Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes)

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes) - free video included so you can follow along at home!Lately I’ve been making a concentrated effort to incorporate more push ups into my workouts. I sometimes get frustrated that I *still* struggle with push ups after years and years of working out, but it’s my own fault—I avoid them! (Anyone else guilty of avoiding exercises at which you’re not that great??) Today’s quick HIIT workout for upper body and core includes a couple different push-up variations for that very reason.

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes)

This workout is broken up into three, four-minute superset HIIT circuits. You’ll rest for 30 seconds in between each circuit. For each HIIT circuit, you’ll do six rounds of 30 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, alternating between two exercises.


Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes) - free video included so you can follow along at home!


Low Push Up Jacks | Lower down to a low push up position and hold there with your body hovering off the ground, abs held in tight. Holding here, jump your feet out wide and then back to the starting position. Press back up to high push up. If you need to modify, drop your knees into a modified low plank hold and then straighten your arms, and once arms are straight, lift your knees up into your starting plank position. If you’d rather do a tricep push up (elbows in tight to the sides of your body) that’s an option as well.

Plank Jump to Marching Plank | Start in a high plank position. Jump your feet up towards your hands, bringing your knees toward your chest. Immediately hop them right back out into high plank. March down to forearms, one arm at a time, and then back up to high plank one hand at a time. That’s one rep.


Full-Body Crunch with Twist (use weight) | If a Russian Twist and a Sit Up had a baby, this would be it. Start laying on your back with the weight overhead in outstretched arms and your legs extended. Legs and arms should be hovering. From here, you’re going to crunch your knees into your chest as you lift your torso up to meet them and bring the weight to the outside of your right knee, twisting to that side (so you’re balancing on your tailbone at the top of the crunch). Reverse back to starting position and repeat, this time twisting and crunching up to the left.

Scissor Kicks | Lay on your back with your legs outstretched, hovering off the ground. Your shoulders should be crunched off the ground as well with your hands lightly behind your head and elbows out wide. Holding this position, scissor kick your legs over and under each other.


10 Mountain Climbers 1 Push Up | Start in a high plank position. Do 10 Mountain Climbers (5 to each side) and then one push up. To modify, drop to your knees for the push up.

Leg Lift to Toe Touch | Start laying on your back with weight held above your chest and legs straight to the ceiling. From here, lower your legs to a hover and then back up. Crunch the weight up towards your toes.

Quick HIIT Workout for Upper Body and Core (13 Minutes) - free video included so you can follow along at home!

WEARING | Alo Yoga Moto Leggings (also available in high waist) // Zella tank c/o Nordstrom // adidas UltraBOOST sneakers c/o Finish Line

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you never miss a video! I’ve got a new recipe one coming your way Sunday and another workout next week. 🙂

And if you like this workout, I’d suggest giving this similar workout a try (more upper body, similar format).

Enjoy your weekend!

Links to outfit details and equipment are affiliate.

Arm Song Workout with Recycle Studio (Biceps + Shoulders Burnout)

This one-song workout uses a high rep - low weight format for a big arm burnout.Happy Friday friends! If you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you were probably already notified of this new arm song workout video, but I wanted to post it here as well.

The first spin class I ever took in Boston was at Recycle Studio years ago and I immediately fell in love. I was totally off-beat, had no clue what a tapback was, and could barely make it halfway through the arm song without dropping my weights, but couldn’t wait for my next class. Fast-forward to today and I’m actually going to co-teach a class there this weekend (the arm portion anyway)! Details on that later on in the post, but for all my non-Bostonian readers, I wanted to give you a little preview of what you could expect from an “arm song” in class.

Lead instructor Emily Southworth (@emboslice on Insta) put together an arm burnout targeting biceps and shoulders, and you guys are gonna love it. Her classes always kick my ass—get to one if you’re in Boston!

This was my first time trying to make a video so that the workout was to the beat of a song I added in afterwards so bear with my C+ editing skills. 😉

Arm Song Workout

This one-song workout uses a high rep - low weight format for a big arm burnout.

If you’ve taken an indoor cycling class that incorporates an “arm song” or done barre, you’re well aware that those tiny hand weights can pack a big burn when used in a high-rep format. For this workout, you’ll need a pair of 2-4lb hand weights. Follow along to the video below and get ready for a biceps and shoulder burn! If you’re looking for a longer workout, go through the video twice.

In a real class at Recycle, the arm song would be a little longer than in this video and you’d have better music. I still haven’t found the holy grail of copyright-free music that I’m allowed to use on YouTube so I did the best I could. All the more reason to sign up for a class at the studio. 😉 Speaking of which …

Come workout with me this Sunday!

On Sunday, I’ll be teaching a class with Emily at Recycle’s Boston Common studio! Well, she’ll be teaching the class and I’ll just chime in during the arm song. Trust me, no one would be happy if they paid to have me attempt to teach spin (lol). PUMA is sponsoring the ride and offering free gear for riders (!!) and TIEM will be in studio for a trunk show all morning. Plus there’ll be raffles and rosé aprés! Not a bad way to spend your Sunday morning!

Book your bike HERE.

As of last night, the class was almost full but don’t be afraid to add yourself to the waitlist! It’s a Sunday—I guarantee at least a couple people will cancel.

Hope to see you there!

High-Rep, Low-Weight Workouts from the Archives

These workouts have a similar structure (although not music-based). The last two also mix in heavier strength exercises.

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.

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Outfit links and first gift link are affiliate.