You don't need weights to build a stronger core, just this 10-minute bodyweight abs workout

Woman performing a bodyweight core workout on a yoga mat with elbow and knee touching in a bicycle exercise
(Image credit: Getty images)

If you're looking to strengthen your core and improve your posture, increase your stability, and undo the effects of sitting, you don't need to do endless reps of sit-ups and crunches, as this 10-minute bodyweight abs workout has a lot more variety. 

You don’t need any equipment to get started, but rolling out one of the best yoga mats can help make things more comfortable as you’ll be on the floor for most of the routine. Otherwise, all you need is a few minutes and a bit of space, making it ideal if you’re busy or away from home.

The routine, developed by YouTube fitness duo Tiff x Dan, is designed to “target your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques,” and strengthen your whole core, not just the rectus abdominis six-pack abs muscle that runs along the front of your stomach.

Although 10 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, it’s an ambitious routine, packing in 15 abs-focused moves. You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds, take a 10-second rest, then start on the next core-strengthening move. It’s not a long rest, so be sure to keep a water bottle nearby.

You’re working to the timer, but it’s important to focus on your form to ensure you’re engaging the core muscles and not accidentally leaning into your lower back. Fortunately, Tiff and Dan demonstrate each move, so you can follow along or practice before starting the workout.

Watch Tiff x Dan’s 10-minute abs workout

It’s an intense routine, and you’ll likely feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the following day, despite it only taking 10 minutes to complete. This is partly due to the moves in the routine, but also the exercise style.

The duo utilizes a technique known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), where the aim is to work your muscles hard in short bursts with minimal rest. It’s a lot like high-intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) but with a focus on muscle-building moves instead of cardio exercise.

This allows you to take on an effective strength session in just 10 minutes. It also makes a great core-focused addition to your regular workout routine, or you could repeat the circuit one or two times for an extended mid-section session — though it’ll feel pretty intense around your stomach!

However, if you’re looking to build visible muscle and develop six-pack muscle, it takes more than just a few core workouts. You need to reduce the amount of fat around your stomach, but since you can’t spot-target fat loss, you’ll also need to add high-intensity workouts into your week.

Sessions like a dumbbell HIIT workout are a good option, as these combine strength training exercises, engage your core for stability, and raise your heart rate. You’ll burn energy throughout the session, and sustaining the high heart rate boosts your metabolism, leading to muscle-building, fat-burning results.

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James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is Tom's Guide's Fitness Editor, covering strength training workouts, cardio exercise, and accessible ways to improve your health and wellbeing. His interest in fitness started after being diagnosed with a chronic illness, and he began focusing on strengthening his core, taking regular walks around the city, and practicing meditation to manage the symptoms. He also invested in fitness trackers, home workout equipment, and yoga mats to find accessible ways to train without the gym. Before joining the team at Tom’s Guide, James was the Fitness Editor at Fit&Well, where he covered beginner-friendly exercise routines, affordable ways to boost your wellbeing, and reviewed weights, rowing machines, and workout headphones. He believes that exercise should be something you enjoy doing, so appreciates the challenge of finding ways to incorporate it into everyday life through short muscle-building sessions, regular meditation, and early morning walks.