Work Your Arms and Abs With This 15-Minute Plank and Push-Up Barre Workout From Britany Williams

Weight Loss

For day nine of Sweat’s Two Weeks to Strong Workout Plan, NASM-certified personal trainer Britany Williams will guide you through a barre workout burner that’s all about push-ups and the plank position. (If at any time you need to modify the plank portions of the session, you can come down to your knees, she said.) It lasts 15 minutes, and you don’t need any equipment. The main focus is improving your core and upper-body strength, and it’s inspired by Williams’s Barre With Britany workout program found on the Sweat app. Follow along with the full workout above, and keep reading for details and an exercise breakdown.

15-Minute Plank and Push-Up Barre Workout

Equipment: a yoga mat (if you have one)

Directions: Williams suggests doing three to five minutes of cardio such as jogging or skipping in place beforehand. She said you can also pair that with leg swings, arm circles, and torso twists. There’s a warmup and cooldown built into the workout itself, and the meat of the session consists of two different plank and push-up series, one of which you’ll repeat twice. The second series is only meant to be completed once. Williams also suggests following up your workout with three to five minutes of walking and some static stretches.

Warmup

Exercise Name Time
Shoulder Circles 30 seconds
Wrist Circles 20 seconds
Wrist Stretch 20 seconds
Inchworm 20 seconds
Bird Dog 40 seconds
Cat Cow 20 seconds

Shoulder Circles:

  • Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms out to the sides so that they are parallel to the floor.
  • Keeping the arms straight, circle the arms around (as big as you’d like) to warm up the shoulder joints.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds, alternating between forward and backward circles.

Wrist Circles:

  • Circle the hands to find a full range of motion through both wrists.
  • Repeat for about 20 seconds.

Wrist Stretch:

  • Extend one arm straight in front of you with the palm and forearm facing up.
  • Using the other hand, lightly press the fingertips back towards the floor to lengthen and stretch the wrist.
  • Repeat for 10 seconds on each wrist.

Inchworm:

  • Stand at the edge of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Bend forward, hinging at your hips, to bring your hands to the mat. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees a bit to take tension off the muscles.
  • Walk your hands forward to a plank position, keeping your core tight. Hold for a few seconds, and then walk the hands back to meet the feet before standing back up.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds.

Bird Dog:

  • Come to all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Pull your abs into your spine.
  • Keeping the core engaged, extend the opposite arm and leg straight out long so they are parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for a moment before driving the knee and elbow together under the body into a crunch.
  • Repeat for 20 seconds on each side.

Cat Cow:

  • Begin on your hands and knees with your back flat and your abs engaged. As you inhale, let your belly soften, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone. This part of the stretch is called Cow.
  • With an exhale, round your spine up to the ceiling, pull your abs toward your spine, and simultaneously tuck your tailbone in and draw your chin toward your chest. This part is known as Cat.
  • Continue flowing back and forth from Cat to Cow for about 20 seconds.

Plank and Push-Up Series 1: One Round on Each Side

Exercise Name Time
Cross Mountain Climber to Spider Plank 30 seconds
Windshield Wiper 30 seconds
Straight Leg Pulse in Tabletop 30 seconds
Hand Release Push-Up 30 seconds
Elevator Push-Up 30 seconds
Dead Bug 40 seconds

Cross Mountain Climber to Spider Plank:

  • Come to a plank position with your wrists under your shoulders. Extend the left leg behind you, and point the toe.
  • Drive the lifted knee into the right elbow, using your obliques, and extend the leg straight out again.
  • Next, drive the knee to the outside of the left elbow before extending the leg again. Keep your core engaged the entire time.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds, then move on to windshield wiper.

Windshield Wiper:

  • Staying in a plank position, and again using your left knee, hold that knee at your right elbow, then draw the knee to the left elbow (the same motions you did in the last exercise, but without the extension).
  • Repeat drawing the knee to each elbow, keeping the back flat and core engaged.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds, then move on to straight leg pulse in tabletop.

Straight Leg Pulse in Tabletop:

  • Lower the working knee to the ground, and lift your right leg off the ground, extending it straight out behind you.
  • Pulse the leg up, contracting through the glutes.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds, then move on to hand release push-up.

Hand Release Push-Up:

  • Come into a plank position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your fingertips pointing forward. Be sure to keep your neck and back in a neutral position: you don’t want your spine to round or arch. Be sure to engage your core to help you maintain proper form.
  • Bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your body all the way down to the ground.
  • Then, retract your shoulder blades (think about trying to hold a pencil in between your shoulders), and simultaneously lift both hands off the ground.
  • Place your hands back on the ground, engage your core, and push your body up, returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds, then move on to elevator push-up.

