This will be the first workout in the Workout Wednesday Series. It’s an upper body workout that includes a warm up, strength routine, and stretches. Goodbye T-Rex arms, hello tank tops! These workouts should definitely help out when you don’t have time to plan your routine, just aren’t sure exactly how to plan a routine, or are new to weightlifting. Today’s upper body workout can be done at home or at the gym.
How much time will this workout take?
Warm up approximately 10 minutes
Strength Training about 40 minutes
Foam Rolling and Cool Down around 5 to 10 minutes
What type of equipment will I need?
Dumbbells – when you are picking dumbbells look for something challenge but doable. A good test to perform is a dumbbell shoulder press against the wall. Stand against a wall feet shoulder width apart, keep your shoulders and arms pinned to the wall and do a shoulder press without letting your arms and shoulders leave the wall for the entire set. Complete a set of 12 reps and pick a dumbbell that is challenging but you can finish all 12 reps. To tell if its challenging enough try going to 16 reps. If you are able to go to 16 you need a heavier weight.
The shoulder press is used because most women have a harder time lifting weight above their head, as with the shoulder press than say a chest press. So we pick a dumbbell that won’t be dropped on the head. Seems logical to me 🙂
Medicine Ball or Heavy dumbbell (this will be held with both hands so it needs to be heavy than for a one handed exercise)
Warm ups are just that, they get your body and muscles warm and prepared to do work. Your goal with a warm up should be to get your heart rate up. Spend about 5 to 10 minutes on these warm up exercises. After you get your blood flowing and muscles warmed up spend 3-5 minutes stretching out the muscles you will be using. Today we will be stretching out muscles in our upper body.
Its very important that you don’t over stretch your muscles. A gentle stretch with a 15 to 30 second hold should be all you need to improve your flexibility and lengthen your muscles.
- Knee Taps
- Windmills with kicks
- Jumping jacks
- Walk out to plank
- Lateral stretch x2 per side
- Spinal Extension x3
- Shoulder Stretch x2 per side
- Shoulder Rotations w/stick or band x6
Strength Training Upper Body Workout
- Dumbbell Chest Press on a Mat
- Bent Over Rows
- Dumbbell Flys on a Mat
- Seated Shoulder Press (you can sit back onto a folding chair)
- Push Ups (Floor/incline wall or bench)
- Bicep Curls Against the Wall (shoulders and elbows pinned to wall)
- Tricep Kickbacks with a dumbbell
- Russian Twist/w med ball
- Pull Overs with med ball
- Knees Up Hips Up
3 sets 10- 12 reps for each exercise
How to do the workout.
1 set 30 seconds to 1 minute rest proceed to next set
Alternate between exercises creating a super set. Example 1 set of Dumbbell Chest Press followed immediately by one set of Bent Over Rows then one minute rest.
A note on rest. A lot of us only get to get up and move around during our workout times. If you cannot stand to take a time out and rest in between sets and you feel your body can handle moving straight to the next set go for it! Make sure you can still complete your next set if you are skipping the cool down. Finding yourself unable to perform the exercise if you go with out breaks could very likely mean your muscles are still fatigue and need a slight rest to push weight again. Monitor your results and do what works best for your body.
A cool down brings the body back closer to its pre exercise heart rate and temperature. You are finished with your work now its time to ramp your body back down. For this cool down we have used foam rolling and stretches to cool the body back down from your upper body workout.
Foam Rolling is somewhat like giving yourself a massage. It is an acquired taste and it does take some getting used to because it can be painful for some people. Work up to it adding a few seconds as your body gets used to the pressure.
- Spinal alignment
- Shoulder extension (make large circle around outside of body and try to keep hands in contact with ground as much as possible)
- Forward toe touch/w Twist
With today’s Upper Body Workout you will be showing off your guns in no time! Stay active my friends and if you enjoy this workout make sure you Pin it to your Fitness Boards on Pinterest. Are you new to Strength Training? See why women should be pumping the iron.