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!

Back & Biceps Dumbbell Superset Workout

Happy Wednesday to you all!  I've been trying to structure more workouts into my blog posts recently, specifically ones that use more equipment since a lot of my workout posts have been bodyweight-only.  I also want to give you a glimpse into what I teach!  I make all of the routines I use during my classes (and use myself!), and last night's class was a back & biceps strength training session.  The ladies did amazing, so I thought I'd share a few of the exercises we did, put together as a superset workout for you here.  All you'll need is a set of medium to heavy dumbbells - I'd recommend somewhere in the 10-15lb range.

Back & Biceps Dumbbell Superset Workout

Back & Biceps Dumbbell Superset Workout

Equipment needed: 10-15lb dumbbells and some floor space
4 supersets, 3 times through

Superset 1: 

15 Regular Push Ups - you know these.  Just keep those hands planted under your shoulders and abs engaged to keep the spine aligned.  Do 15.

15 Lawnmowers (each side) - hold a single dumbbell in your left hand.  Keep your body in a lunge-like position with your left leg straight back behind you and right knee bent.  Rest the right elbow on your right knee, and hold the weight straight down so it's touching the floor.  From here, bring that weight up across your chest, turning your torso slightly to the left as the weight comes up, as if you're starting a lawnmower.  Bring the weight back down to the ground.  That's 1 rep.  Continue for 15 reps on one side, then switch.

Superset 2:

15 Slow-Up Fast-Down Curls -  just like they sound, you're doing full bicep curls but bring the arms up slowly and down fast.  I'd recommend counting to a beat of 4 on the way up.  So, up, 2, 3, 4, down.  Be careful when you go down to not just drop your arms as fast as you can.  That movement should still be controlled, and leave a bit of a bend in the elbows at the bottom.  Complete 15 curls.

15 Wide Hammer Curls - stand with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing away from you, elbows at your sides by your ribs.  From here, curl your arms up laterally, so you're bringing the weights up and out to the side, keeping your palms facing away from you.  Do 15 curls.

Superset 3:

15 Push Ups to Plank Rows - in a plank position with a weight in each hand (or near it), do 1 push up.  At the top of the push up, alternate rows on each arm while your body is in a plank (pull the weight straight up to your armpit).  Go back into another push up, and then another set of rows.  Each push up/2 row combo = 1 rep.  Do 15 reps.

15 Bent Over Wide Arm Rows - grab your dumbbells in a standing position, hinge at the waist, keeping your spine flat (i.e. no curvature either way), knees slightly bent, and arms hanging down straight with palms facing you.  From here, quickly lift the dumbbells so your upper arm is parallel to your body, and your shoulder blades come together.  Do 15 reps quickly.

Superset 4:

15 Fast-Up Slow-Down Curls - these are the opposite of the curls in Superset 2.  Bring them up fast, and down slow (on a 4-count).  Really concentrate on lowering the weight slowly and controlled.  Do 15 curls.

15 Concentration Curls - find a chair or bench to sit on while you do these (or if one isn't available, get into a kneeling position on one leg).  Starting on the right side, hold the dumbbell in your right hand, resting your right elbow on the inside of your right knee.  Form here, do 15 bicep curls, concentrating on using only your biceps muscle to move the weight.  Do 15 reps on the right, then switch to the left.

Remember to repeat these supersets 2 more times through for the complete workout!  Hope you are all having a great day so far, and stay tuned TOMORROW for the announcement of the Aurorae Aromatherapy Candle winner!!  Can't wait to see who it is! 

Readers: chat with me!  What are some of your favorite upper body exercises using dumbbells?  Do you ever do superset workouts in your fitness routine or classes?  How do you like them?