Finding Time for Fitness in a Busy Life

Upper Body Core Workout

Upper Body Core Workout

I love working my core. But, we all know how much I am not very fond of upper body workouts. I am slowly getting stronger because even though I do not like upper body exercises, I still do them. It is important to work the areas that you don’t like to as much as it is important to work the areas you love to work. So, I thought I would do an upper body and core workout today!

Benefits of working both upper body and core:

  • Better posture
  • Increased stabilization of core
  • Increased strength
  • Flat tummy and 6 pack
  • Look great in a tank or bikini

The list goes on and on! I mean who wouldn’t want these things? If you are looking for just a core workout, I will have one for you all very soon! And if you want to just do upper body, check this workout out!

Upper body and core workout

This Upper Body and Core workout will have some new moves! And some of the exercises you’ve seen me do before. But that’s ok! If you feel like you can do some of these moves with added weight, go for it! The first move is kettlebell swings, if you do not have a kettlebell, you can use a dumbbell. Oh and I will warn you now… There are 2 different kinds of push ups in this workout! You can do it!!  (Honestly, I think that pep talk was for me just as much as it is for you!!)

This workout will be 2 sets of 10 exercises. You will do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest before moving onto the next exercise. Try this warm up and this cool down and you’ll be just at 25 minutes! Oh yeah! 25 minutes! I will take that, please!!

Pin This Upper Body and Core Workout!


Step by Step Instructions

Kettlebell Swings

  1. First, with feet shoulder width apart, hinge at waist while holding kettle bell in both hands
  2. Knees should be bent and you should have a flat back
  3. Next, pushing through heels, using core and butt muscles, get into standing position
  4. While doing that, lift kettle bell to shoulder height and keep arms straight
  5. Control back to starting position
  6. Repeat
  7. (note) you can use a dumbbell if you do not have a kettle bell

Knee Up Shoulder Press

  1. First, leaning over to left side with right arm above head and right leg pointed out away from you
  2. Crunch knee to elbow
  3. Bring leg back down
  4. Repeat
  5. Switch sides and repeat

Plank Up Downs

  1. First start in high plank position
  2. Slowly lower right elbow to ground, keeping hips even
  3. Next, lower left elbow to ground, keeping hips even
  4. Then put right hand under shoulder to raise back up, left elbow should still be on the ground
  5. Next, put right hand under shoulder and raise up to high plank
  6. Repeat
  7. (note) you can do these with knees down

Crunches In and Out

  1. First, lay on back with feet on ground and knees bent
  2. Next, (either using a weight or not) lift hands up in front of you
  3. Using your core, crunch and lift your upper body to put your hands between your knees
  4. Slowly lower back down
  5. Next, crunch and lift upper body to have hands next to left knee
  6. Slowly lower back down
  7. Then go through the middle again
  8. Slowly lower back down
  9. Then crunch and lift upper body to have hands next to right knee
  10. Slowly lower back down
  11. Repeat

Pushup and Rotate

  1. First, start in high plank position
  2. Then do a push up
  3. After you have completely pushed up, rotate to left side plank with right arm in the air
  4. Return back to high plank position
  5. Repeat and alternate side planks
  6. (note) you can do these push ups and side planks on knees if needed

Bird Dog Crunch

  1. First, start in table top position, hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips
  2. Reach left arm forward
  3. Reach right leg straight behind
  4. Crunch left arm and right leg into chest
  5. Repeat
  6. Return to table top
  7. Repeat with other side on next set
  8. (note) if too hard to lift both arm and leg at the same time, start with just lifting the leg

Tricep Dips

  1. First, start in crab walk position with hands facing butt
  2. Next, lift your butt off the ground and keep feet flat
  3. Bending at your elbows lower down slightly
  4. Make sure you are bending your elbows and not just dipping your hips down
  5. Then raise back up
  6. Repeat
  7. (note) you can also do these where your hands are on a chair and your feet on the ground, just make sure you are still bending at the elbows


  1. First lay completely on floor stomach down and arms above head
  2. Next lift legs off ground while squeezing glutes and lift arms, head and chest off ground
  3. Hold for a second and release slowly
  4. Repeat
  5. (note) if too hard to lift upper and lower body at once, you can start off with just lifting lower body

V sit Bicep curls

  1. First, sit on sit bones and lean back slightly while keeping back flat
  2. Next, raise legs into V position and hold
  3. While holding dumbbells in each hand, raise and lower keeping elbows at hips
  4. Repeat the bicep curls while holding the V sit
  5. (note) you can do these with feet on ground or one leg up for balance

Spiderman Pushups

  1. First, start in high plank position
  2. Next, lower body down to do a push up and bring right knee to right elbow
  3. Raise back up to high plank
  4. Next, lower body down to do a push up and bring left knee to left elbow
  5. Raise back up to high plank
  6. Repeat
  7. (note) you can do the pushups on knees if needed



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Disclaimer: I am a NASM certified personal trainer. I can give advice on what workouts would be great for just about anybody. If you have any medical conditions, please check with your doctor before starting a workout routine.

I may share food ideas and recipes, but I am not a licensed dietitian. I can show you foods I love to eat which may have helped me achieve my weight loss and health goals. I cannot provide meal plans.


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