Monday, March 12, 2012

Killer Chest and Back Workout

Pin It
This is such a challenging workout but it feels good to complete.

WARM-UP: Make sure to do your WARM-UP it's a big part of your workout. GO HERE if you haven't done it yet.
TOOLS: dumbbells, chin-up bar, weight bar, two hand towels or paper plates, bench or chair

WHAT IS YOUR UPPER BODY REP RANGE? CHECK HERE. Once you know that you can start this workout and it will work best for you and your body type.
Perform one set of each exercise without resting. For example, you’ll do the prescribed number of repetitions of the first exercise, and immediately do the second exercise and so on. Once you have finished going through the first circuit rest 30 second to 1 minute and repeat Circuit 1 before moving onto Circuit 2.
  • Pull-up with pike
  • Plyometric Pushup
  • Uneven-Grip Pullup
  • The Single-arm Slide Out
Perform one set of each exercise without resting. For example, you’ll do the prescribed number of repetitions of the first exercise, and immediately do the second exercise and so on. Once you have finished going through the second circuit rest 30 second to 1 minute. Repeat Circuit 2 before moving onto Circuit 3.
  • Single Arm Row
  • Dumbbell Rear-Deltoid Raise
  • Barbell Shrug
  • Dumbbell Twisting Bench Press
Perform one set of each exercise without resting. For example, you’ll do the prescribed number of repetitions of the first exercise, and immediately do the second exercise and so on. Once you have finished going through the third repeat one more time and you are finished!
  • Alternating Upright Row
  • Diamond Pushups
Pull-up with pike

Targets: back and abs
  • Start by performing the traditional pull-up movement, but once you reach the bottom of the movement, move into a pike trying to get your legs up to at least waist level.
  • After the pike is completed, continue on with your next pull-up.

Plyometric Pushup
Targets chest and abs
  • Set up in the classic pushup position on a well-padded carpet or exercise mat.
  • Push up hard enough for your hands to come off the floor and catch some air.
  • When you hit the floor, go immediately into the next repetition, pushing up again as hard as you can and catching more air.
Uneven-Grip Pullup

Targets: Back
  • Loop a towel over a pullup bar and hold both ends with your right hand.
  • Grasp the bar with your left hand using an underhand grip. The vertical separation between your hands increases intensity on the higher arm.
  • Pull up with both hands.
Tip: If you have a hard time pulling yourself up, use a step then lower yourself down as slowly as possible.

The Single-arm Slide Out
Targets: Chest, abs triceps
  • Place each hand on a hand towel if you have hard floors.
  • Place each hand on paper plates if you have carpet.
  • Assume a push up position with your arms completely straight and your legs extended. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles. Brace your core as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  • Slide your right hand out in front of you as you bend your left arm to lower your body.
  • Slowly push the hand towel/paper plate forward, extending your body as far as you can without allowing your hips to sag. Your body should remain rigid for the entire movement.
  • Reverse the movement back to the starting position by pulling arm back and pushing your body up.
  • Repeat, with your left hand.
  • Alternate back and forth each repetition.
Too hard?

Single Arm Row

Targets: Upper back
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand; bend forward at your waist so that your chest is leaning forward over your feet.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent, your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Start with your arms fully extended below your chest lift or ‘row’ the dumbbells up to the side of your torso, one arm at a time. keeping elbows at a 90 degree angle.
  • Return to the start position and repeat.
Dumbbell Rear-Deltoid Raise

Targets: back and hamstrings
  • Sit on a stability ball and lean forward. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length 
  • Slowly raise the dumbbells out to the sides and up to shoulder height while bringing your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower the dumbbells and return them to the start position.
  • Keep your upper body stationary throughout the movement.
Dumbbell Shrug
Targets: Shoulders
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells in each hand.
  • Slowly shrug your shoulders straight up by contracting your upper trapezius muscle.
  • Slowly return to the start position.
Dumbbell Twisting Bench Press
Targets: Chest
  • Lie faceup on a bench, holding a pair of dumbbells at the edges of your chest, your palms facing each other.
  • As you press the weights up, rotate your hands so that your thumbs are coming together as you near the top of the move.
  • Pause, then reverse.
  • Repeat
Alternating Upright Row
Targets: Upper back
  • Hold dumbbells at arm’s length in front of your thighs, palms facing you.
  • Pull the weights up to your chest. Hold one arm up there, lower the other arm until it’s straight, and row it back up.
  • Repeat with the other arm. That’s one rep.
Diamond Pushups
Targets: Chest

  • Kneel down on an exercise mat.
  • Extend your legs out behind you with your toes touching the ground, distributing your weight between your hands and toes.
  • Keep your head aligned with your spine and tighten your abdominal, quadriceps, glutes and lower back muscles. This will ensure your back stays straight.
  • Exhale as you lower yourself to the mat, making sure to keep your head and body straight. Go as low as you possibly can, but not so low that you can not push yourself back up. Inhale as you push upward until your arms are fully extended.
  • Do as many repetitions as you can while keeping proper form.
Tips: If this exercise is too challenging as described, try positioning your hands apart so that your index and thumbs are not touching. If you are having a problem with balance, spread your legs about shoulder width apart for more stability.

Great job!! If you have time go for a run or do 30 minutes of cardio. Don't forget the COOL DOWN! This is an important part of your workout. Click HERE to cool down before hitting the showers.



  1. Phew! Those single arm slide outs and diamond pushups really got me. I don't even know if I was doing the slideouts correctly...I really felt it in my abs more than anything, trying to get myself not to lean to one side or the other. But it felt good! Was the routine made to go through more than once?


    1. Yes. You are to go through it more than once but at first its ok to do one set. I am impressed by you and how much u do. Keep it up

  2. Hello Michelle, this is my first time looking at your site and I love it. I have worked out on and off for what seems like forever and for about the last year I've been unable yo stick with a workout plan because I have been committed to other things such as going to the police academy while I was working full time. So I was eating a lot on the go and the physical fitness at the academy was far from consistent. I have now just landed my dream job as a police officer and realize more and more each day how vital it is in my profession to stay physically fit. My job supports this idea and provides the department with a great fitness center. I would like to get on a routine now that I have my eating regulated. One quick question. My problem area is my back. I have this extra fat that seems to stick to my back area right under my shoulder blades on the sides and of course my love handles. I need something that can help me tone that area. However, I used to be a swimmer and come from some very good genetics. So when I work out I get bulky and muscle-ly very quickly. Is there any way to tone and target my back without getting really muscular? Any ideas on good exercises for it. Your guidance would mean a lot bdu's ur site has inspired me to go out and get motivated.

    1. Congratulations.. Thank u for being a real life hero. I am happy you are here. Ok, for your problen areas start with 12 to 15 reps with the very last possible rep being 15. Then for areas that are small and u want bigger do.8 to 10 reps. Do wide grip chin ups, or wide grip pull ups. Do side planks for love handles and oblique twist. Best thing is go through my workouts to get a total body balance of muscle n strength. I sound like an amazing woman and I am proud to have you on my extreme team.