Stories from Fitness Tips

This 10-minute abs and arms series stretches, strengthens, and stings so good

Rachel Lapidos

Rachel LapidosApril 13, 2020

In just 10 minutes, you can make yourself a whipped coffee, exfoliate your skin with a face mask, or—if you’re in the mood to sweat—do an entire abs and arms workout from the comfort of your own home.

Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month Charlee Atkins, founder of Le Sweat, is bringing us exactly that: In just 10 moves, you’ll strengthen your abdominals, obliques, shoulders, biceps, and triceps, with the added bonus of stretching them out, too. (Talk about multitasking!)

To work through the exercises, all you’ll need is a mat and dumbbells—though Atkins says that it’s totally fine to skip the weights and use your own bodyweight instead. And once that 10 minutes is up, you’ll have so much time left to do other 10-minute tasks (like spring clean your living space). The possibilities are endless.

Try this 10-minute abs and arms workout

Do each exercise for 45 seconds, with a 15 second recovery in between.

1. Downward dog + knee drive: Come into downward facing dog. You can have a slight bend in your knees if your hamstrings are tight. Press yourself out into a plank, shoulders over wrists. Pull one knee in towards your chest, place it back down, and come back into downward dog. Alternate sides, and move through the exercise smoothly and slowly, making sure to incorporate breath.

2. Leg lower: Lie down on your mat with your feet straight into the air. Try to have straight legs, but you can have a slight bend in your knees. With your toes flexed, lower one leg down towards the mat, bring it back up, then lower the other. If this is too challenging, you can bring both feet down to the mat and lift one leg straight up, then the other. For more of a challenge, do a staggered leg lower: Stagger your legs, lowering both at the same time, and switch up at the bottom. Make sure your lower back presses into the mat and your shoulder blades stay down.

3. Sexy spider: In a push-up plank position, make sure your shoulders are over your wrists, feet hip-width distance apart. Pull one knee in towards the same elbow as you exhale, then alternate legs. Keep your head in line with your heels, and don’t lift your hips into the air or drop towards the mat.

4. Lateral raise: Grab your weights and come into a half-kneeling position. Lift your weights out to the side. If you’re not using weights, just lift your arms out to the side, moving at a quicker rate than if you have weights. This targets your shoulders with the raise—be sure to keep your core strong, breathing out as you lift your arms up.

5. Renegade row: This one will target your back and shoulders. Start off in a push-up plank position. If you’re not using weights, pull one arm up towards your side, wrist to the rib, then replace your hand and lower down. If you have weights, do the same thing but holding onto the dumbbell and pulling it up and down. Bring your elbows to the sky, wrist to your ribs, hips in line with shoulders the entire time and your head in line with your heels. When you’re rowing, don’t rotate your body—stay square to the mat.

6. Butterfly sit up: You can use a weight or skip it. Lie down on the ground with the soles of your feet together in a butterfly position. Reach your weights up over head and just crunch up. Or you can sit all the way up, tapping the weight on the other side of your feet. Or you can reach your arms out at a diagonal as you sit up so that your weight is in line with your forehead—choose whichever variation feels best for you.

7. Quarter get-up—right: Lying down, your right knee is bent, left leg is extended. Your right hand grabs your weight and holds it overhead. Lift up, pressing your weight into the sky, coming onto your elbow for a quarter get-up. Only come up to your elbow and keep your gaze towards the ceiling. You should feel this in your obliques.

8. Quarter get-up—left: Repeat this on the left side.

9. Plank: Place your hands elbow-width apart on your mat, heels and feet together, shoulders in line with your hips. You should be in a straight line from your head to your heels. You’re here for 45 seconds—be sure to keep breathing as you zip up your core and push your elbows into the ground. Keep your back flat.

10. Reverse pull through: Your shoulders are right over your wrists, feet on your mat. Your hips come up towards the ceiling into a reverse bridge. Then extend your legs and pull your hips all the way through. For a modification, you can bring your hips up, reset them on the ground, then pull through and lift. Keep breathing.

For more quickie workouts, here’s a 10-minute full body workout you can do from home, and this is a roundup of 10-minute power yoga workouts that truly work up a sweat. 

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