Upper Body Stacked Circuit Workout

Upper Body Stacked Circuit Workout - this one takes just 13 minutes and you'll add on an exercise each roundRound two! If you missed yesterday’s post, I already shared part one of the three circuits in the Power class I teach at Burn (lower body). Now it’s on to upper body! This particular workout is dynamic–upper body is the focus, but there are some full body exercises in there as well (burpees!). The first exercise, windmills, is actually primarily an oblique exercise, but I wanted the class to pay attention to the shoulder joint as they did it and notice how they rotated and controlled it to keep the weight pointing straight up towards the ceiling as they lifted and lowered.

Upper Body Stacked Circuit Workout

Equipment I Used:

This circuit will take you just 13 minutes to complete. You stay on each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds after each round, and add on an exercise each round. Confused? Here’s what the start of the workout looks like:

Exercise 1
Exercise 1 + Exercise 2
Exercise 1 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 3

So the first round is only 30 seconds long (one exercise) and the sixth and final round is 3 minutes long (all six exercises). You’ll do exercise 1 (windmills) six times and exercise 6 (shoulder press ups) only once at the very end. Even though the length of time you’re working gets longer and longer, you only get 30 seconds of rest each time. I set my interval timer for 26 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest so that it beeps at me every 30 seconds, but you could also just watch the clock. Upper Body Stacked Circuit Workout - this one takes just 13 minutes and you'll add on an exercise each round

  1. Windmills (alternate side each round) | Start in a standing position, feet wider than hip-width apart, kettlebell pressed above head in right hand. Your right foot should be pointing forward, your left foot pointing out to the side (perpendicular to the right). Slowly bend down, keeping legs and the arm holding the kettlebell straight. Touch the ground by your left foot with your left hand, keeping the kettlebell perpendicular to the ground the whole time. Slowly rise back up to starting position. A good way to maintain proper alignment during this is to look up at the kettlebell the whole time.
  2. Overhead Tricep Extension | Hold the kettlebell around the fat weight part with both hands overhead. Tuck your tailbone, engage your abs, and keep a soft bend to your knees so you have a supportive base. From here, bend your elbows, dipping the weight behind your head. When you’ve reached your lowest point, slowly bring it back up overhead. As you do this, keep the elbows glued in to the side of your head–don’t let the elbows bow out in a diamond shape.
  3. High Pull (alternate side each round) | Stand tall, feet about hip-width apart, with the kettlebell on the ground in front of you to one side. Squat down, weight in your heels, grabbing the kettlebell with one hand. This is your starting position. From here, power up to a standing position using your legs. As you do, pull the kettlebell straight up by your armpit, leading with the elbow. Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground softly, tapping it to the floor and going right into your next rep.
  4. 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.
  5. Shoulder Press to Rotation | 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. From here, rotate your palm downward, keeping your elbows bent at 90 degrees (think of closing the lid of a box). When hands reach shoulder height in front of you, rotate from the shoulders to bring them back up to starting position.
  6. Shoulder Press Ups | Imagine your forearms and elbows have magnets on them. Holding a weight in each hand, palms facing your face, hold your forearms in front of you, elbows bent at 90 degrees. Fight to hold the elbows as close to each other as you can throughout the whole movement. From here, you’re going to press your hands straight up, lifting the elbows, keeping forearms close together. Be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears as you do this. After pressing up as high as you can, slowly return back to starting.

Upper Body Stacked Circuit Workout - this one takes just 13 minutes and you'll add on an exercise each round

WEARING | tank: Spiritual Gangster (old but similar here) // leggings: c/o Eddie Bauer (old but similar here) // sneakers: Nike

Try out the workout and if you’re in the Boston area, get your bum in for a class! I teach every Friday morning. :) signature


Kettlebell HIIT Workout with Resistance Band Warm Up

20-minute Kettlebell HIIT WorkoutTwo areas that I’ve really been focusing on strengthening lately are my upper back/lats/shoulders and, as you already know from last week’s resistance band workout, my abductors. Regularly practicing yoga this year has made it painfully apparent that I need to improve my posture by opening up my chest and strengthening my back.

This workout definitely emphasizes those problem areas for me, but the beauty of kettlebell exercises is that the majority of them engage your entire body.

I started with an 8-minute “warm up”/pre-workout using a resistance band and then got to the higher intensity stuff.

Kettlebell Interval Workout with Resistance Band Warm Up

20-minute Kettlebell HIIT Workout with resistance band warm upEquipment I Used:

Quick Resistance Band Lunge Series (Warm Up)

This “warm up” is eight minutes long, so think of it as exercise before the real exercises(?). You can totally omit it and just do the HIIT Circuit if you’ve warmed up another way.

You’ll do each move for 20 seconds and move from one right to the next without rest. Go through the 4-move circuit three times. Repeat on the other side. I set my interval timer for 12 rounds of 20 sec work and 0 sec rest so that it’d beep every 20 seconds, signaling me to move onto the next exercise.

To set up, wrap one end of the resistance band around your hand and place the other end around and underneath your opposite foot. Step the banded foot forward and the other foot back so that you’re in a low lunge. Quick Resistance Band Lunge Series (great warm up!)

  • Lawn Mowers | I can’t do this exercise without thinking of the movie Superstar. I always want to follow it up with the Sprinkler and Shopping Cart (please tell me someone else knows what I’m talking about haha). Anyway, from your starting lunge position with the band wrapped around your front foot and opposite hand, you’ll straighten your front leg as you row the band and twist your torso open. From the top, bend back into your front leg as you extend your wrapped hand back down towards your front foot, untwisting your torso and returning to the start.
  • Resistance Band Rows | Hold your low lunge position and row the band back, leading with your elbow. Think about squeezing the working shoulder blade in towards your spine with each row.
  • Hold the Row & Pulse | Hold your final row as far back as possible. From this high-tension point, pulse your elbow back an inch and in an inch. Keep the movement small and the tension on the band high.
  • Knee Drivers in Lunge | From your lunge position, shift your weight into the front foot (primarily the heel). Staying low on that front leg, pick up your back leg and drive the knee forward and then return it to your starting lunge. Keep your weight out of that back foot—lightly tough it to the floor and then go right into your next knee drive.

Kettlebell HIIT Circuit

Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit 4 times. If you’re short on time or a beginner, just go through the circuit 3 times (15 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest). 20-minute Kettlebell HIIT Workout

  • High Pull (right) | Stand tall, feet about hip-width apart, with the kettlebell on the ground in front of you to one side. Squat down, weight in your heels, grabbing the kettlebell with one hand. This is your starting position. From here, power up to a standing position using your legs. As you do, pull the kettlebell straight up by your armpit, leading with the elbow. Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground softly, tapping it to the floor and going right into your next rep.
  • High Pull (left)
  • Kettlebell Swing Punches | This exercise just adds a punch to your standard kettlebell swing. Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. As the bell reaches the top of the swing, bend your elbows out wide to bring it in towards your chest. Immediately punch it back out and swing back down. Your knees are bent at the bottom, but keep in mind the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting.
  • Lift ‘n Pull | Start standing, knees softly bent, abs engaged, holding the kettlebell in both hands in front of you. Pull the bell up as if you were zippering a jacket. As you lift up, pull the handle out to the sides as if you were trying to tear it in half. It’s an upward and outward force applied by your hands. Give a good squeeze at the top and then slowly lower the bell back down to starting position.
  • Weighted Sumo Squat Leg Lifts | This is a wide-stand squat with alternating side leg lifts. Feet wider than hip-distance apart, squat down low. Shift your weight into the right side and, staying as low as you can (it’s natural for the right to straighten a little, but don’t come out of the bent knee all the way), lift the left leg straight up and out to the side. Lower it, bringing your weight back to center in that deep squat. Repeat to the other side. Hold the kettlebell at your chest as you do these. If it’s too heavy, ditch the bell and just use your bodyweight.

20-minute Kettlebell HIIT Workout with resistance band workoutWEARING | tank & capris c/o Alala // bra c/o Cory Vines // sneakers: Nike (similar here)

I spotlighted Alala in Friday’s athleticwear post, and am wearing the two pieces from them I own in today’s workout. Obsessed with both the top and bottom! Really high quality and everything in the line is so stylish! And the best part is, I get to offer you all a discount…


Use the code PUMPS15 at checkout to get 15% off your oder. Happy shopping!


A Two-Move Workout You Can Do Anywhere (Perfect for Summer Vacations!)

athleta-pumps-iron-3When I got the opportunity to work with Athleta on this post, it took me all of 0 seconds to get on board. The Athleta in Boston is dangerously close to Btone, and I can’t help popping in on my way home from teaching. I’ve been a big fan of their casual tanks for a while, and now I have to add sweatpants to that. Guys. These Downplay Capri sweatpants from their summer collection have not come off my body since they arrived. Athleta asked me to share my ideal active summer day with you guys, but honestly, right now that could be anything as long as I’m in these sweatpants. That won’t make for a great blog post though, so…

My Perfect Active Summer Day

athleta-pumps-iron-10If I were in Boston, it’d involve waking up early (I’m one of those annoying morning people) and going for a run along the Charles before it gets too hot out. If I keep the run short, I’d plan to end it at Btone to take a class. On my way home from the studio, I’d do some (window) shopping, maybe grab brunch with friends on Newbury Street, and eventually make my way back to my apartment to hit up our pool for the rest of the day.

But if we’re talking perfect summer day, I wouldn’t be in the city—I’d be by the beach! All the pictures in these posts were taken on the Vineyard. Usually when I’m visiting my parents there, I start the day with a quick workout at the house and then head out for a run along the beach or through the forest near our place. Then it’d be beach time! After the beach, I’d head downtown to grab a drink on the harbor with friends. athleta-pumps-iron-11 athleta-pumps-iron-4 athleta-pumps-iron-8 athleta-pumps-iron-9 athleta-pumps-iron-2So I’ve already professed my love for a pair of sweatpants, but let’s talk about the other Athleta goodies I’m rocking. The white Sugar Wash tank with pocket is perfect for everyday wear and layering. I’m a big jeans and t-shirt/tank girl, so this top is a new wardrobe essential for me. Another piece that works well for the gym as well as everyday wear is the gray and white Essence Double Tank. I love the layered look!

On the fitness (vs. everyday) side of things, are the Glacial Luma Chaturanga Capris–I’m obsessed with the marble pattern! The wide waistband is comfortable and they go perfectly with the Essence Energize Tank. I think the mint color is perfect for summer and the strappy crisscross back is totally on trend. I also paired the capris with the Renew Tank in pink, a piece that’s made with “unstinkable” fabric. It’s soft and stretchy and I love the high neckline.

Last but not least, the Maldives Bikini! While I don’t do it as often as I’d like, I do love swimming as a workout. I was a lifeguard growing up and usually just wear one of those suits for workouts, but it’s not ideal having LIFEGUARD plastered across your chest when you’re definitely NOT qualified for the title anymore (haha). This Athleta bikini is great for swimming laps or distances in the ocean because it’s functional (drawstring bottom, supportive top). It’s also adorable! I love the color scheme and as someone who’s spent way too much time in the sun, I appreciate having my chest covered.

10-Minute Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Set an interval timer for 10 rounds of 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You’ll alternate between the two compound exercises 5 times. 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout You Can Do Anywhere

  • Push-Up, Reptile Crunch, Plank Jump Combo | Start in a plank position. Do one push-up. Back in your plank, do one reptile crunch on each side, pulling the right knee in toward the right arm and then the left knee in toward the left arm. Once you’re back in plank, jump both feet up toward your hands (stay light on your feet, weight should remain in your hands) and then hop them right back into plank. Start back from the top with a push-up.
  • Lunge Hop to Lunge Jump | Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward, both knees bent to opposing 90-degree angles. Keeping your feet in this position, hop up, landing back in your lunge. Next, do a jump lunge, switching your feet midair so that you land in a lunge with your left foot forward. Do a hop on that side. Continue repeating back and forth.

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What does your ideal active summer day look like?


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Athleta through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated to write a post about Athleta, all opinions–as always!–are my own.