Kelsey Wells New Year's Challenge: Upper Body Workout with Dumbbells

·Features and Health Editor
·5-min read

Welcome to Yahoo Lifestyle's exclusive two-week New Year workout series with Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells. These workouts will take you less than 15-minutes! Quick and simple to follow so it won’t take time out of your busy holiday season.

kelsey wells workout challenge
It's week two day 4 of Kelsey's workout challenge. Photo: Supplied

This 15-minute upper body workout is inspired by Kelsey's PWR at Home Program in the Sweat app and only requires a pair of dumbbells.

It has been designed to help increase strength in your back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and core. The workout includes two supersets which aim to fire up the muscles with targeted exercises and repetition, and a core burnout to finish.

"I am an advocate for training muscle group splits as it allows you to focus on building up strength in a different area of your body each session while also giving those different muscles adequate rest and recovery," Kelsey tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

"Having a strong upper body is so important not only for strength training but more generally for your posture and day-to-day activities."

Week Two, Day 4: Upper Body Workout with Dumbbells

Superset 1 - Complete 3 laps

Bent Over Row - 12 reps

Step 1: Holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing inwards), plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward from your hips so that your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms directly below your chest. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Exhale. Bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells in towards your body, ensuring your elbows remain in close contact with the sides of your body. You should feel a small squeeze between your shoulder blades.

Step 3: Inhale. Extend your elbows to lower the dumbbells and return to the starting position. Repeat for the specified number of repetitions.

Curl & Press - 10 reps

Step 1: Holding a dumbbell in each hand in a neutral grip (palms facing inwards) with arms extended on either side of your body, plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells in towards your chest, ensuring that your elbows remain in close contact with the sides of your body.

Step 3: Exhale. Using the muscles in both your shoulders and arms, extend your elbows and press dumbbells up above your head, ensuring that arms are in line with your ears on either side of your head.

Step 4: Inhale. Extend your elbows to lower the dumbbells and return to the starting position.

Superset 2 - Complete 3 laps

Pullover - 12 reps

Step 1: Holding a dumbbell with both hands, start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart. Extend your elbows to hold the dumbbell directly above your chest. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Without changing the angle of your elbows, draw the dumbbell backward and over your head in an arc-like motion until the dumbbell is almost touching the floor.

Step 3: Exhale. Draw the dumbbell upward and forward in the same arc-like motion to return to the starting position, once again, ensuring that the angle of your elbows remains unchanged. Repeat for the specified number of repetitions.

kelsey wells
Pullover. Photo: Yahoo

Skull Crusher - 12 reps

Step 1: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position. Extend your arms and hold the dumbbells directly in front of your chest in a neutral grip (palms facing inwards). Draw your shoulder blades down and back. This is your starting position.

Step 2: Inhale. Set your T-zone. While keeping your shoulders as still as possible, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells on either side of your head.

Step 3: Exhale. Using your triceps, extend your elbows to return to the starting position, ensuring that your shoulders, elbows and wrists remain in line with one another at all times. Repeat for the specified number of repetitions.

Kelsey wells skull crusher
Skull crusher. Photo: Yahoo

Burnout

Russian Twist - 60 seconds

Step 1: Holding a dumbbell with both hands directly in front of your chest, start seated on a yoga mat with knees bent and heels firmly planted. Lean back slightly so that your abdominals are engaged and you are balancing on your sit bones. Keeping your feet together, raise your feet off the mat and extend your legs slightly. This is your starting position.

Step 2: While keeping your lower body as still as possible, twist your torso to the right and gently touch the head of the dumbbell on the mat next to your right hip.

Step 3: Untwist your torso to return to the starting position.

Step 4: While keeping your lower body as still as possible, twist your torso to the left and gently touch the head of the dumbbell on the mat next to your left hip.

Step 5: Untwist your torso to return to the starting position. Continue alternating between right and left for the specified number of repetitions.

Stay tuned for the final day of Kelsey's two-week workout plan tomorrow. You can also find all of Kelsey's workouts on our Youtube channel.

If you missed yesterday's workout try it here:

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