Yep, even #runners.
Want to build a stronger upper body with minimal equipment? This no-gym-required back and shoulders workout is just what you need.
Having a strong back and shoulders is important for everyone—but there's more to it than just being able to lift heavy stuff up onto the highest shelf of your hallway closet. In fact, strong back and shoulder muscles keep your posture proud and can even minimize unhelpful rotating when you run, so you're more efficient and can log more miles.
Ready to set your back and shoulders on fire? Of course you are.
Equipment needed: dumbbells, resistance band Time: 25 minutes Instructions: Perform each exercise below in order. Complete the indicated number of reps and then continue to the next move, taking rest as noted. Once you've completed all eight exercises, rest for one minute, then repeat the entire circuit twice more for a total of three sets.
1Bent -Over Row
How to: With feet under hips, hinge at hips with knees slightly bent and arms just in front of legs. Focus on keeping back flat, torso either parallel to the floor or at a 45-degree angle, and core engaged. This is your starting position. From here, drive elbows up toward the ceiling and weights back toward bottom ribs, feeling shoulder blades squeeze together. Then, slowly reverse the motion. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15 reps, then rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next move.
How to: Begin on all fours with wrists beneath shoulders and knees beneath hips. (Up the challenge by resting on a raised surface, like a bench or non-glass coffee table, to increase shoulder range of motion.) Hold a dumbbell in left hand. Brace core and lift and extend right leg until parallel with the floor. This is your start position. Pressing through right hand and left shin, draw left elbow back towards left hip until elbow lifts next to rib cage. Keep spine long. Slowly reverse the movement to return to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 reps on each side,then rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next move.
3Band - Front Arm Raises
How to: To start, stand with feet on top of the middle of a resistance band, knees slightly bent, and arms by sides, holding ends of band, with palms facing body. Without bending elbows, raise arms straight up in front of body until they reach shoulder-level. Lower them back down to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 to 15 reps, then rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next move.
4Half-Kneeling Shoulder Press
How to: Kneel with both legs bent at 90 degrees, left foot forward so thigh is parallel to floor, right knee under hip and toes tucked behind body; place left hand on left hip and hold a dumbbell at shoulder-height in right hand, elbow bent and near ribs. This is your starting position. Engaging core and glutes, press right hand straight up overhead until arm is fully extended. Engage back and shoulders to slowly lower right arm down to start. That's one rep. Perform 10 reps per side, then rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next move.
How to: Stand tall with feet hip-distance apart and dumbbells in hands. Bend elbows to bring the weights up to shoulder-height. This is your starting position. Keeping palm facing inward, press left arm straight up until fully extended. Then, slowly reverse the motion and repeat on the other side. Keep core tight and hips and shoulders square. That's one rep. Perform 10 reps per side, then rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next move.
How to: Start in a plank position with feet hips-width apart and dumbbells in hands (palms facing inward). Engage entire body, and keep shoulders and hips square to the floor, while bending left elbow to pull left hand up to the left rib cage. (Think: sports bra band area.) Maintain stability and slowly lower the dumbbell back to the floor. Repeat with right arm. That’s one rep. Perform 10 reps per side, then rest for 15 seconds and continue to the next move.