6-Minute Super Quick Upper Body Blast

Happy Tuesday to you all!  How's your week going so far?  Mine is off to a pretty good start, surprisingly.  I beat the Monday blues by meal prepping for the week (I didn't have to be at work until 8pm), and making my first-ever protein bite recipe which I'm pretty excited about.  (In case you're wondering, I made these S'More Power Balls - yum!)  I've been reading all about protein bites recently (well, actually, more like seeing delicious pictures in the blogosphere and on Pinterest) and they look sooooo tasty.  The ones I made are pretty amazing.  Dessert really.  So once you're done checking out that recipe, going to the store to get the ingredients, and making the addicting little morsels, come back here for a killer upper body workout that you'll have done in 6 minutes flat!  Ready for the fun?  Keep reading!

6-Minute Super Quick Upper Body Blast


6-Minute Super Quick Upper Body Blast

Set your timer for 6 minutes and get through as many rounds of the 5 exercises as possible. Note: you'll need a chair, bench, or other sturdy surface to raise your legs on for the tricep dips.

10 Push Ups - you know these ones.  If you need to after a while, drop to your knees, but keep your spine in one straight line from neck to tailbone.

5 Narrow/Regular/Wide Push Ups - from the push up position you were just in, bring your hands in slightly closer to your ribcage (narrow) and do 1 push up.  Walk your hands out to a regular push up position and do another push up (regular).  Now walk your hands out wider than shoulder-width and do another (wide).  Reverse that pattern to complete 5 push ups total (N/R/W/R/N).

10 Tricep Presses (each side) - lie on your side, with your bottom arm crossed over your chest, and top arm over it with the hand placed on the floor.  Use that arm to push your upper body off the floor.  Do 10 on one arm, then switch for 10 more.

5 Raised-Leg Tricep Dips - find a sturdy chair, couch, box, bench, or what have you, and place your heels on it, keeping your hands on the floor.  Raise your pelvis so your butt is off the floor.  From here, do 5 tricep dips, making sure to bend at the elbow and not hinge at the waist (i.e. this is an arm exercise, not dipping your hips).

5 Sphinx Push Ups - start out in a modified push up position (on your knees), hands directly under your shoulders.  Lower yourself down so your forearms are flat on the floor.  From here, push yourself up again, keeping your hands on the ground and spine aligned.  Do 5 total.

There you have it!  I hope you all are having a great week so far.  This is a pretty exciting week for me and for the blog!  Tomorrow I'll be hosting my first-ever GIVEAWAY!  I received some awesome candles from Aurorae Yoga to review, and they're giving one away to a lucky reader, so stay tuned and make sure to check back tomorrow to enter the raffle!  The second piece of news I have is this Friday, my first syndicated blog post for the BlogHer Publishing Network will go live!!  I'm SUPER excited for that, and will be posting links to it all over the place, so stay tuned for that as well.  As always, have a healthy and happy day ahead, and I look forward to seeing your answers to some questions in the giveaway post tomorrow!

Readers: chat with me!  What upper body exercises do you like to do?  Are you someone who likes to use their own bodyweight for exercises, or do you like to use equipment?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fitness Friday 5/22: Get Your Body Moving

Happy Friday to you all!  We made it through another week.  I hope you're energized for the weekend, especially if yours is a long one.  I'll be working on Memorial Day, but I'm definitely excited for these next few days off!  If you feel like your Friday is dragging on today, try this mini workout you can do anywhere and everywhere you find yourself.  I hope it helps get you through your morning AND your afternoon.  Keep reading for the details!

Fitness Friday mini workout #14


Fitness Friday 5/22

2 x 2 (twice through, two times today)

Slow Bicycles - lie on your back, hands behind your head, elbows out.  With one leg out straight and the other knee bent, bring your opposite elbow to the opposite knee and touch if you can, using your abdominals to raise your shoulder off the floor.  Switch to the opposite side, moving slowly and focusing on engaging your abs the entire time.  Do 20 reps.  Trainer Tip: make sure to keep a light touch of the hand behind your neck.  You don't want to pull on your neck when crunching up. 

Tricep Dips in Table - get into a table top position (supine, feet flat and hands under shoulders, hips raised so the torso is flat like a table).  From here, bend your elbows so your upper body lowers toward the floor.  Do 10 dips.  Trainer Tip: go as far down as you can, but keep in mind that might only be a very little bit.  That's perfectly okay as long as you're feeling it work your tricep muscles.

Standing Leg Sweeps - from standing, take your right leg and sweep it up laterally as close to hip height as you can.  Bring it immediately back down and cross in front of your left leg.  Immediately sweep it back up to the side again, without letting it touch the ground.  Continue that sweeping pattern for 20 reps on one leg before switching to the other.  Trainer Tip: keep your leg as straight as you can and keep your foot turned with toes facing forward as much as possible (i.e. fight the urge to turn your toes outward in the direction of the sweep).

There's your office workout for this Friday!  I hope this helps keep you energized for the long weekend ahead, or at least until happy hour today. :)

What's everyone up to this long weekend?  How do you stay active and healthy over a celebratory holiday like Memorial Day?

12 Days of Fitness Challenge: Day 4 - Tricep Dips

Merry Christmas!!  I hope you're all enjoying the holiday with your family today.  This time of year brings quite a bit of joy into my life and makes me very thankful for the little things.  I'm happy to be able to share it with you all and I encourage you to share some things you are thankful for this year!

Now, onto today's challenge!  If you didn't catch on yet, we've been cycling through body parts every day so far and today's focus brings us back to our arms.  Today I want you to focus on your triceps.  The tricep dip is a great exercise that really targets that muscle in the back of your arm.  Grab a sturdy chair and some floor space and let's get started!

  • Start facing away from the chair with your hands on the edges, legs extended out in front of you (pictured below, A).  Be sure you're far enough out that your back doesn't scrape against the chair. 
  • Lower yourself down as far as you can.  Try not to go past a 90 degree angle in the elbow (pictured below, B). 
  • Push yourself back up to starting position.
  • Repeat this for as many reps as you can.

Here are some variations to try - some easier, and some a bit more challenging if you need it:

  • Option 1: less challenging - instead of keeping your legs straight and heels on the ground (as shown above), try bending your knees to a 90 degree angle and keeping your feet flat.  This decreases the lever arm that you're working with when dipping, which makes the exercise easier.  Not to mention keeping your feet flat provides more stability.
  • Option 2: slightly more challenging - Try the same position as pictured above (legs out straight), but lift one leg in the air, keeping it as straight as you can.  If you do this approach, try to alternate legs after 5 or 10 reps to keep it even on both sides.
  • Option 3: more challenging - if you still need a challenge, try elevating both feet off the floor using another chair, a sturdy box, a stability ball if you have one, etc.  (Be careful in the stability ball though as it tends to roll around.  Catch your balance first, and then dip.)

Just like the last few days, do this two times throughout today.  Sitting around the living room chatting?  Grab a chair and get started!  Opening presents around the tree?  That's a great time to get them in!  Sitting around a fire telling stories and catching up with extended family?  Get them involved, too!  Good luck and please check back in with your progress!  I'm excited to hear how you're doing!  For all of you who are signed up for the challenge, check your inboxes a little bit later for another mini challenge for today to get you AND your family up and about!  Merry Christmas!