This high intensity STRENGTH workout supersets the two largest muscle groups in the upper body — the chest and back! Pairing dumbbell strength supersets with HIIT cardio (and a challenging core finisher).
Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on weights.
Hold this plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Slowly lower your chest down towards the ground as your elbows fall back towards your hips (not out to the sides).
Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position. Repeat a second push up.
Then, step or jump into bear crawl by stepping into a table top position on all fours, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, toes tucked under and knees lifted one inch off the mat. Shoulders are stacked over wrists, hips stacked over knees, maintaining a straight line with your torso while abs are engaged.
Perform a single arm back row on the right arm. Pull your elbow back towards your right hip while squeezing your back.
Control the dumbbell back down to the starting position. Repeat the back row on the left arm.
Repeat this sequence of two push ups and two bear crawl back rows for 45 seconds.
Modification: Option to follow Rachel and take the push ups and back rows from an incline by placing your hands/weights on a chair or bench.
2. Narrow or Diamond Chest Press to Chest Fly
Targets: Chest (pecs) and shoulders (deltoids).
How to do a Narrow Chest Press to Chest Fly:
Lay flat on your back (on the ground, on a bench, or on a stability ball). Hold a dumbbell in each hand, elbows pinned at your sides, dumbbells at mid-chest point, and palms facing in toward one another. Press your feet firmly into the floor.
Exhale as you press dumbbells up in a straight line, ending with your arms straight overhead, wrists over shoulders.
At the top of the chest press, slowly open your arms, lowering the dumbbells in a wide arc until they reach shoulder level (or the ground). Your elbows should remain soft and not over-extended (slight bend in the elbows).
Exhale as you pull the dumbbells back up and squeeze your chest muscles together. Keeping your chest puffed out and your elbows slightly bent.
Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position of your narrow chest press.
Repeat this sequence of one narrow chest press and one chest fly for 45 seconds.
3. Hand Release High 10 (Half Burpees)
Targets: Total body — legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, low back, upper body, chest, shoulders, triceps and core.
How to do a Hand Release High 10’s (Half Burpees):
Start in high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, weight evenly distributed amongst all 10 fingers.
With control, lower your chest down to the mat, resting your stomach on the ground. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift your palms off the ground and hold for a second, then return your hands to the mat.
Push up to high plank position (in one straight line from knees or toes), then step or jump your feet outside your hands.
Land softly in a low squat position, bringing your hands up in front of you as if you’re giving a high five (with both hands, so a “high ten”).
Plant your hands on the mat and hop or step back to high plank position.
Repeat for 30 seconds.
Modification: Follow Rachel, omit the belly down to mat and rather perform a push up from an incline by placing your hands on a chair or bench.
4. Bird Dog Back Row
Targets: Upper, mid and lower back muscles (entire erector spinae), biceps, glutes, hamstrings, abs and core.
How to do a Bird Dog Back Row:
Find a quadruped position on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and hands firmly on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Engage your core. Have one dumbbell on the ground in front of your left hand.
Find a bird dog position by sending your opposite (right) leg back, floating it off the ground.
Perform a single arm row with your left arm, pulling the dumbbell back toward your left hip.
Repeat this movement for 45 seconds.
Modification: Follow Rachel (on the left), taking the single arm back row from a quadruped position (in tabletop position) rather than from bird dog.
Targets: Both the lower back and upper back (specifically the lats and rhomboids), biceps, the chest muscles (pecs), shoulders, abs and core.
How to do 2 Reverse Grip Back Rows + 2 Standing Chest Flys:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent slightly.
Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing out away from the body (underhand grip).
Hinge at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor (neck in line with your spine, flat back, and belly button and rib cage pulled in).
Pull the weights back towards your hips. Feel your shoulder blades squeeze together.
Control the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Repeat for 2 reverse grip rows.
Then, stand tall and squeeze your chest as you lift your right hand across your body (45-degree angle crossover); parallel to your left shoulder. Think “right pinky finger to left shoulder”. Palm up towards the ceiling.
Keep a soft bend in your elbow as you lower the dumbbell back to starting position with control. Repeat on the left hand.
Repeat this sequence of two reverse grip back rows and two standing chest fly’s for 45 seconds.
6. Towel Slams
Targets: Total body — legs, glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves, upper body, shoulders, back (lats), abs and core.
A great cardio exercise that also works your arms, pectorals and core (as well as your legs).
How to do Towel Slams:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a towel in both hands.
Raise your heels off the ground as you fully extend your arms overhead, pulling the towel above your head.
With controlled force, slam the towel onto the ground, finding the bottom of a squat position. Engage your total body as you do so. You should feel your core and arm muscles working as you slam the towel down.
Then, pick the towel back up and return to standing. Again, raise your heels off the ground as you fully extend your arms back overhead.
Repeat for 30 seconds.
7. 1 Push Up + 1 Burpee Row
Targets: Arms, chest, shoulders, triceps, back, biceps, abs and core.
How to do a 1 Push Up + 1 Burpee Row:
Start in a high plank position with your right hand on a dumbbell and left hand on the mat (option to have both hands on the floor if that’s more comfortable).
Lower your chest towards the ground to perform a push up; elbows fall back towards your body.
Exhale as you push back up into a high plank position.
From a high plank, jump your feet up towards your hands and perform a half lift so you are hinged forward at your hips with a neutral spine (in a bent over row position).
Perform a single arm dumbbell row by pulling your right elbow up to meet your rib cage.
Then, with control, lower the dumbbell back to the mat and jump your feet back to high plank, returning to the starting position.
Repeat, performing a row on the right arm for the entire 30 seconds. Switch sides on the next set.
Modification: Follow Rachel and take the push up from an incline by placing your hands/weight on a chair or bench to provide additional support.