Break a sweat with this upper body workout

Stay healthy with our home gym routine, minimal equipment required

Alejo Rodriguez Lo |

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You know what time it is: it’s time to break a sweat with one of Young Post’s Home Gym routines. This section will walk you through a workout routine that you can do in the comfort of your flat with minimal equipment.

Last week, we gave you a routine that worked out your legs and lower body. This week, we’re going to move a little further north and focus on strengthening your upper body, particularly your arms, shoulders and chest.

As always, you need to prioritise your safety and listen to your body, which means doing the exercises with the correct form and not exerting yourself if you feel uncomfortable or are in pain at any point during the routine.

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With that said, let’s jump straight into the workout:

Type of programme: circuit training

Number of sets: 3

Rest between sets: 2 minutes

Routine

Push-up: 10 repetitions

Inchworm: 10 repetitions

Dip: 15 repetitions

Decline Push-up: 10 repetitions

Plank Tap: 1 minute

Plank Push-up: 10 repetitions

This is a circuit training routine, similar to the previous Home Gym workouts. You need to do all the exercises in the above order (following the required repetitions) for three sets, with a two-minute rest period between each set.

This routine may be challenging for some, as it requires quite a bit of stamina and endurance. But don’t worry too much; just pace yourself and tackle each exercise using the correct form. Now, let’s go through each individual movement and which muscle groups they target.

Push-up (10 reps)

Push-ups – we’ve seen them appear many times in our Home Gym routines. Why? Because they’re a great, simple exercise you can do to train your upper-body muscles, primarily your chest/pectorals, shoulders/deltoids, and arms/triceps.

First, place yourself in a plank position, with your arms straight and hands shoulder-width apart. Make sure your feet are in a comfortable position, and your back is straight, with your bum tucked in. Once your body is in a straight line, lower your whole body (while keeping that straight line) towards the ground by bending your elbows. An important thing to note is that your arms shouldn’t flare out; try to keep them as close to your body as possible. Once your chest has gone as low as it can without touching the ground, push your body back up to the original position with your arms.

If you’re finding this exercise too difficult, do it with your knees touching the floor and your feet in the air instead.

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Inchworm (10 reps)

This exercise might be a bit unfamiliar to some of you, but the inchworm is a great full-body exercise that focuses mainly on your shoulders and arms, while also improving your core and stability.

Begin by standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Bend at your waist so your hands touch the floor, then use your hands to crawl forward into a plank position. Once you are in the plank position, stay there for one second, then proceed to crawl backwards with your hands to the original position. That is one rep; repeat it 10 times, and remember to engage your core and butt muscles to make the crawling easier.

Dip (15 reps)

The dip is crucial for building a strong upper body, as it trains your chest, shoulders, back and arms. We want you to do tricep dips this time, so that you can work your arms, or more specifically, your triceps.

First you need a chair or bench, so find one that’s solid and won’t move when you put all your weight on it. To get into the first position, sit on the chair, then place your hands shoulder-width apart on the sides of the seat. Then, slide your bum off the chair with your legs fully extended in front of you. Next, slowly bend your elbows so your body lowers towards the floor. Stop when your arms reach a 90-degree angle.

Complete one rep by pressing down into the chair to straighten your elbows, returning you to the beginning position. Do 15 reps of this movement and you will definitely feel the blood pumping.

Plank Tap (1 min)

Time for more planks, with two new variations. The first one is the plank tap, which exercises your core and stability.

It’s exactly what you might expect from the name; begin in the plank position (beginning position of a push-up) while keeping your back straight. Now tap your right shoulder with your left hand while holding the plank position, then tap your left hand on right shoulder. Keep repeating this movement for one minute, alternating your hands each time. This might get tiring quite quickly. If you’re not able to complete the full minute, plank tap for 30 seconds at full intensity.

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Decline Push-up (10 reps)

A decline push-up is a one with the difficulty turned up a notch. This exercise will feel more challenging than a regular push-up, as it focuses a lot on your chest and arms.

You’ll need the chair or bench you used for dips. Place your hands on the floor and rest your feet on the chair, forming the plank position (push-up starting position). Remember to keep your body in a straight line, then do a regular push-up with your legs hiked up on the chair. Repeat 10 times, then move on to the final exercise.

Plank Push-up (10 reps)

The second plank variation in this routine is the plank push-up, which is basically a combination of – you guessed it – a plank and a push-up. Not only will this exercise work your core and stability, but also your arms and endurance.

Start in the push-up position with your back nice and straight. Then, bend your right elbow to 90 degrees so that your right hand and forearm are on the floor. Next, do the same with your left arm. From this forearm plank, straighten your right arm again by pushing your hand to the floor, then do with same with your left arm and you will have completed one rep. Do 10 reps of this exercise and the first set of this circuit training session is over.

Just like with past Home Gym routines, all six exercises and their required reps combine to make one set. Take a two-minute rest before starting the next set, and complete three sets to finish the workout. Remember to pace yourself, drink plenty of water, and do each step with the correct form.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda