Today I’m sharing a new upper body gym workout. It’s perfect for those days when you don’t already have a plan for your workout.

Before I get to the upper body workout that I’ll be sharing with you today I wanted to share the cardio workout that I did at the gym this morning.

I spent 25 minutes on the elliptical doing some steady state cardio. For my cool down I walked the track for another 10 minutes. My knee actually felt really good today so I’m hopeful that it’s starting to get better. Apparently the lower intensity and icing has been helping.

This morning at about 5 am we had a huge thunderstorm roll through. The wind and rain woke me up and then the thunder and lightning started not long after. I tried to fall back asleep, but of course I couldn’t.

The storm was all everyone at the gym was talking about this morning. Even though I always have my ear buds in at the gym, I can hear snippets of conversations and that’s what people on the ellipticals on either side of me were talking about. The consensus was that it was a bit weird to have it happen so early in the morning when they typically happen in the evenings.

Today’s upper body strength workout is one that’s been designed for the gym because you’ll need a row machine and a lat pulldown machine. You’ll do each exercise for 12 reps and 4 sets, resting for 90 seconds between sets. I know it can sometimes be tempting to skip the rest times or shorten them, but they’re just as important as the reps and sets.

As usual I didn’t list any weights to use because that’s such an individual thing. Choose a weight that challenges you, but you can still do the last rep of the last set with perfect form. If you can’t, move down to a smaller weight. There’s absolutely no shame in that. Proper form should be your top priority with any workout. Injuries just aren’t worth it.

For more workouts check out my workouts page. They’re all listed by category so finding exactly the workout that you want is easy.

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.

Row machine

Sit at a cable row machine with your feet centered on the foot platform and sitting on the bench so that you have a slight bend in your knees. Lean forward to grasp the handles of the cable and lean back to a standard sitting position. Start with your arms extended, and slowly bring them towards your abdomen, using your back muscles. Once your elbows have reached 90 degrees, extend your arms back out.

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.

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. 

Lat pulldown

Sitting at a lat pulldown, adjust the leg pads to make sure it’s at the appropriate height. Stand up to grasp the bar with both hands and then sit back down, sliding your legs under the leg pads. Start with your arms fully extended and leaning back just slightly. Bring your hands down to your collar bone slowly and then extend them back out to the starting position.

Do you have any workouts that you’d like to me create to share on the blog? Leave me a comment below and I’ll try to make that happen.

Always talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

Upper Body Gym Workout