One dumbbell, 15 minutes and this standing ab workout for a tight torso

Beginner-friendly moves, with zero floor crunches or planks — just what we like to hear

Man doing standing dumbbell workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Ab workouts can freak some of us out — maybe because we automatically think they’re going to include 100 crunches (like I crazily tried every day for a week) or lots of planking. That’s why standing ab workouts, like this one, are great, because they don't include any of these moves, but still target your deep abdominal muscles for a strong core, as well as aiding with balance.

That being said, although the moves in this standing ab workout are beginner-friendly, it includes a dumbbell for some extra resistance to make things a little more challenging, as opposed to just using your bodyweight. However, you could always do it without one, or try this 6-move, no equipment standing ab workout instead.

The workout includes 10 different exercises (although a few moves are repeated) and you’ll do each one for 40 seconds. You get a 20 second rest in between each one too and altogether the workout will only take you 15 minutes, so it’s ideal for adding onto the end of your workout routine, or doing three times a week. Opt for a light to medium dumbbell (we've got some great options in our dumbbell guide), but don’t go for anything too heavy. You really want to take your time with each exercise and perform it efficiently so as your core is engaged properly. Here’s what you’ll be doing: 

  • Single arm opposite knee to elbow
  • Knee to elbow side crunches 
  • Step back knee crunch with a crunch twist
  • Side to side punches
  • Oblique crunch
  • Single arm opposite knee to elbow 
  • Knee to elbow crunches
  • Step back knee crunch with a crunch twist
  • Side to side punches
  • Standing twist

Alternatively, you may prefer to get an adjustable dumbbell, as then you will be able to easily increase/decrease the weight to suit your ability for the workout. If you're keen for more ab workouts, then why not give this four-move dumbbell ab workout a go, or take a look at the bodyweight exercise that Dwayne Johnson does to get his rock-hard abs.

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.