The Roxanne Workout: How To Do it. Why it Tones Arms Fast

Sharing is caring!

Helen Foster
Follow me
Latest posts by Helen Foster (see all)

Remember a few weeks ago I told you I’d joined a new gym and that, because each time I went I got my own trainer, I really didn’t know what they were going to make me do each session…..well, it’s all still going well and yes, they are still surprising me. In fact, the other day they surprised me with an idea so fun I managed to squeak out ‘well this is a blog post’ between the pain. It’s called the Roxanne Workout.

Smiling girl holding a dumbell

What is a One Song Workout?

A One Song Workout is basically where you do a workout for the length of a song.

In a traditional One Song Workout you follow a set series of moves for the entirety of the song – so you might decide to do an arm workout to Mr Brightside and mix up moves like 20 bicep curls, 10 tricep dips, 15 push-ups, 15 diamond push-ups and 10 shoulder raises repeated as many times as it takes Brandon Flowers to do his thing.

Or, you could do a whole body workout and throw in some sit-ups, planks, squats, lunges, walls sits in the mix.

The choice really is up to you how you use your song – the main point is that you get moving and keep moving for the whole 2-4 minutes that the music plays.

However, there are also some structured one song workouts like the Roxanne Workout, that rather than letting you freestyle your way through the music see you working in a specific way to the song…

What is the Roxanne Workout?

The idea is mind-blowingly simple and can be done anywhere, you don’t have to be in the gym – all you have to do is download the Police song Roxanne and grab some dumbbells. Then follow this simple set of instructions

Lie on the floor, take a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms out to the sides, elbows slightly bent so your hands make a wide-angled V – well actually it looks more like a tick, but I can’t find that on my keyboard.

Turn your palms so the weights face toward your feet.

Now, as the song starts, lift your upper arms and elbows off the floor just a little bit and hold them there while Sting does his thing.

Keep doing that until you hear him sing the word ‘Roxanne’ – at this point, and every time he does the same, you bring your palms in toward your head stopping when they are roughly shoulder-width apart then push the dumbbells straight up toward the ceiling and back down – as if you were on the chest press machine but while lying on the floor.

Do this every time Sting says Roxanne – and in between return your arms to that ticky, slightly off the floor, palms to your feet position and hold.

At first you think this is easy – but after the second chorus when you realise that you’ve got to hold your arms still with weights in them, you’re desperate for Mr Save The Rainforest Tantric Sex Guru to get to the Roxanne bit.

And the verse where you think there’s a Roxanne coming – but he says something else instead makes you want to scream as you realise you can’t release the lactic acid just yet (although frankly everyone in the room the day I did it lifted it up anyway).

if you have no idea what the song I’m talking about sounds like, here it is for your listening pleasure.

Why Does the Roxanne Workout Work?

If you’re used to lifting weights up and down to get results, the idea of holding them still for most of the workout song might seem a bit weird, but the Roxanne exercise combines the effects of normal resistance training with something called isometric exercise.

Isometric exercise are moves where you’re working a muscle but in a static position. Planks are a really good example of an isometric move – and you probably know how effective they can be at creating a strong core.

Isometric moves don’t build muscle as effectively as exercises that extend and contract the muscle, but they do work it – and, as you discover as you try and stay in place during Roxanne – they can be tough.

Now, there’s one thing you have to remember when doing isometric moves – keep breathing. It can be tempting to hold your breath, but not only does this make your workout harder isometric holds can also increase blood pressure and holding your breath increases the risk of that – so, keep breathing regularly.

How to Adapt the Roxanne Workout

I used Roxanne as a one-song arm workout but you can swap things around and use it as a way to work your body in other ways too.

Push-Ups and Planks: Get yourself in a plank position and hold it. When you hear Roxanne, do a push-up.

Squats: Get into a wall sit position – that’s where you stand with your back against the wall and lower as if you were about to sit on a chair – then hold it. Keep holding it, until you hear Roxanne, then do 3-4 squats.

Cardio: In the CrossFit world, the Roxanne Challenge has been turned into a cardio challenge where you have to do a burpee every time Sting sings Roxanne. The Roxanne burpee challenge exhausting…admittedly you do have to find something to do in between the choruses at first – maybe just dance about a bit. But trust me, it’ll get harder.

I loved the Rozanne workout – it also reminded me of another killer song workout challenge I mentioned on here from personal trainer Stuart Amory that sees you mixing up moves to the Moby song Flowers – you’ll find that in this post on fun ways to workout at home which also includes a couple of other fun challenges and interesting ways to work out without leaving the house.

I know there are a lot of other one song workouts out there. So I have to ask – what other ones have you tried? .

Main image:

Who is The Wellness Nerd?

My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.

Leave a Comment