You guys know how tough indoor cycling classes are, right? You’ll sweat something fierce and walk out with your legs shaking. But you don’t usually think of cycling as something that’ll get your upper body stronger. A lot of cycling classes are changing that these days, forcing you to get off the bike to hit your upper body and core with strength circuits. SWERVE Fitness does just that in its cycling classes. Jenna Arndt, cycling instructor at SWERVE, encourages riders to ride hard, but they then take a “break” to hit the upper body. She’s got a bonus arm workout today for you that you can do at home or after your own cycling session. No weights needed!
Jenna suggests using time for this workout instead of repetitions. This lets you aim for more reps per minute as a tangible goal and means of pushing yourself to next-level-upper-body greatness.
Do these five moves for one minute each for three sets.
Start with your hands and toes on the floor. Keep your back flat and keep your hips in line with your toes and shoulders the entire time. Lower your chest completely down to the ground and lift your hands off the ground while keeping your chest and hips on the floor for about 1 second. Bring your hands back to the floor and press up, extending and locking your arms fully out. Repeat.
*Bonus! These push-ups force you to engage your abdominals as your lift and lower each time. Hello six-pack!
Find a chair, bench or other sturdy flat surface that’s about knee-height. Sit on the surface with your legs extended straight in front of you and place the palms of your hands on the bench behind you, fingertips facing forward. Once you’re set there, slide your butt forward so that you’re balancing on your hands and heels. Begin with a slight bend in your elbows. Then bend them more and more as you slowly lower your upper body and butt towards the floor until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Once you’ve hit the bottom of the dip, press your palms into the chair and push yourself back up to start (straight with just a slight bend).
Ready to take this to the next level? Try a One Arm Dip. Move your legs wider for more stability and perform the same 90-degree bend and push back to start.
This core strengthening move will also help shape your shoulders and delts. Find a plank position, keeping your body straight with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your palms flat on the floor. Start with your feet together. Then, simultaneously cross your right hand over your left and step your left leg out to the left — so as your arms cross, your legs come wide. Then step your left arm out to the left to uncross your hands, as you simultaneously bring your right foot next to your left — so your arms come back to the plank position your legs narrow back together. Alternate walking two to the right, two to the left.
Need a level up? Add a push-up in for every two “steps” you take with your hands.
Because diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? Our hand release push-ups allowed us to focus on both the chest and triceps. Here, we condense and place the emphasis on the triceps. Place your hands under your chest and create a triangle with your fingers, touching your thumbs and index fingers together. Keep your elbows tight at your sides and lower down, touching your chest to your diamond or getting as close to it as you can. Keep the rest of your body tight and push back to start.
Ready to take it to the next level? Find a wall and elevate your feet against it. Perform these same push-ups.
Be your own cheerleader in this final round! No pom-poms required. Here the focus does not need to be on repetitions. Stay small, slow and controlled. Extend your arms straight out to parallel and perform slow, circular motions upwards until you have eventually positioned them above your head. Reverse the circle and return your arms to a parallel position. Repeat.
Any one else feel that burn just looking at that? You know those arm circles look easy but once you get there they are TOUGH! —Erin