Arms & Abs Workout // Low Impact Strength & Toning

This workout was much tougher than I expected it to be! Arms & Abs Workout // Low Impact Strength & Toning is an upper body and core strength workout from Heather Robertson. The exercises are all compound exercises that work both your core and your upper body during the same exercise. Because of this you cannot lift as heavy as you could if you were doing upper body isolation exercises. But even with lighter dumbbells this workout was kicking my a$$. And some of the body weight exercises were the hardest! #6 & 7 in Circuit 1, Tricep Press + Tuck (see breakdown below). It is a lot harder to do the tuck than I thought it would be when just previewing this workout! This is an excellent upper strength workout with lots of core work. And it’s metabolic, too. Or at least it felt metabolic. I only burned 208 calories but it felt like I was working so hard. I was sweating a lot, too. This is primarily a mat based workout. All but one exercise is done one the mat, so I wasn’t able to grab my sweat towel or get a drink of water during the recoveries. Maybe that’s why it felt like I was sweating so much–because I didn’t wipe the sweat away as frequently as I do in other workouts so it was dripping all over my mat. Next time I do this workout I should put my water and towel on the floor nearby. Because this workout is only 42 minutes, I used Caroline Girvan‘s 15 Min Standing Abs Workout as my finisher. My arms were fried by the end of my workout hour this morning. This is a pretty thorough upper body strength workout. The back is the only muscle group that doesn’t get much work. It only gets some supermans. Luckily I already worked my back hard on Monday.

This workout is made up of 2 circuits of 9 exercises. The exercises in this workout are all done interval style: 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the lower right hand corner of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recoveries Heather previews the next exercise.

Arms & Abs Workout // Low Impact Strength & Toning is 42:14 minutes; 2 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and fitness mat. Heather is using 5 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.

Circuit 1:

  1. Inchworm (stand at end of mat, hinge forward and walk hands out to plank, do one push up, walk hands back to feet, stand, raising arms overhead)
  2. Sit up + press (lay on mat, knees bent and feet on mat, holding one DB in each hand, do a full sit up and at top of sit up do one overhead press) (13# DBs)
  3. Plank kickbacks (single arm tricep kickback while in plank, alternate arms–you are using a single DB, so after doing a tricep kickback, set the DB outside the other hand) (one 12# DB)
  4. V-sit + curl (sit on glutes, knees bent and feet elevated, torso leaned back slightly, elbows are bent with DBs close to shoulders, extend body long, legs straight and elevated a few inches off mat, shoulders a few inches off mat and arms extended straight along body, bring knees back into chest while also raising torso back to start and curling DBs back to shoulders) (12# DBs)
  5. Plank reach + rock (in elbow plank, rotate hip to one side then to the other, then reach one arm in front of you to shoulder level and repeat on other arm)
  6. Tricep press + tuck (lay on side with legs extended straight, bottom hand is holding top shoulder, top hand is on mat in front of chest, do a side lying single arm tricep push up in this position, hold at top of push up and pull top knee into chest, extended leg straight again and lower upper body to mat)
  7. Repeat #6 on other side of body
  8. Woodchop (in kneeling lunge holding one DB in both hands, raise DB over one shoulder (same side as front leg) then chop DB down to opposite hip) (one 10# DB)
  9. Repeat #8 on other side of body
  10. Repeat #1-9

30 second rest

Circuit 2:

  1. Skull crusher + lift (lay on back, knees bent and feet raised off floor, alternate one skull crusher with one reverse crunch, lifting hips and pushing feet to ceiling) (11# DBs)
  2. Chest press bicycle (lay on back, do chest press while bicycling legs in time with chest press) (16.5# DBs)
  3. Twist + pass (sit on bottom, knees bent and feet on mat, torso leaned back slightly, hold one DB in one hand, arms are open to sides in a T, keeping arms straight, bring arm holding DB to empty hand, twisting torso and passing DB to empty hand, return straight arm to T position, keep passing DB from hand to hand in this manner) (one 5# DB)
  4. Plank + tap (in straight arm plank holding one DB in each hand, alternate tapping DB to opposite shoulder) (9# DBs)
  5. Side plank + raise (in side elbow plank holding one DB in top arm, extend to arm to ceiling then lower straight arm until DB touches mat) (one 6# DB)
  6. Repeat #5 on other side of body
  7. Crunch + tricep press (sit on mat, legs bent and feet on mat, holding one DB in both hands, do a full sit up with arms/DB extended straight in front of you, at top of sit up do an overhead tricep extension/French Press) (one 16.5# DB)
  8. Super push ups (alternate one superman with one push up)
  9. Climber knee taps (standing and holding one DB in both hands, alternate raising knees, when knee raises bring DB to same side hip) (one 6# DB)
  10. Repeat #1-9

For more info on Heather Robertson’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.


2 thoughts on “Arms & Abs Workout // Low Impact Strength & Toning

  1. I did this one a few days ago. Yeah, tougher than I expected, but in a good way!

    Today I did a couple Caroline workouts. The first one was Epic III day 34 upper body pyramid. I almost didn’t do this one because I had done a lower body pyramid workout from her a couple months ago and found it to be too repetitive. This was different. Still lots of repetition but moving through the muscle groups kept it interesting. It helps that I like working my UB more than LB, I suppose … No real bi/tri work in this one except for peripherally so I’ll have to work in something later this week to address that.

    I finished with a 10 min HiiT ( which totally kicked my a$$. I had to abandon doing full burpees a few circuits in (replaced with push-ups) because I just couldn’t keep up. She ends it with a 3-min plank. I lasted about 1 min 15 sec before taking a brief rest. TOUGH!

    Liked by 1 person

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