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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Tempo Change Core Workout

Tempo Change Core Workout - alternate between a slow and fast paceThere are lots of ways to change how an exercise feels. I’ve talked a bit on the blog about range of motion (this movement pyramid workout is a good example), but another great way to switch it up is to vary your speed. I was always of the opinion that faster = harder … until I tried a Lagree Fitness class. One isn’t necessarily better than the other–it just depends on the goal. Different speeds require our muscles to activate in different ways.

I love including both types of training in my weekly routine–a slow Btone class one day and then an explosive HIIT bootcamp workout the next. They’re different ways to challenge your body. Today’s quick workout is made up of some basic core moves that you’ll preform slowly at first and then as fast as possible. Pay attention to how the tempo changes the way the exercise feels. Going faster is more of a cardio challenge, but a full range of motion can be more challenging when you slow it down.

Tempo Change Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll spend a minute on each exercise. 20 seconds slow, 10 seconds as fast as possible, and repeat. Move immediately on to the next exercise without resting. I set my interval timer for 22 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest to time the workout. Once you complete all 11 exercises, rest for 30-60 seconds and then go through once more for a total of two times through. If you’re a beginner or want a shorter core blast, just go through once.

Slow should NOT mean easy. When you’re performing the exercise slowly, I want you to be super deliberate in your movements. Think of adding in a “squeeze” or pause at the top of each muscle contraction. For example, on the side plank hip dips, as you lift your hips slowly back up to plank, really squeeze the oblique at the top, pressing your hips that extra inch upwards. Tempo Change Core Workout - alternate between a slow and fast pace

  • Push Ups | Feel free to modify from your knees if necessary!
  • Crossbody Mountain Climbers | Start in a plank position with hands stacked under shoulders, abs held in tight (don’t let your low back arch down towards the floor). Pull your right knee across your body towards your left elbow, trying to make contact between the two if you can. Step the right foot back into your high plank and then repeat on the other side, left knee to right elbow. Especially when going slowly, I want you to try to physically tap the arm with your knee every time.
  • Superman Lifts | Start laying on your stomach, arms stretched overhead. From here, squeeze the shoulder blades, back and glutes to lift your arms and legs off the ground as high as you can. Pause for a second at the top, and then slowly lower extremities back down to starting position. For more of a challenge, don’t let your arms and legs ever come fully to rest on the ground; lower to a hover and then lift back up.
  • Rolling Sit Ups | Think Pilates C curve; think “tucking” at your favorite barre class. Start laying on your back with your knees bent and feet firmly planted on the ground, arms outstretched. You’re going to a do a sit up, keeping your feet on the ground and rolling up, vertebrae by vertebrae, keeping your low back glued to the ground until the last few inches of your sit up. Reverse the motion once you’ve reached the top, pulling the low abs in tight as you roll first your low back and then mid and upper back down to the floor. Try not to tuck your chin into your neck as you do this.
  • Bicycle Crunches | Start laying on your back, hands behind your head (but not pulling on your head) and legs extended straight out, hovering off the floor a couple inches. From here, bend your left knee in, keeping the right leg extended out straight, and crunch your upper back up off the floor, twisting the right elbow across your body to meet the left knee. Repeat to the other side, fluidly moving from one side to the next, legs alternating in a pedaling motion.
  • Leg Scissors | Lay on your back with hands under your butt for support or by your sides. Straighten your legs, lifting the left leg a couple inches off the ground to a hover and the right leg straight up in the air, perpendicular to the ground. You’re going to alternate leg positions, lifting and lowering them back and forward. The goal is to never rest the bottom leg on the ground; only lower it to a hover. As you do these, pull your abs in tight and press your low back to the ground. If you feel your low back lifting off the floor and straining in anyway, add a bend to your knees as you do these.
  • Leg Lifts | Lay on your back with hands under your butt for support or by your sides. Lift legs straight up, perpendicular to the ground and then lower until they are just a couple inches off the ground. Legs should stay straight the whole time, and should never come to rest on the ground in between reps. As you do these, pull your abs in tight and press your low back to the ground. If you feel your low back lifting off the floor and straining in anyway, add a bend to your knees as you do these.
  • Side Plank Hip Dips (Right) | Start in a side plank position, right hand stacked under right shoulder. From here, dip your hips down towards the ground and then squeeze your right sidebody to lift them back up to starting position.
  • Side Plank Hip Dips (Left)
  • Side Plank Leg Lifts (Right) | Start in a side plank position, right hand stacked under right shoulder. From here, lift your top, left leg straight up and then back down to starting position. For more of a challenge, never let that top leg rest on the bottom one; lower it to a hover and then lift back up. With this one, you’re using your oblique to keep the hips lifted and using your side butt to do the leg abductions. If your wrists bother you, you can do this one from your forearm.
  • Side Plank Leg Lifts (Left)

