This 30-Day Upper-Body Challenge Will Transform Your Arms & Shoulders

Women are by nature, very critical about their arms, but, according to a personal trainer and fitness expert Angelique Millis, they’re surprised at how quickly they respond when they start their training (by using weights).

Experts suggest integrating resistance training into your fitness routine that will improve your posture, stability, coordination and strength.

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We are presenting you 30-Day Arm Challenge in which are incorporated exercises that American Council on Exercise (ACE) has pinpointed as best for activation of the primary muscles. These exercises give you the best boom for your upper body.

How to do:

–           The challenge starts slowly, with just one exercise per day – learn proper form and don’t get too sore.

–           As the time progresses, you’ll begin doing more reps and sets, combining the exercises into supersets and circuits for the greatest benefit.

By the time, you’ll get stronger and more functional for real-life activities.

Equipment needed: a pair of dumbbells. According to Millis, you should start with five-pound dumbbells, then you can increase the weight or use different weights for different exercises. The most important during the exercising is to be appropriately challenged.

When, according to the challenge, you’re doing more than one set (noted by “x2” or “x3”), take a one-minute break before starting the next one. But, on days that have more than one exercise, do them back-to-back with minimal rest (except one-minute break between sets).

You can see that the schedule also includes all-important rest days, which is the time when your muscles need to repair from the work you’ve done.

Here’s the calendar in full:

Download a PDF version HERE

Follow the instructions (GIFs) bellow:

  1. Bent-Over Rows (“Rows”)

It targets your upper back, and core work from stabilizing your body position.


–           Starting position – Standing with the weights by your sides.

–           Hinge your upper body down, stick your butt way back and bend knees slightly, while your back remains flat and your head to be neutral to your spine.

–           Let your arms hang down in front of you, as you hinge,

–           Inhale, then exhaling, pull your elbows back and wide out to the sides (feel your shoulder blades pinch together as if you’re trying to trap a pen between them).

–           Lowering your arms back down, inhale. That is one rep.

During the both movements, feel your upper back work on the way up and on the way down.

  1. Overhead Presses (“Shoulders”)

It targets your shoulders.


–           Starting position – Standing, hold the weights in your hands about level with your head, elbows bent and wide (your arms being shaped like football goalposts).

–           Softening your knees (no locking them!) inhale;

–           Exhaling, press your hands up and above your head so the bells come close to each other (without touching).

–           Inhaling, lower hands down to starting position.

Note: You don’t need to rush the movement. You should feel the resistance of the weights, on the way up and on the way down, without arching back with your body when you press up. If that happened, you should sit back ever so slightly, softening knees more than usual, and stay firm through your belly button, keeping your core tight and aligned.

  1. Biceps Curls (“Biceps”)

These targets your biceps.


–           Starting position – Standing up straight, keeping knees soft and holding the weights by your sides.

–           Turning your hands so your palms are facing away from you inhale dip;

–           Exhaling, curl the weights up toward your shoulders, keeping your elbows tight by your sides.

–           Inhaling, lower your hands down for one rep.

Take your time here, too.

  1. Tricep Kick-Backs (“Triceps”)

This move works great your triceps (the muscles on the backs of the arms), and you’ll also get some great core work here, too


–           Starting position – Standing, hold the weights by your sides and set yourself up in your forward hinge with knees bent, back flat and butt sticking out

–           Pulling your elbows up, bring your upper arms parallel to your ribcage (elbows will be bent, with your hands hanging).

–           Inhale; then, exhaling, straighten your arms fully.

–           Allowing your arms to re-bend inhale and complete one rep.

Note: Keep the movements slow and controlled through both parts of the movement, and keep your torso position change during the entire set.