Workout Wednesday - Upper Body

This is a variation of the workout my trainer has me do once a week. It really works your arms and core, and it's so fast paced that you don't get bored. Best of all, it doesn't require any weight machines, so you can do it at home or while travelling!

Start by warming up by doing five minutes of fast cardio, such as going for a brisk run, jumping rope, or riding the stationary bike holding a medicine ball above your head.

Repeat the circuit below two or three times (It should take about 45 minutes when done slowly and properly)
  • 15 pushups - do as many as you can on your hands and toes, drop to knees only if you have to. Make sure when doing pushups on your knees that you keep your back perfectly straight, all the way from the nape of your neck to the back of your knees. I see so many people pushing up while bending at the butt...this doesn't give your arms and shoulders a workout!
  • 3 minutes of planks - one minute front, one minute left, one minute right
  • Sit on your tailbone with knees bent and heels lightly on the floor; lean back so that you are working your abs. Holding a medicine ball (6 - 8 lbs.) twist quickly from side to side, touching the ball to the floor on either side as you twist. Do 50 twists.
  • 1 minute of bicycle crunches - bring your shoulder, not your elbow, toward your knees
  • 1 minute jumping lunges - get in lunge position, lowered to the floor. Jump up and switch your front leg to the back and quickly lower yourself back into lunch position. Keep jumping/switching and lunging for the full minute.
  • 1 minute horizontal scissors - lie on the floor with your head and shoulders off the floor. Lift your feet about six inches. V your legs out and in, like scissors, crossing at the ankles, repeating for one minute. Your entire back should stay on the floor. Don't arch your lower back! You should not be able to fit your hand under your back at any time during this exercise.
  • 1 minute vertical scissors - same exercise as above, but just kick your legs up and down crisply, kind of like a swimmer kick but while on your back
  • Walking side pushups - Get in pushup position. Walk your hands about 12 inches to the right and do a pushup, now walk them to the left, about 12 inches from center, and do a pushup. This is one rep. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
  • 1 minute Pushup Walks - Stay in hands and feet pushup position. Keeping your legs perfectly straight and without your rear in the air, walk your hands and feet forward for about 8 steps; now walk backwards for 8 steps. Repeat this for one minute. You'll feel somewhat silly doing this at the gym, but your core and shoulders will love you for it!

Thanks for the emails on my last Workout Wednesday! Please email or comment if you have any questions on this one. I'd also like to hear from anyone who uses this workout!

I wrote the instructions above after a hard workout and very little caffeine....so please let me know if you can't make sense of it!