The Secret to Upperbody Strength — #sculptbyal Arms 2.0

There is no secret. We are sold so many gimmicks and useless junk in our lives it’s hard to separate good advice from bad advice and marketing from real purpose.

I put together a workout that requires minimal equipment, that can be replaced with household items. You want to know how to gain the initial upper body strength? BODYWEIGHT exercises. You want to be able to do full push-ups on your toes and pull-ups? Practice them. Do the exercise to the best of your ability until you can graduate from push-ups on your knees to push-ups on your toes dropping down half an inch to an inch from the floor. Everything takes time and patience. The best thing about bodyweight exercises is you won’t plateau, because as you get stronger your muscles grow and make it more challenging to move your mass. You can also add weights to your bodyweight.

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Some general tips for this workout:

this is not suggested for individuals with Diastasis Recti (abdominal muscle separation) or weak/injured wrists

  • keep shoulders stacked over wrists
  • don’t swing your hips in plank position 
  • body should be aligned in a straight line
  • land softly and move slowly with intention — this is not a race 

Get ready!

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you will need:

-a mat or non-slip surface 

-medicine ball or weighted item (gallon of water)

-step or slightly elevated surface 

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medball pass

-begin in plank position on your mat

-place medicine ball at the top of the mat, off the mat

-slide med ball from left to right while balancing on alternating arms

16 reps/8 ea side 

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side push-ups


-lay on your side, tuck and wrap bottom arm around your waist

-push-up using your top arm

-keep bottom shoulder off the floor at all times

10 reps/5 ea side 

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perform this superset 3X

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alternating arms high plank 


-in high plank position, alternating lifting arms high above the head

-don’t swing hips and keep core engaged 

20 reps/10 ea side 

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backward plank tricep dips


-place feet shoulder width apart, lift pelvis up

-dip down focusing on triceps

12 reps

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perform this superset 3X

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traditional push-up


-keep elbows in

-keep core and glutes engaged

-back should be flat

10 reps

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crawling push-up 

-begin standing at the end of your mat

-in a crawling position, come up onto your toes so your body weight is focused on your arms

-make sure your shoulders are stacked over your wrists 

-“walk” forward with your hands until you’re in plank position

-perform a standard push-up 

-“walk” hands back into standing position 

5 reps

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perform superset 3X

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mountain climbers


-activate abdominals and glutes during the “climbing” movement 

-move with control 

20 reps

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plank walk

-begin in plank position 

-with hands and feet at one side of the mat simultaneously “walk” one side of the body to the other side of the mat 

-alternate each side 

10 reps/5 ea way 

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perform superset 3X

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reach-up


-using a stable surface (step placed against a wall [I used plates])

-alternate placing hands up onto elevated surface

16 reps/8 ea side 

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180° burpees


-perform traditional burpee, but turn 180° after each rep

10 reps/5 ea way 

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perform superset 3X

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down dog + push-up


in a flowing motion:

-perform downward facing dog

-come forward into plank

-perform a push-up lowering slowly down to the floor with controlled movement

-push back up into downward facing dog

10 reps

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side forearm plank thread


-get into side plank position on the forearm 

-feet and hips should be stacked, as well as shoulder over elbow

-reach top arm up toward the ceiling

-in a controlled movement, “thread” arm under your side

20 reps/10 ea side 

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perform superset 4x

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suggested: stretch and maintain ROM of wrists

Have a workout you want to see? Leave suggestions below! 

 

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