Release Station June 29, 2021

An Upper – Body Circuit Workout That Will Build Balanced Strength

If you’re looking for a quick, personal-trainer-approved way to burn out your shoulders, back, chest, and arms, an upper-body circuit workout can be a fantastic choice for your next routine.

Circuit training—where you go through a bunch of exercises without resting between them—is one of the most efficient ways to work all the upper-body muscle groups you’re targeting. Plus, when you don’t take any rest, you get a cardio boost along with the strength-building benefits of weight training, like getting stronger, maintaining bone density, and offsetting an age-related decline in muscle mass.

The Workout

What you’ll need: Two sets of dumbbells—a lighter set (2–8 pounds) and a medium set (5–15 pounds)—a box or step, and an optional exercise mat for extra cushioning. If you can’t complete 10 reps with good form, that’s a sign to go a little lighter with your weights.

The Exercises

  • Elevated push-up
  • Bent-over fly
  • Bodyweight pulldown
  • Overhead shoulder press
  • Single-arm row


  • Do 10 reps of each exercise. For the row, do 10 reps on each side. Rest 2–4 minutes after all five exercises are done. Complete 2≠3 rounds total.