5 sculpting moves to transform your upper body in no time
5 Muscle-Sculpting Moves
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Finding an hour to sweat it out at the gym can be tricky—which is why we're psyched about this new routine from Miami-based fitness expert Jessica Smith. The unique moves are designed to challenge multiple muscles at once. It may be quick, but it's tough!
You'll need: A pair of 5- to 15-pound dumbbells.
How it works: Do each exercise for 1 minute, completing as many reps as you can with proper form. Do the full circuit 2 times total.
Balancing Punch Press
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This multi-joint move sculpts your shoulders, upper back, and triceps while also activating your abs to maintain your balance.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your elbows bent by your sides. Shift your weight onto your right leg, left foot extended off the floor behind your hip, hinging slightly forward from your hips to make a straight line from your left foot to your head. Extend your right arm up by your ear into a shoulder press, palm facing in, as you extend your left arm back into a triceps extension. Bend both elbows back in by your sides and repeat, switching arms (left arm goes up, right arm back). Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds, then change legs and repeat for 30 more seconds.
Too tough to balance on one leg? Let your back foot lightly touch the ground until you feel ready for the more challenging version.
Deadlift Rotating Forearm Curl
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Add even more toning power to your deadlift by incorporating a reverse grip curl, which strengthens your forearms and biceps at the same time.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the weights in front of your thighs, palms facing in. Brace your abs in tight and hinge forward from your hips, keeping your spine naturally straight, reaching your arms to the floor. Use your butt to bring your body back up (spine stays straight) and rotate your torso to the left as you perform a curl (palms stay facing down). Lower your arms and return torso to center to repeat on the other side. Continue alternating sides for 1 minute.
Reaching Wide Plank
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This static core move engages just about every muscle in your body.
How to do it: Get into full plank position with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Brace your abs in tight (don't let your hips sag) as you raise your right arm, lifting it up by your ear, palm facing in. Hold for 1 count, return right arm to ground, and repeat with the left arm. Alternate arms each time, keeping your body as steady and as still as possible, for 1 minute.
Single Leg Triceps Plank Up
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This is one of the most deceiving exercises of all time—it's much harder than it looks! You'll target your core, the backs of your arms, and your butt at the same time.
How to do it: Start kneeling, with knees directly below your hips. Brace your abs in tight and extend your left leg out straight. Your body should form a straight line from your left ankle to your head. Bend your elbows all the way down to the floor directly below your shoulders, palms facing down. Press back up, extending both arms straight, then quickly bend elbows back down to the ground. Repeat as many times as you can (be careful not to let your body rock back and forth as arms bend and extend, keep the motion up and down) for 30 seconds and then switch legs to repeat for 30 more seconds.
Biceps Curl Boat
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Sculpt your biceps and target your abs with this fun variation of boat pose.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit with knees bent and feet lifted off the floor. Brace your abs in tight and lift both feet up until they're in line with your knees. Keeping your chest up, hinge back slightly as you reach your legs away from your torso and lower arms to the floor. Sit up, drawing your knees in closer to your chest as arms curl in. Repeat for 1 minute.
Keeping the back straight during this move is key to protecting your spine and fully engaging your abs. If it's too challenging, place your feet on the floor at any time to make it easier to maintain a straight spine.
Photos by: Vanessa Rogers Photography
Shot on location at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach