ReNew Year

The Bodyweight Arm Workout Plan That Will Also Sneak In a Whole Lot of Core Work

Ashley Joi

Photo: Courtesy of Bose; Graphic: W+G Creative
This isn’t your standard New Year’s plan. No restrictive diets, no weekly weigh-ins, no “whole new you” for this new year—because, hey, you’re pretty great already. These four expert-led plans—designed to help you move your body, eat more veggies, get a better night’s sleep, or show yourself some loving care—are all about developing healthy habits that better align with your goals. Get the Program

Welcome to Week 2 of our 2021 ReNew Year Movement Program, which focuses on getting stronger with functional movements. This week, we’ll start things off with a core-stability series, followed by an equipment-free upper body workout. Then, we’ll round things out with a tension-relieving stretch and some cardio to get our heart rates up. We are intentionally splitting our upper body and lower body work into two different weeks because your muscles need time to recover in order to get stronger.

Sometimes, upper body work can be an afterthought to a spin ride or a boot camp, but our top halves are responsible for so much natural movement in our day-to-day lives… and anyone who’s lugged six Trader Joe’s bags home knows what I’m talking about. By utilizing bodyweight exercises (instead of weights, which you’ll frequently find in arm routines), we can identify places where we are weaker and focus on making them stronger moving forward. Let’s tune in to that as we get to work.

Follow along below for the second week of workouts, and check back next Sunday for seven more days of workouts to keep you going.

Day 8: Core stability workout (6 mins)

Your core is at the center of every move—both in your workouts and in the outside world—and stabilizing it is critical to keeping your body functioning properly. Case in point: A strong, stable core will allow you to catch yourself when you trip on a curb or help you maintain your form when running on an uneven surface. In this workout, we’ll integrate instability training with moves like bird dogs, side planks, and in-and-outs, which require you to engage your core to stay balanced.

Day 9: Interval running (6 to 20 mins)

Today, we’re mixing up our running routine with intervals. Challenge yourself to jog or sprint for 15 to 20 seconds, then walk for one to two minutes. Repeat this series five to eight times.

Day 10: At-home upper body workout (8 mins)

No weights? No problem. You can efficiently work your upper body without any added load. The beauty of equipment-free upper body workouts is that you can engage your arms and shoulders at the same time as other muscles throughout your full chain. We’ll do moves like plank up-downs, bear shoulder taps, and crab toe touches. These moves will allow you to sneak in some core work, too.

Day 11: Dance (15 to 20 mins)

Pop on a playlist and throw yourself a dance party. Spend 15 to 20 minutes moving to your favorite songs—no choreography required.

Day 12: Upper body stretch (7 mins)

This upper body stretch session feels like a much-needed exhale for the muscles you worked on Wednesday. Everything in the body is connected through your kinetic chain. If you’ve got tightness in your upper body, it puts more stress on your back, which puts more stress on your hamstrings, which can result in poor posture. All aspects of your body need to be tended to, and stretching will help release tension all over and allow each muscle from your neck down to function more efficiently.

Day 13: Join me for a live workout! (35 mins)

Join me on Zoom at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, January 16. where I’ll lead you through a 35-minute live workout.

Day 14: Rest and recover

Your upper body has had quite the week, so consider using today’s rest day as an excuse to treat yourself to a DIY massage.

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