For the arms and abs strength workout in Kayla Itsines's no-equipment workout plan, you'll do moves that focus on strengthening your upper body and core. Training your arms and core isn't just for aesthetics; these muscle groups are essential in performing everyday activities, such as carrying groceries, lifting suitcases, and even something as simple as getting out of bed. Watch Kayla demonstrate each exercise in the video above, and read how to perform each move ahead. For the full workout plan for weeks one and three, visit Kayla Itsines's 4-Week No-Equipment Workout Plan Weeks 1 and 3.
4-Week No-Equipment Workout Plan Weeks 1 and 3: Arms & Abs
Complete as many laps of the exercises as possible during each seven-minute circuit, ensuring you maintain proper form. Perform each circuit back to back with one minute of rest in between (start with circuit one, rest for a minute, continue on to circuit two). For beginners, rest for 20 seconds in between each exercise in the circuit. Do each circuit once for 14 minutes of work, or repeat for 28 minutes of work.
Circuit 1: 7 Minutes
|Caterpillar walk and push-up||10|
|Side plank and oblique crunch||24 (12 per slide)|
|X plank||24 (12 per side)|
Caterpillar Walk and Push-Up:
- Plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, and place your hands on the floor directly in front of your feet. This is your starting position.
- Without moving your feet, walk your hands forward until your body is in one straight line from your head to your heels, resting on the balls of your feet. This is called push-up position.
- Bend your elbows and lower your torso toward the floor until your arms form two 90-degree angles, ensuring that you maintain a straight back and stabilise through your abdominals.
- Push through your chest and extend your arms to return to push-up position.
- Jump both of your feet forwards in between your hands, ensuring that your feet remain shoulder-width apart, to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 10 reps.
Side Plank and Oblique Crunch (Knees):
- Begin by lying lengthways on your left side along a yoga mat. Place your left forearm firmly on the floor, ensuring that your elbow is directly below your shoulder and that your forearm is parallel to (in line with) the short edge of your mat.
- Bending your left knee, extend and elevate your right leg to hip height, ensuring your torso is in a straight line. Gently draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core, and using your obliques, gently raise your hips off the mat and extend your right arm above your head. This is your starting position.
- While maintaining a neutral spine, simultaneously bend your right knee, hip, and elbow to draw your elbow and knee together.
- Extend your right arm and leg to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 24 reps (12 on each side).
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your navel in to also target your deep abs).
- Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side.
- Continue for 40 reps total (20 on each side).
- Place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart and both feet apart behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Brace your abdominals and maintain a neutral spine, ensuring that your hands are directly below your shoulders. This is your starting position.
- While stabilizing through your abdominals, elevate your hips and release your left hand to reach toward your right foot (or as far as you can).
- Lower your hips and place your left hand on the mat to return to the starting position.
- While stabilizing through your abdominals, elevate your hips and release your right hand to reach toward your left foot (or as far as you can).
- Lower your hips and place your right hand on the mat to return to the starting position.
- Continue alternating between left and right for 24 reps (12 on each side). Each rep is equivalent to one touch of your hand to your foot.
Circuit 2: 7 Minutes
|Bent and straight-leg raise||20|
- Plant both hands on the mat slightly further than shoulder-width apart, feet together on the mat behind you while resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.
- Jump both of your feet forward in between your hands, ensuring that your feet remain shoulder-width apart.
- Jump both of your feet backward to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 20 reps.
- Start by placing your forearms (wrist to elbow) on a yoga mat and extending both of your legs behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.
- Release your right forearm to place your hand firmly on the mat directly below your right shoulder and push up onto your right hand. Release your left forearm to place your hand firmly on the mat directly below your left shoulder and push up onto your left hand. Ensure that you keep your core activated to prevent your hips from swaying.
- Release your right hand and lower your forearm to the mat, then release your left hand and lower your forearm to the mat to return to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise, starting with your left arm.
- Continue alternating between right and left for 12 reps.
Bent and Straight-Leg Raise
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Extend both legs and engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in toward your spine. This is your starting position.
- Bend your knees and, using your abdominals, bring them in toward your chest, ensuring that your feet stay together.
- Slowly extend your legs to return to the starting position, but without lowering your feet to the floor.
- While keeping your legs extended, slowly raise your legs upward until they form a 90-degree angle with your hips.
- Slowly lower your legs to return to the starting position, but without lowering your feet to the floor.
- Continue alternating between bent and straight-leg raises for 20 reps. Each leg raise is equivalent to one rep.
- Start in a traditional plank with your shoulders directly over your hands and wrists. Be sure to keep your back flat and your butt down, maintaining a neutral spine.
- Engage your core (think about pulling your belly button toward your spine) and lift up your right knee, bringing it toward your elbow. It's OK if you can't bring the knee all the way to your elbow. Return the right knee back to the starting position as you simultaneously drive your left knee up toward your left elbow. Return to the starting position.
- Continue switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels like you're "running" in place in a plank position.
- Continue "running" in your plank for 30 reps total.