Shoulder Workout: Endurance Burnout + Strength Exercises

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuitsToday’s workout is a follow-up to the biceps and triceps one I posted a few weeks ago. Same structure, different focus. Shoulders are the target, but in a few of the moves, you’ll feel your chest and biceps getting a lil’ love as well.

Endurance + Strength Shoulder Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Light hand weights (2-5lbs) — I’m using 2 lbs which was PLENTY high for the first endurance round. I probably could have done 3-4 lbs for the second round.
  • Medium-heavy dumbbells (8-20lbs) — I’m using a pair of 10-lb dumbbells.

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuits


LIGHT WEIGHTS | 20 seconds each x3 without rest

  • Reach and Pull | Arms start extended out to your sides, palms facing up, soft bend to the elbows (arms make a “W” shape). From here, you’re going to pull the elbows behind your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together and then extend them back out to the starting position.
  • Flip the Cup | Same starting position as the first move. From here, keeping a soft bend to the elbows, flip your hands so that the palms face down and then up again. You’re tracing a “C” shape with your hands.
  • Lateral Pulses | Arms straight out by your sides at shoulder height, palms face down. Pulse the arms up and down.


HEAVIER WEIGHTS | 30 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x9 (three times through the exercises)

NOTE ON WEIGHT: If you’re using the same weights for all your heavy exercises, you may find these first two moves to be too much. In general, we can go heavier with arm exercises in which we keep our arms close to our center of gravity; and need to go a smidge lighter when we extend out away from our core, such as with standing lateral and front raises. You can either grab a slightly lighter set of weights or, if you only have one pair of dumbbells, just alternate arms in the lateral and front raises like I do in the video. Makes a world of difference!

  • Lateral Raise (option to alternate) | Before you do anything, roll your shoulder cage up, back and down, opening up your chest. Then engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. Maintain this upright, tall, open posture throughout the exercise: don’t let your shoulders shrug up or roll forward, and don’t let your low back arch excessively. From this starting position, lift your right arm up to shoulder height, palm down, at a wide angle out to your side. With control, lower it down to your side and repeat with the left arm. If you’re choosing the more difficult option, you’d do both arms at the same time.
  • Front Raise (option to alternate) | Same idea as the lateral raise, but you’ll lift the weight up in front of your body instead of out to the side.
  • Bent Raise to Rotation | Start with your arms down by your sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees (as if you were starting to do a hammer curl). Maintaining that arm shape, lift your elbows up and out to the sides. At the top of this raise, your hands and elbows should be at armpit/shoulder height. From here, rotate your arms open and up until they reach goal post position. Reverse the movement back to start. So throughout this entire movement, your arm is in the same L shape. You’re just lifting and then rotating from the shoulders.


LIGHT WEIGHTS | 20 seconds each x3 without rest

  • Bent Pulse | Elbows bent at 90 degrees, palms facing in, forearms parallel in front of your face. Pulse them up and down keeping the elbows in line with your shoulders.
  • Elbow Tap | From the first move, push the weights together (you can interlace your fingers if that helps) and while actively pushing, tap your elbows together.
  • Front Press | Trying to keep the weights together (or close to it) and elbows squeezing in together (narrower than your shoulders if possible) reach the arms up and down in front of your face.


HEAVIER WEIGHTS | 30 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x9 (three times through the exercises)

  • 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.
  • Arnold Press | This is a shoulder press where you fluidly circle your head with your forearms at the bottom. It’s easiest to start in the middle of the movement: elbows bent to 90 degrees out to your sides in goal post position. Shoulders should be down and back, not shrugged up towards your ears. From here, press the weights overhead and together. Lower them back down to 90-degree bends and as you do, close your forearms in front of your face, rotating the palms to face you. When weights tap together in front of your face and your forearms form the number 11, reverse the movement, opening up your arms to goal post as you rotate your palm outward and press the arms straight overhead.
  • 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.

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuits

WEARING | Athleta leggings (these gray leggings from Beyond Yoga are cute, too) // Athleta tank (old but they’ve got a lot of similar high-neck tanks and alo yoga has a high nick tank as well–love it, have it in green!)

Enjoy this workout! It’s great to pair with a run or other cardio. If you’re a beginner, you might want to break it up. Do the first set of endurance and strength exercises and then save the second set for another day. Make sure to warm up the upper body before jumping into it and take some time to stretch afterwards. Let me know if you have any questions about it in the comments!


