Kayla Itsines Shares Her Circuit Workout for Toned Arms and Abs
We tapped the Bikini Body Guide founder for a 5-move circuit that kills two birds with one stone
If you follow Australian trainer and Bikini Body Guide founder Kayla Itsines on Instagram, you know that mirror selfies showing off her super-toned arms and six-pack abs are kinda her thing. So, when we had the chance to steal a circuit workout from the trainer (who, by the way, just launched a new book, The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide) we answered with a resounding yes.
Here's how it works: Start by setting your timer for seven minutes and aim to complete the exercises in the below circuit as many times as you can before the timer goes off. Once completed, take a 30-second break. Reset your timer to seven minutes and complete the circuit again for your full 14-minute workout! (For another circuit workout from Kayla, check out this seven-minute, total-body workout.)
1. Russian Twist
A. Sit on a yoga mat with hands clasped in front of chest. Bend knees and position feet on the floor. Keeping feet together, raise feet off the floor and extend legs so that they are almost straight.
B. Twist torso to the right so that right hand touches the floor directly beside you. Untwist torso to return to starting position. Repeat, twisting torso to the left. Continue alternating between right and left for 24 reps (12 per side).
2. Lie-Down Push-Up
A. Lie flat on stomach with arms extended out in front of you and both legs straight behind you with toes positioned toward the floor. Bring arms in toward body and place hands on the floor on either side of chest.
B. Push through chest and extend arms to lift body back up into push-up position, resting on the balls the of feet. Ensure that you maintain a straight back and stabilize through the abdominal muscles.
C. Slowly lower body completely to the floor and extend arms out in front of you. Repeat for 15 reps.
A. Start in plank position, placing forearms (wrist to elbow) on the floor and extending both legs behind you, resting on the balls of the feet.
B. Release right forearm and place right hand firmly on the floor directly below right shoulder. Push up onto right hand, followed immediately by left in the same pattern. Ensure that you brace through your abdominals to prevent your hips from swaying.
C. Return to plank position by releasing right hand and lowering onto forearm, before doing the same with left hand. Repeat this exercise, starting with left hand. Continue alternating between right and left for 24 reps (12 per side).
4. Straight Leg Sit Up + Twist
A. Lie on back on the floor with both arms extended above head. Place both hands behind earlobes. Engage abdominal muscles by drawing belly button in toward spine. This is the starting position.
B. Keeping heels firmly planted on the floor, slowly lift head, shoulder blades, and torso off of the floor. Ensure that it is the abdominals that initiate the movement, and that you do not use your arms to 'swing' your torso up. As you sit up, extend left arm and twist over the right side of body.
C. Slowly untwist and lower torso back into starting position. Repeat using right arm and twisting over the left side of body. Continue alternating between left and right for 20 reps (10 per side).
5. Burpee + Push-Up
A. Plant both feet on the floor slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, and place hands on the floor directly in front of feet.
B. Keeping body weight on hands, kick both feet backward so that legs are completely extended behind you, resting on the balls of feet. Your body should be in one straight line from head to toe in a push-up position.
C. While maintaining a straight back and stabilizing through abdominals, bend elbows and lower torso toward the floor until arms form a 90-degree angle. Push through chest and extend arms to lift body back into push-up position.
D. Jump both feet in toward hands, ensuring that feet remain shoulder-width apart. Propel body upwards into the air. Extend legs below you and arms above head. Land in a neutral standing position, ensuring that you maintain "soft" knees to prevent injury. Repeat for 10 reps.