Upper Body Strength: Chest & Back Workout // Day 28 HR12WEEK 2.0

Upper Body Strength: Chest & Back Workout is Day 28 in Heather Robertson‘s 12 Week Program. Another great upper body strength workout. I was really burning out by the final circuit. Every time the scap squeezes were repeated I had to drop to a lighter dumbbell–and they were still burning out my arms and back! Because this workout is only 47 minutes, I used one of Heather’s Daily 10 workouts as a finisher: Day 12: 10 Minute Back Sculpting–which maybe wasn’t such a good choice since it contains several of the same exercises that are in this workout–including the scap squeezes!

This workout is made up of 3 circuits; each circuit contains 4 exercises. Each circuit is done three times before moving on to the next circuit. All of the exercises are all done interval style: 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the lower right hand corner of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recoveries Heather previews the next exercise.

Upper Body Strength: Chest & Back Workout is 47 minutes; 4 minute warm up and 5:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Heather is using 5, 10 and 15 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.

Circuit 1:

  1. Wide & close chest press (lay on back and start with DBs held close together over chest, push DBs to ceiling then rotate DBs out so arms are wide and lower triceps/elbows to mat, push DBs back to ceiling, rotate DBs so they are close together and lower them back to chest–back to starting position) (18# DBs)
  2. Pull over (lay on back with legs raised and knees bent at 90 degrees, perform a pull over w/ upper body in this position) (one 35# DB)
  3. Chest flys (18# DBs)
  4. Push back push up (do one push up then push glutes back to heels keeping knees elevated off mat)
  5. Repeat #1-4 two more times

30 second rest

Circuit 2:

  1. Triple chest press (lay on mat with knees bent and close to glutes, raise hips into bridge and hold isometrically while doing a chest press variation: extend both arms to ceiling, lower one arm out to side then lower the other arm out to side, push both arms together back to ceiling) (20# DBs)
  2. Underhand row (bent over double arm row, palms face forward, alternate arms) (25# DBs)
  3. T-push ups (one push up then rotate into side plank, reaching top arm to ceiling, alternate sides with one push up between each side plank)
  4. Double arm bent over rear delt flys (8# DBs)
  5. Repeat #1-4 two more times

30 second rest

Circuit 3:

  1. Alternating scap squeeze (extend arms/DBs straight to side with palms facing ceiling, pull elbow behind waist, alternate arms) (1st circuit #7 DBs, 2nd circuit 6# DBs, 3rd circuit 5# DBs)
  2. Scapular squeeze (same position as #1, but pull both elbows behind waist at same time them push both arms back to start) (1st circuit #7 DBs, 2nd circuit 6# DBs, 3rd circuit 5# DBs)
  3. Lay down push ups (do one push up and lower body all the way to mat, extend arms straight in front of you superman style, place hands on mat under shoulders again and do a push up)
  4. Renegade row (alternate arms) (25# DBs)
  5. Repeat 1-4 two more times

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

2 thoughts on “Upper Body Strength: Chest & Back Workout // Day 28 HR12WEEK 2.0

  1. I did this one today. I laughed when I read your review (after I did my workout) because I had the same problem with the scap squeezes and having to lighten up in subsequent rounds. ☺️ This was one of those workouts that you think isn’t going to be hard and then you get into it and go oh boy, was I wrong! I love it when that happens, especially with Heather’s workouts.

    I finished it off with a 10 min ab routine from growingannanas and a 15 min mobility for rounded shoulders from sarabeth (https://youtu.be/6YgehNFlYH0). The mobility was more comprehensive than just shoulders as I really felt it in the chest and back too. My shoulder mobility stinks – I mean, really STINKS – so I’m going to try and focus on increasing it. I’ve read that good shoulder mobility means you can touch fingers when you reach them diagonally and in both directions. I’m not even close in one direction and worse than that in the other. So I’ve got some work to do …


    1. My shoulder mobility isn’t great either. I have even had shoulder surgery and it didn’t improve it. I always focus on shoulder stretches and mobility but I haven’t seen much of an improvement. I do tend to lift more conservatively on my shoulders because I am always afraid of exacerbating it again.


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