Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Good morning and happy Monday to you!  Start the week off right with this workout that will hit all the major muscles in the upper body.  I completed four sets, but two sets of each would give you a solid workout to add to your cardio of choice today.

Equipment: dumbbells, bench or mat

Program: 10-12 reps x 2 sets of each superset.  No rest between exercises.  Minimal rest between supersets.


  1. Bentover dumbbell row & supine dumbbell chest press
  2. Bentover dumbbell WIDE row & supine dumbbell NARROW chest press
  3. Supine pullovers & standing military shoulder press
  4. Standing hammer curls & supine skull crushers
  5. Not a super set, but combine and alternate between the two movements: side to front shoulder raises
What does supine mean?
1. (of a person) lying face upward.
synonyms: flat on one’s back, face upward, facing upward, flathorizontalrecumbent, stretched out
  1. “she lay supine on the sand”

Slow Burn Upper Body Circuit

Add this simple and quick upper body circuit to your cardio day.  Grab a weight that challenges you and that you can only perform a maximum of 10-12 reps.   Your final rep should be SLOW 10-count eccentric (lowering) motion.

Equipment: bench, dumbbells

Program: 10-12 reps each x 3 rounds.  Your final repetition of each exercise should be about 10-counts as you lower the weights.  Rest minimally between exercises.  Rest about 30 seconds between rounds.


  1. Dumbbell chest press
  2. Seated shoulder press
  3. Bentover dumbbell row
  4. Biceps curls
  5. Triceps kickbacks

Quads & Biceps

Here’s the sister to the glutes & triceps workout.  Combine the two workouts for a nice leg and arm day!

Equipment: dumbbells, bench

Program: 12 reps x 3 sets each pair.  Rest minimally between exercises.  Rest about 1 minute between pairs.


Bulgarian squat & standing bicep curl

Alternating step-ups with knee lift & alternating hammer curl

Walking lunge & serve-the-platter

Glutes & Triceps

Here’s a basic workout comprised of a few favorites for glutes and triceps. Maybe next workout will be quads and biceps?!

Equipment: dumbbells, mat, exercise ball

Program: 12 reps x 3 sets each glute/triceps pair.  Minimal rest between exercises.  Rest about 1 minute before moving onto next pair.


  1. Curtsy complex & standing overhead triceps extension
  2. Ball hamstring curl & supine skullcrusher
  3. Single-leg deadlift & triceps kickback


Arm Triathlon

A true triathlon (biking, swimming, running) may not be your thing, but this three-muscle group arm workout can count as your mini-triathlon!

Equipment: dumbbells, bench or mat

Program: 10 reps x 3 sets of Groups A & B.  Rest minimally between exercises within group.  Rest about 30 seconds between sets.  Group C perform 1 set x 1 minute in one continuous motion.


  • Group A: biceps curls, overhead triceps extension, lateral flyes
  • Group B: alternating single-arm hammer curls, alternating single-arm supine skull crushers, alternating single-arm overhead shoulder press
  • Group C: bicep curl to overhead press


All About Shoulders

Train your shoulders from all sides with this traditional dumbbell workout.

Equipment: dumbbells

Program: 10 reps x 3 sets (each exercise).  Rest about 30 seconds between sets.  Rest about 1 minute between exercises.


  1. Arnold press
  2. Single-arm front raise (each arm)
  3. Single-arm side raise (each arm)
  4. Complex raise
  5. Bent-over lateral raise
  6. Overhead press


Tabata Arms

Equipment: dumbbells, mat (optional)

Program: Tabata 20 seconds work/10 seconds rest x 8 rounds each round.  Rest about 1 minute between rounds.


Round 1: 

High knee run + push ups

Squat jacks + push ups

Skaters + push ups

Burpees + push ups

Round 2: substitute push ups with shoulder press

Round 3: substitute shoulder press with overhead triceps extension

Round 4: substitute overheard triceps extension with bicep curls

Cardio with a side of arms!  Go heavy with your dumbbells to maximize the arm work.

Basic Arm Workout

Equipment: bench or chair, dumbbells

Program: 3 rounds x 12 reps each group.  Rest minimally between exercises and rounds.  Rest about 1 minute between group A & B.


Group A (seated): biceps curls, overhead triceps extension, shoulder press

Group B (standing): hammer curls, bent over kickbacks, lateral raises

No-nonsense arm workout that’s quick and to the point.  Pair with your long slow cardio day.

February 8 – All About Arms

Equipment: dumbbells, bench or chair

Program: 12-15 reps x 3 rounds, circuit style.  Rest minimally between exercises.  Rest about 1 minute between rounds.


  • Wide curls
  • Kickbacks
  • Single arm bicep curl (right, then left)
  • Single arm overhead triceps extension (right, then left)
  • Hammer curls
  • Bench dips

Focusing on the biceps and triceps to maximize your push and pull strength.  Toned arm muscles look pretty great too!

January 26 – Upper Body

Equipment: dumbbells, mat

Program: Complete the entire circuit 2-3 times.  Rest about 1 minute between rounds.


10 Burpees

12 Bicep curls to overhead press

20 Mountain climbers

12 Narrow grip chest press

50 Jump ropes

12 Bentover row

10 Deadman jumps (reverse burpees)

12 Triceps kick backs

Adding some fast plyo moves to make this simple upper body dumbbell workout more interesting (and sweaty!)