FitFriday #10: Upper Body + Cardio Workout

Hey all! It's been a while since I came to you with a workout, but here is a little something I did last week and wanted to share! This workout will give you some arms, shoulders, chest and abs along with a little bit of cardio. The only equipment you'll need is a set of dumbbells and a jump rope (the jump rope is optional.)

upper and cardio

Exercise Explanation

Below I have provided explanations and images for each of the exercises. As much as I would have liked to use personal images, that wasn't happening this week. :/ Lack of time management and time in general. I'm gonna work on getting more personal exercise pictures for you next time! :D

  • Burpees

Yes, a favorite of many, the burpee!


Start in a standing position, squat down placing your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a plank position. (Adding a push-up at this stage is optional.) Jump back up into the squat, and jump straight up. Repeat this for ten repetitions. You may also wish to add a tuck jump at the end to make this more difficult.

Now that I told you how to make it more difficult, let me tell you how to make this move easier. Burpees aren't easy by any means and if you need to modify them, that's perfectly fine! Start in the same standing position and squat down, but instead of jumping back walk both legs back, or just one, walk it back up and stand. Repeat.

  • Mountain Climbers



Start in a plank position. Make sure that your hands are directly under your shoulders and everything is in a straight line from your head down through your ankles. Drive your right knee up toward your chest, jump and switch legs. Repeat this 20 times.

To modify this exercise, take it slow and step it out instead of jumping from one foot the the other.

  • Standing Chest Fly to Shoulder Press

This exercise can be done either sitting or standing. If standing, leave a slight bend in the knee.



shoulder presssource

Begin with the dumbbells directly out to your sides extending from the shoulders with the elbows at right angles. Squeeze the chest muscles as you bring your elbows and forearms toward the midline of the body then return to the start position. From here push your arms straight up, extending the elbows without locking them. Return the arms to the starting position, this is one rep. Repeat this 15 times.

  • Bent Over Rows

bent over row


Your feet should be hip width apart with a slight bend in the knee. Bend over at the hips with a flat back, keeping the back, neck and head in line. Extend your arms out in front of you, then pull your elbows up toward the ceiling and squeezing the shoulder blades together. Repeat this 15 times.

  • Tricep Kickback

For this exercise you will be in the same basic position as you were for the previous exercise.



Once you have positioned yourself correctly, row the elbows up just like you would in the previous exercise and keep them there. From this position you will extend the elbows back while the upper arm remains stationary and then lower it back down. Repeat this 15 times.

  • Bicep Curl

This is your basic bicep curl.



Stand with your feet about hip width apart with a slight bend in the knee. Start with your arms down and flex the elbows bringing the dumbbells up towards the shoulders, slowly bring the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Repeat this 15 times.

  • Tuck Jumps

More cardio, woo hoo!

tuck jump


In order to do this exercise, squat down and power up with an explosive jump tucking the knees up toward the abdomen. Hold the hands out in front of you and try to hit your knees each time you jump. Perform 20 times.

To modify this, alternate stepping right and left bringing the knees up to the hands placed in front of the torso. Do 20 repetitions on each side.

  • Jump Rope

For those of you that have ever taken my group exercise classes you know that jump roping is one of my favorite activities!



If you don't have a jump rope, thats okay, just pretend. Make sure to get your arms  moving and just keep jumping! Go for 100 jumps!

  • Crunches

And...core work!



Ah crunches. Nothing too crazy with this move, just a few things to keep in mind. You're trying to bring your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Keep the abs tight pulling the belly button towards the spine and the lower back in contact with the ground throughout the whole exercise. 50 of these!

*Added Tip* - exhale every time you crunch up

  • Penguins

One of my favorite exercises (and not just because I like penguins.)



Laying in the same crunch position you will lay your arms down by your sides. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground, still thinking about keeping the lower back in contact with the floor. From here, crunch side to side reaching your hands for your heels. Right and left is one repetition and you will be doing 25. You should feel like your walking like a penguin crunching side to side, hence the name. ;)

  • Reverse Crunches

Hitting those lower abs.



For this exercise, you will again be laying on your back with your hands by your sides. This time, your head, neck, and shoulders will remain on the ground. Start with your legs in a table top position, then contract your abdominal muscles to lift your hips and lower back off the floor. Repeat this movement 30 times.

  • Plank

Last exercise! And who doesn't love a good plank?!



When doing a plank, form is incredibly important. Keep your elbows under your shoulders. Everything from your head, through your spine, and down to your heels should be in a straight line. SQUEEZE everything!! By that I mean everything: abs, back, glutes, hamstrings and push your energy into your heels. 60 seconds in this position.

Repeat the whole circuit another two times :D

That's your workout, I hope you enjoy it! :) Comment below when you finish and tell me what you think.

Before I wrap this up I have one more thing to share. Throughout this weekend and into next week I have some big events going on including a movie that I am so fortunate to be in (so excited) and a photo shoot with one of my favorite photographers. I plan to keep you all in tune with what's going on with the new Periscope app. If you've never heard of Periscope and don't know what it's about check it out here. Download the app onto your smartphone and follow me @hboyl. You'll get updates of when I'm "live" and be able to see what I'm up to via video throughout the weekend, so check it out!

That's all for today ladies and gents, have an awesome Friday!