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30 Day Challenge Week 2: Check in With Your Coaches

Upper Body and Abs Workout - Compound Upper Body Workout for Strength and Coordination

35 Min • Upper Body, Core
  • View on YouTube
    • Training Type Balance/Agility, Low Impact, Strength Training, Toning
    • Equipment Dumbbell
    • Membership Free


    I’m just going to start off my workout description with an honest account of the very sore muscles I had after filming this routine! I was pleasantly surprised at the well distributed and thorough muscle soreness, it felt good. A lot of it may be due to the compound nature of many of the exercises found in this upper body workout and also the relatively unique ranges of motion used during some of the sets; it’s a switch up from more traditional lifting and I really enjoyed it.

    What I liked about this routine: I really liked the strength exercises that involved maintaining my posture & balance while I moved the weight set around my body. I could feel every muscle in my body firing up and coordinating to keep me from falling flat on my face. Even though the weight I was moving around was light, it took a physically unanimous effort to keep myself upright with a nice natural posture. If your balance is still a work in progress, I’ve shown modifications to help you modify the exercises and build up your balance as you go. 

    P.S. Check out our 4 Week FB Abs Program (Round 2) here.

    I also liked the moves that required a bit of cadence in transitioning from one exercise to another, like during the bicep curl & bentover row combination. Be warned that initially some exercises might make you feel uncoordinated or out of sync but once you watch/feel a couple of repetitions, you’ll again find your whole body having to communicate and work together, and your brain has to stay tuned in as well. It was a fun challenge. As you’ll see, I struggle and fumble my way though different parts of the routine before I find my flow, so don’t judge yourself while you find your footing. 

    Related: Love lifting? Try 4 Week FB Strong

    The same things I liked about the routine are also things that can make a person feel awkward, uncoordinated or intimidated and possibly avoid it for those reasons, even if those are the very things they need to approve upon. The main thing you want to focus on is keeping yourself injury free, and one way to try new challenges safely is to start small/modest/slow until you feel confident, and then gradually build the weight your lifting, the speed your moving at, the force and depth of the motions you use, etc. Start cautious, careful and aware, and then build up from there. You can even do this with no weight at all at first; make sure that you have the motion of the exercise down first, and then add weights. Don’t feel bad if you are moving at a different pace than I am or lift a different weight than me, need to take longer or shorter breaks, more or less water breaks, etc. We’re all different and even our own strength will vary from day to day. Don’t be afraid to struggle, but listen to your body!

    One last thing - I also liked that the timed intervals allowed me to focus entirely on the exercise I was doing, instead of trying to keep track of repetitions (shoutout to anyone who has worked out with us for long enough to know our biggest weakness is counting reps 😂). 
    Workout Structure

    • 2 Rounds of 12 exercises
    • Upper body compound exercises
    • Challenges: Strength, coordination, balance and endurance
    • Benefits: Builds muscle, tones, improves balance and bodily control
    • Interval strength training: 45 Seconds on, 15 seconds rest
    • Warm up and cool down included
    • Equipment: Dumbbells - I am using PowerBlock's adjustable dumbbells, specifically the U32 Club Set. These are spendy but we've had ours for around 7 years & they're still going strong.

    I've listed the weight I'm lifting below; keep in mind that what you lift is specific to your own strength; aim to feel muscle fatigue & struggle in the last 10-15 seconds of the interval, while maintaining clean form (if you can't, stop and drop the weight). Don't be afraid to push yourself & sweat.

    Printable Upper Body Workout 

    Overhead Press + Bentover Row (Overhead Press + Tricep Kickback in the second round; oops) I am using 8 lbs // 3.6 kg
    Dumbbell Pass + Captain Morgans - I am using 3 lbs // 1.4 kg
    2 Bicep Curls + 2 Bentover Close Rows - I am using 12 lbs // 5.4 kg
    Lateral and Ventral Raises - I am using 3 lbs // 1.4 kg
    Dumbbell Chop (split the interval) - I am using 12 lbs // 5.4 kg
    Overhead Dumbbell Pass - I am using 8 lbs // 3.6 kg
    Push Up + Reverse Fly - I am using 3 lbs // 1.4 kg
    Dumbbell Drop + Rotation - I am using 8 lbs // 3.6 kg
    Arm Circles - I am using 3 lbs // 1.4 kg
    Narrow Press + Squat + Curl - I am using 12 lbs // 5.4 kg
    Halo + Extension - I am using 12 lbs // 5.4 kg
    Bridge Chest Fly + Close Press - I am using 12 lbs // 5.4 kg

    Happy Workout Complete! 

    Thank you for working out with me,