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Back and Arm Workout

What you’ll need:



Pulley workout system

Curl bar

30 - 45 minutes


Rack Chins 3 x 10

Incline Dumbbell Row 3 x 6

Upright Row 3 x 12

Superset – 3 x 7

Tricep pushdown

Tricep pushdown flip grip

Superset – 3 x 7

Bicep curl

Bicep curl flip grip


Opposite leg toe touches 3 x 30 seconds

Side Crunches 3 x 30 seconds each side

Windshield Wipers 3 x 30 seconds

Plank 1 minute finisher

Your back and arms are interconnected and often work in tandem – even when you don’t realize it. A strong back will help pull your shoulders back and protect them from injury, give you good posture, and help you stabilize your upper body. For most back exercises and practical movements we must also engage our biceps and triceps to be able to engage our back. Thus, the reason we pair them together in a workout. We will be engaging them all in different ways so as to hit all the smaller muscle groups along the way and really get you sweating while encouraging muscle growth and strength.

Warm up: 5 minutes on exercise bike or a light jog on the treadmill

Dynamic stretching or warm up sets: Arm circles, shoulder rolls, light warmup sets with minimal weight.

Now we’re ready to go and get the blood flowing to our arms and back. We'll start with the back-centric lifts because they will also be engaging your arms and we want you unfatigued from previous arm work.


For rack chins, find an empty squat rack or smith machine. Lower the bar to an appropriate height. Having the bar closer to the ground will make the exercise more challenging and having it higher up will make it easier. Set it at a level where you are challenged but not unable to do your 10th rep. Face the bar and grab on, palms down. Work your feet forward as far as possible while keeping your body flat and straight. Extend your arms and pull yourself towards the bar while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Next we’re onto doing incline dumbbell rows. Find an adjustable bench and angle it at about a 45 degrees. Grab some dumbbells. One for each hand. Face the bench and rest your chest against the seat with your feet stabilizing behind you as you lean. Row each dumbbell up from the floor while pinching your shoulder blades together. This will activate different muscle than the rack chins and force you to use your lats, traps, and anterior and posterior stabilizing muscles. 3 sets of 6. The weight should be more challenging in these sets.

To finish off our back we will do upright rows. Find yourself a barbell or a dumbbell if none are available. Let the weight hang in front with straight arms. Pull up while keeping the bar as close to your body as possible. Keep your elbows pointed up. Try to pull all the way to your chin. Lighter weight here. 3 sets of 12 reps.

Onto arms! These will burn you out so take a deep breath and push through. They are meant to challenge your muscles with minimal rest and force them to adapt with a reduced time to reoxygenate the blood.


A super set means that we are alternating between two exercises with no rest in between. Essentially we are doing two simultaneous sets of different exercises. So as soon as you finish one, you start the other and then rest before your next set of each exercise. Our first super set is for our triceps. Find a pulley and raise the hinge to a height above your head. Attach an adjustment that allows for you to push down towards the ground.

We will begin with general tricep pushdowns. Grasp the bar with palms facing down while keeping your elbows tucked close to your body. You don’t want your shoulders to move at all during the exercise. Our upper arm should stay locked at our sides and the only thing moving should be the hinging at our elbow. Push the bar down towards the ground and repeat for 7 reps. Now, flip your hand so that your palms are up and do the same exercise for 7 reps. 3 super sets.

Great! Now onto your biceps. The concept for this is exactly the same. All we will be doing is flipping our grip. Find a curl bar and make sure you pick out a weight that is doable for 7 reps for your flip grip – it is much harder than the normal palm up grip. Start with your palms facing up. Again keep your elbows tucked and shoulders stable. Try not to lean or swing the bar up. Bring it to your chest and extend your arms all the way down. Make sure your shoulders aren’t moving. A common mistake is to keep your elbows mostly locked while moving using your shoulders and leaning to get the bar up. Once you’ve done this for 7 reps, flip your hands over so palms are facing down and repeat for 7 reps. 3 sets.

You’re done with the main workout! Shake your arms out and get ready for abs.


All of our ab sets are done 3 times for 30 second sets. We’re starting with opposite leg toe touches. Start laying on your back and simultaneously lift one leg up towards your face while keeping it straight and lift your upper back off of the ground to meet it in the middle with your hand. Touch your left leg with your right hand and vice versa.

Next, side crunches. Lay on your side and hinge at your hips at a 45 degree angle. Put your arm closest to the ground out straight and the one away from the ground behind your head to form a chicken wing. Keep your legs straight and lift your upper back and your legs up at the same time while meeting in the middle. Try to make contact with your elbow to your mid thigh.

Home stretch! Windshield wipers. Again start by laying on your back. Keep your legs straight lift them to form a 90 degree angle. Spread your arms wide to stabilize yourself and slowly lower them as straight as you can to your left. Once they tap the ground, raise them back all the way to your right.

Last exercise! Just one minute of planks and you’re done. Start with your stomach on the ground and bring your elbows directly under your shoulders. Lift yourself off the ground with your weight on your elbows and toes. Try not to let your hips sag or your butt pop up in the air. Stay completely level and actively try to clench and engage your abs to maintain your form.

That’s it! We asked a lot of your muscles in a short amount of time today. If you really want to push the tempo, you can finish this workout in about 30 minutes by reducing rest periods. Make sure your form stays solid and your weight is manageable. Hydrate the rest of the day and eat a healthy meal to make sure your muscles have the nutrients to recover!

We have some awesome free classes if you’d like our guidance in getting started in your fitness journey. Check out our dance fitness or abs and core workout during the week. If you want a more tailored experience we have some awesome personal trainers that can work with you and help you design your own workout and nutrition plan. We also have some cool group and total person services like our 30/30 wellness consultations, grocery shopping tours, or joint group fitness courses. Check out more of our services at

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