Upper Body Strength Circuits

Get ready to sculpt your upper body with these super fun strength circuits!

Building upper body strength makes me feel so confident, accomplished, and ready to take on anything.

Today you will be working out with Coach Amanda from Team Betty Rocker. She will take you through some of her favorite upper body moves that will have you feeling so strong (and sweaty) by the end of this workout!

Coach Amanda is a NASM and NESTA Certified Personal Trainer, Crossfit Level 1 Trainer, TRX Qualified Trainer and a Team Betty Rocker Coach in Rock Your Life.

This workout will sculpt your chest, back, and arms, supporting a strong core and excellent posture.

Grab some items for resistance – like water bottles, laundry jugs or dumbbells, and an elevated surface and join Coach Amanda to rock your workout! 

Love having workouts you can do ANYWHERE, ANYTIME – and a well-designed plan to follow so you get the BEST RESULTS?  Take a 30-day Challenge in Rock Your Life and have workouts like this formatted into a plan to follow!

Upper Body Strength

Click to expand and see all workout move descriptions

Circuit 1

Down Dog Toe Touch to Plank (0:30-0:45)

  • Begin in a tall plank position with shoulders stacked over wrists, braced core, back flat and neutral gaze (not looking up or down).
  • Send your hips up and back, keeping your head in line with your arms as you come into a down dog. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your palms, and your heels should reach toward the mat (bending at the knees is helpful for tight hamstrings).
  • Remaining in down dog, reach your right hand back to touch your left toes, replant your right hand and reach your left hand back to touch your right toes.
  • With both hands planted back on the mat, shift yourself back into a tall plank position.
  • Repeat sequence for allotted time.
  • MOD: Perform this sequence with your hands placed on an elevated surface.

Alternating Hammer Curl (8-12)

  • Begin standing with weighted objects in both hands with palms facing each other.
  • With a braced core and shoulders back and down (as if they were against a wall), bend your right arm at the elbow to curl the weight up to shoulder height.
  • With control, lower the weight back to the starting position and switch sides.
  • Be mindful that you are keeping your elbow in beside your ribcage throughout this exercise.
  • Continue alternating sides for max reps.

Chest Press to Chest Fly (8-12 each way)

  • Begin lying on your back, knees bent, feet firmly planted on the mat and weighted objects in both hands.
  • With a braced core and lower back making gentle contact with the mat, extend your arms straight over your chest with palms facing your knees.
  • Draw your elbows down in line with your shoulders and wrists over elbows as you bend your arms, lowering the weights with control. Press the weights back over your chest to return to the starting position.
  • From this position, shift your palms to face each other.
  • With a slight bend in your elbows and keeping your shoulders pulled away from your ears, open your arms out wide, stopping when your elbows are in line with your chest.
  • Using the strength of your chest, bring the weighted objects back to starting position.
  • Repeat this sequence for max reps.

Lat Pullover (8-12)

  • Begin lying on your back, knees bent, feet firmly planted on the mat, holding a single weighted object between both hands or two lighter weighted objects in both hands.
  • With a braced core and lower back making gentle contact with the mat, extend your arms straight over your chest.
  • With control, allow your arms to stretch toward the wall behind you for a lat pullover, being mindful to maintain gentle contact of your lower back on the mat.
  • Use your lats to pull the weights back up to your starting position and repeat for max reps.

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Circuit 2

Jack Punches (0:30-0:45)

  • Begin standing with your feet together, core braced, and shoulders back and down (as if they were against a wall) .
  • Jump your feet out wide as you punch forward with your right arm.
  • Jump your feet back together, bringing your arms back to the starting position, and switch sides.
  • Continue alternating sides for allotted time.
  • MOD: Make this move low impact by removing the jump and alternating stepping each foot out and back in.

External Rotation (10-15)

  • Begin by standing with a braced core and shoulders back and down (as if they were against a wall), weighted objects in both hands.
  • Bend your arms to 90 degrees, your elbows hugging in close to your body, and palms facing each other.
  • Keeping your arms in this 90 degree position and elbows close to your body, externally rotate your arms by pulling the weights out to the sides.
  • Reverse the movement to return to the center in your 90 degree position and repeat for max reps.

Tricep Press Ups (12-15)

  • Begin lying on your stomach with your hands placed next to your chest on the mat and your elbows tight to your body.
  • Ensure your shoulder blades are pulled down to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Keeping your hips on the ground, press yourself up until your arms are a little past 90 degrees, being mindful of not locking out your elbows.
  • Lower yourself back down with control until you are almost to the ground and then press back up. Try not to let yourself relax at the bottom, maintaining tension in your triceps the entire time.
  • Repeat for max reps.

Reverse Fly (8-12)

  • Stand with your core braced, chest up, shoulders back and down (as if they were against a wall), and weighted objects in both hands.
  • Hinge forward at the hips at a 45 degree angle with your body, and engage between your shoulders, so they’re not rounding forward. Allow your dumbbells to hang beneath your chest and keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
  • Using the muscles between your shoulder blades, lift both arms out to the side leading with your shoulders and elbows rather than your wrists. It’s natural to have a slight bend in the elbows.
  • With control, Return to the start position and repeat for allotted reps.


Alternating Overhead Press (0:45)

  • Begin standing with feet hip distance apart, core braced, shoulders back and down (as if they were against a wall) and with one weight in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing each other.
  • Maintaining a braced core, press the weight in your right hand straight up overhead, keeping your shoulder in its engaged position back and down and not allowing it to rotate forward.
  • Lower the weight with control back to the starting position and switch sides.
  • Continue alternating sides for allotted time.

Amazing job Rockstar! Check in and let Coach Amanda and me know how you liked the workout and where you did it from. We love hearing from you!

Looking for a well-balanced workout plan with variety, accountability and support for your fitness journey? I’ve got you covered!

Check out ROCK YOUR LIFE, my online home workout studio and women’s fitness community!

We’ve got dozens of 30 day Challenge plans to choose from so you always have a plan, hundreds of workouts in our class library so you’re never bored, and so much inspiration in our private support group!

Check out Zelda’s amazing journey in Rock Your Life!

“18 months ago I couldn’t do a sit up, and only 1 push up!

I found Betty Rocker a year ago with Make Fat Cry, and since then I’ve revamped my fuel through Betty Rocker meal plans. I’m a Warrior Woman (challenge) twice over, I’m a Fitness Addict (challenge), I’ve done 7 weeks of Strength Training (challenge), Sculpt Domination (challenge), 2 5-day challenges, and more. I’m 68lbs down in weight and I’m a more balanced better me, for myself and for others.

Thank you Rock Your Life members for inspiring me, supporting me and entertaining me, and thank you to Bree and the extended Betty Rocker team – you have created an amazing place to transform.”

-Zelda M.

One-off workouts are great, but having a PLAN to follow is even better!

Join my online home workout studio and women’s fitness community, Rock Your Life, and get access to 30-day Challenges, a powerful support network unlike any other, new workout classes added every week you can do from the comfort of your own home – and share the journey while we help you reach your goals!

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