You can probably get away with covering up your stomach and legs for the next few months, but everyone still goes sleeveless in the winter, so your arms obviously need to look
their best decent. Arm flab isn’t exactly flattering, and the two-minute segment mid-spin class doesn’t count as a legit arm workout. We’ve created a workout that you can do without any gym equipment, so you can literally get amazing arms by staying in your apartment all winter. Do each of these moves for 45 seconds and repeat the circuit 3-4 times total. You’ll thank us when you don’t have to force the skinny-arm pose to look good in pictures.
1. Plank Shoulder Taps
We’re starting the workout off with plank shoulder taps, because they activate your core while getting your arms warmed up and toning your upper arms. The idea is to start in a plank position on your hands, and make sure your hips and shoulders stay square to the ground the whole time. Widen your feet if you need to. You want to avoid lifting your hips and swaying your torso from side to side. Then, lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder. Alternate between both arms for the full 45 seconds, and try to keep your body as still as possible the whole time.
2. Tricep Dips
Your triceps are the muscles that make your arms look super toned, and you don’t need any dumbbells or cable machines to strengthen them. Tricep dips use your body weight to tone your arms, and all you need is some sort of bench to sit on. You’ll need to position your hands about shoulder-width apart on the bench, and slide your butt off the bench with your legs extended in front of you (bent or straight, depending on your stability). Then, bend your arms to bring your butt toward the floor and hold for a second at the bottom. Straighten your arms to bring your butt back up, and continue up and down for the entire interval. Remember to keep your neck forward and make sure your butt is only a few inches from the bench.
3. Plank Ups
Some people call these up-down planks, but there’s really no technical term for it, because it’s basically a made-up move that helps strengthen your core, tone your arms, and improve your balance. It’s basically a combo move of a plank and a shoulder exercise, and it’s harder than it looks. Start in an elbow plank with your forearms on the floor and your core tight. Then, lift your right arm and place your hand on the floor, followed by your left. Once you have both hands on the floor, lower one arm back to its forearm and then the other one. Keep going up and down while staying in your plank the entire time.
4. Inverted Row
You don’t need any real equipment for this move, but you’ll need some sort of bar to hold onto and pull yourself up, so it may be harder to find if you’re at home. If you’re in the gym, any sort of pull-up bar or barbell will work. The idea is to hold onto the bar and lean backwards, using your body weight to row yourself up toward the bar. The lower you lean back, the harder it will be, so adjust based on how experienced you are. You want to isolate your arm and back muscles in this movement, so the rest of your body should be completely still. If you’re not in a gym and can’t do this move, you can substitute with a forearm plank or side planks. A little extra ab work won’t kill you.
5. Diamond Push-Ups
Diamond push-ups are basically regular push-ups with your hand in a diamond shape, which helps work your tricep muscles instead of your chest muscles. They’re a little harder than you’d think, so feel free to drop to your knees to make it easier. Starting on the ground, make a triangle with your hands and place them in front of you. Then, lower yourself down to the ground, getting as low as you can go by using only your upper body and your triceps. Then, push back up and start again. The idea here is to get full range of motion, so go slowly and work on getting your chest as close to the ground as you can.
6. Mountain Climbers
We love mountain climbers, because they basically kill three birds with one stone. It’s a cardio move, and it also involves your arms and abs, so you get to burn calories while toning your upper body. It’s a win-win (win). Start in a plank position with your hands on the ground and make sure your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders. Then, “climb” your knees into your chest one leg at a time, and get faster as the 45 seconds goes on. Make sure to keep your core tight and don’t let your hands be two feet in front of you. Cheat yourself and end up with flabby arms. Your choice.
There are a million online workouts that will drive you batshit crazy looking for every machine, kettlebell, booty band, and yoga mat out there. Like, we’re not always standing in some fully stocked gym with two hours to spare and no one else around. We’ve found that sometimes, for whatever reason, we only have one or two weights, and it would be helpful to get a good workout with minimal equipment. That’s why we created this bomb full body workout that only requires ONE dumbbell, no matter the weight. Perform the reps listed for each of these moves, and then repeat the circuit 2 more times for a quick and efficient workout. Let’s get started:
1. Weighted Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a pretty basic cardio move to get your heart rate up, but adding a weight to it is no joke. People think that in order to warm up, they need to do intense cardio sprints or jump rope for 10 minutes straight, but if you add a weight to a basic movement, you’re getting a better workout in less time. Not only do jumping jacks warm up your shoulders and legs, but by adding a weight, you’re working on your core, too. Try holding the weight with both hands above your head and do 30 jumping jacks total. If that’s too hard, bring the weight to chest height, but do 40.
