Hi friends! I hope your week has been going well.
We’ve had a busy one with my parents in town! They’re staying in Manhattan, so Scott and I have been training in and taking them everywhere we can while they’re here. It’s been fun playing tourists and showing them around all of the must-see spots.
Since I want to soak up as much time with them this week, I haven’t been able to blog as much as usual. You can keep up with our NYC adventures on Snapchat and Instagram if you’d like to see what we’re up to!
Today I wanted to share a killer workout with you that I put together and completed on Monday. It’s labeled an advanced workout for a reason, and I don’t recommend someone who is brand new to working out trying this one.
There are ways to modify and advance all of the exercises, and you can see demonstrations of those progressions below in the Exercise Breakdown.
Just like with any workout I share on the blog, please consult with a health professional before jumping into anything new, listen to your body, rest when needed, and only do what feels good for you!
The first arm circuit left my arms shaking halfway through! You can always choose to modify the exercises (details below) and progress later on. Just so you’re fairly warned, I was sweating early with this one, and my upper body is still feeling it … two days later.
If you decide to give this workout a go, please be mindful about choosing the right weight for each exercise. Your dumbbells need to be heavy enough to give you a challenge, but not so heavy that you can’t keep proper form.
If you can complete 12 reps without a struggle (and feel like you can keep going onto 13, 14, etc.), you should probably bump up. If you can’t get to 10 reps, however, grab a lower weight. The perfect dumbbell selection will challenge you and put you right in the 10-12 rep category!
• jump squats
Start with your feet a bit wider than your shoulders. Stand tall, then come down into a squat position with your thighs slightly higher then your knees. Quickly push yourself up into the air (your body should be straight), then land in the squat position and pause for a moment before repeating.
You can always choose to do (stationary) air squats if you feel uncomfortable jumping. Complete as many reps as you can in :20, rest for :10, then repeat 3 times.
Get on the floor and position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Raise up on your toes, or modify by dropping your knees. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to toe without dropping your middle or arching your back. Before you begin the push-up, contract your abs and keep your core tight. Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine, then lower and lift.
Get off of your knees and straighten your legs for more of a challenge! Do as many reps as you can in :20, rest for :10, then repeat 3 times.
Get on the floor in a sit-up position: back and feet flat on the floor, with your knees bent to a ninety degree angle. Cross your arms over your chest. This is your starting position.
Tighten your glutes and hamstrings as you sit up, then slowly roll back to the starting position. Do as many sit-ups as you can in :20, rest for :10, then repeat 3 times.. (It might help to anchor your feet under a piece of furniture!)
If you want an extra challenge, try starting with straight arms and hold a dumbbell straight over your head, or even two with a crossover to hit the obliques!
• step-up curl to presses
(step-up to balance, curl and press)
(If you want to forget the step-up and balance all together, simply perform a standing biceps curl to overhead press 10-12 reps. Aim to progress next time you do the workout!)
This is a very advanced exercise that starts with a step-up using dumbbells. Not only does it test your balance and stabilization, but it forces you to activate your core, all before performing the arm movement.
If you don’t have a bench or extremely stable surface to use, skip over the step-up and perform the curl to press movement one leg and arm at a time with a balance. Lower, then repeat until you hit 10-12 reps per side.
Before going for the step-up curl to press, try a step-up to curl. Feeling confident? Go for the full step-up curl to press!
Start by standing in front of a box or bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Step up with your right leg, keeping your right foot pointed front (hips should be directly in line with your foot, chest lifted, and shoulders pressed down), and bring your left leg up to about a 90 degree angle to balance. Tighten your core and once you feel balanced, perform a biceps curl followed by an overhead press. Lower the weights back down and return back to the floor with your left, then right leg. Alternate between sides for 10-12 reps.
• alternating lateral raises
Start standing with your feet hip width apart, holding a light dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body. Slowly raise your hands up toward the ceiling. Keep your palms facing down, your elbows straight, and just go high enough to get your arms parallel to the floor (shoulder height).
Slowly bring your hands back down towards your body and repeat the same motion to the front, raising your hands right in front of you and in line with your shoulders. Lower back to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat for 10-12!
• triceps kickbacks (option to add a warrior three balance)
Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet planted under your hips. Keep your back straight with a slight bend in the knees and bend forward at the waist so your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your head up!
Pull your arms tight to your sides and also parallel to the floor. Keep a 90-degree angle between your forearm and upper arm throughout the duration of the exercise. Use your triceps to lift the weights until the arm is fully extended, briefly pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 reps.
Looking to advance this move? Add a balance and core stabilizer by holding a warrior three.
Complete one set balancing on the right, then the next on the left. Your choice on the third!
• v-sit with single arm flyes
This is a great exercise that works several areas including the chest and abs.
Start by sitting on a mat with your heels about two feet from your butt, holding a dumbbell in each hand at chest level. There should be a slight bend to your elbows. Keeping your abs tight and pulled in towards your spine, lean back a few inches. This is your starting position.
Keeping the left arm still, open the right arm to the side without passing your shoulder. Return the weight and repeat on the other side by keeping the right arm still and opening the right.
This is one rep. Repeat for 10-12 reps.
• plank to upright rows
This is a very advanced move that resembles a low-impact version of a burpee! If you’re not ready to give it a try, simply perform 10-12 upright rows.
If you want to go for the challenge, please be mindful of your form and go as slow as you need to stay controlled.
Start in a plank position on your hands and toes holding a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure your hands are under your shoulders, feet are hip-width apart, and your core is engaged with a supported (not arched or rounded) back. Walk or jump both feet outside your hands and come into a low squat position. Keep your weight back onto your heels, squeeze your glutes, and slowly stand up.
From there, perform an upright row movement. Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, raise them to your shoulders while you bend your elbows out to the sides. Slowly lower them back down all the way to the floor, back to the squat position, and push your feet back to your starting plank position. This is one rep. Repeat for 10-12. Phew!
• split squats
Start standing tall with your feet hip width apart holding medium – heavy weights by your sides or curled up by your shoulders. Step backward with your right leg, and lower your body until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees and your right knee nearly touches the floor. This is a reverse lunge position.
Keeping your chest lifted, perform 10-12 controlled split squats, then switch legs.
Looking for a workout more suited more for a beginner?
Try these …
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routines. <3