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 (opens in new tab) challenges you to perform popular arm-strengthening exercises like the biceps curl (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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

A post shared by Britany Williams (@britanywilliams) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

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 (opens in new tab) to help you build a stronger body, paying particular attention to strengthening your core.

Unlike high-intensity HIIT workouts for fat loss (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab)?  Or, if you want to build muscle, this 10-minute low-impact session (opens in new tab) will do the trick. 

Harry Bullmore

Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.

When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.

Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.