Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a week full of blessings, breakthroughs, and the all-sustaining joy of the Lord. And if you experienced trials, tests, or battled temptation, I pray you found the strength and comfort you needed in the presence of our King. It’s truly amazing what even a brief, humble moment of prayer can do for our spirits when they are shaken. God never withholds His grace from us; He always inclines His ear…
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. -Hebrews 4:16
[insert seamless segue here ;-)]
A female “fan” on my facebook page asked me for exercises that target “flabby arms and back.” I realized that I hadn’t posted any routines in a while, so I am happy to oblige my friend’s request by supplying an upper body routine here!
The following routine will be found in my upcoming book Fit for Faith, only difference is, the book will contain photos to correspond with each exercise! (tactile learners will have to cope ;-).)
At the bottom of these descriptions are charts you can perhaps print out and take to the gym with you for easy reference :).
Have a wonderful weekend!
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di
1.) Barbell bench press
- Load appropriate weight, lie face-up on the flat bench.
- Grab the barbell above you with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Lift the bar off the rack and slowly lower it until the bar hovers two or three inches above your chest.
- Pause, then explosively push the barbell back up. Do not lock your elbows at the top of the motion.
2.) Assisted wide-grip pull-up
- Load the appropriate, assisting weight. For this machine, increase the weight to make the exercise easier. Step onto the step and firmly grasp the handles so hands are wide, gripping the bent part of the handles.
- Place knees, one at a time, on the padded knee rest.
- Pull up as far as you can, engaging your abs, keeping your body in a flat line. Squeeze your shoulder blades. Pause at the top of the movement.
- Lower slowly so arms are nearly fully extended.
3.) Cable curls
- Load appropriate weight. Grasp low pulley cable bar with an underhand grip so hands are shoulder-width apart. Stand close to the pulley with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- With elbows at your side, curl the bar up until forearms are vertical. Squeeze biceps at the top of the motion.
- Slowly release the bar back down.
4.) BOSU side plank
- Place one elbow on dome surface of the BOSU. With your body in a straight line from head to toe, lift your hips off the ground. Place resting hand on your lifted hip.
- Hold for 20 seconds, then switch sides for the duration of the interval.
1.) Incline dumbbell fly
- Holding a pair of dumbbells, lie face-up on an incline bench.
- Hold the weights straight above you, palms facing each other, as you press your back firmly into the pad.
- Lower the weights in an arcing motion with arms wide. Keep a soft bend in your elbows.
- Stop lowering once the weights are even with your chest.
- Focusing on using only your chest muscles, raise the dumbbells back to starting position. Squeeze your chest at the top of the movement.
2.) Dumbbell row
- Place one knee on bench and the other on the floor for support. Hold dumbbell in the hand opposite the knee on the bench. Free arm helps support on the bench.
- Bend over so that your back is parallel to the ground.
- Fully extend the arm holding the dumbbell, palm facing inward.
- Pull dumbbell up to your side until it makes contact or nearly touches your ribcage.
- Return until the arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward.
3.) Cable overhead triceps extension
- Clip the rope attachment onto the middle part of the cable machine and load appropriate weight.
- Grasp the either end of the rope’s handles and then lunge one foot out away from the machine, bending forward at your waist.
- With hands above your head, slowly extend your arms until they are parallel to the floor. Do not lock your elbows.
- Keeping your upper arms still, bring the rope back until it is above your head.
4.) Decline sit-up with medicine ball
- Holding a light or medium medicine ball, sit on decline bench and place feet under pad. Slowly lie back onto the bench, but don’t allow your shoulder blades to touch the bench.
- Keeping the ball close to your chest or held in front, away from your torso, raise yourself back up until your upper body is vertical.
- Slowly lower down again, being sure not to let your shoulder blades and neck rest on the bench.
1.) BOSU push-up
- Place BOSU dome side on the ground. Just like in a standard push-up, begin with your legs extended with toes on the ground, or knees on the ground for a modified version. Either way, make sure your back is straight.