Three Holiday Gift Ideas: Gift Card Edition

  • Fashion-lover or the guy/chick who needs some serious wardrobe help | Stitch Fix gift cards, baby! By now you guys know I love Stitch Fix! Get another fan of the service a gift card. It’s a great option if you know they love clothes but aren’t confident you’d be able to pick them out something specific–let the SF stylists take care of that. Also great idea for a guy in your life if you’re like me and find men impossible to shop for!
  • Blogger or work-from-home professional | I’ve talked about Breather room rentals on the blog before–I use them for shooting pictures and videos for Pumps. They’re also great if you need a spot for an off-site meeting, conference call, event. The service isn’t in every city, but they’re offering gift cards for the holiday season and the blogger or work-from-home professional would love some free time! Tip: If you use the code PUMPIRON you can get $45 in credit so to maximize your free rental time, first use that code and then cash in on your gift card.
  • Fitness lover | A gift card to your loved one’s favorite fitness studio is a guaranteed home run of a present (I know I’m always giddy to receive them!). Studio classes get pricey and even just a couple freebies is uh-mazing. Most Boston studios offer gift cards or some way to purchase credit for your friends and family so just visit their website or email the studio. For yoga lovers, CorePower is currently doing a promotion where you can buy $100 gift cards for only $80.

LET’S HANG OUT | YouTube // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Snapchat @nicoleperr

Outfit links and first gift link are affiliate.

8-Minute HIIT Workout

8-Min HIIT Workout | All you need is a set of weights for this quick full-body interval workout (video included)
This is one of the workouts I shot in my apartment during my day-in-the-life post last week, but I just couldn’t get over the cable wires in the shot! I filmed the entire workout over again in the Btone row room. Total pain, but seriously nothing could have upset me yesterday I was so excited after (finally) ordering a set of photography lamps. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself before testing them out, but they’ll improve the lighting situation in my videos tenfold. Geeking out over here!!

8-Minute HIIT Workout

Set an interval timer for 12 rounds: 30 seconds work // 10 seconds rest. You’ll go through a circuit of four exercises three times.


  • Set of dumbbells (I’m using two 10lb weights)
  • Exercise mat
  • Interval timer (if you’re not following along with the video)

8-Min HIIT Workout | All you need is a set of weights for this quick full-body interval workout (video included)

Squat Thrust to Squat Jump Combo | Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, feet about hips’ 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. Squat back down and this time perform a squat jump, keeping the weights at shoulder height.

Renegade Row to Frog Stamp | Start in a plank position holding dumbbells planted firmly on the ground beneath your shoulders (if this hurts your hands, place hands on the ground and just keep the dumbbells next to them so you can easily grab them for the rows). From this starting position, do a row on each side, first driving the right elbow up to the ceiling and then the left, lifting the dumbbell up close to the side of your body. Try to keep your hips level as you do this; don’t twist open towards the rowing side (having a wider stance with your feet will help accomplish this). After a row to each side, jump your feet up wide to the outsides of your hands and then quickly back to plank.

Surfer Get Ups (alternate lead foot) | Start laying on your stomach with hands by your side. Squeeze your back and glutes to lift your chest and hands off the ground. Lower your hands back to the ground by your rib cage. From here, you’re going to explosively press up and jump into a low squat with one foot in front and the other staggered behind (think of a surfer jumping up on the board to catch a wave). From here, bring your hands back to the ground as you jump your feet back into plank lower your body to the ground with control. Repeat from the top, this time landing in low squat with your other foot in front.

Bicycle Crunch Sit-Up Figure 8s | With your legs, you’re doing a bicycle crunch. With your upper body, you’re doing a sit up and passing a dumbbell from one hand to the other, under whichever knee is bent. So to start, lay down with a dumbbell in one hand. Extend your legs out to hover a few inches off the ground, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground as well so that your abs are contracted. From here, bend the knee opposite to whichever hand has the dumbbell in (keep the other leg hovering) and as you do, sit up and pass the dumbbell under your bent leg to the other hand. Extend the leg back out and return to a hover and then repeat to the other side.

8-Min HIIT Workout | All you need is a set of weights for this quick full-body interval workout (video included)

WEARING | New Balance x J. Crew leggings c/o NB // Under Armour tank (old but their Tech Victory tank is similar) // adidas neo sneakers

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! 🙂


Links to outfit details are affiliate.

Lower Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Bursts

Low Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts - you'll just need a set of weights and 15 minutes! (video included if you want to follow along at home)

You have no idea how many technical difficulties I had making this post–every electronic device I own mutinied on me yesterday. So a day and a half later than planned, let’s just get right to it…

Consider THIS with Weighted Low-Body Exercises

Before getting to the workout, I want to talk a little about choosing weights for the exercises we’ll be doing in the circuit portion. With weighted lower body exercises, don’t just think to yourself “Ok, how much extra weight can I handle for these exercises?” Consider where that added weight will be. A squat with a 20-lb dumbbell held at your chest, for example, will feel different from a squat with two 10-lb dumbbells held at your shoulders. That added front weight is going to alter your center of gravity and will require your back to work a bit harder to stabilize. This is especially true for any exercise in which your torso is hinging forward rather than remaining perfectly upright.

I mention this because you can really use any weight (dumbbell/s, kettlebell, medicine ball, etc.) for this circuit (or just body weight!), and if you go with a singular weight, you’d be holding it at your chest. If your form is on point and you know these exercises like the back of your hand, challenge yourself–go heavy! But if you’re newer to working out or have any history of back issues, I’d definitely encourage you to go lighter than you think you can handle. And that goes for everyone, regardless of where you’ll be holding your weight (shoulders, chest, down to your sides).

