Imara Jackson’s Upper Body Circuit Workout

Workout with a Local

imara jackson

“I’m a big fan of exercises that help improve your core strength and stability while working another big muscle group. With this upper body circuit, you get a 2-for-1 deal! Put on your favorite music, grab some light to heavy dumbbells, and enjoy the workout! I recommend going through the circuit for three to four rounds taking minimal breaks.”

Split Squat Single Arm Row

Holding one heavy dumbbell in your right hand, take a big step behind you with your right foot into a lunge position.

Bend your knees until they are almost 90 degree angles. (To lessen the intensity, feel free to straighten the legs a little more).

Hinging from the hips, take a slight bow, letting your right arm hang straight down. (You may choose to support yourself with your left hand on your left thigh for extra support). 

Bracing your core by drawing the navel towards the spine, pull the dumbbell up by powering the elbow behind you towards the ceiling. Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Quickly transition to the other side with no rest. For an added balance challenge, lift your back foot off the ground for a single leg bent over row.

Previous slide
Next slide

Russian Twist to Overhead Press

Sit on the floor with one heavy dumbbell that you can lift over your head. 

Holding the weight by the ends in front of your chest, plant the heels down and lean back about 45 degrees with a proud chest without rounding your back.

Twist your torso to the right, return to center, then lift the weight straight to the sky. 

Alternate twists, always stopping in the center for the overhead press. 

Depending on your weight choice, repeat from 12-20 reps total, 6-10 per side. 

Previous slide
Next slide

Kneeling Hammer Curl

Grab two heavy dumbbells and get into a kneeling position on the floor. 

Tuck your hips forward until you feel your glutes. 

Draw the navel towards the spine for extra core engagement, and relax your shoulders back and down. 

Begin to curl the weights straight up towards the shoulders, keeping the elbows pinned next to your torso. 

Take your time and do not swing the weights. Repeat for 10-12 reps. 

Previous slide
Next slide

Bridge 2 Arm Tricep Extension

Lay down with two light to medium dumbbells with your knees bent and feet close to your glutes.

Lift your hips all the way up until you feel your glutes.

Stretch your arms straight to the sky with palms facing in.

With control, bend at the elbows, taking the dumbbells towards the sides of your head. Control the weight as you extend straight back up to the sky.

Repeat without letting your hips drop for 10-12 reps.

Slowly roll a few inches back and forth, building up towards a larger movement.

Previous slide
Next slide

Chest Press With Knees 90

With dumbbells in hands, lay down on the ground and bring your feet off the ground with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. 

Place your arms straight up to the sky with palms facing forward. 

Slowly descend the elbows out to the side, stopping right before the arms touch the ground. 

Make sure the dumbbells stay in line with the chest, not the shoulders. Repeat the chest press for 10-12 reps. 

imara jackson

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!