Six moves to strengthen your core and build stronger arms

Develop upper body muscle, work your abs, and improve your balance with this time-efficient session

A woman performing abs exercises with a dumbbell
(Image credit: Getty)

Arms and abs are two of our favorite body parts to train, so why choose between them? This six-move session hits both muscle groups in one time-efficient training session. 

The workout from Sweat app trainer Britany Williams challenges you to perform popular arm-strengthening exercises like the biceps curl and triceps kickback while holding your body in positions that will engage your core. 

The result? A short yet effective session that will leave both sets of muscles ready for a rest. You only need two dumbbells to try it too, so you can do it at home if you own a couple of weights (if you don't, take a look at our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells for some inspiration). 

To give this workout a go, Williams advises performing 12-15 repetitions of each exercise for three rounds, with a short rest in between each one. You can also add an extra round if you want a slightly longer session.

Watch her video below for demonstrations of each of the six exercises, and make sure to follow her form closely to get the most out of each movement. 

Watch Britany Williams' upper body workout

Williams describes this session as a barre workout (one of her specialities). This type of exercise draws inspiration from the likes of ballet, yoga, and Pilates to help you build a stronger body, paying particular attention to strengthening your core.

Unlike high-intensity HIIT workouts for fat loss and traditional strength training sessions, which use fast or heavy exercises to raise your heart rate and work your muscles, barre workouts tend to focus on smaller bodyweight movements. 

This way, your body is challenged to hold its position, which can develop full-body strength and flexibility without being too taxing on your joints, similar to low-impact exercises to develop strength and boosting your metabolism. 

Each of Williams' exercises will also recruit your core to help you maintain your posture, as is the case when performing a plank. This is a great way to build a stronger midsection, with the added benefits of boosting your balance and even reducing lower back pain by taking strain away from this area. 

If you're looking for similar low-impact activities that will still hold plenty of health benefits, why not try these eight anti-aging yoga moves?  Or, if you want to build muscle, this 10-minute low-impact session will do the trick. 

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.