Want Stronger Arms and a Toned Core? This 20-Minute Circuit Can Help Get You There

POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Kelly / Delmaine Donson

Full-body strength training is a quick and efficient way to hit all the major muscle groups, but there are benefits to taking at least one day a week to zero in on one or two key areas. That’s why Le Sweat founder Charlee Atkins, CSCS, created this toning twofer for POPSUGAR’S 4-Week Workout Challenge. “Most total-body workouts include lots of squats and lunges, which require both a lot of energy and movement,” Atkins said. “This upper body and core workout is a nice active recovery. It won’t be as intense as a complete strength training day.”

Your core is also essential to all of your workouts. If your middle isn’t strong enough, you’ll find that not only will your form suffer, but it will also be harder to get in the amount of reps that are required for a circuit. Keep that in mind as you work through these exercises, making sure to keep your abs engaged throughout the workout.

20-Minute, No-Equipment Upper Body and Core Workout

Directions: Complete each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by a 10-second recovery. You’ll do three rounds total with a one-minute rest in between rounds. Don’t forget to spend at least five minutes warming up (these low-impact exercises are a good start), and take time to cool down after your final circuit with these full-body stretches.


  • Shoulder taps
  • Leg lowers
  • Butterfly sit-ups
  • Eccentric push-ups
  • Glutes march
  • Triple-triple
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