The secret to a killer upper body is building muscle while blasting fat at the same time. When you combine strength training with periods of active rest movements, your heart rate remains elevated throughout the entire circuit, revealing a lean upper body quicker than you ever thought possible!
Complete the following circuit once through with no rest, then rest 3 to 5 minutes and repeat circuit 2 more times. Note that the active rest comes after each exercise.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press on Stability Ball
With back straight, feet on floor, rear end planted firmly on a stability ball and dumbbells in each hand, raise arms up to 90 degrees, palms facing forward. Press the dumbbells up until your arms are straight overhead and then return arms to 90 degrees. Do 12-15 reps.
ACTIVE REST: Mock Jump Rope for 1 minute
Alternating Dumbbell Curl on Stability Ball
With a dumbbell in one hand, rest your elbow against your inner thigh and let your arm extend straight down toward the ground. Slowly curl the dumbbell up toward your shoulder, really isolating the bicep. Return to start and repeat for 12-15 reps. Switch sides.
ACTIVE REST: 30 Mountain Climbers
Arm Raises on Ball
(Note: this is a three-move exercise.) Lay down on the ball, steady yourself with toes on ground, legs locked in place. With dumbbells in your hands, raise arms straight back behind you, then lower and raise them back and up straight out from your sides, then lower and raise them straight up ahead of you. Do 10 to 12 reps (all three points of the exercise combined is one rep).
ACTIVE REST: 20 Jackknife Sit-Ups
Upright Row with Band
Take a dumbbell and wrap an exercise band around it, then secure the handles under your feet. Grip the dumbbell with both hands at gut level, then raise straight up to the level of your chin. Make sure you feel it in your shoulders at the top of the move. Return and repeat. Do 12-15 reps.
Standing Tricep Overhead Extension
With feet shoulder-width apart, start with your right arm up next to you ear, elbow bent behind your arm, and then slowly straighten your elbow. Really squeeze your tricep at the top. If you need to, use your other hand as a spotter for the working arm. Do 12-15 reps.
ACTIVE REST: Plank for 1 Minute
Dumbbell Chest Flys on Stability Ball
With your shoulders/upper back resting on a stability ball, legs out and shoulder-width apart, start with dumbbells in hands, arms straight out to your sides. Raise your arms up over your chest, palms facing each other. Make sure you feel a good stretch in your chest each time you lower your arms. Do 12-15 reps.
ACTIVE REST: 20 Stability Ball Crunches