The Ultimate Arms and Abs Workout
This fast and effective upper-body circuit was designed to tone your arms and abs without any equipment! For best results, do the workout on two or three nonconsecutive days per week, alternating with cardio and lower-body exercises (and of course pairing it with a healthy diet).
How it works: Complete each set of exercises twice, moving quickly back and forth between the two moves, before moving on to the next set.
Set 1: Pushups and Planks
Set 2: Dips and Sits
Set 3: Side Press and Sweep
Set 4: Shoulder Pushup and Reclining Circle
Workout tip: There are a lot of pushups and pressing moves in this routine, so if you experience any wrist issues, try placing a folded towel under your palms or perform the move while holding onto a dumbbell—or modify in another way that works for you.
For sculpted arms and toned abs, fitness instructor and celebrity trainer Amy Dixonhas the mother of all moves. “The wood chop is the number one exercise I have my clients do to tone their arms and abs,” she says.
Start by holding a heavy dumbbell with two hands. As Dixon demonstrates in the above video from #OWNSHOW, hold the dumbbell by the weighted ends, not by the bar. “If you do that, you’ll be so focused on hanging onto the weight for dear life that you won’t notice if you’re making other mistakes with your form,” she explains.
Position your feet wider than your hips and slightly bend your knees.
Bring the weight up above your shoulder, and then rotate your torso while bringing the weight down toward your opposite hip as you rotate and bend your knee.
“You have to get down low in order to generate power to swing the weight back up,” Dixon explains. “The lower you squat, the more power you’ll have in the move. But always remember to move in a pain-free range of motion. In other words, listen to your body.”
Swing the dumbbell back up toward your shoulder, straightening both legs as you swing upward.
For best results, Dixon recommends completing three sets of 12 reps on each side.
To make your workout more challenging, you use a heavier weight or change the timing. “Swing down from the shoulder towards your opposite hip quickly, then slowly bring the weight back up above your starting shoulder,” Dixon instructs. “Or do the reverse, bringing the weight down slowly and quickly bring it back up.”
Targets shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs
- Sit on floor with knees bent, feet flat, holding a dumbbell in each hand by hips, palms up. Lean back 45 degrees and lift feet (shins parallel to floor).
- Maintaining V-sit, curl weights to shoulders; press weights overhead, rotating arms out to a goalpost position and then extending them toward ceiling, palms facing forward.
- Reverse motion to lower weights to start.
- Do 15 to 20 reps.