This chest, arms and core workout will help you build a stronger upper body, including a broader chest, wider shoulders, impressive arms and a solid core…
You’re going to start off this chest, arms and core workout with a classic compound chest move: the dumbbell bench press. The dumbbell variation is the safer option while social distancing rules prevent someone spotting you on the barbell. And while you’re unlikely to be able to shift as much weight, the dumbbells do allow for greater range of motion and potentially more muscle activation across your pecs.
Once you’ve completed four sets on the bench, you’ll be hitting your entire upper body – with a particular focus on the lats and biceps – with eight-rep sets of chin-ups (keep those shoulders pinned back and pull with your back), before moving onto the supersets…
Each a/b pairing is to be performed as one set: so taking the close-grip bench and triceps dips as an example, you’re going to do your 10-12 reps on the bench, then immediately move over to the parallel bars/dip station and pump out your 10-15 reps on there.
Then you’re going to rest for 60 seconds (stay strict with rest times to keep up the conditioning element) and repeat the process. That pattern is the same for both 4a/4b and 5a/5b.
Chest, Arms and Core Workout
1. Dumbbell Bench Press
Rest: 60 secs
- Lie on a flat bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back against the bench.
- Press the weights directly above your head but don’t lock your elbows at the top.
- Slowly lower the weight back to the start, flaring your elbows out to the sides as you do so.
Rest: 60 secs
- Grab the bar with an underhand grip so your hands are shoulder-width apart.
- Start from a dead hang with your arms fully extended.
- Pull yourself up by squeezing your lats together.
- Once your chin is higher than your hands, lower yourself back to the start.
3a. Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press
Rest: Straight into 3b
- Lie flat on a bench, holding a barbell with a close, overhand grip. Aim for about a fist-sized gap between your hands.
- Keep your head, shoulders and back supported by the bench, your core braced and your feet flat on the floor.
- Lower the bar slowly to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides to keep the emphasis on your triceps.
- Push back up powerfully to return to the start, taking care not to lock your elbows at the top of the move.
3b. Triceps Dip
Rest: 60 secs, then return to 3a
- Grip parallel bars, keeping your body upright.
- With your elbows pointing straight back, lower your body as far as you can comfortably go without stressing your shoulders.
- Keep your core braced and don’t swing your legs for momentum.
- Press back up powerfully to return to the start, but don’t lock your elbows at the top.
4a. DB Hammer Curl
Rest: Straight into 4b
- Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides with your palms facing your body.
- Keeping your elbows close to your sides, raise the weights to shoulder height, squeezing your biceps at the top of the move.
- Slowly return the weights to the start, flexing your triceps at the bottom of the move.
4b. Diamond Press-Up
Reps: To failure
Rest: 60 secs, then return to 4a
- Start in a press-up position but with your hands close together so your opposite thumbs and index fingers touch to form a diamond.
- Keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels, lower your chest as far as you can.
- Push up strongly to return to the start.
5a. Swiss Ball Decline Press-Up
Rest: Straight into 5b
- Get into a press-up position with your feet on a Swiss ball.
- Keeping your core braced and body straight, lower your chest towards the floor.
- Press back up to return to the start.
5b. Swiss Ball Rollout
Rest: 60 secs, then return to 5a
- Start on your knees with your forearms resting on a Swiss ball.
- Keeping your core braced throughout, slowly roll the ball away from you.
- Once your torso is parallel to the floor, contract your abs to roll back to the start.
Photography: Tom Miles