Tempo Change Core Workout - alternate between a slow and fast paceWEARING | bra: Fabletics // tank: c/o Marshalls // leggings: c/o Puma //sneakers: c/o New Balance

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Sweaty HIIT Circuit Workout

Sweaty HIIT Circuit WorkoutHello from Miami! I’m wrapping up my friend’s bachelorette weekend, so while I do the complete opposite of working out (read: drink alcohol by the pool), let’s focus on healthier times today… :)

I had my Btone clients do this HIIT workout the other week as the bootcamp portion of the Tone ‘N Torch class I teach and everyone was good and sweaty by the end–a beautiful sight to a fitness instructor’s eyes! Lots of jumpin’ around in this one. If you want a strength training workout that also packs a cardio punch, this one will get your heart rate up in no time.

Sweaty HIIT Circuit Workout

Equipment I Used:

Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the circuit of five exercises four times. During the 45-second work interval, your goal is to get in as many reps as possible without sacrificing form. Sweaty HIIT Circuit Workout

Squat Thrust Squat Jump | You do a squat thrust then a squat jump, alternating between the two. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, feet about hip’s width apart and squat down, keeping your lower abdomen held in and sliding your bum and hips back and down. Once you reach your lowest squat, power up, driving your hips forward and engaging the glutes as you straighten your legs to stand. As you do so, press the dumbbells overhead into a shoulder press. Sink back down into your low squat. Next time you power up, keep the dumbbells at shoulder height as you jump up, landing softly back down into your squat position. Go right into your thrust, continuing to alternate between the two.

Spiderman Climbers | Start in a plank-lunge position with the right foot planted on the floor on the outside of the right hand. Jump both feet up, momentarily shifting all your weight into the hands, and land back in a plank with the left foot outside the left hand. Continue alternating back and forth. Beginners: instead of jumping, step your right foot up towards the right hand, step it back to plank, then repeat on the left.

Push Up Burpees | Start standing, feet about shoulder-width apart. Squat down, bringing your hands to the ground by your feet and jump both feet back into a plank position. Do a push up. Quickly jump your feet back up by your hands and shift the weight into your feet, bring torso upright into a low squat position. From here, jump up, arms overhead. Land softly on your feet, sinking right back down into a squat and starting from the top.

Jump Lunges to Knee Up | You’ll do three jump lunges then a knee raise. Make sure you do three—the odd number will ensure you’re alternating sides for the knee raise. Start in a split-stance lunge: right foot in front, ball of left foot planted on the floor behind you. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees, front knee aligned over ankle, back knee hovering just a couple inches off the floor. From here, push off your feet to jump up in the air, switching feet in mid-air and landing back in a lunge with left foot forward and right foot planted behind. That’s one. After you’ve done three, stand up on your front foot, bringing your back knee up into your chest, engaging your abs. Lower the knee, stepping right back into a lunge position. Start your three jump lunges.

Football Drill (Hot Feet to Hit the Floor) | Start with hot feet: You essentially run in place as fast as you can while in a wide-leg squat position. With your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart, squat down. Staying low, you’ll quickly run your feet up and down, staying on the balls of your feet and barely picking them off the floor (an inch or two) so that you can maintain the speed. Every five or so seconds, hit the floor. Jump down into a sort of plank, lowing your chest to the floor. As soon as your chest touches the floor, push back up and explosively hop back to your feet, staying low in a squat position and going right back into hot feet. Sweaty HIIT Circuit Workout

WEARING | top, bra & leggings: Fabletics // sneakers: Nike (similar here)

Enjoy your day!

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