Bodyweight + Dumbbell Upper Body Superset Workout

Happy middle of the week!  How's it been going for you?  Mine has been good so far.  I taught a pretty awesome strength training class last night and we focused on our chest, shoulders, and triceps.  I tried to incorporate a few supersets into the routine, and wanted to give you a peek into what we did!  This one's a killer so don't be surprised if your arms feel like jello after. :)  All you'll need is a set of 8-10 lb dumbbells and some floorspace.  Ready to work your arms??

Bodyweight + Dumbbell Upper Body Superset Workout

Bodyweight + Dumbbell Upper Body Superset Workout

5 Supersets, 3 rounds total
The first exercise in each superset is a bodyweight exercise.  The second exercises require dumbbells.  I'd recommend 8-10 lbs, but adjust as you need to.

Superset 1:

15 Wide Arm Push Ups - hands should be wider than shoulder width here.  Remember to keep your spine aligned throughout the entire movement.  If you can, try to stay on your toes, but there's nothing wrong with dropping to your knees if you need to (especially in your third round).

20 Chest Flys - lie on the ground, knees bent, and arms straight out to the side as if your body forms a T.  Keeping your arms as straight as you can, raise the dumbbells up so they come together above you.  Lower them back down to start.  Work slowly here, especially on the way down - try not to let your arms just fall.

Superset 2:

1 Minute Plank Jacks - get into a high plank on your hands and hop your feet out and in as if you're doing jumping jacks.  Continue as quickly as you can for 1 minute.

30 Shoulder Presses - stand up holding your dumbbells, arms in a goalpost stance.  Press the weights up above you and lower them back down only to shoulder height.  That's the key here - your arms should stop lowering at shoulder level.

Superset 3:

20 Tricep Push Ups (each side) - lie on your side, with your bottom arm crossed over your chest, and top arm over it with that hand placed on the floor.  Use that arm to push your upper body off the floor.  Do 20 on one arm, then switch.

20 Tricep Extensions (each side) - start in an all-4's position with one arm raised by your side holding the dumbbell.  Keeping your upper arm stationary, extend from the elbow out so your entire arm is parallel to your body.  Bend at the elbow to bring your arm back to start.  Do 20 reps on one side, then switch.

Superset 4:

20 Alternating Step Out Push Ups - start in a regular push up position and step your right arm out to the side (wider than shoulder width) and do a push up.  Return to start and immediately step the left arm out.  Do another push up.  Keep alternating steps + push ups for 20 reps (10 each side).  Trainer Tip: this is challenging from a regular on-your-toes push up position, so if you need to, drop to your knees.  Just remember to keep your spine in a straight line when you do so (i.e. no butts in the air when you're down in a push up!).

20 Push Ups to Single Arm Rows - get into a push up position holding the dumbbells in each hand.  Do 1 push up, then immediately pull the right dumbbell up toward your armpit.  Lower it back down, do another push up, and repeat the pull (row) on the opposite side.  Keep alternating push ups + rows for 20 total (10 rows on each arm).  Trainer Tip: concentrate on keeping your hips and torso parallel to the floor as much as possible.  The tendency is to twist your body as you pull the dumbbell up, so try to maintain a neutral position here.

Superset 5:

15 Straight Leg Tricep Dips - prop yourself up on your hands facing upward, legs extended out straight.  Dip yourself down using your arms (bending at the elbow) so your butt touches the floor.  Raise yourself back up to start.  Continue the dips for 15 reps.

30 Prone Tricep Raises - lie on your stomach, holding 1 dumbbell with both hands behind your back.  Moving only your arms, raise it up as high as you can.  Lower it back down to start.  Keep going for 30 raises total. 

