Upper Body Blast — Beginner

You'll Need: Dumbbells that weigh 5-10 pounds, depending on your upper body strength. Perform 8-12 repetitions of each exercise. Start with one set and work up to three sets as you become stronger.

Bent over Row

Bent Over Row

Muscles Worked: Upper back, Shoulders, Biceps

Stand in a lunge position with your right knee directly in line with your ankle. Hinge from your hips and place your hand on your forward thigh. Try to keep your back neutral and abdominals engaged. Hold a dumbbell in the opposite hand with your palm facing inward. Exhale and pull the dumbbell up and back until you form a 90-degree angle at the elbow joint, keeping it close to your body as you move. Inhale and lower the dumbbell to the starting position until your arm is straight but not locked. Perform equal repetitions with each arm.

  • Keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • Keep your shoulders back and down.

Triceps Kick Backs

Muscles Worked: Triceps

Stand in a lunge position with your right knee directly in line with your ankle. Hinge from your hips and place your hand on your forward thigh. Try to keep your back neutral and abdominals engaged. Hold a dumbbell in the opposite hand with your palm facing inward. Pull your elbow up so your upper arm is parallel to the floor. Exhale and straighten the arm holding the weight. Make sure the upper arm does not fall and maintains the parallel position. Inhale and bend your elbow to return to the starting position. Perform equal repetitions with each arm.

  • Keep the abdominals engaged to support the spine.
  • Hinge from hips and keep the spine in a neutral position.

Biceps Curl

Muscles Worked: Biceps

Stand with feet shoulders-width apart with knees slightly bent and your abs engaged. Hold one dumbbell in each hand using the underhand grip, with palms facing away from your body. Let your arms rest beside your body, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Exhale and curl both dumbbells toward your shoulders in a slow, controlled manner. Inhale and lower both dumbbells back to starting position.

  • Keep abs tight to help protect lower back.
  • If you lean backward or forward when you curl the weight, the weight is too heavy.
  • This exercise can be done while seated on a stability ball.
Modified Pushup

Modified Push-Ups

Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

Start on your hands and knees with hands shoulders-width apart and slightly forward of your shoulders. Knees should be directly under your hips. Your abdomen should be tight and your spine should be in neutral position. There should be a straight line from your knees to your shoulders — no high hips or glutes in the air! Exhale and bend elbows to lower your chest to 90 degrees at elbow. Inhale and press your body up to the starting position, making sure your elbows don’t lock or completely straighten. If you can’t lower to a 90 degree bend at the elbow, just go to a comfortable position until you can work up to 90 degrees.

Read Strength Training Guidelines to learn more.