Find express is all giving you short, sharp sessions designed to deliver a great workout hit in minimum time but with maximum results. First up in 2010 a chest and shoulder shaper.

The chest and shoulder fitness express mini-circuit uses a minimum of kit, can easily be setup in a quiet corner of a gym or studio, or even at home. The workout delivers a great hit for the upper body, focussing on the chest, shoulders and triceps, but also taxes your core and stabiliser muscles.

With the emphasis on reps completed it’ll primarily develop muscular endurance – but the strength component should not be underestimated. And it’s guaranteed to get your heart racing and lungs heaving too, which equates to great calorie burning.

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The workout delivers a great hit for the upper body

The workout

The workout uses a pyramid format – this references both time on per station and the number of exercises. Each variant on the circuit is performed twice – there’s once ‘ascending’ and one ‘descending pyramid’. Aim to perform the maximum number of reps per station in the time allocated and note down what you managed.

Try to beat, or at least match, your scores as you descend the pyramid. Even better, work through the session with a friend and see who can record the best scores. Move quickly from exercise to exercise with minimal rest between exercises.

Take 30-60 seconds’ recovery between circuits or, if training with a partner, simply rest whilst they work. Warm up with 5-10 minutes of CV work – some light boxing/shadow boxing and/or skipping is ideal.

The workout

Circuit 1: 30 seconds per exercise

1 Press-ups
2 Hand step-ups
3 Med Ball Throw against wall
4 Standing Overhead Dumbbell Press

Circuit 2: 45 seconds per exercise

1 Press-ups
2 Hand step-ups
3 Med Ball Throw against wall
Ascending Pyramid
4 Standing Overhead Dumbbell Press
5 Bench Dips

Circuit 3: 60 seconds per exercise

1 Press-ups
2 Hand step-ups
3 Med Ball Throw against wall
4 Standing Overhead Dumbbell Press
5 Bench Dips
6 Dumbbell Lat Raises

Repeat:

Circuit 3, Circuit 2 and finally Circuit 1.
Descending Pyramid
Stretch.

chest and shoulder_2

Press-ups

Targets: chest and shoulders.

Old-School but hard to beat. Just because you’re working against the clock don’t let your form suffer. If you know you’ll struggle with 6 sets of full press-ups then opt for knees down threequarter ones.

– Ninety degree arm bend is the minimum acceptable depth, but chest ‘fist height’ from the floor the ideal.

– Fully straighten but don’t lock your arms.

– Keep your body straight

Hand step-ups

Targets: chest, shoulders and core and develops power and endurance.

Hold a press-up position and simply ‘step’ your hands up and down onto a step box. Great for the arms and shoulders, but also a toughie for the muscles of your trunk and core.

– Work for half the time leading with one hand and then switch to the other.

– Keep your core strong.

– Don’t arch your back or lift your backside in the air.

Med ball throw against wall

Targets: chest, shoulders and core and develops explosive power.

With already aching arms you’ll now have to dig deep to be dynamic.

– The throw should be hard, flat and from your chest.

– Stand far enough from the wall to ensure a decent throw.

– Check you’re working against a solid wall!

Standing overhead dumbbell press

Targets: front shoulder muscles and triceps.

Moving from horizontal movements onto a vertical one and with pre-fatigued shoulders you’re really going to feel this.

– Avoid arching your back. Keep strong and straight.

– On the downward phase the dumbbells should, at the very least, come level with your ears.

– Don’t overestimate the weight.

Bench dips

Targets: rear shoulders and triceps.

Another ‘circuit classic’. Easy when fresh but a triceps killer after all that has gone before.

– There’s no shame in bent legs, if it means you can maintain good form.

– Don’t lock your elbows.

– Make sure your arms bend to ninety degrees.

Dumbbell lat raises

Targets: outer shoulders

The ‘icing on the cake but don’t forget you’ve got to do everything all-over again.

– Don’t ‘turtle’ your shoulders towards your ears.

– Raise the dumbbells to shoulder level.

– Don’t be tempted to cheat by swinging the dumbbells. Maintain smooth control throughout the whole movement.

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