Upper-Body Strength Builder Workout: New Year’s Challenge – Day 17

You won’t need any equipment for today’s upper-body workout—but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. For Day 17 of the New Year’s Challenge, the workout, created by certified trainer Alyssa Exposito, is all about using your own bodyweight to build strength throughout your upper body (oh, and we snuck in some core work, too!).

Here’s the deal: Your first move is a bit of a combo. Previously, you’ve done a walk-out to shoulder tap. This time, you’ll walk out the same way, but instead of doing a shoulder tap, you’ll do a push-up. You can do a classic push-up, or gently lower to your knees and do a modified push-up. If you’re familiar with rainbow planks and looking to switch them up, try this. Often when doing rainbow planks, we’re told to rock our hips back and forth, moving in one fluid motion. This time, try doing the rainbow plank as three separate movements: right side, center, left side. Stop and hold each position for a full breath. Force yourself to slow down and do a quick mental body scan of your form in each position.

Don’t skip your warm-up before you get started below! That’s especially important if you’re doing these workouts first thing in the morning when your body might feel a little stiff or cold. You should also always take time to do a cool-down—even if it’s just a few quick stretches. Tomorrow is a rest day, so give this one your all!

Katie Thompson/Morgan Johnson

The Workout

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the moves you’ll do.

Directions

Directions: Do each exercise for 45 seconds, resting 15 seconds between exercises. At the end of each round, rest 60-90 seconds.
Beginners: Do 2-3 rounds
Advanced: Do 3-5 rounds


Walk-Out to Push-Up

x 45 seconds

Katie Thompson
Katie Thompson
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and core engaged. Hinge forward at the hip and place both hands on the floor.
  • Keeping core engaged and legs straight, walk hands forward one at a time to come into a high plank position.
  • From here, do a push-up. Bend both elbows, and lower chest, hips, and legs toward the floor in a single movement. Keep core engaged so hips don’t sag and stop when your elbows reach 90-degrees. Straighten arms to return to the high plank position, then walk hands back to your feet, and stand to complete the exercise.
  • Make it easier: You can do a modified push-up from your knees. Walk out to come into a high plank position, then gently lower both knees to the floor. With your core tight and hips level, bend both elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Keep both your feet on the floor throughout (do not bend your knees or bring your toes toward your butt). Straighten arms to return to starting position.

Body Saw

x 45 seconds

Katie Thompson
  • Start in low plank position with hips level and core engaged.
  • With your core engaged and back straight, rock forward, coming up onto the tips of your toes, so your shoulders and collarbones extend in front of your elbows.
  • Now rock back, rolling onto the balls of your feet, and allowing your shoulders to come behind your elbows.
  • Continue to rock forward and back, keeping your core engaged throughout.

Up-Down Plank

x 45 seconds

Katie Thompson
  • From a high plank position, with core engaged and hips level, slowly lower onto your right forearm, being careful to keep hips steady.
  • Now, lower on to your left forearm, so that you arrive in a forearm plank position.
  • Maintain an engaged core, pressing shoulder blades down your back and keeping a relaxed gaze at fingertips to ensure there’s no tension in your neck.
  • Now, place right hand on floor directly under your shoulders, then left hand, and push up to return to a high plank position.
  • The next time, start by lowering onto your left forearm first. Continue to alternate.

Top image: Photographer: Catherine Servel at Brydges Mackinney. Hair: Tetsuya Yamakata at ArtList. Makeup: Seong Hee at Julian Watson Agency. Manicure: Julie Kandalec at Bryan Bantry. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Model Mia Kang is wearing Norma Kamali Spliced One-Shoulder Mio swimsuit, $185, normakamali.com; Nike compression sleeve, similar styles at nike.com.

Workout images and gifs: Photographer: Katie Thompson. Hair: Jerome Cultrera at L’ Atelier. Makeup: Deanna Melluso at See Management. Stylist: Sara Van Pée at Quadriga. Workout images: Fabletics top, similar styles fabletics.com; Alala Score Seamless Tight, $54, alalastyle.com; Women’s Techloom Pro Grey, $140, athleticpropulsionlabs.com. Gifs: Alala Surf Bra, $85, alalastyle.com; Carbon38 High Waisted Takara Legging, $109, carbon38.com; APL Women’s Techloom Breeze, $200, athleticpropulsionlabs.com.