Lower Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Bursts


  • Set of dumbbells (or just one held at chest) — I’m using 8-lb weights because they’re the heaviest available at the studio where I filmed the workout. Normally I would have gone with 12-lbs. (No complaints haha).
  • Exercise mat — I didn’t have one when I filmed and my knees were angry during the surrenders. Use a mat!
  • Interval timer — I used this tabata iPhone app for the HIIT bursts and a regular stopwatch for the circuit.

For this workout, you’ll be alternating between a circuit of low-body exercises and a quick 2-minute bodyweight HIIT. The HIIT is all about speed and doing as many reps as you can in the given work interval. The circuit is about control and challenging yourself with weight load (keeping the above info in mind!). Each time you go through the circuit, you’ll stay on it for a shorter period of time.

Breakdown of the Workout:

Exercises and descriptions can be found below the pictorial. You’ll get 15 seconds of rest in between sides and before/after the HIIT.

Weighted Circuit on the Right (45 sec each exercise)
Weighted Circuit on the Left (45 sec each exercise)
2-Min HIIT Blast
Weighted Circuit on the Right (30 sec each exercise)
Weighted Circuit on the Left (30 sec each exercise)
2-Min HIIT Blast
Weighted Circuit on the Right (15 sec each exercise)
Weighted Circuit on the Left (15 sec each exercise)
2-Min HIIT Blast

Make sure to warm up before starting this workout (here’s a 5-minute warm up you can do at home). Always listen to your body and modify as needed! Low Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts - you'll just need a set of weights and 15 minutes! (video included if you want to follow along at home)

Weighted Circuit

Complete 45/30/15 seconds of each exercise on the right then repeat on the left. Try to go from one exercise to the next without rest. If it gets to be too much, just slow down the pace. You can rest for 15 seconds in between the right and left legs.

Side Lunge to Knee Raise | Start standing with one weight at each shoulder. Step your right foot out wide to the side, bending that knee and sinking your hips back and down into a deep side lunge. Press off that right foot to push yourself back up to standing, but instead of bringing your right foot to the floor, drive the knee up and into your chest and then lunge right back down to the side.

  • Make it easier: No knee raise; come back up to standing with both feet on the floor instead.
  • Make it harder: Add a hop off the left foot as you drive your right knee into the chest at the top.

Curtsy Lunge to Side Kick | Start standing with feet hip-width apart. From here, sink down into your curtsey lunge: right foot stays planted on the ground and as you bend that right knee, reach your left foot behind it as far to the right as you can, planting the ball of the foot down. As you come back up to standing, swing that back leg up and out to the left side in a wide kick. As if sweeps back down, lower into your next curtsy lunge.

Squat to Surrender | Start standing with weights at shoulders, feet a little wider than hip’s width apart. Squat down, sliding your hips back and down, keeping your chest open. From here, come to a kneeling position, stepping your right foot back behind you, planting the ball of the foot and knee on the floor and then doing the same with the left. Continuing to lead with the right, return to a low squat position, stepping the right foot forward onto the floor and then the left. From this low squat position, straighten the legs as you drive the hips forward to your starting position.

HIIT Blast

Set a timer for 4 rounds of 20 second work and 10 seconds rest. You’ll go through the following four exercises (20 sec on each with 10 sec rest in between).

Squat Jacks | Start in a low squat position with feet wide. Staying low in a squat, jump your feet in close together and then jump your feet out wide again to the starting position. When your feet are wide, one hand should come to the ground in front. Continue jacking your feet in and out, staying low in the squat and alternating which hands touches the floor (this ensures you’re staying low through the legs!).

Lunge Hop RIGHT | Start in a split-stance lunge position: both knees bent to 90 degrees, right foot flat in front; left foot in back, ball of the foot planted on the ground. Keeping the same foot in front/back, you hop a few inches into the air and land softly back into your starting position. Your legs are never fully straightening during this; it’s a small upward hop, pushing off the balls of the feet. To modify, take out the jump and just pulse at the bottom.

Lunge Hop LEFT 

Hot Feet | You probably know these best as a basketball or football drill. 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.

Low Body Circuit Workout with HIIT Blasts - you'll just need a set of weights and 15 minutes! (video included if you want to follow along at home)terez-stand-up-to-cancer

WEARING | Terez SU2C Mantra leggings (5% of sales are donated to Stand Up To Cancer) // GAP tank // adidas neo sneakers (also love them in black with the marbled sole!) // Athleta bra (sold out in orange but much cuter colors available)

Just to highlight what’s mentioned above in the outfit details, the leggings I’m wearing in today’s post give back! Terez (also the makers of these skull leggings everyone loves) will donate a portion of the proceeds to Stand Up To Cancer.


Outfit detail links are affiliate (except the charitable one). I appreciate your support!