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What is Caroline Girvan’s 15-Minute Dumbbell Abs Workout?


What is Caroline Girvan’s 15-Minute Dumbbell Abs Workout?
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You've been doing the same old core workouts for too long. If you're tired of feeling weak and stagnation-bound, this 15-minute abs routine will give your midsection a serious charge! It only takes one switch to turn up our fitness level--and we guarantee it'll be worth every penny in terms of results (not to mention time).

Keeping your core strong is important for overall health and fitness and not just for the looks, but it's never easy. The workout we propose isn't either (truth uncovered)

Caroline Girvan's 15-minute dumbbell abs workout will have you panting and sweating in just one short session. What's best? You don't have to feel bored with the same old Russian twists and sit-ups anymore. In addition, the wide variety of exercises on it ensures all of your core muscles are engaged. So by the end, you have a strong core, not just an aesthetically attractive one.

Why not try something new, like side planks with bend-over rows, for an entirely new ab experience? It's short, crisp, interesting, and engaging; you won't be dragging yourself into a monotonous routine with this one.

Let's get to know the plan and everything else about it:

Who is Caroline Girvan?

Caroline Girvan is an 11+ year certified personal trainer and nutrition coach specializing in pre and postnatal health. She has over 11 years of experience working with clients of all shapes and sizes and is passionate about helping others reach their fitness goals.

Caroline is a mother of two, and she knows firsthand the challenges of trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while caring for a young family. She offers various services, including personal training, online coaching, and group fitness classes.

Caroline can help you reach your health and fitness goals regardless of your fitness level or schedule.

Caroline Girvan's 15-Minute Dumbbell Abs Workout

This dumbbell abs workout is a targeted routine for the abdominal muscles and core with just one small weight. Caroline recommends not going too heavy so you can focus solely on using your body's natural strength to complete the movements!

When performing this abs routine, focus solely on using the core muscles while lifting one dumbbell; apply progressive loading, or else it might be difficult for you!

Workout: 50 seconds work/10 seconds rest

Straight Arm Crunch

  • Lie on your mat and straighten out your arms behind you while holding dumbbells in both hands.
  • Fully extend your legs in front of you.
  • From this point onwards, avoid sudden moments of ribs and your lower back.
  • Keep your lower back firmly planted as you try to lift your mid and upper back off the mat.
  • Bring your dumbbell forward towards your legs until your head and not any further.
  • Keep your arms straight, and your chin tucked into your chest as you reach forward, making a slight c shape through your spine.
  • Do not lift your lower back off the mat, nor move your legs or heels.
  • Reverse back down in a controlled fashion.
  • That's one rep.

Side Reach Crunch

  • Start by lying on your back with both feet on the ground and bent knees.
  • Next, take the dumbbell in both hands above your chest.
  • Be sure to engage your core muscles throughout this movement.
  • From here, lift your upper body and twist to the left side while tapping the dumbbell towards your outer thigh.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the right side.

Note: This will be repeated on the right side and counted twice when exercises are numbered.

Tuck to Hollow

  • Start by lying on your back with both arms and legs extended outwards.
  • Hold a dumbbell between your hands, then lift your entire body into a hollow hold (first picture).
  • Keep your low back pressed into the floor the entire time.
  • Next, bend only at the knee, tuking them into your ribcage.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.


  • Position yourself with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Contract your core muscles, lean back, and lift your feet off the floor so that your thighs are parallel to the mat.
  • Bend your right knee as you extend your left leg straight, then pass the dumbbell or a ball under your right leg into your left hand.
  • Next, bend your left knee as you extend your right leg – passing the dumbbell/ball underneath to your right hand.

Sit Up to Alt Woodchopper

  • Lie down against the floor with your legs and arms fully extended.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your hands, and position them behind your head while keeping your elbows unlocked.
  • Perform a sit-up, raising dumbbells overhead, lifting your torso to curl towards your thighs until you reach about 60 degrees of flexion, then twist to the left and tap the weight on that side's hip.
  • Reverse the motion and return upright before repeating for the other side.

Toe Reach Crunch

  • Start by lying straight on the mat, holding a dumbbell in your hands.
  • Now raise both legs straight up toward the ceiling.
  • Bring the dumbbell towards your feet, lifting your upper and mid back.
  • Lower your back on the mat to complete one rep.
  • Repeat for 50 seconds.

Crunch Pulses

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your hands.
  • Now do the standard crunch with your hands extended towards your knees.
  • Once you lift your upper back and try to reach your knees with the dumbbell, start pulsing back and forth a few inches.
  • Go back to the starting position after 50 seconds.

Butterfly Crunch

  • Lie straight on the mat and bend your knees.
  • Once there, open your thighs as you try to bring your feet together to face each other.
  • Your hands should be above your head, holding a dumbbell.
  • Now do the standard crunch lifting your torso halfway, but in this crunch, do bring your arms along the middle of your legs like you were chopping something lying between your legs.
  • Go back to the starting position to finish the first rep.

Butterfly Crunch

  • Lie straight on the mat and bend your knees.
  • Once there, open your thighs as you try to bring your feet together to face each other.
  • Your hands should be above your head, holding a dumbbell.
  • Now do the standard crunch lifting your torso halfway, but in this crunch, do bring your arms along the middle of your legs like you were chopping something lying between your legs.
  • Go back to the starting position to finish the first rep.

