For runners and hikers alike, your legs and lungs are accustomed to getting in a good workout. And while strong arms help you power up hills whether you’re running or walking, they’re often overlooked. However, it doesn’t take long to strengthen and tone your upper body — the following routine takes roughly 8 minutes to complete.
A RUNNER’S NO-EQUIPMENT UPPER-BODY WORKOUT
This routine is divided into four circuits. Perform the exercises in each circuit back-to-back, with a quick break in between. After completing all four circuits, do with a round of burpees for a total-body, cardio HIIT finish. You can repeat the workout as many times as you want.
Start in a pushup position. Descend to the bottom, and back up, then extend one hand to the sky. Watch that hand with your eyes. Repeat and reach up with the other arm. To make it more challenging, hold dumbbells. Do 10 reps.
Lie face down on a mat and hold your arms out to your sides at shoulder-height, thumbs facing up. Lift your chest, arms and legs off the ground simultaneously. Pause, then lower back to the mat. Do 10 reps, then rest for 30 seconds.
Start in a forearm plank. Keeping your abs tight and spine long, pick up your right arm and place your right palm on the ground. Repeat on the left side, ending in a high-plank position. Now, reverse the movement, replacing your right palm with your right elbow and your left palm with your left elbow. That’s 1 rep. Be sure to keep your hips still and facing the ground throughout the routine. Do 10 reps, alternating starting arms with each rep.
Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward at the hips and place your palms on the floor, bending your knees as needed to reach. Walk your hands forward so you’re in a plank position. Walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 total. Rest for 30 seconds. To make it harder, do a pushup at the bottom, keeping your elbows close to your torso and dropping to your knees if needed.
Downward Facing Dog
Start standing, then lean forward and plant your hands on the ground. Walk your hands out slowly until you’re in a pushup position. Lift your hips up and push into the ground with your arms so your body is in the shape of an inverted “V.” Keep your elbows straight and gently press your heels toward the ground. After you feel the stretch, return to the pushup position and walk your hands back to standing. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
Stand in front of a sturdy chair or couch. Place your hands on the seat with your fingers pointing forward. Keep your back flat and walk your legs out in front of your body. Bend your arms and lower your butt toward the ground, being sure to keep your elbows directly behind your body. Straighten your arms to complete 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
Start standing. Squat until your hands touch the floor and kick your feet back into a plank position. Drop your chest to the floor, then jump your feet wide, then to the sides of your hands, then back to the standing position. Jump up and immediately move to the next rep. Do as many reps as you can in one minute. Your goal: Complete at least 15 reps.