The days of being tested on your flexed-arm hang in gym class may be long gone, but developing upper-body strength is def still important. Whether you want to be able to nail a pullup someday or would just like to not fear for your life every time you attempt to take something heavy down from the top shelf of your closet, you won’t regret showing the muscles in your back, chest, arms, and core some love.

Especially since you don’t need to leave your living room to get in a ~legit~ upper-body workout. With just a pair of dumbbells (or two) and enough space for a yoga mat, you can make every muscle from your shoulders to your abs shake.

Incorporate an upper-body dumbbell workout into your routine two or three times a week and not only will you feel stronger carrying *all* the things, but you’ll also notice the muscles in your back, arms, and abs finally pop. Wonder Woman, is that you? You’ll be surprised what a confidence booster building muscle can be.

To see for yourself, follow along with the exercises below for a complete workout, from the warm-up moves that’ll prime your muscles to work hard to the must-do movements that’ll help you see major results.

Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: mat, dumbbells

Good for: upper body

Instructions: Complete as many reps as possible of each of the following moves in the prescribed time. Rest when noted, then continue on to the next exercise.

1. Cactus Arms

How to: Start standing on the mat, feet hip-width apart. Bring elbows together and up so arms form 90-degree angles. Keeping core stable, open elbows as wide as possible. Then, bring them together again. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

2. Shoulder Rolls

How to: Start standing on the mat with feet hip-width apart and hands in fists by sides. Keeping core engaged, begin lifting shoulders toward ears. Pull shoulder blades back while opening chest. Then, pull shoulders down, away from ears. Bring shoulders forward, then lift back up toward ears. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

3. Jumping Jacks

How to: Start standing with hands by sides. Jump legs open, slightly wider than hip-distance, while bringing hands up overhead. Jump legs back together and arms down by sides. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

4. Inchworm Walkouts

How to: Start standing, then fold forward. Keeping legs straight (a slight bed in the knees is okay), begin walking hands out until shoulders are over wrists and body is straight. Walk hands back toward feet, keeping legs as straight as possible. Return to standing. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

5. Shoulder Taps

How to: Start in plank position with head in-line with heels, shoulders over wrists, and feet hip-distance apart (feet can be wider if you need more stability). Bring right hand toward left shoulder, keeping core engaged to maintain still hips, then lower right hand back to ground. Bring left hand toward right shoulder, then return back down. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

6. Downward Dog To Plank

How to: Start in plank position, feet hip-distance apart, hands shoulder-width apart. Lift hips to move into downward-facing dog pose, pointing tailbone up and pressing heels into the floor. Return to plank. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

7. Alternating Military Press

How to: Start kneeling with right leg forward, tailbone tucked and core engaged. Bring elbows up and out so arms form 90-degree angles, like a field goal, with dumbbells in hands. Press right arm up to straight, until right bicep is near right ear. Lower to down to return to field goal position, then repeat with left arm. That’s one rep. Continue alternating sides, completing as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

8. Single-Arm Bent-Over Row (Right Side)

How to: Start with feet hip-distance apart and weight in right hand. Hinge at hips, keeping head in line with tailbone. Bracing core, pull right elbow back until right wrist is near ribs. Return to start position. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

9. Single-Arm Bent-Over Row (Left Side)

How to: Start with feet hip distance apart, weight(s) in left hand. Hinge at the hips, keeping head in line with tailbone. Bracing core, pull left elbow back until left wrist is near ribs. Return to start position. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

10. Reverse Table-Top Pull-Through

How to: Start in reverse table-top position with hips lifted, knees over feet, and shoulders should over wrists so body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Keeping hips off the ground, slowly lower hips down and through arms while extending legs. Pull body back through to start. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

11. Alternating Military Press

How to: Start kneeling with right leg forward, tailbone tucked and core engaged. Bring elbows up and out so arms form 90-degree angles, like a field goal, with dumbbells in hands. Press right arm up to straight, until right bicep is near right ear. Lower to down to return to field goal position, then repeat with left arm. That’s one rep. Continue alternating sides, completing as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

12. Single-Arm Bent-Over Row (Right Side)

How to: Start with feet hip-distance apart and weight in right hand. Hinge at hips, keeping head in line with tailbone. Bracing core, pull right elbow back until right wrist is near ribs. Return to start position. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

