Be Well Workout of the Week: 9 Moves to Tone Your Arms and Abs

Because short-sleeve season is a comin’.

Short-sleeve weather will happen this year (eventually) — I’m convinced. So, let’s get those arms in tip-top shape! This workout mainly targets your upper body, with a some abs and lower-body moves thrown in the mix for good measure. So get ready to feel the burn, starting with 20 reps of each exercise in the circuit and then decreasing by two reps until your final round is just 10 reps of each. Happy sweating!

Reps: 20-18-16-14-12-10
Chest flies on physioball
Pullovers on physioball
Crunches on physioball
Band rows
Kettlebell swings (or squats)
Alternate between lateral raise and front raise (single count)
Lunge row
Bicep curl
Medicine ball slams

Explanations of exercises: 
Click links for how-to videos.

Chest fly on physioball: Lie on your back on the physioball with your head and neck on the ball. Keep your hips up and squeeze your glutes. Holding free weights, extend the arms up. Keeping elbows loosely locked, drop the arms out to the sides until the hand is in line with the shoulder, then raise them back up.

Pullovers: Lie on the physioball on your back so your head and neck are supported. Holding a weight in both hands, reach the weight over your head toward the wall behind you, keeping your arms slightly bent. Drive the weight back up towards the ceiling. Be sure to keep your hips up and squeeze your glutes the entire time. Repeat.

Physioball crunches: Lie on your back on a physioball (a.k.a. stability ball) with feet on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees. Put your hands behind your head and tighten your abs as you perform a crunch, lifting your shoulders off the ball.

Seated band rows: Sitting on the floor with legs together and straight out in front of you, loop a resistance band around your feet and hold one end in each hand. Starting with arms extended in front of you, pull your elbows straight back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Extend arms slowly to return to the starting position.

Kettlebell swings: Standing with feet about hip-width apart, hold a kettlebell in front of you both both hands. Bend your knees into a squat, swinging the kettlebell back through your legs as you drop down and forward to about shoulder height as you stand. Repeat in a fluid motion.

Lateral raise: Holding dumbbells, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms out from on your sides to shoulder height, return to start and repeat.

Front raise: Stand with feet hip width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Hands are resting on front of the quads with palms facing towards you. Raise your arms to  shoulder height and lower.

Lunge row: Standing with your left leg forward in a lunge and left forearm on thigh, row a weight with your right arm like you’re starting lawn mower. Switch to opposite side lunge for left arm.

Bicep curls: Hold dumbbells at your side with palms facing forward. Pretend your elbows are glued to your midsection and curl the weight toward your shoulders, keeping your upper arm still. Slowly return your weight to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Medicine-ball slam: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold the medicine ball at your chest, then raise it above your head and slam it to the ground as hard as you can. Catch the ball and repeat.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: