Looking for a workout to tone and strengthen your upper body? 2 rounds of this quick, efficient circuit session will leave you tired, sore, and feeling strong.
I’m back with another upper body workout to help you shape and tone your shoulders and arms for the strappy sundresses and colorful tank tops. And, we’re going to do it without a lot of time. That’s a win. Right?
This is perfect for people who need a quick workout session or anyone who likes to do an upper-body/lower-body split schedule. You can add cardio by adding one-minute bursts of cardio—burpees, jump rope, box jumps, and other bodyweight exercises—between the dips and shoulder press, or you can do high-intensity intervals (HIIT) at the end of each circuit. Another option is to complete this workout after your favorite cardio session—a run, bike or swim.
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- dumbbells 8-12 pounds (depending on your fitness level)
- chair or step
- mat (optional)
- Don’t skip the warm-up or cool-down.
- Use proper body alignment and good form.
- Weights and intensity should be based on your fitness level.
- Modify as needed to meet your fitness level by increasing/decreasing weights, reps or rest.
- Gradually increase intensity and/or repetitions based on your progress.
I am a certified personal trainer, but this workout was not created for your specific fitness level. If you’re interested in workouts created for your specific fitness level, individual needs and goals contact me at email@example.com.
Make modifications as needed. Intensity and rest periods should be based on your individual fitness level. See your physician before beginning any exercise program. This web site is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice and supervision of your personal physician.
Front Raise (1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight and shoulders squared over the hips. Hold a pair of dumbbells letting them hang at arm’s length at your sides with your palms facing each other. (2) With the thumb sides of your hands facing up, raise your arms straight in front of you until they’re parallel to the floor (no higher than shoulder level) and perpendicular to your torso. (3) Pause, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the start position. Targets: front deltoid, middle deltoid
Alternating Bicep Curl (1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, or sit on the edge of a chair or weight bench. (2) Hold dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight down and your palms facing forward. (3) Lift the dumbbell in your right hand. Bring it close to your shoulder by bending your elbow, squeezing your biceps. (4) Lower the dumbbell back to the starting while simultaneously and in a fluid non-stop motion, lift the dumbbell in your left hand. Curl the dumbbell on your right and your left for 1 rep. Targets: biceps
Dip (1) Stand with your back to a bench or chair. Bend your legs and place your palm on the front edge of the bench. (2) Position your feet in front of you so that most of your body width is resting on your arms. (3) Keeping your elbows tuck along side your sides, bend your arms and slowly lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. (4) Your hips drop straight down toward the ground. (5) Hold for a beat, then exhale and straighten your arms back up to the starting position. Be careful not to lower your body too far. Do not lean forward or away from the bench. Targets: triceps
Shoulder Press (1) Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand just outside of your shoulders, with your arms bent and your palms facing each other. (2) Set your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. (3) Keeping your core braced press the weights upward directly over your shoulders until your arms are completely straight and elbows locked. (4) Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Targets: front deltoids, middle deltoids, triceps
Bicep Curl with Static Hold (1) Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand letting them hang at arm’s length next to your sides. Turn your arms so that your palms face upward. (2) Raise your left arm so your elbow is bent 90 degrees and hold it there. (3) Without moving our upper arm, bend your right arm and curl the dumbbell as close to your shoulder as you can. (4) Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to start position completely straightening your arm. Complete the prescribed number of reps with your left arm static and repeat with the static hold on the right arm. Targets: biceps
Tricep Kickback (1) Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. (2) Bend over at the waist so your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Bend both elbows so that your upper arm is locked at your side and parallel to the floor. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor. (3) Keeping your upper arm still, straighten your arms behind you until the end of the dumbbell is pointing toward the floor with your palms facing in toward your body. Hold for a beat and inhale, slowly lowering your arms back to the start position. Repeat. Keep your abs tight and your back flat. Do not let your upper arm move during the entire exercise. Targets: triceps
This is one of my favorites → Pike Push-Up (1) Start in a standard push-up position. (2) Walk your feet towards your hands, sticking your buttocks up in the air. This is a pike position. (3) From this position, lower your head and shoulders towards the ground by bending your elbows. Targets: shoulders, anterior medial and posterior deltoids
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