Upper-Body Dumbbell Strength Workout

We’ll always be big cheerleaders for bodyweight workouts, but occasionally, there are certain muscle groups where you really need some extra resistance. Today’s upper-body dumbbell workout uses weights to help you target your biceps. Biceps are one muscle group that are tricky to reach using your bodyweight only, which is why you’ll need a set of dumbbells during this workout.

Some of your upper-body exercises in today’s workout—namely the superman with arm pulldown and the forearm plank reach—are also great for core engagement. In the superman exercise, just make sure you’re being mindful of your low back. The goal is not to lift up as high as you can—which might mean you’re relying on the flexibility in your low back—but to think about engaging your shoulders and upper back to lift your chest off the floor. The standing oblique crunch is also a sneaky abs and upper-body exercise. Rather than just lifting and lowering your arm, create your own resistance each time you pull your elbow down to meet your knee, really focusing on squeezing your obliques to get the most from the movement. Don’t forget to do a quick warm-up first, then get started below.

The upper-body dumbbell workout below is for Day 26. Check out the full month of workouts right here. Or go to the workout calendar here.

Workout Directions

Do each move below for your selected period of work and rest time (Option 1, 2, or 3). After your last move, rest for 60 seconds. That’s 1 circuit. Do the entire circuit 3-5 times. After your last circuit, try the AMRAP.

  • Option 1: 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of rest
  • Option 2: 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest
  • Option 3: 50 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest

You’ll need two dumbbells for this workout.

Bonus: AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible)
Do 10 reps of each move below in order. Complete as many rounds as you can in 4 minutes, resting as little as possible. Heads up: You can do this bonus entirely without weights or drop the weights at anytime during the four minutes.

  • Squat to Biceps Curl
  • Forearm Plank to Dolphin
  • Push-Up

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