15-Minute Upper Body Workout (Low Weight, High Reps)

15-Minute Upper Body Workout (low weights, high reps)This is a low(er) weight, high(er) rep workout so it should feel manageable at first as the burn gradually builds in intensity.

15-Minute Upper Body Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Set of 5lb hand weights (I recommend using anywhere from 2-8 lbs, depending on fitness level)
  • Gymboss Interval Timer – set it so it will beep every 20 seconds

This workout is broken up into three circuits. The second is slightly longer than the first and last circuits. Limit rest time in between each circuit to 30-60 seconds. As you’ll see in the descriptions below, you’ll stay on each exercise for 20 seconds. If you’re more advanced, you can up this to 30 seconds. As always, these workouts are a framework—customize them as needed! 15-Minute Upper Body Workout (low weights, high reps)

Circuit 1 | Perform each of the three exercises for 20 seconds before moving onto the next. No rest in between exercises. Once you’ve finished all three, rest for 20 seconds and repeat the circuit twice more for a total of three times through.

  • Tricep Kickbacks: Bend your knees slightly and lean your torso forward slightly with a straight back (pull those abs in tight!). Arms are at your sides, elbows bent. Keeping your upper arms glued to your sides and just hinging at the elbow, send the weights behind you, extending your arms and squeezing your triceps. Pause for a second at your fullest extension, then slowly bring the weights forward, again by bending the elbows.
  • Triceps Straight-Arm Lift: Hold your arms straight after your final kickback and proceed to lift and lower them. This will be a small movement, you don’t want to let your arms drop all the way below your hips. Lift up as high as possible behind your back and then release down just a few inches.
  • Triceps Squeezes: Holding your arms straight behind you, palms facing each other, squeeze the weights in towards each other and then release back out. This is a small movement—think of it as a pulse.

Circuit 2 | Perform each of the four exercises for 20 seconds before moving onto the next. No rest in between exercises. Once you’ve finished all three, rest for 20 seconds and repeat the circuit twice more for a total of three times through.

  • Bicep Curl: Do these holding your elbows at about shoulder height.
  • Over-Under Shuffle: Extending your arms in front of you with just a soft bend to the elbows, palms facing up, shuffle the weights one over the other keeping hands at about armpit height.
  • Flip the Cup: Extend arms out to your sides with palms facing up. Rotate your hands down, flipping your palms to then face the floor—it’s like a little scooping motion. Try to keep your hands right around armpit/shoulder height the whole time as you flip back and forth.
  • Lat Pulldown: Arms still outstretched to the sides from flip-the-cup, palms facing forward, bend your elbows as you pull them down and behind your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do so. Extend arms back up and out to the sides.

Circuit 3 | Perform each of the three exercises for 20 seconds before moving onto the next. No rest in between exercises. Once you’ve finished all three, rest for 20 seconds and repeat the circuit twice more for a total of three times through.

  • Shoulder Press: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, press your hands up overhead, bringing weights together above your head. Lower back down, but only so far as brings your elbows back to shoulder height. Don’t let them dip down lower than that. As you do these, be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Shoulder Shaper: Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, maintaining those 90-degree bends, bring your forearms together in front of your face. Return back out to goal post position. Elbows should stay at shoulder height the entire time.
  • Elbow Taps: With elbows at 90-degree bends, forearms held in front of face and palms facing you, tap your elbows together. Make sure you don’t shrug your shoulders as you do this. If this feels weird on your wrists, do it with your palms facing each other.

15-Minute Upper Body Workout (low weights, high reps)WEARING | bra c/o Cozy Orange // tank via LF Stores

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Comments

  1. Looks awesome, pinning now!!

  2. Light weights, LOL, these aren’t even weights. How can you expect results and telling others that BS when your dumbbell is lighter than your purse??

    • Have you ever tried a barre class?–even 2lb weights can feel like a ton when you’re holding your arms up for a long period of time and preforming a high number of reps! Don’t knock it ’till you try it, sistah! 😉

      • No, I normally do dips with weights and biceps curls with dumbbells or barbells and some heavy pounds (50-65 lbs mostly) on it! And get results! your arms have no triceps or biceps, but how should they with lifting feathers…2 lbs is too light for my little finger!!

        • I’m sure your arms look fabulous! 🙂 It’s just a different method of training using the light weight + high, quick rep combo. Sometimes I like to go heavy, too.

    • Sonjastendera in answer to your comment-if your a female then those weights are correct to expect results – ive done it myself and those weights work for women, were not looking to gain rippling muscles which we would get if the weights were heavy , but a defined toned shape.

  3. I wanted an arm workout to do over the summer without having to join a gym. This is perfect! Maybe I can even get my boyfriend to do it with me (;

  4. I love that you show the proper form from different angles <3

  5. Ooh I definitely wanna try this! It seems perfect for a quick arm workout on busy days 🙂

  6. I really struggle with workouts for my arms so this is incredibly helpful!

    Vickie xo | lifestylelambs

  7. I love this! It really does burn. I had to use a lighter weight after the first circuit because I know I just couldn’t have finished otherwise. This is definitely going to be a regular in my routine. Bye-bye weak spaghetti arms!

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