Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Superset Workout

Today's workout is part of one I taught at my first Muscle Up class a week ago at Free Style Fitness & Yoga Center.  That class was an hour long, but this portion of the class had people sweating and working hard right from the beginning.  It's only 12 minutes (no breaks) with each exercise done for 1 minute.  You'll alternate between supersets of bodyweight and dumbbell exercises.  Ready to get movin'?

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Superset Workout

Chest, Shoulders & Triceps Superset Workout

What You'll Need: a set of 10-15 lb dumbbells and a timer. 
What You'll Do: alternate between bodyweight exercises and dumbbell exercises, each lasting 1 minute (or in some cases, 30 seconds on each side).  Try not to rest between exercises.  Let's get to it!

Pair 1:

Wide/Regular/Narrow Push Ups (bodyweight) - start in a push up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.  Do 1 push up.  Now bring your hands in slightly closer together, and do 1 regular push up.  Then bring your hands even closer together and keeping your elbows by your ribs, do 1 push up.  Keep the pattern going (wide, regular, narrow, regular, wide) for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: you can drop down to your knees at any point here, just remember to keep your hips down and think about lowering your chest to the floor.

Plank Rows w/ Opposite Hand Grab (1 dumbbell) - get into a high plank (push up position) with 1 dumbbell on the outside of your right hand.  Maintaining the plank position throughout, reach over with your left hand to grab the dumbbell and bring it to the left side.  Do 1 row on the left side.  Place the weight back on the floor, place your left hand on the inside of the weight, and repeat the motion on the other side, reaching over with your right hand this time.  Keep alternating opposite hand grab + row for 1 minute.

Pair 2:

Table Top Tricep Dips w/ Toe Touch (bodyweight) - start in a table top position with your heels dug into the ground, pelvis raised, hands under shoulders with fingers pointing towards feet.  From here do 1 tricep dip.  Once you push back up, raise the opposite leg and opposite arm to meet in the middle and touch your toes.  Place them back down on the floor.  Immediately do another tricep dip, and toe touch on the other side.  Keep alternating tricep dip + toe touch for 1 minute.

Kneeling Tricep Extensions (1 dumbbell) - start in an all 4's position with one dumbbell in your right hand.  Lift your arm up so your upper arm is parallel with your body, elbow bent holding the weight.  From here, keeping the upper part of your arm stationary, extend the weight back so your arm is straight, squeezing your tricep muscle at the top of the movement.  Bend your elbow again bringing the weight near your shoulder, but keeping that upper arm in the same position.  Keep going for 30 seconds on the right arm, then switch for 30 seconds on the left.

Pair 3:

Pike Knee Touch to Plank Reach (bodyweight) - start in a high plank position.  Slowly go back into a pike position reaching your right hand toward your left knee.  From here, in one smooth motion without letting that hand touch the floor, lower back down into a plank and reach that same arm out in front of you.  Keep alternating pike knee touch + plank reach with your right arm for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Supine Chest Flyes (dumbbells) - grab both dumbbells and lay down on your back, arms out in a "T" position holding the weights, knees bent with feet flat and pelvis raised.  From here, keep your arms straight and bring the weights up to meet in the middle over your chest.  Lower them back down (slowly!) to just above the floor and repeat that motion.  Keep it going for 1 minute.

Pair 4:

Side-Lying Tricep Push Ups (bodyweight) - lie on your right side, with your right arm crossed over your chest, and left arm over it with that hand placed on the floor near your shoulder.  Use your left arm to push your upper body up off the floor.  Try to get that arm as straight as you can (pushing all the way up).  Go for 30 seconds on the left arm, then switch for 30 seconds on the right arm.

Switch Grip Tricep Kickbacks (dumbbells) - stand up with a slight bend in your knees, hips hinged slightly forward, chest up.  Start by holding the weights with your palms facing forward and raise your behind you keeping them straight and squeezing your triceps.  Lower them back down slowly, and switch your grip by turning your hands so your palms now face behind you.  Do the same movement, raising your arms straight back behind you.  Alternate switching your grip after every raise and continue for 1 minute.

Pair 5:

Push Up to Alternating Side Plank (bodyweight) - start in a push up position and do 1 push up.  Immediately turn into a side plank on your left side and extend your right arm up.  Hold for 1 second, then return to push up position.  Do another push up and rotate onto your right side.  Keep alternating push up + side plank hold for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: if the regular push up is too much, lower to your knees.  If you want more of a challenge, raise the top leg in your side plank.

Weight Swings (1 dumbbell) - just like kettlebell swings, but with a dumbbell.  Squat down swinging the dumbbell underneath you, keeping your chest up and gaze forward.  When you come up out of the squat, swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height (no higher).  Keep swinging quickly for 1 minute.

Pair 6:

Alternating Superman Arm Holds (bodyweight) - lie down on your stomach with your legs and arms extended out straight.  Lift your legs up off the ground and hold them in that position.  Your arms start out straight, raised off the ground with your hands pressing into each other.  Hold this position for 10 seconds.  Now keep your legs in the same position, and bring your arms behind your back, pressing your palms together and keeping your arms straight.  Hold that position for 10 seconds.  Keep alternating pressing your arms in front of you, then behind your back, for 1 minute.

Alternating Supine Chest Flyes w/ Leg Extension (dumbbells) - start on your back, knees bent to 90˚, arms raised straight above you holding the weights with palms facing each other.  Your arms are going to alternate single arm chest flyes.  So one arm stays up above you while the other lowers to the side and back up.  Keep the chest flyes going and every 15 seconds, you'll alternate holding your legs at 90˚, then out straight hovering over the floor, then back up to a 90˚ angle, then back out straight.  Keep going for 1 minute.

Whew!  Take a break and relax now - you're done with your upper body workout for the day. :)

Readers: chat with me!  What are your favorite exercises to work the chest, shoulders & tris?  Do you prefer bodyweight, dumbbells, or cable machines, or maybe a mix of all three?  How about supersets - do you use that style of strength training in your fitness routine?

Fitness Friday 5/8: Get A Move On!

Happy Friday to you all!  I hope you had a good week and are enjoying the warmer weather!  It makes such a difference in your outlook for the day, doesn't it?  As you know, these Fitness Friday posts are designed for you office workers who want to get up and active throughout your workday.  That's something else that can help with positive outlooks - activity!  Let's get the blood pumping and muscles warm... who's ready?


Fitness Friday 5/8

2 x 3 (2 rounds, 3x today)

Lunge Pulses - just like it sounds, get into a lunge position and pulse your legs up and down for 5 reps.  Then switch legs and repeat.  Do this for 30 pulses total (3 sets of 5 on each leg).

Low Plank + Leg Lifts - you're in a low plank on your forearms, elbows under your shoulders, core engaged.  From here, lift one leg up off the floor, keeping your leg as straight as you can.  Repeat the lifts for 10 reps on one leg, then switch to the other, maintaining a plank position the whole time.  Trainer Tip: if your shoulders are giving you trouble, drop down to your knees.

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 20 reps, pausing in the center before going to the other side.  Remember to keep your abs engaged the whole time. 

There you have it!  I hope you're getting your workout in for the day, wherever you find yourself!

Readers: chat with me!  How'd that mini workout go for you?  Did you get anyone in your office to join?  Up to anything fun this weekend?