Tag Archives: Core

Quick Arms & Core Workout

Happy Friday friends! I’m in the Philadelphia area for the weekend to visit my family and friends. Fridays are rest/cross-training days for me, and usually I go to Body Pump class. Even though I’m away I still wanted to do some strength training today, but I wanted something quick because I was not feeling super motivated and I had errands to run. So I jotted down a quick list of exercises that targeted arms and core, set up my stopwatch on my phone and got to work!

I planned to do each exercise for one minute, rest for one minute, then do the next exercise for one minute, rest for one minute, and so on. Based on these intervals, one cycle through the entire workout should take 17 minutes.

Now, I am no strength training expert. I am only recently getting into doing more arm and core work after neglecting it for a long time, always choosing to run instead. I just wrote whatever exercises came to mind from what I’ve seen at the gym, in classes, in magazines, and exercise DVDs (the 30 Day Shred, Insanity, etc.) I decided to take some pictures to show what these exercises look like.

FYI- I’m also not an expert at taking self-timed photos. I tried my best to capture each exercise though!

Self Timer FAIL!

Push Ups. Okay, I’m the first to admit that my push up form isn’t perfect but I’m working on it and it IS getting better as I get stronger. I did as many as I could on my toes and then dropped to my knees until the minute was up.

On the way down...

And back up again!

Tricep Dips. My triceps must be my weakest muscle in my arms because tricep work is always the hardest for me. The first time we did these in Body Pump I thought I was going to die! The farther out you put your legs, the more difficult this exercise is. My arms were shaking by the time my timer went off!

Starting position

And DIP! Then go back up.

Bicycle Crunches. I think most people are familiar with this core exercise. The legs alternate going in and out while you crunch up and try to touch the opposite elbow to the knee. Abs were burning by the end!

Planks. Elbows on the ground right underneath the shoulders and up on the toes. Body should be in a straight line (butt shouldn’t sag or be up in the air). This doesn’t look hard, but it is for me! It was difficult to hold it for a minute. My whole body was shaking by the time one minute was up.

Plank Push Ups. I think this is from a Jillian Michaels DVD, and it’s really challenging! You start in the plank position (above), then lift yourself up onto your hands one arm at a time (shown in the picture below). Once you do that you should be in a regular push up position. Next, do one push up, then lower yourself back down to the elbows one arm at a time until you’re back in plank position. Repeat as many times as you can for one minute!

Diamond Push Ups. This one is a Shaun T. classic from Insanity! It’s like a regular push up, except your hands are close together with your thumbs and pointer fingers touching to form a diamond shape. Your legs are also spread very wide. Once in that position, lower yourself to the ground like a regular push up. It feels so much harder! I believe Shaun T. said this is a great variation of the push up that targets the triceps. Also, please ignore my bad form- my head and neck and dropped too low, especially in picture #2. I need to remember to keep my neck in alignment with my spine!

Starting position

On the way down...

Side Planks. A plank on your side (duh…). Prop yourself up on one elbow and stack the feet on top of one another. Again, the elbow should be right under the shoulder. Hold for one minute! Then repeat on the other side. Whew!

Sit Ups. Regular old fashioned sit ups. I put my feet under the couch to help stabilize myself. I always forget how hard these can be, especially after doing them for a minute straight! Either that or I have a really weak core (haha).

I got through one cycle and I was surprised and how sweaty and out of breath I was! I was going to do another cycle but by that point my stomach was grumbling and needed some lunch. Plus I have a long run tomorrow and I didn’t want to overdo it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of my long run and my weekly run down. Hopefully my run goes better than last week! Fingers crossed.