2. Single Leg Deadlift
People neglect single leg exercises because they think they could just be saving time by doing a move on both legs at the same time. What they don’t realize is that by isolating one leg at a time, you’re actually working on your balance and stability while toning the muscle. That’s why single leg deadlifts are the shit. Stand on one leg and hold your weight in the same hand. Keeping that knee slightly bent, bend at the hip, extending your free leg behind you for balance. Continue lowering the weight until you’re parallel to the ground, and then return to your standing position. Do 10 reps per leg, and remember to move slowly and squeeze your hamstrings with every rep.
3. Low To High Wood Chop
For those of you who don’t know, your obliques are the muscles on the sides of your abs that will completely shape your core if you do enough wood chops. We love this move because it works your obliques and the entire upper ab region, and it doesn’t involve you lying on the floor doing 500 bicycle crunches while holding your breath. For your wood chops, hold the dumbbell in both hands and twist left, so that it’s starting on the outside of your left leg. Then, lift the weight diagonally across your body, ending twisted to the right with the dumbbell above your head. Pivot on your left foot as needed, and do 12 reps on each side.
4. Weighted Squat Jumps
This is another move that will get your heart rate up, and of course it’s a squat, so you’ll feel the burn in your butt. Squat jumps work your glute muscles, which are some of the biggest muscles in your body, so you’ll be burning almost twice as many calories than by running or boxing. It’s low-key amazing. Holding your dumbbell at your chest, squat down and jump up, straightening out your legs in the air and landing in a squat again. Do 15 reps, and if you need to drop the weight, do it. Just try not to rest in between in each jump. Oh, and don’t blame us if you can’t sit down tomorrow morning.
5. Lunge To Curl
The dumbbell lunge with a bicep curl is a combo move, so you’re engaging your leg muscles and arm muscles in one move. Think of it like waiting for your laundry while doing your taxes. Both sound terrible, but you’re getting both done in the same hour and you feel good about it. Anyway, hold the dumbbell at your right side as you step your left foot forward into a high lunge, making sure your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Once you’re in your lunge, curl the weight to your chest, keeping your elbow close to your rib cage. Reverse to return to start, and do 12 reps on each side.
6. Weighted Crunch To Jump
This last move is pretty tough, but we decided to end the workout with a killer ab move, because people have literally been dying for abs since J.Lo circa 2003. The weighted crunch to jump is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s too late to bail now. Lying on the floor with your dumbbell at your chest, do 5 crunches or sit-ups, bringing the weight over your knees each time. Then, roll up to your feet and jump up, still holding the weight. Perform this combo 5 times total. You’re toning your abs while burning calories, so it’s basically the grand finale. Then you can pass out on the couch for the rest of the night! Or drink an entire bottle of wine. Or both.
It feels like ever since Khloé Kardashian began Snapchatting her workouts and girls everywhere started doing squat challenges in their living rooms, butt and leg workouts have been trendy AF. And while we’re totally on board with lower body workouts, betches tend to neglect upper body exercises, and that needs to be fixed. These six moves will work your arms and abs with no equipment necessary, so you can avoid creeps at the gym watching you pick out dumbbells. Go through the circuit 3-4 times in a row for a v effective at-home workout. Oh, and good luck lifting your arms to blow dry your hair tomorrow.
1. Plank Ups
It’s important to start out any ab workout with some plank variation to get your core muscles fired up, and we love plank ups because they get your arms involved too. Start in a high plank with your arms on the floor directly under your shoulders. Then, bend one arm to bring your elbow to the floor, and then the other arm, ending up in a forearm plank. Then, push each arm up to the starting position, and continue going up and down from hand to forearm for 45 seconds.
2. Diamond Push-Ups
Diamond push-ups are basically regular push-ups, but instead of placing your hands wide under your chest, you place your hands together, forming a triangle (or a sort of diamond…get it?) with your thumbs and fingers. Bend your elbows and bring your chest all the way to the ground, feeling the burn in your tricep muscles. If you can’t get full range of motion while in a high plank, drop to your knees. Aim for 10-15 reps without stopping.
