DUMBBELL DYNAMIC and ISOMETRIC Workout | 20 Min Upper Body

Dumbbell Dynamic and Isometric Workout | 20 Min Upper Body is a brutal upper body strength workout from Caroline Girvan. I knew from previewing it that it would be killer and it did not disappoint. Due to the structure of this workout, you will need to be conservative in your weight choices. Because this is an advanced and challenging workout, Caroline urges you to use the interval times as a guide; meaning, if you have to stop early to thaw out your muscles then do it! She had to thaw her muscles many times! You will also have to be very conservative in your weight choices. Caroline used 13 pound dumbbells for everything, which is light for her for most exercises and yet this workout was still clearly tearing her up. I used a much wider range of dumbbells, depending on the muscle group and exercise. The heaviest weight I used was for back exercises (20 pounds). The lightest weight I used was for shoulder work (lateral raises) and I used 5 pounds. I also used every weight in between! And even with conservative weight choices my muscles were fried!

The isometric exercise and the dynamic exercise are done superset fashion. You will do an isometric exercise for 25 seconds then go immediately into a dynamic version of the same exercise for 25 seconds. You then get a mere 5 seconds to transition into the next superset. There is a timer in the upper left hand side of the screen counting down your intervals. When there is about 8 seconds left of the second exercise, a video appears in the upper right hand corner of the screen previewing the next exercise. When there is about 4 seconds left of the first exercise, words appear on the screen telling you to get ready for the dynamic exercise.

Dumbbell Dynamic and Isometric Workout | 20 Min Upper Body is 21:12 minutes; 1:35; no warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and a fitness mat. Caroline is using 6kg/13.2 pound dumbbells. The weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Shoulder press hold (arms are held in goalpost) (13# DBs)
  2. Shoulder press (13# DBs)
  3. Arnold press hold (arms are held at shoulder level with elbows bent at 90 degrees, palms facing your face) (13# DBs)
  4. Arnold press (13# DBs)
  5. Supine row hold (hinge forward, with palms facing forward, hold DBs isometrically at top of row) (20# DBs)
  6. Supine row (20# DBs)
  7. Bent over row hold (same as #5  but with palms facing behind you) (20# DBs)
  8. Bent over row (20# DBs)
  9. Frontal raise hold (extend arms/DBs in front of you with straight arms to shoulder level) (8# DBs)
  10. Alternating frontal raise (8# DBs)
  11. Hammer front raise hold (same as #9 but with palms facing each other) (8# DBs)
  12. Alternating hammer front raise (8# DBs)
  13. Rear delt raise hold (hinge forward, arms are out to sides with elbows bent at 90 degrees so palms face behind you, hold arms at top of hold) (13# DBs)
  14. Rear delt raises (#13 DBs)
  15. Upright row hold (10# DBs)
  16. Upright rows (10# DBs)
  17. Standing tricep extension hold (hold one DB by the bar with both hands, extend both arms straight in front of you at shoulder level and hold) (one 10# DB)
  18. Tricep extensions (same position as #17, pull DB into chest then push DB straight out in front of you) (one 10# DB)
  19. Lateral raise hold (5# DBs)
  20. Alternating lateral raises (5# DBs)
  21. Renegade row hold (hold one DB at top of renegade row) (one 15# DB)
  22. Single arm renegade row (one 15# DB)
  23. Repeat #21 & 22 on other arm
  24. Curl hold (with elbows close to sides, raise DBs into a half bicep curl with elbows at 90 degrees and hold) (13# DBs)
  25. Alternating bicep curls (13# DBs)
  26. Hammer curl hold (13# DBs)
  27. Alternating hammer curls (13# DBs)
  28. Tricep kickback hold (single arm tricep kickback–hold DB at top of kickback) (one 8# DB)
  29. Single arm tricep kickbacks (one 8# DB)
  30. Repeat #28 & 29 on other arm
  31. Tricep press hold (lay on back holding a DB in each hand, palms facing you, push DBs halfway up and hold) (13# DBs)
  32. Tricep press (13# DBs)
  33. Skull crusher hold (lower DBs to bottom of skull crusher and hold) (8# DB)
  34. Skull crushers  (8# DBs)
  35. Overhead tricep extension hold (hold one DB in both hands, still laying on back, extend arms/DB overhead and hold) (one 13# DB)
  36. Overhead tricep extensions (one 13# DB)

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


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