You guys know by now that upper body workouts are my absolute favorite but I know this opinion is not shared by everyone. I’ve heard from so many people throughout the years who find strength training – and specifically upper body strength training – incredibly boring. I think today’s workout is fast-paced enough to bust through boredom and the format is different from typical rep-counting strength workouts.
The workout is actually inspired by a Burn Boot Camp leg workout I did last week that paired 30 seconds of a strength exercise with 15 seconds of a pulse or isometric hold. It was HARD but FUN and the workout absolutely flew by. I figured I could apply a similar format to an upper body workout and really hope you guys enjoy it!
So let’s lace up our sneakers and work out, shall we!?
UPPER BODY STRENGTH PULSE HOLD WORKOUT
To complete this workout, you’ll perform four rounds of four different supersets. All four rounds of each superset should be completed in its entirety before moving onto the next one to maximize the burn and fully fatigue the muscle.
The initial 30 seconds of the workout will likely not feel too challenging, but after the first 15 second pulse or isometric hold, I think you’ll begin to feel the challenge kick in! Try not to rest before moving right into the next 30 second strength exercise but if you need to shake out your arms a bit, listen to your body and give it a brief rest before continuing with the workout.
Please see below for more detailed descriptions of each exercise!
WORKOUT APPAREL FOR LESS DETAILS
Now let’s chat about the workout apparel I’m sportin’ in today’s post. It’s all secondhand but I swear you’d never know it! The top, sports bra and capris are all from thredUP, the largest online resale shop, and arrived looking brand new on my doorstep!
I’ve been using thredUP to shop for everything from workout apparel and summery rompers to pretty dresses and children’s clothing for years and am always so incredibly impressed with the quality of clothing I find on the site, the amazing savings and the selection.
Here’s a breakdown of the apparel I’m wearing in this post:
- Lululemon Racerback Tank (thredUP price: $30.99 // Retail price: $58) I LOVE using thredUP to find my favorite tops in different colors, especially those they may not make the same way anymore! Lululemon recently changed the fabric and cut of my beloved racerback tank and I’ve since purchased three of the tanks in the old style on thredUP so I have more for my collection! This tank also had some beautiful feminine ruffles around the edges which I absolutely love. thredUP to the rescue!
- Nike Pro Capris (thredUP price: $16.99 // Retail price: $54) The color of these capris instantly caught my eye on thredUP’s website and the lightweight fabric and bright color are absolutely perfect for summer!
- Athleta Sports Bra (thredUP price: $19.99 // Retail price: $54) I love a high-quality strappy sports bra and nabbed a black, strappy Athleta sports bra from thredUP that is both supportive and functional. I would bet money on the fact that this sports bra was not worn more than a couple of times in the past (if at all) and it truly looked (and smelled) like new!
Thanks so much to thredUP for these comfy and trendy additions to my workout wardrobe! thredUP also gave me a special discount for PBF readers! The first 100 people to visit thredUP and use code PBF40 will get an extra 40% off their order! (Note: This offer applies to new US customers only with a max of $50 off.)
Bicep Hammer Curls: Begin by standing with your arms at your side, each hand grasping a dumbbell, with your palms facing in toward your legs. Bend the elbow of both arms and, with palms still facing in, raise arms to shoulder height, flexing the bicep and lowering back down to the starting position.
Bicep Hold: Begin with your arms at your sides, each hand grasping a dumbbell, with your palms facing out. Curl up like a traditional bicep curl but stop halfway when your forearms are parallel to the floor. Hold.
Triceps Extension: Begin by standing with feet hip-distance apart. Hold one dumbbell with both hands and bend at the elbow so the dumbbell is behind your head. Straighten your elbows to lift the dumbbell into the air and then slowly bend arms to the lower the dumbbell back down behind the head.
Triceps Dip Pulses: Begin with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and your knees bent in front of you with your weight in your heels. Push up as though you are going to straighten your arms and bring your bottom off the ground. (Do not fully extend your arms… Keep a little bend in the elbow to keep pressure off your joints!) Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body back toward the floor but right before your bottom hits the floor, repeat the extension/lowering motion in tiny little pulses.
Front Shoulder Raise: Begin in a standing position with your dumbbells in front of your thighs and your palms facing in. Brace the core and lift the dumbbells in front of your body until your arms are slightly above parallel to the floor. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Scaption Pulse: (Important: Select a very light weight for this exercise!) Begin in a standing position with light weight dumbbells in each hand and your arms at your sides. Fully extend your arms and raise your arms out in front of you, slightly wide and off center. Raise until arms are parallel to the ground and lightly pulse.
Push Up: Begin in a plank position with hands under and slightly outside of your shoulders. Bracing your core, lower your body until chest nearly touches the floor. Push up to return body to starting position.
Push Up Low Hold: Begin in a plank position with hands under and slightly outside of your shoulders. Bracing your core, lower your body until chest nearly touches the floor. Hold.