When it comes to multi-purpose moves, push-ups tend to get a lot of cred. Admittedly, it’s for good reason, because the basic bodyweight move is one of the easiest ways to work your arms and core in one fell swoop. But just because push-ups are the most popular way to pencil in your arms-and-abs workout at the same time doesn’t mean the up-downs are the only way to do it.
If your usual push-up routine has started to feel a little snoozy—or if you’re just trying to mix things up—we’ve got you. Scroll through these underrated-but-effective arms-and-abs workouts that don’t require you to drop down and into push-up position for the sake of the cause. And the best part? Not a single one of them will run you more than 30 minutes.
1. 25-minute resistance band arms and abs workout
Forget lifting actual weights for the sake of strengthening your abs and upper body. Grab a resistance band and follow along with this series, which will take you through short circuits that will challenge every muscle from your shoulders to your core.
2. 20 Minute Pilates Abs, Arms, and Glutes Workout
Target the muscles in your abs, arms, and glutes—the same way you would in a standard push-up—with this Pilates-inspired workout. You’ll use teeny, tiny movements to work your muscles to exhaustion with things like planks, clams, and leg lifts. No equipment required.
3. 25-minute upper body and core workout
If you think push-ups are hard, just wait until you’re burning out your entire body with a resistance-banded walking bear plank. You’ll also put your muscles to the test with glute bridges, Supermans, and a whole lot of crunches, so get ready to sweat (and for some serious second-day soreness).
4. 10-minute core and arm workout
Grab a set of weights and treat your body to a 10-minute session of basic arms and abs. By the time it’s over, you’ll be a master of the “sexy spider,” and will never want to see a lateral raise again.
5. 6-minute Solidcore upper body workout
Megaformer workouts—and their at-home glider equivalents–are known for requiring you to engage your core the entire time, which means that you’ll be working your arms and abs with every move you make in this series. Be sure to brace that middle body and breathe properly to keep it tight, then use your dumbbells to work your arms accordingly.
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