Elizabeth Andrews by Elizabeth Andrews

The sun is out, the temperatures are up and the lakes, beaches and pools are brimming with activity. And with the warmer weather comes lighter clothing, which means more skin is exposed. If you’re looking to add strength and definition to your upper body (and show off those muscles in sleeveless shirts and sundresses), this upper-body circuit will do the trick. Not only will this workout help develop a strong, healthy upper body, you’ll burn lots of calories, too. 

Set your timer to 30 seconds for each exercise, with 10 to 15 seconds to transition between exercises. Complete all the exercises in order and then rest for 60 to 90 seconds before running through the circuit two to three more times. If your form starts to suffer, your body is probably becoming fatigued. When this happens, reduce your weight or modify your workout to help avoid injury. Work toward completing it successfully for the full amount of time suggested. 

1. TRX Chest Press (feet under anchor)

TRX chest press

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to full length. Stand facing away from the anchor, legs shoulder-width apart and feet under the anchor point. Hold the handles directly out from the shoulders. Maintain a strong plank as you lower your body and press back up to start, all with control. Make sure the straps don’t scrape on the arm. 

2. Pull-ups

TRX chest press

Hang from a stationary bar with a palms-forward grip. Retract your scapulae and pull your body until your chin is above the bar. With complete control, lower yourself down to the starting position. Reset your scapulae each time before initiating the pull. 

3. Battling Ropes Alternating Waves

TRX chest press

Grab the handles of a rope so that the end of the rope is sticking up from your hand towards your face. Stabilize your torso, press your shoulders down and start pulling the rope as your slam it down. Maintain an athletic stance and keep your torso and shoulders stable throughout the exercise. 

4. Biceps Curls With the Rip Trainer

TRX chest press

Clip the carabineer to the end of the Rip Trainer that is opposite from the cord. Stand in the middle of the cord. Set your plank through your torso and maintain it while you bring the Rip Trainer to your chest. Lower to full extension, fluidly. Keep the shoulders down and back and elbows close to you sides.  

5. TRX Triceps Press

TRX chest press

Adjust the TRX Suspension Trainer to mid-length and stand facing away from the anchor. Hold the handles shoulder-width apart directly out from the shoulders. Keep your shoulders set and your plank strong as you bend your elbows until your body is lowered to where your thumbs are next to temples. Press back to the start. Make sure you are maintaining proper form through whole movement. 

6. Sandbag High Pull

TRX chest press

Using a sandbag, position your body in a deadlift stance and grab the neutral/clean handles. Using the power from your hips, try to “jump” the USB to chest height, letting the elbows direct the movement upward. At the top of the pull, you should be in full hip extension, but not pausing at the top of the movement. Reverse the motion down, allowing the hips to decelerate the movement. Reset each with each repetition. 

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