Looking for an arm workout that also helps tone and define your abs in the process? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve strategically created this 15-minute workout to challenge both your upper body and core muscles in one quick and efficient routine. Some of these exercises target your arms and abs at the same time, while others are aimed at specific muscle groups (like your lower abs and obliques).
All you need to get started is a set of dumbbells (or you can even just stick to bodyweight if you don’t have any weights readily available). This workout is perfectly suited for beginners, but you can make it more advanced with heavier weights.
Not only will you build a lot of strength during this arms and abs workout, but you’re going to get your heart pumping and break a major sweat. By the end, your entire body is going to feel the burn—it’s not going to be easy, but I know you can do it.
Time: 15 minutes
Equipment: Dumbbells or bodyweight
Good for: Upper body and core
Instructions: For the first set (moves one to three), complete the reps as indicated, then immediately continue to the next exercise. Once you’ve finished all three moves, repeat the set three times. Then, continue to the second set (moves four to six), and complete the reps as indicated. After each, immediately continue to the next move. Repeat the second set three times total. To build strength, I recommend doing this routine one or two times a week, alternating with a lower-body workout and warming up with a few dynamic stretches.
1 Shoulder Tap
How to do: Start a kneeling pushup position with wrists under shoulders and body forming straight line from head to knees. Keep hips level, lift left hand and tap your right shoulder. Return to start and repeat with the other arm. That’s one rep. Complete 10.
2 Leg Drop
How to do: Start lying on back with arms at sides and legs extended straight in air, heels over hips. Slowly lower left leg to hover off floor, then return to start and repeat on the right side. That’s one rep. Complete 10.
3 Side Plank
How to do: Start lying on left side with left forearm on the floor parallel to top of mat, elbow under shoulder, right hand on hip, left leg bent at 90 degrees, right leg extended straight, inner arch of foot resting on mat. Engage your core and lift hips off the floor, forming a straight line from head to feet. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
4 Seated Alternating Overhead Press
How to do: Start seated on the floor with legs crossed, holding a pair of dumbbells, arms bent, elbows wide, and above shoulders. Press right weight directly overhead until arm is completely straight. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 20.
5 Eccentric Bent Over Row
How to do: Start standing with feet under hips, knees bent, hinged at hips, torso leaned forward at 45-degree angle, arms straight and extended toward floor, holding a pair of dumbbells. Brace core, then pull the weights toward rib cage, squeezing shoulder blades together. Pause, then lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps.
6 Low To High
How to do: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell with both hands in front of chest. Rotate body toward left foot, lifting right heel and pivoting on right ball of foot so knee faces knees and hips face left side while bending over and lowering weight down outside of right foot. Reverse the movement, and continue rotating through center until body faces right side, pivoting on ball of right foot and raising weight up overhead at 45-degree angle. Reverse to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 on each side.
Repeat circuit (moves 4-6) three times.
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