Vanessa Tib

As an international fitness model, Vanessa Tib knows the importance of getting to the gym. But as a full-time registered nurse in the ER, she also knows that life can often get in the way of a good workout. For those days when a 60-minute sweat session just isn’t in the cards, she lent us this quick upper body routine for hitting your back, shoulders and arms without spending hours in the weight room. Try it when you’re pressed for time, or mix in some of your own favorite exercises when you’re not in a rush.

About this Workout

Before you begin, warm up with push-ups and light triceps dips, doing three sets of 10-15 reps each. Next, perform each of the following exercises. Do two rounds of 15 reps per exercise, completing all reps on both sides for unilateral exercises. Rest one minute between sets.

Dumbbell Row

Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

Setup: Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and place your right knee and hand on a flat bench so your back is flat and shoulders are square. Extend the dumbbell down, palm facing in (A).
Action: Bend your left arm and pull the dumbbell up towards your ribcage, squeezing your back (B). Lower back down and repeat. Complete all reps then repeat on the other side.

Seated Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Setup: Sit on a bench holding a dumbbell with both hands behind your head with elbows bent (A). Keep your back straight and chest lifted.
Action: Extend your arms and raise the dumbbell straight up overhead (B). Slowly lower back down, then repeat.

Triceps Extension
Front Raise

Alternating Dumbbell Front Raise

Setup: Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand down in front of your thighs with palms facing in.
Action: Keeping your arm straight, raise one dumbbell up to shoulder height. Slowly lower back down, then repeat with the other arm. Continue alternating for all reps.

Dumbbell Upright Row

Setup: Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand down in front of your thighs with palms facing in.
Action: Bend both elbows and raise the dumbbells up your body to chest height. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Upright Row
Lat Raise

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Setup: Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand down at your sides with palms facing in.
Action: Keeping your arms straight, simultaneously raise both arms straight out at your sides.

Tip from Vanessa: 

If you have time, add a biceps exercise such as hammer or barbell curls. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Plus: Check out our video of Vanessa’s 5 favorite moves for a strong back!

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