A Beginner-Friendly Workout That Works Your Arms & Chest In Just 5 Moves

A Beginner-Friendly Workout That Works Your Arms & Chest In Just 5 Moves Image

Build a stronger upper body foundation this year.

Welcome to mbg moves! For the first installment of 2022, we're changing things up a bit with a strength-training-at-home series, from BB Arrington. Check out the full strength training at home guide here, which includes tips, advice, and insight for beginning the journey to a stronger you. Plus, tune in each week for a new at-home workout to include in your routine.

Let's start the year on the right foot—or, in this case, arm. For the first installment of our strength training at home series, we're focusing on your shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps.

There are so many important benefits to working these areas of your body. Strong shoulders help facilitate the various overhead and rotational movements of the arms. A strong chest balances out the back muscles and helps us in pushing movements. Plus, strong biceps and triceps make pulling and extending movements easier.

These five moves will help you build a solid upper-body foundation—and you can do the entire routine from the comfort of your home. All you need is a set of dumbbells!

Workout Summary

  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Equipment: Set of dumbbells
  • Instructions: Complete three set of 8 to 12 reps of each exercise. Move from one exercise to the next with some rest in between.
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Must-know terms:

  • HINGE: Your hinge comes from your hips. Think about pulling your hips behind you—your torso will fall forward as a reaction to pulling your hips backward. 
  • BRACE: Tighten your core as if you walked into a pool of cold water.

Incline Dumbbell Press

incline dumbbell press

Image by mbg creative

  1. Seated on the floor, in front of your sofa (or a wall), lean back so that your shoulders rest against it.
  2. With dumbbells in hand, lift your elbows to shoulder height, wrists stacked over elbows.
  3. Brace your core and keep your gaze forward. Press the dumbbells up to the ceiling, and return to start.
  4. Keep the dumbbells in your peripheral vision; if you can't see them overhead when you press, they've floated too far behind you. (You will feel your lats engage at the bottom of the movement.)

Negative Pushups

Negative pushups

Image by mbg creative

  1. Start in a full or modified (on your knees) plank. Place one dumbbell underneath your chest.
  2. Brace your core and lower down slowly for 4 seconds, and tap your chest to the dumbbell.
  3. Straighten your arms to return to starting position.

Skull Crushers

skull crushers

Image by mbg creative

  1. Lie on your back with feet planted on the floor.
  2. With dumbbells in hand, extend your arms to the ceiling.
  3. Bending from the elbow, lower the weight to your forehead. 
  4. Extend the arm back to the ceiling to complete the rep. (Note: Upper arm should remain perpendicular to the floor the entire time.)

Seated Biceps Curl

seated biceps curls

Image by mbg creative

  1. Sitting in a chair with dumbbells in both hands, allow your arms to hang down toward the floor.
  2. Without allowing the upper arm to move backward, curl the weight toward your shoulder, stopping 45 degrees short.
  3. Lower the weights back toward the floor.

Medial Delt Raise With Hinge

medial delt raise with hinge

Image by mbg creative

  1. Seated or standing, hinge forward about 45 degrees above a flat-back position. 
  2. With dumbbells in hand, keep your arms straight and raise your arms up to make the shape of a capital letter "Y." 
  3. Lower your arms back down toward the ground to complete the rep (Note: Soften your knees and engage your core to help you feel grounded in the movement.)

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