Remember to do 2 more rounds to complete this workout!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you have a favorite upper body exercise?  Do you incorporate supersets into your classes or workouts?  What's everyone up to today?  Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

12-Minute No Rest Bodyweight Ab Workout

Hey guys!  How's your week going so far?  I realized I haven't posted a true workout in quite some time, so let's change that!  I taught an abs & core strengthening class last night and I think it went pretty well - we were all sweating, working, and having fun.  So today I thought I'd give you a glimpse into a few exercises we did, and make it easy for you to do this anywhere you find yourself today since it doesn't involve any equipment.  (Hint: it's perfect to save for a beach day when you want a little extra 'pop' to the core muscles!)

12-Minute No Rest Bodyweight Ab Workout

12-Minute No Rest Bodyweight Ab Workout

Set your timer for 12 minutes, and do each exercise for 1 minute.  Try not to rest between exercises or between circuits.  Let's get those abs fired up!

Circuit 1:

Plank to Pike - start in a high plank, keeping your shoulders in line with your wrists, abs engaged and spine aligned.  Hold this position for 15 seconds, then go into a pike position, arms & legs straight, like an inverted V.  Hold this for 15 seconds.  Keep alternating holds every 15 seconds for 1 minute total.

Supine Knee Press & Hold - lie on your back, knees bent at 90˚ and feet up, hands placed on knees.  Press your hands and knees together maintaining their position, engaging your abs the entire time (hands and knees shouldn't move).  Hold this press for 1 minute.

Boat Pose - like a V-up, except your hands reach straight out in front of you.  Your body should form a V by keeping your legs straight and spine aligned - don't round out your back!  (You should essentially be balancing on your butt/tailbone.)  Hold this position for 1 minute.

Supine Outer Knee Presses - get in the same position as the knee press & hold.  This time put your hands together (fingers unclasped), arms straight.  Reach to the side of your left knee and press the back of your right hand against your outer knee (and knee against hand).  Hold that press for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.  Alternate presses every 15 seconds for 1 minute total.

Circuit 2:

Plank Hip Touches to Floor - Get into a low plank position (on your elbows), and twist your hips to one side while lowering them to the floor.  Keep your abs engaged and legs as straight as you can throughout.  Return to start and immediately twist to the opposite side.  Keep alternating sides for 1 minute.

Alternating Diagonal Plank Jumps - start in a regular high plank and jump your feet to your hands diagonally - so, jumping to the left side first, then back out into a plank, and then over to the right side.  Make sure to bring your feet as close to your hands as possible.  Alternate quickly for 1 minute.

Oblique Crunches (Right & Left) - lay on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Extend back down to start.  That's one rep.  If you want to make it easier, only crunch up using one leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

Circuit 3:

5 In & Outs + 5 V-ups - sit down on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground, chest up.  Bring your knees to your chest, keeping your hands planted.  Do 5 reps, then immediately go into 5 V-ups, trying to get your hands to your feet.  Keep alternating 5 & 5 for 1 minute. Trainer Tip: If you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and extend them overhead for the in & outs, and keep them off the floor for the V-ups.

Side Plank Hip Dips (Right & Left) - start out in a side plank, either on your elbow (easier) or up on your hand (harder).  From this position, dip your hips down, keeping your feet stacked and shoulder over your wrist/elbow.  Now raise your hips up to slightly higher than starting position. Continue the dips on the right side for 1 minute, then immediately switch to the left side for 1 minute.

Supine Heel Touches - lie on your back, legs bent and feet flat on the floor, arms at your sides. Lift your upper body slightly off the floor to engage the abs, and "sweep" to one side so your hand touches your heel.  That's 1 rep.  Go back to center, and "sweep" to the other side for rep 2.  Go back to center.  Repeat that "sweeping" motion for 1 minute and remember to keep your abs engaged the whole time. 

Good luck with this one and let me know how it goes!  And, a quick teaser for any of you following along lately, there are going to be some awesome giveaways and raffle prizes coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for those here!  Aaaand just because this is hilarious:

Hump Day Quotes

Readers: chat with me!  Do you love ab exercises?  What are some of your favorites?  How are you spending your Wednesday staying active?  I'd love to hear from you!