5 exercises, 10 minutes and this bodyweight workout for stronger arms and abs

Build muscle doing these bodyweight exercises

Woman doing bodyweight workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Struggling for motivation to do an arm workout? Let us give you some…This workout will strengthen both your upper body and abs in just 10 minutes (if not less) and uses nothing but your body to do it. That’s right, no heavy weights, no dumbbells, just you and five low-impact exercises, which are suitable for everyone – from the beginner to the experienced athlete.

Nowadays, when it comes to building a stronger body, many think you have to immediately start lifting weights. The International Sports Sciences Association says: “Many factors influence muscle growth besides just lifting heavier weights. Bodyweight strength training can increase strength and muscle mass. Resistance is required to break down muscle so it can repair bigger and stronger.” While research published in Physiology and Behaviour revealed that as long as you perform a bodyweight exercise through its full range of motion, muscle growth can occur.

This Pilates-style workout will cover your core and upper body, particularly your triceps and shoulders. You’ll need to grab yourself a timer, as you’ll be performing each exercise for 30 seconds. Once you’ve finished the first round, take a 15 second rest and then go again. You want to try to do four rounds in total, three minimum. Take your time with each exercise and really think about the movement as you’re doing it and the muscles that you’re using, to get that mind-muscle connection. Ready? Here’s your workout: 

  • Arm weeps
  • Standing oblique crunch (each side)
  • Yoga push-up
  • Single leg table top tricep push-up (each side)
  • Bicycle leg extensions

If don't already, then you may want to invest in a yoga mat (it's thinner than a Pilates mat, but will still make some of the floor moves in this workout a little more comfortable). If you enjoyed these Pilates-style moves, then you may want to check out our beginners guide to Pilates, or if it's another low-impact workout you're after, then try this other 10 minute bodyweight workout.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.