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  • Writer's pictureTricia

Upper Body Blast

Another Monday is here! And that means it's time for a fresh start. What are you doing to get back on track this week? I had so much fun over the weekend with workouts, I hardly even realized I was exercising. Get you some of that in your life. Saturday, I jumped in with the CrossFit class to do the "Passion WOD".

It was great to sweat alongside a huge Saturday class and get the day started with some fitness.

To all my clients that hate when I make them do burpees....I do burpees too, guys. #proof

This week's lunch menu for me is full of fresh, veggie-heavy salads (post to come on building my salads). Spring has me craving all the colorful fruits and veggies lately! For dinners, I'm planning some marinated grilled chicken breasts, pork chops, and burgers made with meats fresh from my Butcher Box. I also have lots of fun workouts planned for the week including a long trail run tomorrow with a friend, a yoga class and swimming on Wednesday, a little CrossFit, and some lifting in my garage gym. Mixing it up lately keeps me loving my exercise routine. The variety also keeps me from getting bored or feeling burnt out. The key to longevity in exercise is doing what you love! It should never feel like a job or a chore. Make working out fun, and it will be much easier to stick to in the long haul!

Today, I have a couple different versions of an upper body workout for you! The first version requires a set of dumbbells. I used the same weight for all movements, but if you have multiple sets, you can switch them out for different movements. The second version of the workout utilizes your bodyweight only! That means you don't need any equipment for these exercises. Both are great for completing at home in a minimal amount of time--think under 30 minutes!

For an even greater challenge, use the bodyweight workout as a warm-up and complete the dumbbell workout after. You'll have quite the pump going afterwards.

Dumbbell version movements:

Upright rows: Start standing, holding dumbbells in front of your thighs. Pull the dumbbells straight up towards your chest. (no hip or leg movement should occur), ending with high elbows, above the end height of the dumbbells. Lower slowly back to the starting position.

Overhead press: Start with dumbbells resting on the shoulders, elbows down, slightly in front of the chest, not flared out. Without dipping the knees or using the hips or legs in any way, press the dumbbells straight overhead. Slowly lower back to the starting position.

Bench dips: Find a bench or chair, and place hands, facing with fingers facing straight ahead, at the edge of the bench. Lower body down, keeping butt close to the bench, elbows in tight toward the body. Then push through your palms and extend the arms upwards, until your elbows are fully locked out at the top of the rep. To modify, bend the knees and place the feet flat on the ground, closer to your body.

Renegade Rows: For these, start in push-up position holding the dumbbells, one in each hand (shoulder distance apart) on the ground. Complete a push-up while holding onto the dumbbells, then pull one dumbbell off the ground, keeping your elbow close to your side and squeezing the shoulder blade in towards the spine, completing a single arm row. Lower the dumbbell down with control, then complete the same movement on the other side. You will do 10 push-ups plus the rows to each side. To scale this movement, drop your knees on the push-ups, or take out the push-up altogether and just do plank position rows.

Tricep Extensions: Take one dumbbell in both hands and lower it behind the head, squeezing your elbows in tight towards your head. With control, lower the dumbbell behind the head, while keeping the elbows in tight (avoid allowing them to flare out). Then extend the arms all the way overhead, locking the elbows out at the top.

Alternating bicep curls: Start with dumbbells in each hand with arms by the sides. Curl one dumbbell up towards your chest, then lower back down with control. Complete this movement on the other side, then repeat until you reach 20 total reps.

Bodyweight Version:

Inchworm with push-up: Begin standing. Reach down to the ground, as if you were touching your toes, then walk your hands forward, keeping your feet where they are. When you come to a push-up position, either drop your knees or keep them up, and complete 1 push-up. Walk your hands back to the feet, stand back up, and repeat.

Plank up-downs: Begin in elbow plank, then lift up to high (push-up) plank by pushing through one palm and then the other to raise your body up. Then lower back to low plank. Up and back down equals one rep. Keep your butt down!

Bench dips (explained above)

Shoulder taps: In the top of a push-up, maintaining a tight core and with minimal hip rotation, remove 1 hand from the ground and tap your opposite shoulder. With control, lower that hand back to the ground, then complete the same movement with the other hand.

Reverse Plank hold: Essentially an upside down plank. Palms down on the floor, straight legs, you will maintain a flat body position squeezing your quads and glutes, and keeping your hips as high as possible for the 30 seconds.

I hope everyone is ready for a great week! Let me know in the comments what healthy meals or fun workouts you are looking forward to this week. Enjoy your day!

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