As the weather warms up and you get to run more, that alone can strengthen your legs, so you’ll want to spend some strength-training days focusing on your upper body to balance it all out. Having a strong back, arms, and shoulders will ensure you can hold proper form and not get tired pumping your arms to help power through long runs.
Even though gyms may still be closed due to coronavirus or you’re not be ready to go back yet, you can still build a powerful upper body at home.
That’s why Amber Rees, Barry’s Bootcamp instructor and Brave Body Project cofounder, created this at-home upper body workout that’ll have you on your way to stronger muscles in just 15 minutes.
[Looking to start cross training but don’t know where to start? The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training will teach you all the fundamentals to get the most out of your weight session, priming you for stronger miles in the saddle.]
How to do it: Perform each move below for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds between each exercise. Repeat the circuit 3 times for a total of 15 minutes. You’ll need a mat and two dumbbells. (If you don’t have access to dumbbells, these moves can all be done with improvised weights.) Each exercise is demonstrated by Rees so you can learn proper form.
Hammer Curl to Overhead Press
Start with dumbbells at your sides, hands in neutral grip and feet hip-width apart. (If you find yourself rocking and need more stability, you can stagger your stance with one foot slightly behind you.) Keeping a strong core, bend elbows to bring weights to your shoulders. Then, press the weights up overhead. Slowly bring weights down to starting position. That’s 1 rep. Repeat.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, light dumbbells in both hands, and lift the weights up overhead until arms are straight and dumbbells are touching. Keeping shoulers and elbows still, bend elbows to lower the weight slowly behind head. Pause, then straighten arms to contract the triceps and return to start. That’s 1 rep. Repeat.
Rear Delt Fly
Stand with feet hip width and send hips back to bend over about 45 degrees, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend arms straight down in front of chest with palms in neutral grip. Using your upper back, open arms out wide until they are extended at shoulder height. Return to starting position and repeat.
Sprawl to High Pull
Start standing, with dumbbells on the ground directly in front of your feet. Hinge at hips and grip dumbbells, leaving them on the ground. Jump legs back into high plank position, pause, then jump legs back in toward hands. Hold dumbbells in a neutral grip and lift off the floor as you stand. Keeping core engaged, rotate hands to face in to your body, holding dumbbells parallel to your body. Bend elbows and raise dumbbells to chin. Lower dumbbells back down. That’s 1 rep. Repeat.
Push-Up to Arm Raise
Start in a high plank position and place your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly wider with shoulders stacked directly over wrists. Spread your fingers wide; fingertips should point straight ahead. Keeping your core engaged, inhale, then bend elbows to lower your chest to the floor. Your elbows form a 45-degree angle with your body. Keeping your core engaged and hips in line with the rest of your body, exhale, and push back up to the starting position. Keeping hips level in high plank, raise right arm out in front of you, then lower back down. Repeat, alternating arm raises with each rep.