Happy Wednesday! As usual for Wednesdays around here, I’m sharing a new workout. This one is an upper body workout using weights, focusing on the back, shoulders, and arms.

This upper body workout contains 7 upper body strength training exercises. Do each one for 12 reps before moving onto the next exercise. Once you reach the last exercise, the push ups, rest as needed before completing the circuit again. Complete 3 more times for a total of 4 times through for a complete workout. I’ve shared descriptions of all the exercises below the graphic in case you’re unfamiliar with any of them or need a refresher.

I didn’t specify any weight to use. Because it will be different for everyone, I want you to use the weight that will challenge you, but still allow you to complete all reps with proper form. That means that the last rep or two should be hard, but not so hard that your form breaks down.

Not feeling an upper body workout today? Check out the rest of my workouts on my workouts page.

Upper Body Workout

Dumbbell chest press

With a dumbbell in each hand, lay down on a bench or the floor. Your upper arm should be at a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly over your elbows. Move the dumbbells up while they come above your chest. With control move them back down to the starting position.

Bent over row

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.

Lateral raise

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.

Tricep kickback

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.

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.

Front shoulder raise

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.

What’s your favorite upper body exercise?

As always, talk to your doctor before working out. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you. 

Upper Body Workout