GLOW UP CHALLENGE // Day 4: Upper Body Tone + Sculpt Workout

Upper Body Tone + Sculpt Workout is part of Heather Robertson‘s week long Glow Up Challenge. Her Glow Up Challenge is 7 days of workouts plus a nutrition guide and other suggestions for a holistic approach to getting on your “glow.” I am not doing the program but I do plan to eventually do all of the workouts. So far I have also done Day 2: Cardio & Abs and Day 5: Tabata Workout + Full Body Stretch. For more information on her Glow Up program (and other programs–all FREE), visit her website.

This was a surprisingly tough workout. I will add the disclaimer that if I had used 5 pound dumbbells for everything like Heather did then it would not have been nearly so tough. But I wanted to get some real strength work so I challenged myself. However, because Heather is using such light dumbbells she does the majority of the exercises at a rapid pace so lifting heavy is impossible unless you slow the pace down a lot. For some exercises I did slow it down a little but still not to a pace where I could lift what I would normally lift for the exercise. Even with lighter weights I got some serious muscle burn out. Due to the pace of the reps and the fact you only get 10 seconds of rest between exercises, this is a high rep endurance level workout. If you are using one set of dumbbells for everything like Heather then you get that full 10 seconds of rest between exercises. I didn’t get much rest because, as you can see in the breakdown below, I swapped dumbbells for nearly every exercise. I burned 307 calories during a 47 minute upper body workout! That is a high calorie burn for an all upper body strength workout so this workout is very metabolic. Heather does hit every muscle group in your upper body but the shoulders and arms bear the brunt of this workout.

Upper Body Tone + Sculpt Workout is 47:24 minutes; 2:45 minute warm up and 3 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Heather is using 5 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used. This workout is made up of 2 circuits. Each circuit contains 12 exercises and each circuit is done twice. The exercises are done interval style: 40 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the lower right hand corner of the screen counting down the intervals and recoveries. During the recovery Heather previews the next exercise.

Circuit 1:

  1. Straight arm front raise (8# DBs)
  2. Straight arm side raise (6# DBs)
  3. Bent over rear delt fly (8# DBs)
  4. Arnold press (15# DBs)
  5. L raises (one straight arm front raise + one straight arm side raise, alternate arms) (5# DBs)
  6. In & out curls (alternate traditional bicep curls with wide bicep curls) (13# DBs)
  7. Hammer curls (with palms facing your body, curl DB up in front of body, bringing DB to shoulder, alternate arms) (13# DBs)
  8. Bicep hold & pulse (DB is raised into a partial bicep curl/halfway up, hold there isometrically while pulsing DB upward) (11# DBs)
  9. Double arm tricep kickbacks (11# DBs)
  10. Single arm overhead tricep extension (one 11# DB)
  11. Repeat #10 on other arm
  12. Walking plank (alternate elbow/forearm plank with straight arm plank)
  13. Repeat #1-12

30 second rest

Circuit 2:

  1. Alternating single arm front raise (7# DBs)
  2. Around the world (with palms facing forward and hands in front of thighs, keeping arms straight, raise DBs out to sides then overhead, lower DBs out to sides and back in front of thighs) (7# DBs)
  3. Scapular squeeze (hold DBs with palms facing forward in front of thighs, raise arms out to sides in a T then pull elbows behind ribs) (6# DBs)
  4. Pull & press (single arm upright row into a single arm overhead press) (one 15# DB)
  5. Repeat #4 on other arm
  6. Alternating bicep curls (13# DBs)
  7. Bicep burn out (fast alternating hammer curls) (9# DBs)
  8. Skull crusher (lay on mat, knees bent and feet on floor, hips are raised into bridge the entire interval while doing laying overhead tricep extensions) (9# DBs)
  9. Pull overs (lay on back, knees bent and feet raised off ground, keep legs raised entire interval while upper body performs pullovers) (12# DBs)
  10. Lying chest flys (15# DBs)
  11. Plank row & tap (alternating renegade row, one each arm, then tap one DB to opposite shoulder, once each arm–in order to use heavier DBs I tapped my hands to my shoulders rather than DBs) (25# DBs)
  12. Lay down push up (start in straight arm plank, keeping body straight from heels to shoulders, lower body to mat, raise arms and legs into superman, place hands back under shoulders and, keeping body straight from heels to shoulders, push back up into plank)
  13. Repeat #1-12

For more info on Heather Robertson’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.

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