Upper Body Circuit Exercises

Most of these upper body circuit training exercises are shown in the typical format that we suggest you can do. For some an added Level 2 and sometimes Level 3 are given, which are a harder for the more advanced athlete. These should only be tried once you are competent at the previous level and want more of a challenge. Always reduce the number of repetitions when you make an exercise harder until you are confident with it.

The videos below can be found at the Momentum Sports Youtube page, which has many demonstrations of circuits and weights exercises.

Upper Body Exercises

There are a number of variations that can be done with press ups. The basic method involves putting your arms shoulder width and a half apart, with hands facing forwards. Keep your stomach pulled in to maintain a straight back and keep your neck relaxed to correctly align your spine. Then lower chest to floor, and raise it back to the original position. Avoid “locking” (i.e. fully extending) your elbows when arms are straight. The following exercises are listed roughly in order of difficulty:

Box Press Up

For the box press up, put your knees on the floor with your upper leg vertical.

3/4 Press Up

A 3/4 press up involves having your upper leg forming an angle of 45 degrees with the floor

Bench Press Up

Put your arms on the back of a bench or work surface (about 3 feet off the floor) and do the above.

Chair Press Up

This press up involves putting your hands on a chair or other object that is about 18 inches or 50 cm off the floor.

Press Up

This is the standard press up with your hands on the ground at all times.

Feet Raised Press Up

Place your feet up on a chair or another object around 50cm high, with your hands on the ground, to perform the exercise.

Clap Press Up

Push up hard from the standard press up position and clap your hands together, before placing them back in the starting position.

Power Press Up

This is the toughest of the press ups we recommend. It involves pushing hard off the floor and touching your hands on the side on your head before replacing them on the floor. It is important that you are very comfortable with clap press ups before attempting this (for the obvious squashed nose reasons!).

Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips, as the name would suggest, are useful for strengthening the triceps of the upper arm. This exercise requires a bench, stable chair or any other suitable surface of around 50cm in height. With your hands on the bench (with elbows slightly flexed - never fully extended), an upright posture and legs straight, lower your body until your arms are at a 90 degree angle, and then raise your yourself back to the starting position.

Foot Lift Tricep Dips

This exercise requires the same technique as the standard Tricep Dip, but one of your feet will be raised to hip level throughout. After a certain amount of reps on one foot, swap to the other.


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