If you close your eyes and envision an upper body and core workout, you might conjure images of dumbbells, kettlebells, or even the big machine contraptions at the gym. Well, if that’s not the equipment you have access to, this new episode of Well+Good’s Good Moves hosted by Kat Atienza, a coach and co-owner of Session in Brooklyn, only involves a single moderate dumbbell—and even that is optional. You can use something you have around the house, like a large water bottle, or simply go without.
This 14-minute workout offers viewers the chance to work on their upper body and core strength with some beginner-friendly, medium-impact bodyweight moves. “Bodyweight training is strength, endurance, and cardiovascular training using your own weight to provide resistance,” Fhitting Room trainer Ben Wegman previously told Well + Good. “It involves only yourself and gravity.” This type of training is a great reminder that you don’t always need specific tools, equipment, or gym access to get active and build strength.
The session starts in a plank position to wake up the upper back and core. While in this position, viewers are instructed to move their bodies back and forth into a downward dog position for five to eight reps. This engages the core and stretches the hamstrings. It’s a great move to start out with because it can get your heart rate going and improve blood flow, which are important ingredients for a good workout.
After the warm-up, Atienza’s routine includes two circuits with three exercises each. The first includes push-ups to dumbbell drag, standing rainbows, toe-touches to leg lifts lying on your back; the second involves single-arm rows, mountain climbers that move into downward dog, and single-arm Arnold press. To opt out of using a prop or dumbbell, you can make a fist in place of where you would hold the dumbbell.
If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry: Atienza walks you through the moves calmly and supportively. In the end, the circuit moves into a de-compressing, cooling stretch routine to lower your heart rate and relax after pushing your upper body and core.
If you want to get stronger from the comfort of your living room, office, or wherever you can safely do the above moves, get some stretchy clothes on and let Atienza show you how.