6kidsand6packs’ readers are requesting more exercise videos and workouts. I’ve outlined two upper body workouts. The first, a traditional workout for the gym or your home. The second, an exhausting functional workout using colorful, evil battle ropes!
For the first workout, you can incorporate these 6 great upper body exercises with cardio for a 30 minute upper body blast. Start by doing a warm-up of 5 minutes of cardio exercise such as jogging, jumping jacks, high knees or any combination of these. Get your heart rate up! Do the following exercises for 60 seconds each. Sandwich them between intense cardio. 6&6 loves to run in between sets because its simple and convenient. At home, you can run up and down your street. In a gym, you can use a treadmill or elliptical machine. Make sure your heart rate is up…work at 75% max.
- 1. Decline Push-ups
Place your feet on a surface higher than where your hands will be…a bench works great. Shoot for 10 push-ups without stopping. This exercise may be difficult if you are not accustomed to it. Even if you do push-ups regularly, decline push-ups work the upper part of your pectoral muscles and will really tax your muscles.
- 2. Pull-Ups or Assisted Pull-Ups
Pull-ups are a great way to strengthen your back and arms. They are not easy but they are simple. If you can only do one at a time, then start there. Doing them regularly will increase your total numbers. See our article on increasing your pull-up numbers here: http://6kidsand6packsplus2.com/pull-up-challenge/
- 3. Arnold Shoulder Press
Start with a set of dumb bells at shoulder level with palms facing you. Lift the dumb bells simultaneously straight over your head. Rotate your hand outward so your palms face away from you. This is a great exercise for your entire deltoid muscle.
- 4. Shoulder “Flappers”
Pick up a lighter weight than the Arnold Press. Start with arms at a 90 degree angle at shoulder level with your palms facing away from you. Rotate your arm downward at the elbow until your palms are facing the floor. This is a great exercise to strengthen your rotater cuff to avoid injury.
- 5. Bicep Pulse
Choose a weight lighter than your usual bicep curl weight. For example, if you usually curl 15 pounds, use a 12 for this exercise. With your elbows pinned to your sides curl the weight with palms facing up from the waist level to the shoulder level. Do not let the weight drop below the waist. This focuses on the top of the curl and will tax your bicep differently than normal bicep curls.
- 6. Tricep Plyometric Dips
Using a bench, get into regular dip position with your hands behind you on a bench. Put legs straight to make the move difficult or bend your knees to make the exercise easier. Using a dynamic push, propel your upper body and hands off the bench so you are “jumping” up and down. Changing to plyometric versions of any exercise confuses your muscles, resulting in strength and endurance gains.
This set of exercises will take 6 minutes. Go run or get your heart rate up for 4 minutes and repeat all above exercises 3 times for a great 30 minute upper body workout.
My husband, Dan, was so excited to buy a 50 foot, 2” thick battle rope this week. He tortured me with a whole-body functional workout. Check out the YouTube video to see how truly exhausted I was! The endurance exercises included big waves, small waves, double battle waves, double rope slams, rope jumping jacks, advancing waves, and battle circles. The strength exercises were forward and backward plank pulls, seated rope pulls, bent over rope pulls – forward and backwards, and overhead battle press. It was very exhausting. A great workout. 6&6 will be incorporating ropes in our corporate wellness programs, our park workouts and our garage workouts.
I hope you enjoyed my upper body workout. Don’t neglect your lower body or core muscles. Check out Lindsay’s lower body and Mary’s famous 6 pack ab workouts too!