If you’re looking for a quick, personal trainer-approved way to burn your shoulders, back, chest and arms, a high body circuit workout can be a great choice for your next routine.
Circuit training – where you are going through a series of exercises without resting in them. Also, when you take no rest, in addition to the benefits of strengthening weight training, you also increase cardio, such as strengthening, maintaining bone density, and overcoming age-related declines in muscle mass.
Created by Alicia Jamison, a NASM-certified personal trainer at Bodyspace Fitness Instructor in New York City, this workout basically uses stretching and push-up exercises to ignite your upper body. “By hitting all these muscle groups, you’re avoiding muscle imbalances, which can cause injuries,” Jamison says to himself.
As you pull your arms towards your body, your muscles contract to pull the exercises whether you are using any weights or not. For this exercise, Jamison has chosen a bodyweight pull down and single arm row to illuminate your back muscles such as your rhomboids (upper back muscles that help you retract your shoulder blades) and your latissimus dorsi (broad muscles). Extends from your armpits to your spine). Strengthening the back muscles helps in posture, especially if you sit for most of the day, he explains.
When you practice pushing, your muscles contract as the arms move away from your body. In this workout, do two push exercises – elevated push-ups and overhead shoulder presses – activate the muscles in front of your body, including your pectorals (your chest muscles) and your deltoids (your shoulder muscles).
Jamison says that with one upper body workout using a dumbbell, it is easier to neglect some muscles and overuse others, Some often overlooked ones include the deltoids of your back (the small muscles in the back of your shoulder) and the cuffs of your rotator cuff, a combination of four muscles that stabilize your shoulder joint. Without a tight rotating cuff muscle, your shoulder will not move as it was designed, which is why you may feel pain or tension there, as you reported earlier. Exercises that hit these areas help you build strength and reduce your risk of injury.
When it comes to examining your upper body workouts, Jamison says “put your shoulder in your back pocket” to practice these biceps to make sure you are activating your upper back and withdrawing your shoulder blades instead of relying on them. Jamison further mentions that overcrowding your trapezius – your neck, shoulder and upper back muscles are normal, tense and sore.
Before you begin this sweaty upper body circuit take a few minutes to warm up with some cardio steps such as jumping jacks or high knees, as well as stretching as fast as you can to stretch your upper body. You can try a warm-up routine like this.
Is your upper body ready to burn? Here is what you need to crush this workout.
What you’ll need: Two sets of dumbbells – a light set (about 2-8 lbs) and a medium set (about 5-15 lbs) – a box or step and an ankle exercise mat for extra cushioning. If you can’t complete 10 reps with good form, this is a sign that you are a little lighter with your weight.
** Bent-over fly
** Overhead shoulder press
** Single-arm row
** Elevated push-up
** Bodyweight pulldown
Represent 10 of each exercise. For the row, wrap 10 on each side. Rest for 2-4 minutes after completing five exercises. Complete 2-3 rounds in total.
Demonstrating the following steps is being done by Amanda Wheeler (GIF1), a Certified Energy and Conditioning Specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and partners; Cookie Jenny (GIFS 2-3), background investigator and Air Force Reserve Security Forces expert; And Rachel Dennis (GIFs 4-5), competing with USA Powerlifting and holding multiple New York State powerlifting records.
** Climb to a high plank decorated with a box, bench or step, flattening the palate, separating the width of the shoulder of the hand and directly above the shoulder on your wrist. Stretch your legs back, separating the hip-width of the legs. Involves your core and glutes.
** Save your elbows and move your chest into the box or step.
** Push the palm of your hand to straighten your arm. This is 1 representative.
** Continue for 10 reps.
To put less pressure on your wrists and shoulders, try push-ups against a wall. Improving your arms is more effective regression than push-ups from your knees because it allows you to maintain tension and stability throughout your whole and your entire body instead of just stopping at your knees while still working with your chest, shoulders, and triceps. For an extra challenge, you can do push-ups from the floor.
02. Single-Arm Row
** Hold a medium weight in your right hand and stand with your hands apart with the hip-width of your legs. Go about two feet forward with your left foot and rest your left hand on your left quad.
** As soon as your core is engaged, press your buttocks back, bend forward in front of the buttocks, and bend your left knee so that your back is no less than parallel to the floor. (Depending on the mobility of your buttocks and the flexibility of the hamstrings you can’t bend that far)) Look at the ground a few inches in front of your feet to keep your neck in a comfortable position.
** With the weight pulling towards your chest, bring your elbows close to your body and make a row with your right hand blade for two seconds at the top of the movement. As you bring the weight to your chest, your elbows should move to the side of your back.
** Slowly lower the weight by raising your arms towards the floor. This is 1 representative. Continue for 10 reps.
03. Bent-Over Fly
** Stand with your feet apart at hip-width apart. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand with your hands resting on your legs as well as the side of the palm face.
** Bend your knees slightly and make sure your hips are straight, then bend over your buttocks.
** Gently lift the weights up and out with a slight bend at your elbows until they are aligned with your shoulders.
** Lower them down with control. This is 1 representative.
** Continue for 10 reps.
This step works the deltoids, rhomboids and trapezius on your back. Strengthening these muscles helps protect your rotator cuff by stabilizing your shoulders and improving your range of motion over time. To make this exercise easier, drop your weights and just keep up the pace with your body weight.
04. Overhead Shoulder Press
** Stand with your feet apart at hip-width apart. Hold the medium weight of each hand and place these at shoulder height, with the palms of your hands in front and your elbows bent.
** Press the dumbbells overhead to touch and straighten your elbows perfectly. Be sure to engage your core and keep the hips tight to avoid arching your lower back as you lift your arm.
** Gently bend your elbows to reduce weight in the starting position. This is 1 representative. Continue for 10 reps.
** This step works on your deltoids and triceps. This move will feel especially challenging since you have already worked many of the same muscles on previous moves, so you may want to use less weight than usual.
** Complete all your copies on the right and then switch and repeat on the left.
This exercise works on your trypias, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, root cuff muscles and rear deltoids, to help move your biceps. Concentrate on withdrawing your shoulder blade as soon as your arm pulls back rather than shaking.
05. Bodyweight Pulldown
** Lie on your stomach with your ears extended to your arms.
** Lift your chest, arms and legs off the ground and press your buttocks.
** Keeping your arms and legs off the ground, pull your elbows to your side, then poke the overhead. This is 1 representative.
** Repeat this pull down for 10 reps with your arms and legs on the ground and attracting your glutes all the time.
This exercise works your Latisimus Dorsi, Trapezius, Rhomboid and Terrace Major and Minor (cuff muscles of the two roots). To make it even more challenging, Jamison suggests pulling it to the other side to make it more active while holding your hand towel.