When you make your arm workout a high-intensity interval session, you’ll get both strength training and a massive calorie burn in one quick package.
“In an upper-body HIIT workout, you want to focus on exercises that incorporate both pushing and pulling motions,” says HIIT specialist Brynn Putnam, founder of NYC’s Refine Method. “Both motions fire up the biggest muscle groups in your upper body to burn calories and rev your metabolism.”
Do these five exercises one right after the other, repeating the circuit four times through without resting unless you have to.
The 20-Minute Arms Circuit
1. Pushup plus
Start in plank position, hands slightly wider than your shoulders, and perform a pushup—but as you press up, bend your knees and press your hips into the air into a modified downward dog. Come down back to plank as you go into your next pushup. Repeat for time.
2. Squat with biceps curl
Using a kettlebell, with its uneven weight distribution, ups the challenge on this compound move. Start holding kettlebells down in front of you, palms facing out. Squat deeply. As you stand up, curl the kettlebells into your chest. Repeat for time.
Yup, the old favorite. If you can’t pull your body weight for 60 seconds, use a resistance band for an assist. Or, if you need more of a challenge, make your body heavier by wearing a weight vest or a loaded weight belt.
4. Kneel-to-stand overhead press
Hold a kettlebell in both hands in front of your chest. Lower down so you’re kneeling on one leg, as if you’re going to propose. Stand up by pressing your front foot into the ground, and as you come to stand, raise the kettlebell directly overhead. Soften your knees as you lower the kettlebell down, then kneel back down with same lead leg. Make sure you focus on maintaining your balance as you go into kneeling position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch lead legs.
5. Stepback to renegade row
Place two kettlebells on the floor slightly in front of you and a bit wider apart than shoulder-width. Squat down, grasp the kettlebell handles, and step back to plank. Do a renegade row with each arm. Step forward and stand (leaving the kettlebells on the floor). Repeat for time, alternating which leg steps back first.