Yesterday I did a killer 1,000 rep lower body workout, so today I’m switching to an upper body workout. The workout only requires one dumbbell, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it will be easy. Often times using one dumbbell instead of two is actually more difficult because the muscles on the opposite side of your body have to work extra hard to balance. A lot of lifters (myself included) develop one side that is quite a bit stronger and more coordinated than the other side, so it is a really good idea to challenge yourself and do asymmetrical work once in awhile to be sure each side gets equal work. It’s also a great way to target your tiny stabilizing muscles and larger stronger muscles at the same time.
This barre/lifting workout with only one dumbbell is extremely effective for building strength and definition in your upper body. I’ll be using a 30 lb. dumbbell. To make it harder, add a round or do the exercises more slowly. To make it easier (and there’s no shame in that by the way), do 3 rounds instead of 5 and/or lower the weight/number of reps. I believe anyone with an imagination can modify any workout to suit their fitness level. In my opinion you should never have to say “no” to a workout that looks fun to you because it’s “too hard” or “too easy.” There’s always a way to make it fit your needs.
- Shoulder press – 8 reps (per arm)
- 100 plank shoulder taps
- Bent over row – 8 reps (per arm)
- 100 arm figure-eights
- Curl & press – 8 reps (per arm)