Treat Yourself To A Feel-Good Sweat And Race Through 24 Upper-Body Moves In 30 Minutes

Woman exercises with dumbbells in garage gym
(Image credit: Inti St Clair / Getty Images)

As the week draws to a close you may not feel like working out—and there’s nothing wrong with that. Rest days are just as important as training days. But if you think your state of mind would benefit from some movement, we heartily recommend this upper-body dumbbell session from NASM-certified personal trainer Sydney Cummings Houdyshell.

Cummings Houdyshell is known for her accessible and motivating workout programs—offered free on her YouTube channel—and this 30-minute no-repeat session is a great way to challenge your upper body without having to slog your way through multiple sets of the same exercise. It’s a follow-along video too, with Cummings Houdyshell offering form tips throughout as well as regressions of some moves. 

If you’re in a gym, grab two pairs of dumbbells—Cummings Houdyshell uses two 20lb (9kg) and two 10lb (4.5kg) dumbbells—and set yourself up next to a weight bench. If you’re at home with a set of adjustable dumbbells, don’t worry about the lack of bench because you can do without. Cummings Houdyshell has also clustered the exercises that use the heavier pair of dumbbells together so you don’t need to be docking your dumbbells and switching back and forth too often.

Cummings Houdyshell couldn’t have made it easier to get going—she even includes a warm-up and warm-down. Hit play and start moving.

If that hit the spot, bookmark some of these similar routines on Coach to tackle another day. This gym-based beginner upper-body workout takes a circuit training approach to strength work to make you stronger and fitter, while this 20-minute upper-body workout is another that only uses dumbbells. If you don’t have dumbbells or a gym membership, try this upper-body workout with no equipment.

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who has just completed her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.