Strong is the new sexy, and this upper body workout plan will help you get there. With 10 different exercises you’ll work your arms, shoulders, back and chest. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a bench (or your couch). This upper body workout plan can be done at home, at the gym, or even outside.
Make sure you’re lifting weights that are appropriate for your fitness level to reduce any risk of injury. Your ideal weight should be difficult the last couple of reps but still allow for you to maintain proper form.
Try this upper body workout plan
Do 15 reps of each for 3-5 rounds.
1. Shoulder press
- Start by standing with a dumbbell in each hand and your elbows at 90 degrees with your arms parallel to the floor.
- With a slight bend in your knees, lift the dumbbells up and over your head.
- Slowly lower your arms to return to your starting position.
2. Front to lateral raises
- Start in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Your feet should be together, with a slight bend in your knees.
- Lift your weights out to the side until you reach shoulder height, keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
- Slowly lower the weight back down by yours sides.
- Lift your weights out in front of you extending your arms straight to shoulder height.
- Lower your arms back down to yours sides.
- Repeat the movements without pause.
3. Bent over reverse flies
- With a dumbbell in each hand start by standing with your feet hip width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight bend at the waist, and hold your dumbbells out in front of you, with your palms facing each other.
- Slightly bending your elbows, lift the dumbbells out to your sides until your arms are parallel with the floor.
- Slowly lower them back down to starting position, and repeat without pause.
4. Bent over row
- With a dumbbell in each hand start by standing with your feet hip width apart, bending at the waist and keeping a straight back.
- Slightly bending your knees, holding your dumbbells down to your sides with elbows straight, palms facing together.
- Lift the dumbbells up towards your torso keeping your elbows up and close to your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back to starting position.
5. Bicep curls
- Start with a dumbbell in each hand, and your back straight.
- Curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders then slowly lower them back down.
- Repeat without pause.
6. Overhead tricep extensions
- Start in a standing position with a dumbbell held by both hands up behind your head with your elbows bent.
- Extend your arms upwards, lift the dumbbell up above your head and slowly lower it back down.
- Repeat without pause.
7. Hammer curls
- Start by standing with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in, and your elbows slightly bent.
- Curl the dumbbells up to shoulder level, keeping your palms towards your torso.
- Slowly lower the weights back down, and repeat without pause.
- Using a bench or a couch sit close to the edge and place your hands palms-down on either side of your hips.
- With your knees bent at 90 degrees, slide your butt off the bench using your arms to support your upper body.
- Bending your elbows lower your body until your arms are parallel with the floor.
- Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your elbows and back into the starting position.
9. Incline chest flies
- Start by lying on an inclined bench with a flat back and feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand above you at chest level with palms facing inward and a slight bend in your elbows.
- Lower the weights laterally while maintaining extended arms.
- Then, slowly lift them back up above your chest.
- Repeat without pause.
10. Drop dead push up
- Start by lying face down on the ground with your palms on the floor closely next to your shoulders.
- Keeping your body stiff power your body up with your arms until they’re fully extended.
- Lower yourself back down flat on the floor.
- Lift your hands off the ground and back down quickly to push yourself back up to repeat the movement.
If you’re just starting out, swap the drop dead push up for an incline push up.
How to do an incline push up:
- Using a bench or a couch, start with your hands on the bench shoulder width apart in front of you, your back straight and your legs extended on the floor behind you on your toes.
- Lower yourself allowing your elbows to bend out to the sides of your body until your chest is just an inch or so away from the bench below you.
- Push your body back up engaging your abdominals and keeping your back straight, until your arms are fully extended to starting position.
Love your #innerbabe
Make the most of this upper body workout plan with the right fuel. A healthy pre-workout snack gives your muscles the energy they need to perform at their best. A handful of dried fruit or half a banana with a teaspoon of honey will help provide quick and easy energy for your body to digest and use.
Once you’re done working out, try to eat within 30 minutes including carbs, proteins and fat. Protein is particularly important for muscular repair.
For pre and post-workout snack ideas, join the #innerbabe community on Facebook. We love sharing recipes and tips to keep you at the top of your game.
What is your go-to pre-workout snack? Tell us in the comments below.