This arms and abs workout focuses on the glory muscles – but that’s not to say it’s easy.
Of course, any strength training programme should focus primarily on the big, compound lifts – which recruit maximum muscle and yield optimal results across the board. However, if you want to build bigger arms and stronger abs, you’re also going to need to get specific with your arms and abs workout routines.
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With this session, the first superset will primarily target your back and biceps, but your chest, core and triceps will receive some supplementary benefits.
The second set is a bit easier because it involves fewer muscles, but it will really zone in on your arms.
The final superset works your often overlooked lower abs, before finishing with some back extensions to strengthen your lower back.
If you’ve got a simple pull-up bar and a pair of dumbbells at home, this arms and abs workout can be easily replicated away from the gym. Simply swap the medicine ball press-ups for regular press-ups, the EZ bar curls for dumbbell concentration curls, and the Swiss ball exercises for regular dumbbell triceps extensions and dumbbell deadlifts.
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The arms and abs workout
1a. Chin-Up (5 reps x 5 sets)
1b. Medicine Ball Press-Up (10 reps x 3 sets)
2a. EZ Bar Preacher Curl (8 reps x 3 sets)
2b. Swiss Ball Triceps Extension (10 reps x 3 sets)
3a. Hanging Leg Raise (10 reps x 3 sets)
3b. Swiss Ball Back Extension (12 reps x 3 sets)
How to do the exercises in this arms and abs workout
Rest: Straight into 1b
- Hang from a bar with your hands 30cm apart or from chin-up handles, using an underhand grip.
- Maintain a natural arch in your back – don’t hunch forwards – and don’t let your legs swing.
- Curl yourself up the bar, leading with your chest and focusing on pulling with your biceps.
- Once your chin is above your hands slowly lower yourself back to the start.
1b. Medicine Ball Press-Up
Rest: 60 secs, then repeat 1a
- Start in a press-up position but with your hands either side of a medicine ball, rather than flat on the floor.
- Keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels, lower your chest until it touches the ball before powering back up strongly.
2a. EZ Bar Preacher Curl
Rest: Straight into 2b
- Sit at a preacher bench and hold an EZ-bar with an underhand grip.Keeping your torso against the bench, slowly curl the bar up towards your face.
- At the top, squeeze your biceps muscles before slowly returning the bar back down.
2b. Swiss Ball Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Rest: 60 secs, then repeat 2a
- Lie with your upper back on a gym ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand directly above your chest.
- Keeping your elbows pointing to the ceiling, slowly lower the weights down to the side of your head.
- Slowly return to the start.
3a. Hanging Leg Raise
Rest: Straight into 3b
- Hang from a pull-up bar or handles.
- Keeping your legs straight and, without swinging, use your abs to raise your legs in front of you until they are parallel to the floor.
- Lower slowly back to the start.
3b. Swiss Ball Back Extension
Rest: 60 secs, then repeat 3a
- Lie face down on a gym ball with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your temples.
- Engage your core and lift your head and chest off the ball.
- Lower slowly back to the start and repeat.