Get Tighter Core and Toned Arms At Home – Includes 11 Workout Illustrations

Beautifully toned arms and a washboard flat stomach are the highlights of any well-built body. However, any of these goals can be quite elusive, not to talk of achieving both…or is it? Let’s take a look at some amazing exercises you can use to target both of these muscle groups.

Can You Exercise Your Core and Arms Together?

Yes, you absolutely can. Many bodyweight exercises involve some variation of the classical plank or push-up which requires you to engage both your core and your arm muscles together. So if you’re thinking about exercising both these muscle groups at the same time you should make plank exercises and push-up variations a key part of your workout routine.

What Is the Fastest Way to Strengthen Your Core and Arms?

As I mentioned above, plank and push-up variations are a great way to build your core and arms. You can also add compound exercises that focus on functional movements. Not only do these build your core and arms, but they’re also great for your posture, and balance, as well as make your routine movements more efficient.

Another important thing to note is that your core and arms are made up of several distinct muscle groups. The abdominals, obliques, transverse muscles, and back muscles make up the core. While the biceps, triceps, and brachialis are the key muscles of the upper arm.

While most exercises involve all these muscles to varying degrees, each of these muscles creates a different type of motion and therefore is best built using different exercises. Therefore, always vary your exercises to make sure that all muscle groups are being exercised effectively.

Can I Get a Tight Core and Toned Arms Without Lifting Weights?

While weight training certainly helps you achieve the results you desire more quickly, it is still quite possible you get a tight core and tone your arms without them. Bodyweight exercises are quite effective and are utilized by even the most advanced fitness enthusiasts.

Exercise equipment like resistance bands and chin-up bars are great too and can help add some challenge to your workout routine. You can also try adding variations such as exercises performed on inclined surfaces or using a medicine ball.

11 Effective Exercises To Tone Your Arms and Build Your Core

Let’s take a look at an amazing workout you can do in under 10 minutes to exercise your core and arms.

1. Walking Plank – 1 set, 30 secs

Walking planks are a great combination exercise for your core and arms. It may be a bit tricky at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

  • Start in a high plank position with your core engaged.
  • Take a step to the right by first placing your right arm and right leg to the side, followed by your left arm and left leg.
  • Repeat this same exercise on the alternate side (left arm and left leg first).
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Tight Core and Arms workout - Walking Plank

2. Bird Dog – 1 set, 30 secs

This is a great exercise for your core, arms, and glutes.

  • Begin on all fours in the tabletop position with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
  • Start by raising your right arm and left leg while keeping your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
  • Perform the exercise with the alternate limbs.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Tight Core and Toned Arms workout  - Bird Dog

3. Side Plank Dips – 1 set, 30 secs on each side

Side plank dips are a great plank variation to add to your routine.

  • Start in a side plank position on your right side with your legs straight and feet stacked on top of each other. Place your right elbow under your right shoulder and raise your hips off the mat so that you’re supporting your weight on your elbow and the side of your right foot.
  • You can place your left arm behind your head, on your hips, or straight up in the air.
  • Drop your hips until they are almost in contact with the ground, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this for 30 seconds, then perform this exercise on the alternate side for another 30 seconds.
Tight Core and Arms workout - Side Plank Dips

4. Russian Twist – 1 set, 30 secs

The Russian twist is a great exercise that takes some skill to master but it’s one of the best exercises for your core and arms.

  • Sit on the floor with your back straight with your legs held together and your knees flexed.
  • Lean back into a 45° angle with the floor by lifting your feet slightly off the ground and placing your weight on the sit bones of your pelvis.
  • Keep your knees flexed, tuck in your chin slightly, and engage your core.
  • In a controlled manner alternatively rotate your upper body to the right and left by touching the side of your heels while keeping your lower body stable.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
abs workouts without weights - Russian Twist

5. Downward Dog Knee Tuck – 1 set, 30 secs on each side

This is another great exercise to engage your core and tone your arms. It was borrowed from a popular yoga position and adds a bit of motion to your workout.