Elevator Push-Up:

  • In a plank position or with your knees on the floor, lower the chest and torso halfway to the floor; hold for a second.
  • Lower the chest even further down to hover barely off the floor, and hold this for a second.
  • Press up to your plank position again.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds, then move on to dead bug.

Dead Bug:

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended directly above your chest and your palms facing toward your feet. Bend your knees, and bring your legs into tabletop position. This is your starting position.
  • Pull your belly button into your spine to engage your core. Draw your left arm back and down toward the floor alongside your head. At the same time, extend your right knee and hip to lower your right leg toward the floor. Ensure that your arm and leg are lowering at the same speed and that you maintain a neutral spine.
  • Raise your left arm and right leg to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this on the other side, and continue alternating for 40 seconds.
  • Repeat this entire circuit from the top, doing the unilateral moves on the other side before moving to the next circuit.

Plank and Push-Up Series 2: 1 Round

Exercise Name Time
Shoulder Tap to Raise to Kickback 30 seconds
Shoulder Tap to Push-Up 30 seconds
Shoulder Tap to Push-Up to Mountain Climber 30 seconds
Forearm Plank Dip 30 seconds
Forearm Plank Hold 30 seconds

Shoulder Tap to Raise to Kickback:

  • Come to a plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your feet wider than your hips.
  • Lift one hand off the ground, and tap the opposite shoulder. Reach the arm straight up in front of you for a front raise, then slide the arm behind you for a straight-arm triceps kickback. Try not to sway through the hips.
  • Return the hand back to the starting position before repeating this movement — tap, raise, kickback — on the other side.
  • Continue alternating for 30 seconds before moving on to shoulder tap to push-up.

Shoulder Tap to Push-Up:

  • Continuing in your plank position, lift one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder.
  • Repeat a shoulder tap with the other hand. Then, perform a push-up, lowering your torso toward the ground and pressing back up to plank. Alternate which hand starts the shoulder taps.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds before moving on to shoulder tap to push-up to mountain climber if you want (you can also just keep doing the move without the added mountain climber).

Shoulder Tap to Push-Up to Mountain Climber:

  • To add on to the previous move, do two shoulder taps, one on each side, and perform your push-up.
  • Then, drive one knee into the opposite elbow before driving the other knee to the opposite elbow. This is your crossing mountain climber.
  • Then, lower into a push-up again before pressing back up to the starting position and repeating. Alternate which hand starts the shoulder taps.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds before moving on to forearm plank dip.

Forearm Plank Dip:

  • Come down to a forearm plank with your arms parallel and feet hip-width apart.
  • Dip your hips to one side, coming to the edge of your feet. Engage the core to lift your hips up and over to the other side, shifting your feet to the other side as well. Williams described it as drawing a rainbow with your hips.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds before moving on to forearm plank hold.

Forearm Plank Hold:

  • Come into a forearm plank position, resting mainly on your elbows.
  • Engage your core and lower-body to prevent your booty from sticking up.
  • Keep your back flat, and picture your body as a long, straight board or plank.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Move to the cooldown.

Cooldown

Exercise Name Time
Cat Cow 20 seconds
Shoulder Stretch 20 seconds
Seated Twist 20 seconds
Superman Lift and Hold 30 seconds

Cat Cow:

  • Begin on your hands and knees with your back flat and your abs engaged. As you inhale, let your belly soften, arch your back, and lift your head and tailbone. This part of the stretch is called Cow.
  • With an exhale, round your spine up to the ceiling, pull your abs toward your spine, and simultaneously tuck your tailbone in and draw your chin toward your chest. This part is known as Cat.
  • Continue flowing back and forth from Cat to Cow for about 20 seconds.

Shoulder Stretch:

  • Come to a seated position. Extend one arm completely straight across the body and parallel to the ground.
  • Use the opposite hand to draw the arm closer to the body until you feel a stretch in the shoulder.
  • Hold this for 10 seconds, then switch to the other side. Hold for another 10 seconds on the other side.

Seated Twist:

  • Sit cross-legged, sitting up tall. Bring your left hand to the right knee and the right hand behind you.
  • Twist toward the right through the torso, and hold.
  • Switch sides after 10 seconds, and hold for 10 seconds on the other side.

Superman Lift and Hold:

  • Lie on your belly and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
  • Pull your belly button into your spine.
  • Lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor, squeezing your glutes and legs as you do and keeping your arms by your ears. Bring your body back down to the floor.
  • Repeat these lifts for 15 seconds, then hold the Superman position for another 15 seconds.

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