- Place your hands on either edge of the BOSU.
- Slowly lower, bending your arms until they are at 90 degrees, or until your chest nearly touches the BOSU.
- Slowly push back up to the starting position, exhaling as you push.
2.) Rear delt-flye on machine
- Load appropriate weight and adjust handles so they’re as close as they can be to the machine. If necessary, adjust seat so handles are at shoulder height. Sit in machine, facing the upright pad.
- Pull your shoulder blades down, then grasp handles.
- Pull the handles behind your back, squeezing your shoulder blades.
- Slowly close the handles as you return to starting position.
3.) Assisted triceps dip
- Load appropriate weight (Remember, the more weight you add, the easier the exercise will be).
- Grasp handles, then step onto bar or foot pads. Place knees, one at a time, onto knee pad.
- Keeping your abs tight, bend your elbows to lower your body until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
- Straighten elbows as you push back up to starting position, squeezing your triceps at the top of the movement.
4.) Preacher curls
- Adjust the seat of the preacher bench so underarms rest near the top of the pad. Load appropriate weight, using just the curl bar if necessary.
- Grasp the curl bar with an underhand grip, hands about shoulder-width apart.
- Raise the bar until forearms are vertical.
- Lower curl bar until arms are almost completely extended, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
1.) Kneeling chest stretch
- Kneel beside ball. Bend torso parallel to the floor and place your hand on top of ball with the palm down. Other hand is on the floor for support.
- Press your chest and shoulders toward the floor as the ball provides resistance.
- Hold and switch sides.
2.) Supine shoulder stretch
- Position ball under your upper back and extend both arms out to the side, opening up the chest.
- Feet are shoulder-width apart and hips are dropped slightly.
Note: For a greater stretch, allow the hips to drop further.
3.) Bent-over shoulder stretch
- Stand behind ball with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Do not lock knees.
- Lower torso and place the edge of the hand on top of the ball.
- Leading with your hand, roll the ball across and to the side of your body.
- Hold and switch sides.
4.) Bent-over shoulder flexion stretch
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your torso forward and place the hands on the ball which is in front of the body.
- Roll the ball forward and hold.
- Slowly returns to starting position.
5.) Core stretch
- Kneel on the floor holding the ball with both hands over your head.
- Lean back slightly and hold.
- Slowly return to starting position.
- Standing, bend your right elbow behind your head and use your left hand to gently pull the right elbow in further until you feel a stretch in the back of your arm (tricep).
- Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.
7.) Spine twist
- Lie on the floor and place your right foot on left knee.
- Using your left hand, gently pull your right knee towards the floor, twisting your spine, keeping hips and shoulders on the floor, left arm straight out.
- Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.
|Barbell bench press||Chest, triceps||45 seconds|
|Assisted wide-grip pull-up||Back||45 seconds|
|Cable curls||Biceps||45 seconds|
|BOSU side plank||Obliques||20 seconds each side|
|Incline dumbbell fly||Chest||45 seconds|
|Dumbbell row||Back, biceps||45 seconds|
|Cable overhead triceps extension||Triceps||45 seconds|
|Decline sit-up with medicine ball||Upper abs||45 seconds|
|BOSU push-up||Chest, triceps||45 seconds|
|Rear delt-flye on machine||Upper back||45 seconds|
|Assisted triceps dip||Triceps||45 seconds|
|Preacher curls||Biceps||45 seconds|
Note: Remember to cool down before stretching.
|Kneeling chest stretch||15-30 seconds each arm|
|Supine shoulder stretch||15-30 seconds|
|Bent-over shoulder stretch||15-30 seconds each arm|
|Bent-over shoulder flexion stretch||15-30 seconds|
|Core stretch||15-30 seconds|
|Triceps||15-30 seconds each arm|
|Spine twist||15-30 seconds each side|