A 15-Minute No-Equipment Workout That’ll Sculpt Your Abs And Arms

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Squats and lunges are great, but sometimes you’ve want to put your upper body and core to the test, too. That doesn’t mean grinding it out with a seated crunch machine and a rack of dumbbells at the gym, though—you can get an amazing arms and abs workout without using a single piece of equipment. 

Developed by Las Vegas-based trainer Alyssa West, an instructor at TruFusion, this nine-move workout hits many of the different muscles in your core and arms (get ready to work, obliques, lower abs, shoulders, biceps, and triceps). “Working the [muscles of your] arms and the abs helps you maintain balance, good posture, and an overall strong physique,” says West. “And bodyweight exercises can challenge more of the body than a supported weight workout might. For example, a push-up will recruit more muscles to work then a seated shoulder press will.”

Hit it first thing in the morning, after work, or anytime in between—this routine is less than 15 minutes long (or 30, if you want to be an ~overachiever~ and do the circuit twice).

How To Do The Workout: Perform each exercises for one minute, resting for 30 seconds after each move.

As you get comfortable, you can swap that 30 seconds of rest for jogging in place, suggests West. Keep track of your reps, and try to squeeze in more every time you do the workout, she adds.

1. Plank To Dolphin — 1 minute

Whitney Thielman 

“Plank to Dolphin is a great warm-up for the shoulders, arms, and core,” says West. “We want the shoulders warm for the push-ups to come.” (Don’t say you weren’t warned!)

  • Start in forearm plank with arms parallel to each other and palms flat on the floor.
  • Lift hips up and back creating an inverted “V” with your body.
  • Pause then slowly lower back to your forearm plank.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

2. Push-Ups — 1 minute

Whitney Thielman 

Push-ups work your abs, arms, and shoulders all at once, says West—win, win, win.

  • Start in high plank with your shoulders above your wrists and your spine long. 
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body to the mat. Drop to your knees if needed.
  • Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

3. Plank Taps — 1 minute

Whitney Thielman 

“Adding shoulder taps to a plank increases the work needed to maintain stability and contribute to toned shoulders,” says West.

  • Start in high plank with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Then tap each hand to the opposite shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep the hips as still as possible. 
  • Continue for 1 minute.

4. Forearm Side Plank With Twist — 1 minute per side

Whitney Thielman 

No core workout would be complete without side work,” says West. A side plank alone is challenging, and the twist adds extra oomph.

  • Come into a forearm side plank on your left side with your left elbow resting on the floor below your shoulder.
  • Place your right arm behind your head.
  • Rotate your torso toward the floor, bringing your right elbow to meet your left hand.
  • Don’t let your hips drop. Continue for 1 minute. Then repeat for 1 minute on the opposite side.

5. Bicycle Crunches — 1 minute


Whitney Thielman 

“Bicycle crunches let the arms rest, but creates enormous work in the midsection by moving the upper body and lower body simultaneously,” says West. “The emphasis is bringing the opposite elbow and knee together, while still maintaining a flat back on the floor.”

  • Sit on floor with knees bent, feet lifted, hands behind head.
  • Keep chest up and back straight as you lean back to engage abs.
  • Twist to bring right elbow to left knee, straightening right leg.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

6. Plank To Down Dog — 1 minute

Whitney Thielman 

“Shifting forward to plank from Down Dog requires an immense amount of control and strength,” says West.

  • Start in high plank with your wrists under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Push your hips up and back to move into a Down Dog position with your heels reaching toward the floor.
  • Keep your core tight and shift your weight forward to come back to high plank.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

7. Diamond Push-Ups — 1 minute

Whitney Thielman 

Diamond push-ups make the back of your arms seriously work, while the push-up position still challenges your core, says West. 

  • Start in high plank. Walk your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers form a triangle.
  • Bend elbows to lower your torso toward the ground to do a complete push-up.
  • If this is too challenging, lower your knees to the ground.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

8. Lateral Plank Walk — 1 minute


Whitney Thielman 

“The whole core is challenged in this one exercise to maintain stability and keep everything in motion,” says West. “The arms are challenged first by the position and then the movement side to side.”

  • Start in high plank with shoulders above your wrists and abs tight.
  • Step right foot and right hand to right side immediately following with left foot and left hand. Take a few “steps” in one direction, then walk in the opposite direction.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

9. Boat Pose — 1 minute


Whitney Thielman 

“You’ll definitely feel a minute of boat with the belly drawn in and the chest lifted,” says West. It’s tough to hold this for the full 60 seconds, but no better way to end a workout than with a challenge, right?

  • Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Grasp your legs under your thighs, slightly above your knees.
  • Lean back slightly. Lift your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor. 
  • Extend your arms straight out in front of your at shoulder height, with palms facing up.
  • Straighten and raise your legs toward the ceiling until your body forms a V shape.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute.

After this arms and core challenge, squats pretty much sound like a dream, right?

You may also like: 12 Ultra-Effective Arm Workout Moves You Can Do At Home


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