Maximise your core strength with one dumbbell and this standing ab workout

Just grab a dumbbell or heavy water bottle for this one

Woman doing overhead dumbbell marches
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If there’s one area of our body that's more of an afterthought, it’s often our core. After all, the thought of doing a load of sit-ups or holding the plank may not make you scream with excitement (quite the opposite in fact). This standing ab workout, however, will not only spice up your bland, boring floor exercises, but it'll only take you 10 minutes. Just grab a single dumbbell, kettlebell, or a heavy water bottle.

A strong core not only helps our athletic performance, improve our balance and everyday movements, but studies have even shown it's one of the best defences against back pain. According to the Premier Spine Institute: "Your core muscles are vital for a healthy back because they’re solely responsible for spinal stability. These muscles must carry the weight of your body and step up to the challenge when the load increases." Spending time on our core is therefore vital to our overall wellbeing and health, and Harvard Health says we should do this two to three times a week.

You've got five exercises to do for this workout and all of them are beginner-friendly. Make sure you're wearing your best workout shoes, so there's no accidents if you accidently drop that dumbbell/water bottle. You'll do all the exercises back-to-back with no rest in between, then once you've completed one round, rest for 30 seconds and repeat the workout three more times. Also, be sure to check out the video above if you don't know how to do any of the exercises. Here's your workout:

  • Oblique crunch - 15 reps on each side
  • Single arm overhead march - 12 reps on each side
  • Around the worlds - 20 reps
  • Standing crunch - 20 reps
  • Elbow to knee crunch - 10 reps each side

We hope you found that more enjoyable than your standard floor ab routine! We've also got plenty more standing ab workouts on T3, like this three-move routine that's simple, yet highly effective. This other three-move standing ab workout also only requires one dumbbell and will take even less time to complete (only 9 minutes!). If, however, you are looking for a floor-based routine, but one that still has no sit-ups or crunches, give this five-move workout a go.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.