Fitness Friday 277: The Bangin’ Upper Body Workout

Fitness Friday - Eat Spin Run Repeat

Hello hello!

How has your week been? I’m feeling especially grateful for the weekend today because on my agenda is a yoga class, coffee date, and a gym session that I can’t wait to crush! I’m also preparing to send out my brand spankin’ new newsletter which is something that keeps getting de-prioritized due to other projects. Lots of you have already signed up for it and received the Gorgeous Guide to Goal Conquering as a freebie, but if you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe here. I’ll be sharing a some juicy nuggets ‘o wisdom that don’t make it to the blog with each edition, and best of all, it’s totally free!

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Work It Out

I’ll preface this one by saying that I don’t recommend making plans to blow dry your hair after your finish the workout I’m about to share. Well, at least don’t plan to blow dry it yourself. I tested this one out last week and upon trying to curl my hair with my hair wand afterwards, I needed to take at least 4 breaks along the way because I was a-shakin’!

If you, like me, have goals to build upper body strength this year, I think you’ll love this one. It starts off with chin-up negatives, which I like to get out of the way first because I find them the hardest. I’ve been doing these a lot lately as part of my work towards being able to do the unassisted kind, and although slow, progress is definitely being made. From there I’ve added in a few other upper body moves to work every muscle – even the ones you didn’t know you had!

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

The Bangin’ Upper Body Workout

After a short warm-up, begin with circuit 1. Each circuit ends with a lower body exercise to take your mind off of your upper body and allow you to go at it again for another 2 sets, totalling 3 rounds of circuit 1. When you’re done, take 2-3 minutes rest and move on to circuit 2. Do your best to challenge yourself with heavy weights throughout, and be sure to spend some time stretching out and foam rolling at the end.

Fitness Friday 277 - The Bangin' Upper Body Workout

Click here to print/download the PDF.

Exercise notes:

  • Super slow chin-up negatives: Use a step to help you jump up to the top of a chin-up position on a bar. Lower yourself back down as slowly as you possibly can, focusing on engaging your back and core just as much as your arms.
  • Cable face pulls: Use the rope attachment on a cable machine and position the pulley a few inches higher than your head. Holding the ends of the rope in each hand, pull the rope quickly towards your face, bringing the ends to either side of your head. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Upright cable rows: Use the rope or straight bar attachment on a cable machine and lower the pulley all the way to the bottom. Holding the attachment with each hand, row in up to shoulder height, pointing your elbows out to the sides. Lower it back down and repeat, keeping the core engaged throughout.
  • Dumbell deadlift: Perform deadlifts holding a dumbell in each hand. Keep a slight flex in the back of the knees, keep your core engaged and shoulders back and down with a long spine.
  • Dumbell bent-over row: With a dumbell in each hand, hinge at the hips and bend forward about 45%. Lower the dumbells to your knees, then engage your back and pull them towards your hips, pulling your elbows straight back and pretending as though you’re squeezing a pencil between your shoulders. Lower back to the starting position and repeat.
  • Dumbell renegade row with push-ups: Get into high plank with a dumbell handle under each hand. One arm at a time, row the dumbell to your rib cage, then back down. Do 1 push-up. That’s 1 rep.

[Tweet “Fitness Friday 277: The Bangin’ Upper Body #Workout”]

Turn It Up

Today’s tune, the On My Way Remix by Cardiknox and Lost Kings is a recent Spotify find, and if you’re in need of an energy boost, you’ll find it by blasting this one through your earphones! My favourite way to use it is during a finisher-style HIIT session done at the end of my workouts, and I’ll share more about what those look like next Friday. For now, turn it up and have a listen!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Have A Read

Now over to you! Let’s hear about what you’ve got planned for the weekend. Workouts? Winter fun? Working on one of your goals for this year? Annnd go!

3 thoughts on “Fitness Friday 277: The Bangin’ Upper Body Workout

  1. This was a great workout! Tough but felt accomplished at the end. Thanks for sharing! Any advice on trying to avoid using the trapezius muscles too much when doing bicep curls or even the upright cable rows?

    1. Hi Kristie! This is a great question. For the biceps curls, have you ever tried using a preacher curl setup? By resting your upper arm on the pad at an angle and pressing down into it, you’ll definitely be forced to use your biceps as opposed to recruiting your traps to help with the lift. Once you get used to what that feels like, I think it’ll help you maintain the same emphasis on your biceps when you’re doing them off the preacher curl pad.

      For the upright cable rows, I 100% know what you mean because I used to feel this in my traps more than anywhere else! The way I avoid it is by setting my shoulders back and down before I go into the lift. I stand up a tall as I can, push my shoulders back, then slide my shoulder blades down as if I was trying to push them into my back pockets. Then (and this is going to sound kinda weird, but bear with me!) I just think about recruiting the muscles in my back while keeping my shoulders back and down. It’s definitely an exercise that I find is most effectively done if you actually think about the muscles you’re supposed to be using. Your traps are certainly involved in an upright row, but so are the biceps, delts and upper back. Also, you might already know this but you only really need to focus on bringing the bar up to chest height, as trying to bring your elbows up any further can put you at risk for shoulder impingement (ouch!) Lastly, standing closer to the cable machine will put more emphasis on your traps, but if you stand a little further away and pull at more of an angle, you’ll find that the emphasis shifts more to your rear delts.

      I hope this helps! Let me know how you get on and if these tips turn out to be useful for you. 🙂

      1. This is definitely helpful! Thank you so much! I will try this out sometime this week, but your descriptions/advice makes complete sense 🙂 Greatly appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.