Strong & Sculpted Upper Body Circuit


There are many reasons we love fitness expert Bess Carter, but one of the biggest is she says you don’t have to go to the gym! Well, we paraphrased that a bit, but here’s an effective upper body circuit from Bess that you can do at home or anywhere with a little space. Follow her at @besshcarter for more inspo.


I am a big proponent of maximizing my time when I’m working out. I also know you don’t need to ever step foot in a gym to get in shape (unless you want to, of course!). I design all of my workouts from my Fitter Program to be done absolutely anywhere in 20-45 minutes max. All you need is a pair of dumbbells, but if you don’t have that, you can always just use your bodyweight.

Today I’m sharing an upper body circuit using some of my favorite moves I use in the Fitter Program workouts!



Do 3 total rounds of each move.

20 standing oblique crunches with single arm shoulder press

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and perform a single arm shoulder press while you engage your obliques to bring your knee to meet your elbow. That is 1 rep. Perform 20 reps per side.


20 dumbbell press jacks

Holding one dumbbell with both hands, jack your feet out as your push the dumbbell over your head, then jack your feet back in and bring the dumbbell back down. This should be similar to a jumping jack movement. Perform for 30 seconds.


20 alternating hammer curls + upright row to triceps extension

While standing with your core engaged and knees slightly bent, hammer curl the weight up (with palms facing in towards each other) to work your biceps, and then slowly lower to starting position. Turn your palms to face behind you and lead with your elbows to perform an upright row. From the top of the upright row, hinge at the elbows to perform a triceps extension. That is 1 rep. Perform 10-12 reps.


20 straight leg butterfly crunches with alternating chest press

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, perform a straight leg butterfly crunch while you do a single arm chest press to meet the opposite leg, then switch sides. That is 1 rep. Perform 10 reps per side.



10 alternating shoulder taps in plank with push-up

Begin in plank position, then shift your weight into your right hand as you lift your left hand up to tap your right shoulder. Return to plank and repeat on the opposite side.  Return to plank again and perform a pushup. That is 1 rep. Perform 10 reps.


P.S. Interested in joining the Fitter Program? It is an 8-week program with nutrition tips, recipes, daily meal plans, and workout videos that you can either download or stream. If you don’t like working out with video, each workout comes with a printable PDF you can follow and do anywhere! Use code fabletics15 for $15 off your program. Click here to grab yours today.


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