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

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

SHOP A SIMILAR LOOK:

Legs & Butt Stacked Circuit Workout

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

I want to start this week off by sharing with you guys a sample of the Power class I teach each week at BURN. The 45-minute class is broken into three circuits—low body, upper body and core—and it’s a fun, challenging interval structure you can incorporate into your own home and gym workouts if you’re not in the Boston area to take class.

I’m breaking it up into three posts. Today I’m sharing a sample low body circuit; tomorrow a sample upper body circuit; and Wednesday a sample core circuit. If you want to experience a full class, do all three back to back, otherwise pick and choose your body part!

Legs & Butt 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
Rest
Exercise 1 + Exercise 2
Rest
Exercise 1 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 3
Rest

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 (figure 8 kettlebell squats) six times and exercise 6 (jump tucks) 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. Legs & Butt Stacked Circuit Workout - this one takes just 13 minutes and you'll add on an exercise each round

  1. Figure 8 Kettlebell Squats | Start standing with feet a little more than hip width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand. Squat down, and as you do, pass the bell through your legs to the other hand, tracing half of a figure 8. Stand up, squeezing that booty and popping your hips forward. Squat back down, finishing the figure 8 shape around your legs as you pass the kettlebell through your legs to the starting hand. Here’s a video of it in action (fast forward to 0:43).
  2. Weighted Side Taps in Squat | Sink low into a squat holding the kettlebell close to your chest. Weight should be in your heels, abs held in tight. From here, shift your weight into your right foot as you extend your left leg out to the side. Lightly tap the foot and then bring it back in, returning to your starting squat position. Repeat to the other side. When you reach the leg out, don’t rise out of the squat. You want to stay low the whole time.
  3. Goblet Squat – Goblet Hop | Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes angled slightly outward. Hold a kettlebell in both hands, cradling it at the base of the handle at your chest. Keeping your torso as upright as possible (you don’t want to hunch forward with the weight of the bell), squat down, trying to get your bum lower than your knees. As you bend the knees, they should track in line with the angle of the toes and not jut forward of them. Once you reach the bottom of your squat, weight in your heels, power up to standing, thrusting the hips forward slightly at the top as you squeeze those glutes. Next time you squat down, don’t go down as far, and as you power up, hop a couple inches into the air, holding the weight at your chest. Land softly and go right down into your next squat. If doing this with the weight is too much, ditch it and do a bodweight squat-squat jump combo instead.
  4. Jump Lunges | 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. Continue, alternating feet with each jump. If jumping is too much, modify by stepping forward into alternating lunges.
  5. Back Lunge to Side Lunge Hold ‘n Tap (alternate side each round) | This is similar to the weighted side taps in a squat you did earlier, but now you’re isolating one leg the entire 30 seconds (switch sides each round). Start in a lunge with your right foot forward and ball of the left foot lightly behind you. The right leg is the target and you’re going to keep that knee bent the whole time—stay low! From here, bring your left foot forward, tapping it lightly to the floor by your right foot as if you were coming into a squat position. Immediately step it out to the side, again tapping it to the floor in a side lunge position. Continue: in, back lunge, in, side lunge. Keep your weight on the stationary leg and stay low. If you want to make these harder, hold a kettlebell at your chest or dumbbells at your shoulders.
  6. Jump Tucks | Jump up into the air, using your core to pull your knees up towards your chest. Lower them quickly in time to land. You’ll want to bend your knees, sinking into a squat to prep for the jump, and you’ll land this same way, sinking into a squat to absorb the landing. As you jump up bring your hands in front of your rib cage and try to hit them with your knees. These are tiring—try to do as many in a row as you can; if you need to slow down the pace, add in a little hop or two in between each one. 

Legs & Butt Stacked Circuit Workout - this one takes just 13 minutes and you'll add on an exercise each roundWEARING | 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. Also, Sarah, who teaches at BURN as well, posted another sample low body circuit from the Power class HERE. It’s a real time video and requires no equipment.

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5 Activewear Brands I’m Loving: MICHI

Michi NY style picksFROM TOP TO BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT: Luna Leggings  | Shadow Legging  | Mesh Front Tank  | Hydra Crop Leggings  | Supernova Colorblock Performance Leggings  | Chameleon Colorblock Performance Tank  | Psyloque Short  | Colorblock Sports Bra  | Allegro Ballet Mesh Insert Tank

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I’ve mentioned MICHI before on the blog (I wear these leggings all the time), and the obsession has not gone away. Maybe it’s because their stuff is way too expensive for me to buy regularly that I’m so infatuated with the bold cuts and colors, but whatever the reason…I’m in love.

Have a good weekend, friends!

Do you own any MICHI? Expense aside, what do you think?

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