Fitness, Fitness Tips, Workouts

4 Exercises For A Stronger Upper Body

During the holidays efficiency is everything.

Why do you think Amazon is so popular? Instead of battling traffic and the crowds at the mall you can simply log onto your computer and order things without ever leaving your house. 

So how can we make working out more like Amazon? The answer is knowing a few quick, effective workout routines you can do at home or at the gym…in and out in 30 minutes or less…yes please!

I was inspired to do this post after sitting down and writing all the events I have from now until New Years into my planner. After writing down the events I went back and wrote a realistic workout goal for each day. More often than not I was writing something like “30 mins treadmill” or “quick weight session” something FAST that I could squeeze in before work. 

It dawned on me that most people probably don’t have a go-to “quick weight session”. I really only do because my boyfriend tells me what to do. So that’s why I’m sharing this very efficient upper body workout with you all today. You can do this entire workout from home or the gym…all you need are a pair of dumbbells, a chair and a mat if you don’t have carpet in your house. This workout focuses on push and pull movements to work your entire upper body (chest, shoulders, back and arms).

  • Pushing movements work your shoulders, chest and arms
  • Pulling movements involve your back, shoulders and arms


How this workout works:

With any workout you should always start with a little warm up. I usually just walk on the treadmill for 10 mins before lifting weights but you can also do some jumping jacks, jump rope, run, do mountain climbers…etc.

The whole point of this workout is to burn out your muscles by using heavy weights so really challenge yourself. If you are new to working out listen to your body. If you feel any sharp pains or numbness stop immediately!

There are 4 exercises in this workout. You will do each exercise once starting with #1. Dumbbell Bench Press and ending with #4. Bent Over Row. Depending on how much time you have you can go through this workout 1,2, or 3 times.


1. Dumbbell Bench Press (PUSH EXERCISE)

15 reps with heavy weights (I use 15-20 lb dumbbells)

Ideally use a bench at the gym but if you’re doing this at home simply lay down on a mat or even just your carpet. 

Lie down on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Start with 1 dumdbell in each hand and hold the weights at shoulder width. Your upper arm and forearm should create a 90 degree angle. Then using your chest push the weights up until your arms are straight and then lower back down.


2. Shoulder Press (PUSH EXERCISE)

10 reps with heavy weights (I use 15-20 lb dumbbells)

Ideally use you want to use a bench for this but a chair works fine.

To do this exercise raise your dumbbells to shoulder height and make sure the palms of your hands are facing forward. Next push the dumbbells upward until they touch at the top then slowly lower the weights back to your starting position.


3. Standing Mid Back Rows (PULL EXERCISE)

10 reps with heavy weights (I use 10-15 lb dumbbells)

To do this exercise make sure you have 1 dumbbell in each hand and hang your arms down with your palms facing up (see 2nd video).  Very slightly bend your knees and lean a little bit forward keeping your back straight. Your weights are going to stay low in this exercise. Lift your weights to the base of your ribs and squeeze your back muscles together. Then return back to your starting position.


Remember to REALLY squeeze your back and shoulders together to work that back! 


4. Bent Over Row (PULL EXERCISE)

10 reps with heavy weights (I use 5-10 lb dumbbells)

To do this exercise make sure you have 1 dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing towards you then slightly bend your knees and bend forward keeping your back as straight as possible. YOU DO NOT WANT A ROUNDED BACK!  Lift the dumbbells to your chest with your elbows out wide and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then lower back to your starting position.



Your Turn,

Do you tend to do shorter workouts during busy times like the holidays or just skip working out?

Do you have any quick, efficient workouts? Leave a link!

How do you make sure to fit workouts into your schedule?


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  • Reply Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie December 8, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Yessss I need a go-to upper body workout and this is totally do-able! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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  • Reply Beverley @ Born to Sweat December 9, 2016 at 7:53 am

    i’ve never tried number 3! i’m always looking for new back exercises, as i find it a really hard area to actually engage since my traps ALWAYS TAKE OVER. this one looks perfect!
    Beverley @ Born to Sweat recently posted…7 Simple Kitchen Hacks To Make Your Life EasierMy Profile

  • Reply Chrissa - Physical Kitchness December 9, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Love love love the videos! So helpful to see your form!

  • Reply Shaniece December 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Love working out my upper body, it just makes your clothes looks so much better!
    Shaniece recently posted…5 Benefits of Working Out in the Morning!My Profile

  • Reply Emily December 10, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Wow you have really good form Diana! 🙂

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine December 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    O love #3! Will be adding that one in!
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  • Reply Kellen McAvoy December 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Looks like I need to step up my weights haha I’m a 10lb kinda girl so I can’t wait to try this! Guarantee I’ll be sore…
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  • Reply James December 14, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Hi there, loved the post! I tend to try and keep to my normal routines but I’m completely off track since developing a cold this last week – hopefully will be back to it soon!
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