I’m going to share an upper body circuit workout today, but I thought that I’d first give you a recap of my long weekend so far.

Friday night I was ready for some time alone so I stayed in and watched an episode of Dateline while drinking a Fruli strawberry beer. I love them, but I haven’t had one in awhile so it tasted extra good. I ended up getting into bed early and sleep really well for the first time in a week. It felt so good!

Saturday morning I went to the farmer’s market with my dad. Since the Symon’s Valley Farmer’s Market burnt down, we went to another one to check out some vendors who have multiple locations. It was nice to see some of the owners of stalls that I haven’t seen in awhile, though I think they were all a little more somber than usual, and understandably so. I was able to stock up on some mild chicken curry, which I like to take to school with me for lunches. We also picked up some vegetables and half a dozen Montreal bagels.

Sunday morning was pretty low key. Before I knew it, it was time to leave for volunteering. Since we do soccer drills and then a short game afterwards, it felt really good to add some movement to my weekend. As usual it was a lot of fun. I then headed over to my boyfriend’s place for dinner. We heated up a pepperoni pizza that turned out to be pretty tasty.

Since today is a holiday here in Canada my plan is to get some behind the scenes blogging stuff done that I’ve been putting off, doing some studying for my NASM exam, and working on my business plan for when I graduate in a few months. It’s hard to believe that I’m almost done school!

Today’s workout is all about the upper body. You’ll need a medicine ball, a pair of dumbbells, and a bench for this workout. The workout is broken down into three circuits, with 90 seconds of cardio in between. Once you’ve done the three exercises in the first circuit, do your choice of cardio for 90 seconds (this could be anything from mountain climbers to high knees, it’s up to you). Then move onto the next circuit. Once you’ve completed all three complete the workout an additional 2 more times through. Rest as needed throughout the workout to make sure your form stays good. I’ve listed descriptions of all the exercises below in case you’re unfamiliar with anything.

Upper Body and Cardio Workout

Medicine ball slams // With your feet shoulder width apart and a medicine ball in your hands, lift it over your head and slam it into the ground just in front of your feet. Pick it up quickly and repeat.

Front shoulder raises // With a dumbbell in each hand, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly lift your hands in front of you so that they’re at shoulder height, with a micro bend in your elbows. Slowly lower your hands back to your sides.

Push ups // Starting on your toes and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your heels to your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line. An easier modification is instead of being on your toes, lower to your knees.

Tricep kickbacks // With a dumbbell in each hand, flex at the ankles, knees, and hips so that your torso is leaning forward slightly. Bring your arms close to your body with your elbows back slightly. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your  entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.

Bench press // With a pair of dumbbells, lay back on a bench with your feet on the floor and your hips, shoulders, and back of your head pressing into the bench. Lift the dumbbells straight up so there’s only a micro bend at the elbow. Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest before pushing them back up again. The dumbbells should cone down to your chest, not your shoulders.

Bent over rows // With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing each other) bend forward slightly at the hips so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, letting your arms hang straight down and keeping your back in a neutral position. Bring both dumbbells up towards your armpits while contracting your shoulder blades towards each other (kind of like pinching your shoulder blades together). Move dumbbells back towards starting position.

Bicep curls // Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Chest flyes // With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on a bench or the floor with your elbows slightly bent. Move the dumbbells in a semi circular motion above you until they meet directly above your chest. Return to the starting position by moving the dumbbells with control so that your arms are extended again.

Lateral shoulder raises // With your arms down at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your hands away from your body to the side, keeping your arm straight at the elbow. Once your hands reach shoulder level, slowly lower them back down to your sides.

As always, you can find more workouts on my Workouts page.

Check with your doctor before beginning to workout. As always, listen to your body and modify as needed. 

What’s your favorite upper body exercise? 

Upper Body and Cardio Circuit Workout