Sweat With Emily Skye With This 20-Minute Upper-Body Workout

"Behind every #FlexFriday selfie is a whole lot of hard work!" says Emily Skye, personal trainer and creator of Emily Skye FIT. But she also knows that upper-body workouts are about more than looking good.

"By building strength in your back, chest, arms, shoulders and core, you won't just feel more confident, you'll see it in your posture and the way you carry yourself," Skye says. "A strong upper-body makes day-to-day tasks like carrying a baby, picking up bags of groceries, or moving furniture around your home a whole lot easier."


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Skye's upper-body workout, as shown in the video at the top, does all of the above!

"This workout is a great starting point for your upper-body transformation," she says. "I've designed it to work multiple muscles with minimal equipment, targeting your back and biceps."

Try This 20-Minute Upper-Body Workout

For each of the exercises below, you'll do 3 sets of 40 seconds each, resting for 40 seconds in between sets.

  1. Alternating Dumbbell Rotational Row:​ It's a bent-over row with a twist. Yes, an actual twist through your midsection to challenge your obliques as well as your back.
  2. Biceps Curl:​ There's nothing wrong with this classic, strength-building isolation exercise. Just make sure you don't use momentum to lift the weights.
  3. Upright Row:​ By keeping your core tight and back and chest tall, you'll help improve your posture as you strengthen your shoulders.
  4. Kneeling Zottman Curl:​ This curl variation is part standard biceps curl and part reverse curl, so you'll have to keep your brain engaged to coordinate your movements.
  5. Kettlebell Bent-Over Row:​ While a kettlebell may be more naturally suited to this exercise, you can swap it out for a dumbbell if that's what you have.
  6. Crunch:​ Finish up with this gym-class favorite, focusing on pulling your bellybutton toward your spine to increase the activation of your abdominals.

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