December Workout of the Month – Upper Body

We’re about halfway through December and you all know what that means!  It’s time for another workout of the month – a December workout!  Last month we covered lower body so we’re back to hitting your arms and shoulders and back!  Grab a pair of dumbbells, some space and let’s get started.

December's workout of the month is an upper body workout that targets your shoulders, biceps, back and more!  The added cardio of burpees will increase your heart rate and help you burn calories!

December Workout of the Month

It can be SO easy in the winter to let things slide a bit, right?  It’s cold out, it’s dark when you get home from work, there’s so many delicious treats everywhere.  But we all know (and if you’re anything like me, hate) the phrase, “your bikini body starts in the winter”.  Honestly though, if you maintain through the winter, you’ll be much more likely to LOVE the way you look in tank tops and shorts, and yes, that bikini, without having to kill yourself in the Spring.

Plus, you have no excuses!  Why?  Because this workout, along with all of my other workouts can be done RIGHT AT HOME!  Many don’t need any equipment, and if they do, just a pair of dumbbells will work!  You can complete them within 30 minutes.  So out of a 24 hour day, you only need to spare 2% of your time!  THAT’S IT!

This December workout of the month targets your shoulders, back, biceps, triceps and more!  It's a full upper body quick workout that can be done right at home!

Upper Body

I’m not going to lie, upper body day is not my favorite.  Never has been (and likely never will be).  I don’t sweat as much and I’m one of those people that LOVES sweating.  It makes me feel great!  So if you remember September’s upper body workout, we’re going to do that SAME THING!  In order to up our activity and burn more calories, we’re going to add in 3 burpees in between each exercise!  Like I’ve said before, the muscles in your upper body are not as large as those in your lower body so you don’t get the same out of your workout.

Before we get into the workout, I’m going to leave you with some facts from Jillian Michaels about upper body muscles and why they’re so important to strengthen!

  • The muscles in your hands allow you to clench and grasp things.
  • The muscles in your lower arm allow you to rotate, flex, and extend your hands, wrists, and forearms.
  • The muscles in your upper arm help out in the same way as your lower arm and are particularly important for pushing and pulling.
  • The muscles in your shoulders allow you to move your arm in any direction.
  • The muscles connecting your upper limbs to your chest allow you to move your arms toward and away from your body
  • The muscles connecting your upper limbs to your spine allow you to move your shoulders up and down and back.

Basically, you use your upper body muscles every single day, and are using them right now to read this post on your phone!  So it’s very important to keep them active and strong in order to keep them performing optimally!

And now for the workout.

Don’t forget to warm up before you start, and cool down afterwards!  Stretching is so important!

This upper body workout is quick and can be done right at home with only a pair of dumbbells!  It focuses on your shoulders, back, biceps, triceps and more!


Renegade row – Start in plank position with weights in your hands and feet slightly wider than normal.  Pull your right arm up until your elbow is past your back and squeeze.  Keep your arm close to your body as you lift and then return it to the ground.  Try to keep your hips level as you perform this exercise.

Bent over triceps extension – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and weights in hands.  Hinge forward at your hips keeping your knees slightly bent.  Raise the weights behind you until your elbows are straight and lift up another inch.  Slowly lower the weights back down.

Lying chest fly – Lie on the ground with your knees bent and weights above you.  Slowly lower the weights down to the side keeping your elbows bent until the ground prevents you from moving any further.  Lift the weights back up to the starting position.

Steering wheel – Hold one weight straight out in front of you, arms parallel to the ground.  Twist the weight up and down as if you were driving a steering wheel.  You can bend your elbows to make it slightly easier.

Push-up w/ rotation – Perform a basic push with weights in your hands, then lift the left weight up past your ear and straight into the air while twisting your torso.  Lower the weight back to the ground and repeat with the right weight.  Then start over with a push-up.

Upright row – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold your weights in front by your hips.  Keeping your elbows out and weights close to your body, lift up until the weights are just below your chin.  Slowly lower the weights back down.

Love this workout?  Try these too!

Do you enjoy upper body workouts?  What’s your favorite exercise?

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