Tuck to V Sit

  • Start by sitting on an exercise mat with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Hold a dumbbell in your hands and straighten them up above your head.
  • Lift your legs slightly off the ground and bring them to your chest, bending the knees at 90 degrees.
  • As you do this, lower the dumbbell to your chest too.
  • This will feel like your entire body is hinging on your hips.
  • Straighten your legs and arms to return to the starting position.

Leg Wipers Over Dumbbell

  • You are going to be wiping your legs above a standing dumbbell.
  • Place a dumbbell vertically in front of your bent knees.
  • Prop yourself up on your arms.
  • Hinging on your hips, lift your legs and move them above the dumbbell on both sides to touch the ground (or go very close).
  • It will feel like your legs are wiping an imaginary windshield over a dumbbell.
  • Repeat for 50 seconds.

Slow Sit-Up

  • This is like any other sit-up. The only difference is that you are holding a dumbbell in your hands, and you will lower back to the ground in slow motion.
  • Lie on the ground with your knees bent and your legs apart.
  • Your arms are extended behind the shoulders, holding a dumbbell.
  • Lift your torso to perform a standard sit-up as you bring the dumbbell forward.
  • When you have finished sitting up, lower back down in a controlled fashion, ensuring your abs are engaged more than usual.

Opposite Hand-To-Foot Reach

  • Start by lying straight with legs fully extended and arms tucked by the sides.
  • Now bend your right knee at 90 degrees to bring your foot to your hip.
  • Next, raise your bent leg (right) straight and raise your left arm with a dumbbell in hand to meet the right foot in the air.
  • Straighten the leg and pull back the raised arm slightly to complete one rep.
  • Repeat it for 50 seconds before moving on to the next exercise with a 10 seconds gap.

Note: This move will be repeated on both sides and counted twice.

How is This Workout Different From Other Core Workouts?

From the look of it, it may not seem like a big thing, but some serious factors differentiate it from your ab workout. Here are a few important ones:

It's a perfect break from sit-ups and Russian twists, which are almost on every other ab workout. Since they are everywhere, seeing them during your workout can bring on a heavy, dull feeling. "Same sit-ups and Russian twists again?! "You don't have to face this dreadful boredom again because here is a perfect mesh of the most effective moves to burn your stubborn abdominals.

The next best thing is that this one is really quick. I mean, no one can do ab exercises for an hour. It's tiring, mentally and physically. Fifteen minutes for abs should be more than enough.

It is also an excellent option for starters who are often discouraged by all the fancy tools and equipment needed for ab workouts like ab rollers, core sliders, etc. This is extremely low equipment; you need an exercise mat and a dumbbell, and you are set to rock.

Though we are letting go of the Russian Twists, this 15 minutes workout is still crunched and twist-dense. Obviously, if we let go of all kinds of crunches and twists, how will we move those abs and obliques?

The slow and strengthening reps of Caroline Girvan's 15-minute dumbbell abs workout are fantastic for two reasons. First, the exercises included are not just working the abs, but they aim to engage all the different core muscles, so the result is not just an attractive midsection but a strong one.

Second, the slow and controlled reps ensure greater muscle engagement; you may not be doing more reps, but with a controlled, slow motion, you challenge your muscles much harder than those flash reps. And that serves the purpose because we are not focusing on the number and speed of reps; we want sculpted and strong muscles.


1. Can you get abs with dumbbells?

The simple answer is "YES." The complex answer is that dumbbells themselves do not give you abs or any muscle, for that matter. It is the specific exercise that you do and add dumbbells to challenge your muscles further that does the trick. Dumbbells are just tools; they do not build muscle independent of the exercise they are incorporated into.

2. Are planks good for abs?

Planks are excellent for abs. Not just for abs, but they engage muscles everywhere in your body. People love planks for engaging a wide range of muscles in one go, including abs. So, yes, with planks, you essentially build a strong midsection.

3. What are the first signs of abs?

The very first sign of abs is that your waistline starts to shrink. You'll see your pants falling or at least becoming loose around the waist in the first stage of your ab development as your midsection gets rid of extra fat and your abs come to the surface for an awesome muscle show.

4. How do you get rid of the lower belly pooch fast?

Any kind of fat is lost with weight loss. And it's possible to target an area for fat loss. You have to lose weight and burn fat to lose that much-hated belly fat. You can isolate muscles during strength training but cannot isolate an area of your body for weight loss.

So, how do you lose belly fat? Just the way you lose any kind of fat. Eat fewer calories, let the body burn stored fat, and you'll start losing belly fat too. Eat more protein and fewer carbs and fats, avoid sugars, and add more fiber to your diet. Do not forget to exercise. This is the only way you can lose belly fat.


Caroline Girvan's 15-minute dumbbell abs workout is a great way to get toned without spending hours in the gym. The workout targets all major muscle groups in the abdominal area and can be done with just a few pieces of equipment. You don't need an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment to get strong, ripped abs – all you need is Caroline Girvan's 15-minute dumbbell abs workout!

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