  • Dumbbell Overhead March
  • Climbers
  • Dumbbell Crunch
  • Standing Toe Taps
  • (Finisher)
  • Extended Plank
  • Bear Knee Taps
  • Legs in Up Down
  • Alternating Leg Drops
  • Knees In & Out
  • Hollow Knee Hug
  • Plank Hold

We have tons of abs workout content on T3, including the roundup of the best core exercises, and a guide on how to get a six-pack. Or, you can try this 6-minute bodyweight core workout for size. How about a 10-minute core workout that helps improve mobility? No? Then, check out this 10-minute, 3-move abs finisher, or everyone's favourite, a 10-minute standing ab workout with weight for a stronger core.

For those of you who need dumbbells, we recommend T3's best dumbbell guide. And if you haven't got an exercise mat, our yoga mat guide might be useful. We collected some dumbbell deals below, or head over to our best cheap Bowflex deals guide for some offers on these capable home weights.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.