Pure Gym Limited

Functional upper body workout

If you want to develop serious upper body strength while developing functional fitness, then we've got just the workout for you. Here's an upper body workout you can do in the functional area of our gyms put together by Fat loss coach @aaroncatonfitness and PureGym Insider @marc_puregym.

Watch the video below to see them take your through the workout. Complete each exercise with the set amount of reps, sets and rest times.

Kneeling Kettlebell Press - 2x15 reps - 60 secs rest

By kneeling on the floor, this exercise will enable you to keep a greater focus on building shoulder and core strength. 

Start off by kneeling down onto one knee with the kettlebell resting on the shoulder. From this position, press the kettlebell up in a straight line and lower back down in a controlled manner back to starting position. Complete the exercise one arm at a time doing 2 sets of 15 reps with 60 seconds rest between each.

Inverted TRX row - 2x to failure - 60 secs rest

Not only will this exercise help strengthen the upper back, it will help you when it comes to tackling the challenging pull up movement. As an added bonus, it will help you build a strong core too.

To get into starting position, grab the TRX handles and keep your arms nice and straight, feet hip-width apart and core tight. Then lift the chest up to the handles, initiating the movement using your back and slow return back to starting position The closer you tuck the elbows in the more you will work the centre of your back. Complete 2 sets to failure with 60 seconds rest in between.

With this exercise the further you put your legs under the TRX the more weight you will be pulling

Negative push-up - 2x12 reps - 60 secs rest

The negative press up exercise is a great exercise to work the chest and triceps. By performing the lowering phase of the movement more slowly than a normal push up, it's going to make your muscles have to work for longer, making it more challenging and as a result, it's a great way of building strength without the need for any kit.

To perform the negative press up start in normal press up position.  Lower your chest slowly towards floor to 3 counts. Make sure your body is in a straight line. As soon as the chest hits the floor, get back to starting position as quick as you can. By pushing up explosively, will help to build power. Complete 2 sets of 12 reps with 60 seconds rest after each set.

Battle ropes - 20 secs on - 40 secs rest

Battle ropes are perfect for improving strength and endurance, whilst placing minimal stress on the joints. They're also great fun too!

There are different exercises you can do with the battle ropes. We like to do the following exercises using this piece of kit to work the arms.

Short waves - Use a short explosive up and down movement to move the ropes as quickly as you can.

Big waves - Bring the rope up as high as you can and then explosively back down as if you are trying to put them through the floor.

Side waves - Exactly the same a the short wave movement but using a sharp inwards and outwards movement, rather than up and down.

Start by taking a nice wide grip with your core tight and chest up. From this position we want to create and explosive up and down or side to side movement using the shoulders. Work for 15-30 seconds with a 40 seconds rest time. Perform each variation once before moving on.

Tyre Flip - 16 flips - 60 second rest

A slightly more complex move but one not to be feared. Tyre flipping is great for your endurance, benefiting athletes and new comers alike.

This move is total body exercise but one that's also great for the arms. From standing position, bend your knees, keeping your back straight, take an underhand grip to grab the tyre. Then lift your arms up towards the ceiling to raise the tyre onto its head and push it over. This exercise is great for burning calories and working on your endurance. Aim for a total of 16 flips and then rest for 60 seconds.

Ball Slam - 4x10 reps - 30 secs rest

Medicine ball slams are a great way to develop your speed, strength and power, all whilst burning a good number of calories. 

When performing this exercise don't just lift and drop the ball, use your whole body and slam the medicine ball to the flow as explosively as you can. This move is all about power. Start with feet hip with apart, pick the medicine ball up from the floor and raising it above your head. From this position, use your upper body to generate power and slam the ball into the ground. Complete 4 sets of 10 reps, resting for 30 seconds in between sets.

And there's your upper body functional workout! Next time you're in the gym to get an upper body workout in, give this workout a try!

For more support check out our free Exercises section and get a breakdown on how to perform different exercises for different muscles groups.

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