Exercise & Fitness

Workout of the Week: Easy Arm and Ab Moves

Tone your biceps and abs with these quick exercises from Orangetheory Fitness.

Kris Ellwood, studio Manager at Orangetheory Fitness in Leawood, put together this workout that allows you shape up your abs and biceps at home. Try these out when you have some free time or while you’re catching up on your favorite TV show.

Extended-hold Bicycle Crunch

Start by lying down on the floor on your back; stretch your legs out straight and hold your arms outstretched at your sides. Next, place your hands behind your head, just past your ears. (Interlock your fingers if you find that more comfortable). To begin the movement, raise both legs approximately 3-5 inches off of the ground, so that your calves are parallel to the floor. Now bend your left knee, bringing that knee closer to your chest so that your thigh is perpendicular to the ground.

As you bring that left knee in, use your abdominal muscles to crunch your body forward and touch your right elbow as close to your left knee as you can. At the same time, keep your right leg straight and several inches off of the floor. Hold in that position for a count of 5-10 seconds. Now, extend your left leg back to a straightened position and repeat, touching your left elbow to your right knee and hold again for a count of 5-10 seconds.

Try to get through 6 repetitions or 30 cumulative seconds. Eventually work up to more repetitions and cumulative time for more abdominal engagement. Helpful hint: Be sure to keep your elbows back, rather than bringing them to your chest, which could cause unnecessary neck strain. Remember to inhale and exhale throughout!

Bicep Curl

Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length. Keep your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward.

Now, keeping the upper arms and elbows stationary, exhale and curl the weights upwards while contracting your biceps. Raise the weights until your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells are at shoulder level.

Next, inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

For beginners: Alternate arms. First lift the right arm for one repetition, then the left. This exercise can also be performed sitting down. Helpful hint: If you don’t have dumbbells at home, you can use milk or juice jugs.

Orangetheory offers 60-minute workout sessions that combine cardiovascular and strength training that can burn calories up to 36 hours post-workout. Visit their studio at 11614 Ash Street in Leawood, or find out more information at http://www.orangetheoryfitness.com/leawood.—Kathryn Greene