13. Single-Arm Bent-Over Row (Left Side)

How to: Start with feet hip-distance apart, weight(s) in left hand. Hinge at the hips, keeping head in line with tailbone. Bracing core, pull left elbow back until left wrist is near ribs. Return to start position. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

14. Reverse Table-Top Pull-Through

How to: Start in reverse table-top position with hips lifted, knees over feet, and shoulders should over wrists so body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Keeping hips off the ground, slowly lower hips down and through arms while extending legs. Pull body back through to start. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

15. Renegade Row

How to: Start in plank position, holding dumbbells in either hand on the ground. Pull right elbow toward the ceiling until right wrist is near ribs, then return it to floor. Repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

16. Glute Bridge Chest Press

How to: Start lying on back with knees bent and feet hip-distance apart and about 6 inches away from butt. Arms should be out to the sides like a field goal, with elbows forming 90-degree angles and a dumbbell in each hand. Lift hips toward ceiling, keeping core engaged. Hold this glute bridge position and press the weights to ceiling. Lower weights back down. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

17. Alternating Side Plank

How to: Start in plank position with shoulders over wrists and feet hip-width apart. Resting on balls of feet, rotate right arm up towards ceiling, opening up chest. Bring right hand back down to floor and repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

18. Seated Arnold Press

How to: Start seated with legs fully extended out in front of body with a slight bend in knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of face with palms facing each other and elbows forming 90-degree angles. Creating a slight upward arc motion, open elbows up and out to sides until palms face forward. Following the same arc, bring elbows down and back together. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

19. Renegade Row

How to: Start in plank position, holding dumbbells in either hand on the ground. Pull right elbow toward the ceiling until right wrist is near ribs, then return it to floor. Repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

20. Glute Bridge Chest Press

How to:Start lying on back with knees bent and feet hip-distance apart and about 6 inches away from butt. Arms should be out to the sides like a field goal, with elbows forming 90-degree angles and a dumbbell in each hand. Lift hips toward ceiling, keeping core engaged. Hold this glute bridge position and press the dumbbells towards ceiling. Lower weights back down. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

21. Alternating Side Plank

How to: Start in plank position with shoulders over wrists and feet hip-width apart. Resting on balls of feet, rotate right arm up towards ceiling, opening up chest. Bring right hand back down to floor and repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

22. Seated Arnold Press

How to:Start seated with legs extended out in front of body with a slight bend in knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of face with palms facing each other and elbows forming 90-degree angles. Creating a slight upward arc motion, open elbows up and out to sides until palms face forward. Following the same arc, bring elbows down and back together. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds. Then, rest for 10 seconds and proceed to the next move.

23. Dumbbell Leg Lowers

How to: Start by lying on back with arms pressed straight up towards ceiling, a dumbbell in each hand. Lift both legs straight up towards ceiling. Keeping feet flexed, slowly lower right leg down. Then, lift right leg back up and repeat with left leg. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

24. Reverse Crunch

How to: Start lying on back with legs lifted so thighs are perpendicular to floor and knees are bent. Pressing lower back into mat, “curl” knees into chest to lift hips off floor. Return to start with control. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

25. Plank Hold

How to: Start lying face-down. Place forearms on ground so elbows are under shoulders, head is in line with heels, and feet are together. Keep core engaged, tailbone tucked under, and hold. Hold for 30 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds, and then continue to the next move.

26. Dumbbell Leg Lowers

How to: Start by lying on back with arms pressed straight up towards ceiling, a dumbbell in each hand. Lift both legs straight up towards ceiling. Keeping feet flexed, slowly lower right leg down. Then, lift right leg back up and repeat with left leg. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then proceed to the next move.

27. Reverse Crunch

How to: Start lying on back with legs lifted so thighs are perpendicular to floor and knees are bent. Pressing lower back into mat, “curl” knees into chest to lift hips off floor. Return to start with control. That’s one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, then continue to the next move.

28. Plank Hold

How to: Start lying face-down. Place forearms on ground so elbows are under shoulders, head is in line with heels, and feet are together. Keep core engaged, tailbone tucked under, and hold. Hold for 30 seconds. Then you’re done!

But wait, there’s (lots) more! This is just one of the four workouts in Women’s Health’s 30-day fitness challenge. Each week, you’ll tackle four different workouts: lower body, upper body, total body, and abs. They all follow the same format and use the same equipment that you see in this workout. The only thing that will change throughout the month is the strength you feel—and the results you see!


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