Today I’m sharing an upper body workout that includes cardio bursts to keep your heart rate up. 

I hope everyone’s week is going well. It’s been really smokey here the last week or so, but it’s started to clear out. Yesterday was the first day that I felt good being outside – I was even able to see blue sky instead of smoke! I’m very grateful that the air quality index is back down to normal levels. 

The first exercise in each circuit is cardio. Perform that exercise for 1 minute. Then perform each strength exercise in the circuit for 12 reps. Rest as needed at the end of each circuit. Complete the entire thing 2 to 3 times through for an entire workout.

The only equipment you’ll need is a set or two of dumbbells. I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon. Since you only need dumbbells for this workout, it can be done at the gym or at home. I’ve added descriptions of all the exercises below the graphic just in case you’re unfamiliar with any of them. 

High knees

Starting in a standing position, quickly bring your left knee up in front of you as high as you can. Step back down and repeat with your right leg. Repeat.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands 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.

Bicep curl

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.

Side shuffle

Stand with feet hip width apart and knees bent so you’re slightly squatting. Leading with your left foot, shuffle sideways. Then shuffle to the right with your right food leading. Move as quickly as possible.

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.

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.

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.

Skaters

With your knees slightly bent, jump to the right and land on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you with your foot just off the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground. Pushing off with your right foot, jump to the left and land on your left foot, keeping your right leg bent and right foot off the ground behind you.

Dumbbell bench press

With a pair of dumbbells sit on a bench, and slowly lay down. Bring the dumbbells straight over your shoulders with your arms extended. Slowly bring them down to your torso and then up back to the starting position.

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.

Hammer curls

Similar to regular biceps curls, hammer curls differ only in hand position. Stand with your feet hip width apart with dumbbells in your hands. Position your hands at your sides so that your palms are facing your legs. Keeping your hands in this position the entire time, bend at the elbow and bring the dumbbells up as far as possible. Lower yours hands back down to the starting position. Make sure you keep your spine in a neutral position the entire time.

As always, remember to talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout for you. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it!

Cardio and Upper Body Workout