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Sculpting full upper-body workout by Marcie King

 

This full upper-body workout targets abs from every angle while sculpting arms, back and chest. 

  

Frequency

Two to three days per week.

The rules

Perform all exercises in pairs (e.g. 1&2, 3&4, etc), leaving 48 hours between workouts. (e.g. Tuesday and Friday). There is no rest between paired exercises. Once you have completed the pair, you will have a 30 to 60-second rest and move to the next pair of exercises. Repeat until you’ve completed all exercises. 

WORKOUT-upperbody

Words/workout: Marcie King (pictured)

Photography: Jamie Watling // jamiewatlingphotography.com // @jamiewatling

 


 

 

Kettlebell swing

 

upperbody-kettlebellswings.jpg

 

 

ANTERIOR, MIDDLE DELTS, QUADS AND GLUTES, ABS

SET-UP: Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, holding onto a kettle bell with both hands in front of your body.

ACTION: Squat with the kettlebell hanging between your legs, chest and head up. In one motion, stand up as you swing the kettlebell forward (arms straight out in front) to shoulder level.

TIP: Push with your legs, not your back. If in doubt, seek expert technique advice. Incorrect kettlebell swings can cause injury.

 


 

 

Single-arm kettlebell press

 

upperbody-singlearmkettlebell.jpg

 

ANTERIOR, MIDDLE DELTS ABS CONTRACTED

SET-UP: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, one arm down at your side and one holding the kettle bell at your shoulder. Palm of hand facing up.

ACTION: Tighten your abs and press the kettlebell up towards the roof with a straight arm. Bring the kettlebell back down to shoulder height.

TIP: Start with a light kettlebell and progress once you have the range of motion.

 


 

 

 

Rear delt flys

 

upperbody-deltoidflys.jpg

 

REAR DELTS

SET-UP: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend forward slightly at your waist. Dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body.

ACTION: Raise arms lateral (away from the body) out to the side with a slight bend at the elbow to shoulder level.

TIP: Lead with the elbow and only go until your arms are level with the shoulders.

 


 

 

 

Anterior delt front raises

 

upperbody-anteriordeltraise.jpg

 

 

ANTERIOR DELTS

SETUP: Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, body straight. Abs tight. Hold one dumbbell with the weight of the dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing the middle of the dumbbell.

ACTION: Lift the dumbbell straight out in front of you. Arms straight. Lift till the dumbbell is at shoulder level.

TIP: Pause at the top to really work the anterior delts. Keep your abs tight for balance.

 


 

 

Plank-push on ball

 

upperbody-plankpushup.jpg

 

 

ANTERIOR, MIDDLE DELTS, PECS AND ABS

SET-UP: Place your palms flat on the floor, stacked under your shoulders. Place the top of your feet in the centre of the exercise ball. Body is parallel to the ground.

ACTION: Keeping your feet on the ball, bring your upper body down to do a push-up and press back up to plank position.

TIP: Keeping your abs and thighs tight will help you keep your balance.

 


 

 

 

Wide leg push-ups 

 

upperbody-benchpushups.jpg

 

 

 

PECS, ABS, ANT, MIDDLE DELTS

SET-UP: Palms on a bench, legs/feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, body straight and abs tight.

ACTION: Keeping legs wide, go down to a push-up (face almost touching the bench) and push back up.

TIP: Keep abs tight to maintain the 45-degree posture. In this workout your abs are always working to provide your body with stability and strength. I have paired two exercises, working similar muscles to get the most benefits and fast results.

 


 

 

Biceps curl

 

upperbody-singlearmdumbbellcurl.jpg

 

BICEPS

SET-UP: Sit on a bench or chair, dumbbell in one hand. Elbow/forearm resting on your knee. Palm facing up.

ACTION: Extend arm with dumbbell in hand. Flex back up slowly, contracting the biceps.

TIP: Moving slowly through the movement puts more concentration on the biceps.

 


 

 

 

 

Single-arm dumbbell row traps

 

upperbody-singlearmdumbbell.jpg

 

LATS

SET-UP: Stand beside a bench with leg closest to the bench kneeling on the bench. Arm closer to the bench is palm down on the bench. Dumbbell in the other hand, arm straight. Back stays parallel to the bench.

ACTION: Pull the dumbbell up to your ribs area, keeping the elbow and arm close to the body. Lower. Repeat set-up on other side.

 

 


 

Arnolds

 

upperbody-arnolds.jpg

 

ANTERIOR, MIDDLE, REAR DELTS

SET-UP: Place a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing you. Elbows bent and forearms at face level.

ACTION: Starting with arms in, move arms out to the side, elbows stay bent, then press up into shoulder press. Back down to elbows bent, then back in, forearms facing you.

TIP: Start with a light weight to keep the range of motion smooth.

NEXT: Want to target your glutes? Check out this booty-building workout.

 

 

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