I get it: You’re busy, and finding the time to strength train can be a challenge. That’s why I created this arms and abs workout, which consists of a series of compound exercises that combine two moves into one. In other words, you work more muscles in half the time it would take you to perform each exercise individually.
In addition to working your biceps, triceps, and abs, these compound exercises challenge the rest of your body by activating the stabilising muscles that help you stay balanced. That means you can squeeze an effective full-body workout into as little as five minutes.
Perform the exercises below for 1 minute, and take 30 seconds to a minute to rest before progressing to the next move. Do the circuit one to three times, depending on how much time you have, and your own fitness level.
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Plié Squat with Bicep Curl plie-squat
1. Start in a turned out position with the legs and feet wider than the hips and your arms long in front of you with your palms facing out.
2. Bend your knees over your toes and keep your arms long and reaching for the floor.
3. Come up to standing and at the same time bicep curl your arms up and then return to your plié with arms long.
Oblique Squeeze with Arms Oblique Squeeze with Arms
1. Start in a wide second just like in the above exercise. Bring your arms out to the sides and hold your weights with your palms up.
2. Without shifting your weight from side to side bicep curl your arms behind your head and bend and squeeze your ribs together. Think bringing your armpit down to your hip without pulling on your neck.
3. Come back up to center and bring your arms back out to the sides and repeat on the other side. Alternate sides staying in your plié squat for one minute.
Balance with Shoulder Press Balance with Shoulder Press
1. Stand up tall on both feet and find your balance. Bring your arms into a goal post position with your palms facing forward.
2. As you push your arms up use your core and pull your leg up and into a bent position. Hold here and use your core to balance and continue with the arms.
3. Bring your arms and leg back down to your start position and repeat on the other side for one minute.
Passé and Triceps
1. Start with one arm up and overhead, one arm down by your side. Lift the same leg up to your ankle or your knee in a turned out position for a greater balance and core challenge.
2. Keep your core in and alternate your top arm behind the head and in front of your head.
3. Try for thirty seconds and then switch sides and repeat.
Standing Spine Twist Standing Spine Twist
1. Stand up tall with one leg forward and one leg behind you in parallel. Bring your arms out to a “T” position with the palms facing up at your sides.
2. For a greater challenge lift both heels and without taking your hips with you rotate your spine above your pelvis towards your front leg and then back to your starting position.
3. Just holding the weights here will activate your arms without even moving them. Really use your obliques to control the movement and then switch legs and switch sides without dropping your arms.
First published: 4 Apr 2018