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30-Minute Upper Body Strength Workout (Trisets)

Build strong arms at home with this 30-minute upper body strength workout! The “triset” format targets both the upper body push muscles (shoulders, chest, triceps) and the upper body pull muscles (back and biceps).



 

Build a strong upper body at home with this 30-minute dumbbell workout.

You loved the Triset Leg Workout we did with our friends at the Minnesota Pork Board, so we’re bringing you an arm day version!

This strength workout includes my favorite dumbbell arm exercises in a triset format. This workout will efficiently target all upper body muscles: the chest, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps.

*This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board.

three women performing a kneeling single arm shoulder press in an arm workout at home

Upper Body Strength Workout

What Is The Best Upper Body Workout?

The most effective upper body strength workouts combine isolation exercises and complex multi-joint exercises. For example, a bicep curl targets the front of the arm (isolation exercises) while a stack on row to curl targets the back, biceps and core (complex exercise). This arm workout includes both isolation and complex exercises.

Can You Build Upper Body Strength Without Going To The Gym?

Many of the most effective upper body exercises can be done at home with just a set of dumbbells. Dumbbell back rows, tricep extensions, bicep curls and shoulder presses are all examples of strength training exercises that can be done at home.

What Is A Triset Workout?

A triset workout combines three exercises performed back to back that target the same muscle group in slightly different ways. This workout includes a “push” triset (targeting the shoulders, chest and triceps) and a “pull” triset (targeting the back and biceps).

three women performing a dumbbell hammer curl in an upper body strength workout

All you need is a set of dumbbells to build muscle in the arms at home!

This triset workout focuses on the upper body push muscles (shoulders, chest, triceps) and the upper body pull muscles (back and biceps).

Add upper body workouts like this one to your workout routine 1-2 times a week to build and maintain strength in the upper body.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to Heavy Set of Dumbbells.

I recommend between 10-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. I’m using 10, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout.

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I’m using 10-20 lb dumbbells for this upper body workout.
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Woman performing bicep curl as part of four week workout plan

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Upper Body Strength Workout on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 2 Trisets (3 arm exercises per triset circuit)
  • Timed Intervals (40 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest; complete as many repetitions as you can in the timed interval)
  • Repeat Each Triset x3 Sets

Workout Outline

TRISET ONE: PUSH

  1. Dumbbell Chest Press
  2. Kneeling Single Arm Shoulder Press
  3. Quad Single Arm Tricep Kickback

TRISET TWO: PULL

  1. Single Arm Back Row
  2. Flip Grip Bicep Curls
  3. Stack On Narrow Row and Hammer Curl

BONUS: Double Woman Maker

three women performing a dumbbell back row in an upper body workout at home

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Upper Body Workout

6 Arm Strength Exercises

Dumbbell Chest Press

Targets: Chest (pecs), shoulders (deltoids) and triceps.

two women performing a dumbbell chest press and one woman performing a standing dumbbell chest fly in an upper body strength workout

How To Do A Dumbbell Chest Press

  1. Lay flat on your back (on the ground, on a flat bench, incline bench, or on a stability ball) with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold one dumbbell in each hand (palms facing knees), elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Exhale as you push both dumbbells overhead at the same time; dumbbells stacked over shoulders at the top of the press. Make sure your wrists are strong and in line with your shoulders.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back towards your chest with control.

Modification: Option to substitute standing dumbbell chest flys if laying on your back isn’t comfortable for you.

Kneeling Single Arm Shoulder Press

Targets: The deltoid muscles (shoulder muscles) while also strengthening the hips and core as they stabilize an uneven load.

two women performing a kneeling single arm shoulder press and one woman performing a standing single arm shoulder press in an arm workout with dumbbells

How To Do A Kneeling Single Arm Shoulder Press

  1. Start in a half kneeling position — left knee bent at 90 degrees, left foot on the mat in front of you (left knee in line with left hip). And right knee bent at 90 degrees on the mat (right knee stacked underneath right hip).
  2. Hold one dumbbell in the right hand at shoulder height with a neutral grip (palm facing your neck).
  3. Perform a single arm overhead press. Rotate the dumbbell in your right hand so that your palm faces out and raise the dumbbell overhead, arm straight as you lock out the right elbow by the right ear.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down towards the right shoulder. As you do so, rotate the dumbbell so your palm faces in again towards your neck.

Modification: Option to perform a single arm shoulder press from a standing position.

Quad Single Arm Tricep Kickback

Targets: All three heads of the tricep muscle (lateral head, medial head, and long head). The tricep kickback is one of best isolation exercises for targeting the triceps brachii muscle.

three women performing a single arm tricep kickback with a dumbbell in an upper body dumbbell workout

How To Do A Quadruped Single Arm Tricep Kickback

  1. Start in a table top position, quadruped on all fours, shoulders stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees.
  2. Place the left hand flat on the mat in front of you, in line with the left knee. Send the right leg long behind you, flexing the right foot to drive the toes into the ground for stability.
  3. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand at your side (palm facing your body). Pull the right elbow up to meet your right rib cage and hold it there. Think shoulders down and back away from your ears.
  4. Then ‘kickback,’ extending the right elbow so your right arm forms a straight line as you push the dumbbell back past your hips. At the top of the movement, elbow is fully extended.
  5. With control, slowly return the dumbbell to the starting position.

Modification: Option to perform single arm tricep kickbacks from a standing position.

Single Arm Back Row

Targets: Mainly the latissimus dorsi (or lats; the largest back muscle), biceps and core.

A great back exercise to target both the upper and lower back muscles, while improving core stability.

three women performing single arm back rows in an upper body strength workout for women

How To Do A Single Arm Back Row

  1. Start with feet hip-width distance apart. Option to find a staggered stance, left foot in front of you, right foot slightly behind you. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing out.
  2. Hinge at the hips until your torso is parallel to the floor (neck in line with your spine, flat back, belly pulled in, core tight).
  3. Hold this bent over position while performing a single arm row on the right side. Pull the dumbbell in your right hand back towards your right hip; squeezing your back muscles.
  4. Control the dumbbell back down to the starting position and repeat.

Flip Grip Bicep Curl

Targets: The long and short heads of the biceps muscle (upper arms).

three women performing a flip grip bicep curl with dumbbells in an upper body workout at home

How To Do Flip Grip Biceps Curls

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width distance apart and core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing outward (underhand grip or supinated grip).
  2. Keeping your elbows locked by your sides, squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height.
  3. At the top of the movement, rotate your hands so palms face in towards each other (hammer curl). With control, slowly lower the dumbbells down to your sides.
  4. At the bottom of your movement, flip your grip so palms face out again. Return to the starting position and repeat this movement; alternating a standard bicep curl on the way up and a hammer curl on the way down.

Stack On Narrow Row And Hammer Curl

Targets: Back muscles (lats, rhomboids, posterior delts, traps and erector spinae), biceps and core.

A great arm exercise to work both of your upper body pull muscles (back and biceps) at the same time.

three women performing stack on narrow back rows and hammer curls with dumbbells in an arm workout at home

How To Do Stack On Narrow Rows And Hammer Curls

  1. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, slight bend in the knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards each other (hammer curl).
  2. Hinge forward at the hips maintaining a flat back.
  3. Pull the dumbbells back towards your hips (think of pulling from your elbow versus your wrist). Stop once your elbows are in line with your rib cage, making a straight line from shoulder to elbow.
  4. Hold at the top for a moment, squeezing your shoulder blades together. With control, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. This is a narrow back row.
  5. Then, return to standing and curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Maintain a hammer curl grip (palms facing in towards each other) for the bicep curl.
  6. Repeat this pattern, adding on a row and a curl each time you do the movement. So start with 1 row, 1 curl, then 2 rows, 2 curls, and so on.

Pin This Workout:

Pin for pinterest - Upper body Strength Workout

Pork: Lean Protein For Muscle Recovery

We were so excited to have Dr. Taylor Spronk join us for today’s workout – she is a wealth of knowledge and we learned so much from her! Dr. Taylor is a veterinarian (and a former MN Pork intern) who works with farmers daily.

We love pork around here because it’s the basis of so many easy and healthy meals. Some of my favorites include these Grilled Pork Kebabs With Peanut Sauce and Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Pineapple Salsa (both from The Real Food Dietitians)!

Pork is an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce serving of pork is an excellent source of: 

  • Protein: supports muscle growth.
  • Selenium: supports thyroid health.
  • Vitamin B-6: supports mood and brain health.
  • Zinc: supports tissue repair and maintenance of a healthy immune system.
  • Beta-alanine: form of amino acid found in pork and a crucial element in muscle development.

How To Shop for Pork:

  • Both pork tenderloin and pork sirloin roast meet the criteria for the American Heart Association Heart Checkmark.
  • Dr. Taylor’s personal favorite cut is pork tenderloin – it is considered “extra lean” and has the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast.
  • Ground pork is also affordable and really versatile – we love using it for meatballs and lettuce wraps!

Minnesota Pork

The Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) administers checkoff programs relating to pork promotion, consumer and producer education and research on behalf of more than 3,000 family pig farms in Minnesota.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love, making the content you see on this blog possible.

This post includes affiliate links. I do earn a commission for products purchased using these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love, making the content you see on this blog possible.

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