Need an effective core and upper-body workout you can do anywhere? Celebrity fitness trainer and owner of The Studio MontrealVal Desjardins, EXOS-certified fitness specialist, who's worked with clients such as Jennifer Aniston, shared this bodyweight-only workout to target your abs, arms, and back. Using her background in mat Pilates and calisthenics, Desjardins said she created this five-exercise sequence to strengthen your midsection while sculpting your shoulders and back.
This is the perfect workout for a low-impact strength-training day or as an add-on finisher after a cardio session, Desjardins said. It includes five compound exercises, exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time, making your workout more efficient and more effective. If you want, this workout can be performed with light dumbbells (one to five pounds) for added intensity.
The workout should take you about 20 to 30 minutes depending on how many rounds you complete. You'll notice that beginners are completing four rounds instead of three, and Desjardins explained that's because their intervals are shorter, so they have time to complete an extra round. "This a great way for them to build their endurance as a beginner," Desjardins said, and this ensures all levels will be working for a similar amount of time.
"If you want to make it a full-body toning and conditioning workout you can do 30, 45, or 60 seconds of jumping jacks in between each exercise," Desjardins said.
Core and Upper-Body Workout by Val Desjardins
Equipment needed: none
Directions: Desjardins suggested warming up with 10 big arm circles in each direction. Then perform a 30-second elbow plank followed by a 30-second side plank on each side. Repeat three rounds of the planks. Then complete the workout based on your level.
Beginner: 30 seconds of each exercise followed by a 15-second rest: 4 rounds with a 15-second rest between rounds (rest longer if you need to)
Intermediate: 60 seconds of each exercise followed by a 10-second rest: 3 rounds with a 10-second rest between rounds
Advanced: 90 seconds of each exercise with no rest between exercises: 3 rounds with no rest between rounds