3. Standing Jab Cross
If you’ve ever gone through the 2-minute arm portion of a spin class wondering why your arms burn so much from throwing a few punches, try doing these jab crosses for one minute straight. Stand up and punch with each hand in a diagonal direction, keeping your core engaged and preventing your waist from moving from side to side. The idea is to burn out your arms while twisting your torso to work your obliques, so keep your core as tight as possible.
4. Plank Shoulder Taps
This is another move that is based in a plank position, but by tapping each shoulder, you’re challenging your stability and getting your arm muscles involved in the movement. Start in a high plank and keep your feet about hip-distance apart. During regular planks, it’s better to keep your feet closer together, but for this move, you want your hips to stay as square and still as possible, so the extra distance will help. Tap your left hand to your right shoulder, and then do the same on the other side, alternating for 45 seconds. Also, it helps to squeeze your butt and keep your head as straight as possible the whole time.
5. Tricep Dips
You don’t need a piece of equipment for this one, but having a bench or chair nearby will help. You could also just stack up a bunch of books or shoeboxes. Whatever works. Sit on the ground with your legs in front of you in front of your bench and place your hands on the bench behind you with your fingers facing forward. Dip up and down with your arms, lifting your butt off the ground but keeping your heels planted. Do 15 reps, keeping your elbows tight to your body and directly behind you the entire time.
6. Bicycle Crunches
Crunches are like, the OG ab move, so we’re taking it up a notch by ending the circuit with bicycle crunches, which basically keep your legs and arms moving while targeting the sides of your abs. Lie on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground and your hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the ground and bring one knee in towards your chest, lifting your shoulder blades off the ground to touch your elbow to the opposite knee. Straighten out the leg and bring the other knee into your chest, doing the same with the other elbow. Try doing 30 seconds of slower crunches, then do 30 seconds as fast as you can.
The number one body part that 100% is not as skinny as it was in college/highschool? Your arms. Don’t deny it; you used to show off your skinny arms in pics by striking a hand-on-hip pose or popping your collarbone while stretttcchiiing your arm out. But with each passing year, the skinny arm gets less skinny. It’s a tragedy, really. Nowadays, you check every photo to make sure your one sausage arm (how is it possible to have one fat arm?) is hidden behind your enormous bag, linked with your bestie so no one can tell whose arm is whose, or obscured by a giant cocktail. In fact, 90% of your untagged photos these days are because of the appearance of #giantarm, despite the fact that your outfit is fly and you’re standing in natural light.
Here are five quick and easy exercises you can do to get that skinny arm back so you’ll never have to sacrifice a photo with good lighting again:
1. Shoulder Press
This one is easy, so no excuses. Women’s Health mag describes this slimming exercise: “Holding a pair of dumbbells just above your shoulders, palms facing each other, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Press the weights until your arms are straight overhead. Hold for one second, then take three seconds to lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders. Do six to eight reps.”
2. Pilates Boxing
This one is great if you have a lot of pent-up aggression, which, of course you do. According to Health.com: “Standing with feet a hips-width apart, bend your knees and hinge forward from your waist, maintaining a neutral spine. Raise fists to your shoulders and, keeping elbows up, box your right hand forward, clenching your abs. Bring hands to center and switch. Box on each side 20 times.” We fail to see how this is any different from regular boxing, but okay sure.
3. Arm Circles
You think they’re easy, but these are kind of a bitch and you’ll def get tired of them—but such is life and exercise in general. Fitness magazine says: “Grab a pair of three-pound dumbbells, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to your sides at shoulder length. Keeping your shoulders down, do 20 small backward circles, then switch directions.”
4. Plate Planks
Everyone knows that these are LITERALLY the worst, but Shape magazine would have us believe that there is a benefit to being in this much pain. Get into plank position, but keep one hand on a paper plate (oh ya surprise you’re gonna need one of those—don’t pretend like you have actual dishware in your apartment). Keep your arms straight and both feet planted shoulder-width apart, then circle the plate ten times clockwise and ten times counter clockwise. Feel the burn, switch arms, question your life and your choices, etc.
We know we literally always say to NOT put us down for cardio, but, honestly, it’ll help in the long run. Get on the treadmill, hit that 10% incline, and feel your fat burn away.