  • Start in the popular downward dog position by getting down on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart and your hips slightly before your knees.
  • Lift your knees off the mat and your hips into the air by extending your legs until your body resembles an upside-down “V” shape.
  • From this position perform a knee tuck by lowering your hips parallel to the ground and bringing one knee forward under you.
  • Alternate this motion between both legs.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Tight Core exercises - Downward Dog Knee Tuck

6. Arm Circles – 1 set, 30 secs

This is a simple but effective isolation exercise to tone your arms.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Perform controlled circling motions with your arms starting with small circles but gradually making the circles bigger.
  • Reverse the direction of the circles every 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Triceps Workouts - Arm Circles
Tight Core and Arms Workout Illustrations

7. Roll Up – 1 set, 30 secs

Roll-ups are an amazing Pilates exercise for your core and can effectively engage your arms too when done properly.

  • Lie with your back flat against the floor and your legs straight with your arms extended fully above your head.
  • In one fluid motion bring your arms straight up over your head while you perform a sit-up by flexing your knees.
  • Reach for your toes while keeping your core engaged.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Tight Core Abs Workouts - Roll Up

8. Body Saw – 1 set, 30 secs

The body saw exercise is great for your core and calves

  • Start in a low plank position with your forearms pointing forwards and about shoulder-width apart.
  • Engage your core and spread your legs slightly.
  • There are several variations to this exercise. You can either create a gentle back and forth rocking motion or step slightly to each side with your toes.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Tight Core Workout - Body Saw

9. Circle Plank – 1 set, 30 secs

The circle plank is a fun variation of the plank which works out the arms and core together.

  • Start in a high plank position.
  • Engage your core.
  • Move in a slightly circular motion by slowly moving your feet and arms.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Abs workouts at home without weights - Circle Plank

10. Up and Down Plank – 1 set, 30 secs

Alternate quickly between a high and low plank to add some intensity to your routine, as well as hit your core and arms simultaneously.

  • Start in a high plank position with your wrists placed shoulder-width apart, your back straight, and your feet hip-width apart.
  • Descend into a low plank position by first placing your right elbow against the floor and then your left elbow.
  • Return to the high plank position and repeat this process starting from the left side.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.
Tight Core workouts at home - Up and Down Plank

11. Reverse Plank – 1 set, 30 secs

This is the last exercise on the list and a great way to end your workout.

  • Start by laying flat on your back with your hands behind your hips.
  • Place your palms flat against the floor and lift your body off the floor until your upper body and lower body form a straight line.
  • Remember to engage your core.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Reverse Plank workout illustration


Despite their elusive nature, a tight core and toned arms are definitely achievable. Just remember the key principles, focus on plank and push-up variations, vary your workout, and always keep your core engaged.

It’s also good to note that it’s hard to see toned arms and a tight core if they are covered by a layer of fat. Remember, the most important part of exercising occurs in the kitchen, not on the gym mat.

Answered FAQs

  • Can I repeat these exercises for a longer workout?

Yes you can repeat these exercises up to 3 times if you enjoy longer workout sessions.

  • Is it possible to tone your arms without them looking bulky?

Absolutely, focus on bodyweight exercises or perform higher reps with light weights.

  • What are the benefits of core training?

Core training is great for your stability, balance, and posture. They also make your abs look great.

  • How can I avoid hurting my back during core training?
    • Start with simple exercises before attempting more complex maneuvers.
    • Pay attention to your form.
    • Stop if the pain becomes unbearable.
    • Speak with your doctor if you have a history of lower back issues before attempting core exercises.

If you enjoy this article and want to watch the step-by-step workout video which has more workouts, please checkout this Core and Arms workout video by Chloe Ting.

Tight Core and Arms Workout infographic
Tight core and arms Workout

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