Love a good dumbbell workout? We are going back to basics for the second installment of this month’s Inspired To Be Fit, with a new upper body dumbbell workout. Grab a pair of dumbbells, a timer, a mat and let’s get ready to sweat!



Happy Monday!! And welcome back to Inspired To Be Fit! If this is your first time here, make sure to read all the detail and rules for participation (there are just a few). We’d love to have you join the party!

Last week, we introduced #ITBF a little more and talked basics. I went over a few of my favorite moves, the lunge, hip hinge and pull. To keep up with the Back to Basics theme for the month, I’m sharing a basic upper body dumbbell workout with you today (and video!!!!!).

[bctt tweet=”New Upper Body Dumbbell Workout w/graphics AND video! #ontheblog #itbf #sweatpink”]

Now, I’m working on pull-ups and it would have been awesome to add them to this workout, but it’s just so not easy to take pull-up photographs outside (where would I put my bar!?!) and my apartment is a little dark for quality blog photos. Check out the notes section for a option to add in pull-ups or chin-ups.

Since this dumbbell workout is focused on upper body, I’ll be sharing a lower body next week. I’d recommend a heavy set of dumbbells for this workout. Using 5# won’t really help build strength. Go at least 10# or more. Keeping 2 sets around is great. You could start heavy and then lower, when (if) needed.


  • Dumbbells (I used 15#)
  • Mat
  • Interval Timer (I don’t go anywhere without my MiniMax)


Set up timer for 4 minutes work, 1 minute cardio (jacks + mt. climbers) for 4 rounds. This will give you a 20 minute workout. You will complex the RX reps of each move, back to back, resting when needed. Complete as many rounds as possible within 4 minutes. When the timer buzzes, stop where you are and complete jacks for 30 sec and mt. climbers for 30 sec. At the end of the mt. climbers, go back to where you left off with the upper body circuit, continuing to complete as many rounds as you can before the timer beeps again.

Essentially, you are doing as many rounds of the upper body circuit as you can in 20 minutes, with 4- 1 minute interruptions to do 30 sec jacks & 30 sec mt. climbers.


Add-in 10 reps of pull-ups, assisted pull-ups or chin-ups after your UPRIGHT ROW each round. OR, include 5 pull-ups, assisted pull-ups or chin-ups in between your jacks and mt. climbers.



[bctt tweet=”Can’t wait to try this new Upper Body Dumbbell Workout via @burpees4bfast #sweatpink #itbf” via=”no”]


  • GOOD MORNINGS: Feet hip width apart. Shoulders back and down (think putting them in your back pocket) and lats engaged. Pelvis slightly tucked and core muscles engaged (imagine I’m coming to punch you in the gut). Knees slightly bent. Weight up by your chest. You will hinge at the hips, keeping knees slightly bent and back as flat as possible. As you hinge, your butt is going to go back. When you rise, drive through your heels and squeeze the glutes and hammy’s to stand.
  • PUSH-UPS w/ROTATION: Check my tips for push-up mastery! At the top of the push-up, rotate into side plank, driving through palm that is on the ground, engaging obliques.
  • 2-WAY BENT ROW:  Grab dumbbells, standing upright with weight in heel, slight bend in the knee, glutes squeezed, pelvis slightly tucked, shoulders back and down. Hinge at hip, bracing core to bring back parallel to the ground (or until tension is felt in hamstrings), chest up. Row up, elbows shooting straight back, PALMS FACING EACH OTHER. Row down and back up, this time PALMS FACING UP. Keep core tight and squeeze glutes as you come back to stand.
  • DIPS:  Find bench, sidewalk, or step, have a seat, and place hands shoulder width apart, right under your butt. Move forward, lower down until elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up to start. Elbow should go straight back, not out.
  • SUPERMAN w/ROW: Lie on stomach, arms and legs stretched out. Actively engage core, glutes, and lower back muscles, as you bring your arms and legs off the ground, row arms, squeeze at the top, and return to start.
  • UPRIGHT ROW: Stand upright, shoulders back and down, pelvis slightly tucked, arms in front of you with palms facing you. Row or ‘zip’ weights up, sticking elbows out, to about chest height. Release. Make sure shoulders stay back and and down.
  • MT. CLIMBERS:  Assume Hand Plank position. Drive knees up, like you are running. Perform slowly or quickly.

[bctt tweet=”Get your sweat on with this new Upper Body EMOM Workout from @burpees4bfast #itbf #emom” via=”no”]

Don’t forget to add your fitness related posts to the link-up below! While we know nutrition plays a huge role in fitness and overall healthy living, Jill and I would like ITBF to focus totally on the fitness aspect of healthy living. We’d like this to be a go-to resource for workouts and fitness information, motivation and support. If you have a delicious recipe to share (and we know many of you do), come back on Friday and link-up with Living a Life of Fitness Health & Happiness.


What was your weekend like? The Hubs and I (love this picture of us!) had a great date on Friday night! I met with a new nutrition client on Saturday morning, taught class, did a Hammer & Chisel workout, stayed on the productivity train for a long hot minute and then relaxed a bit in the evening (I wasn’t feeling good :[ ). Sunday, we woke up to a big snow/ice storm. We somehow made it to church a few minutes early, then did a showing for Kris, went to his parents for lunch and watched the new MI movie. I cleaned a bit when I got home and did some work, before lounging for the night! It was quite a productive weekend!

Be sure to visit Jill to see her workout for the day! And don’t forget that you can tag us and use hashtag #itbf, on instagram, if you do one of the workouts this week!

Are you a fan of a good dumbbell workout?
What did you do this weekend?



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