Upper Body Circuit

Are you looking for an upper body circuit to help you get in shape? Why not check out our advice on exercises and how many reps and sets you could do as part of a program to help you get the most out!



Wide Arm Press-Up. Start with hands out wide (double shoulder width), palms facing forward. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself until your face is close to the floor. Pause, then push back up. Either perform these in 3/4 position or full position depending on your fitness level.

One Arm Row. Support your body by placing your left hand and knee on a bench, right foot securely on the floor, weight in your right hand.

With your back parallel to the floor, lift the weight by bending the arm and raising the elbow. When the weight reaches the side of your chest pause, then slowly lower.

Biceps Curl, This can be performed either seated or standing – seated curls will prevent excess body swing.

Start with arms straight, palms facing upwards. Curl the weights up until they are level with your shoulders, pause, then slowly lower back to starting position.

Intermediates and advanced can perform the movement in the 3 following ways – normal / hammer / and reverse. Full descriptions of these can be found in the members area.

Tricep Dips, Start with your hands on a bench, either side of the body, fingers facing forward. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body. Pause at the bottom of the movement, then push back up. Stop before your elbows are locked out, and repeat.

Intermediates can perform this with feet on the floor, advanced will put feet on another bench.

Breast Stroke. Holding a LIGHT weight, stand with the weight held straight out in front of you, feet shoulder width apart. Make smooth circular breast stroke swimming movements, keeping your arms parallel to the floor at all times.

Bench Press This exercise is best done with a partner to spot you. Using either a barbell or dumbbells, slowly lower the weight to your chest. Pause WITHOUT touching your chest, then push back up. Stop before your elbows lock out at the top.

Performed with a wide grip this will work your pectoral (chest) muscles. If you use a close grip, it will work the triceps (back of the arms).

This exercise can be adapted by using an incline / decline / or flat bench, whilst working with either dumbbells or a barbell.

Tricep Kick Backs.Sit on a secure bench with your feet firmly on the floor, leaning over as far as possible, ideally to a position where your body is parallel to the floor.

Hold a LIGHT weight in each hand. Start with your arms bent, weights close to your head, smoothly extend your lower arm back to straighten the arm. The upper arm remains still and horizontal throughout, your elbows tucked into your side.

Reverse Flyes. Lean forward on either an inclined bench or the thigh of one leg. With arms slightly bent, smoothly lift a LIGHT weight up to shoulder height. Pause, then slowly lower to the starting position.

Lateral Raise Holding LIGHT dumbbells in each hand, smoothly lift the weights up from your side, to a horizontal position out to your sides. Keep your arms slightly bent throughout the movement, palms facing downwards.

This exercise can be performed either seated or standing.

Close Arm Press-Ups. This exercise is for advanced only as it is much more difficult than regular press-ups.

Make a triangle with your fingers and thumbs, hands under your chest. Slowly lower until your chest lightly touches your hands, push back up. Pause and repeat.

Bench Flyes These can be performed on either a flat or incline bench. Start with the weights held above you, slowly lower them, keeping your arms slightly bent at all times.

Stop when weights are level with your shoulders, pause, then return to the starting position.

Shoulder Press. Perform this exercise in a seated position on an inclined bench to support your back. Lift the weights from your shoulders, up above your head, keeping your palms facing forward the whole time.


On the next page you can find a simple Record Sheet that you can print out and keep a track on your progress.

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