Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Total-Body Workouts for Women

Jaclyn Cordeiro’s Upper-Body Superset Workout

Oxygen Ambassador Jaclyn Cordeiro shares a dumbbell and resistance-band superset workout to get your arms and shoulders pumped in no time.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and unwrap savings this holiday season.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Now 30% Off.
$4.99/month $3.49/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Most people who get into lifting are looking to make some sort of change to their bodies. For some, that may be to gain lean muscle tissue, for others it may be to tone or reduce body fat. But whatever your goal is, the key to seeing progress from weight training is consistency.

I use many approaches to weight training, and as we approach the warmer months ahead, I like to train on a schedule of full-body workout or split days to stay on track.

The following workout focuses on upper-body training. Here are some key things to keep in mind as you work through this routine:

  • Mind-muscle connection can be crucial when setting goals for growth.
  • Focus on the muscle being worked, not amount of weight being pushed.
  • Train with intention and a controlled tempo. For example, try moving the weight up for a count of 1 as your muscles contract, then hold at the top of the rep before lowering the weight slowly for a count of 4.
  • Be in the moment, shut off all else that is not present. Redirect your mind to the present time and stay there.
  • From week to week, switch it up and keep your body guessing. This week I plan to train for intensity, next week endurance and maybe power the next.

Upper-Body Superset Training

The approach here is using supersets with dumbbells (DB) and a resistance band (RB).

Each set includes 15 reps of a DB exercise and 15 reps of RB exercise with no rest between them — just the amount of time it takes to get set up for the second exercise.

Do each superset in the following upper-body workout for three sets of 15 reps per exercise.

Take minimal rest between sets. About 30 seconds should be enough to take a drink of water or catch your breath and get right back to it. Minimizing rest time will allow you to keep your heart rate high and your meta

Superset 1

DB Reverse Flye + RB Reverse Flye

Jaclyn Cordeiro-3
(Photo: Brian Reilly )

Jaclyn Cordeiro-4
(Photo: Brian Reilly )

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and lean forward at your hips with a straight back. Keep neutral alignment of your neck while performing this exercise. With a slight bend in your elbows, grasp the dumbbells or resistance band in each hand with a neutral grip and let your arms hang perpendicular to the floor. Raise the dumbbells out to your sides until your elbows come to shoulder height. Hold for a second, before slowly releasing and moving the weight back down to the start position.

Use a weight that challenges you but does not compromise your posture, envision the muscle being used and use a slow tempo.

Superset 2

DB Lateral Raise + RB Lateral Raise

Jaclyn Cordeiro-5
(Photo: Brian Reilly )
Jaclyn Cordeiro-6
(Photo: Brian Reilly )

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, chest lifted, and hold a set of dumbbells or the resistance band in front of your thighs with your palms facing inward. Bend your elbows slightly and then lift them up and to the sides, leading with your elbows, to about shoulder height. Hold and squeeze at the top of the lift. Turn your hands/wrists down like you’re pouring milk for a count of two, then slowly release back down with your palms facing down.

Superset 3

DB Shoulder Press + RB Shoulder Press

Jaclyn Cordeiro-7
(Photo: Brian Reilly )
Jaclyn Cordeiro-8

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells with your elbows bent 90 degrees and your arms lifted to shoulder height, palms forward. Extend your arms to press the weights overhead as well as inward, so at full extension, the inner heads of the dumbbells touch together lightly. Hold at the top of the lift and slowly release back down no further than ear height before pressing back up.

Superset 4

DB Curls + RB Curls

Jaclyn Cordeiro
(Photo: Brian Reilly)
Jaclyn Cordeiro-2
(Photo: Brian Reilly )

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, chest lifted, shoulders down and back. Hold a dumbbell in each hand or the resistance band handles with your palms facing forward and your elbows tucked into your waist. Bend your elbows and raise the weights up toward your shoulders. Hold and squeeze at the top of the lift and slowly lower back down to the start for a count of four.

Superset 5

DB Overhead Triceps Press + RB Overhead Triceps Press

Jaclyn Cordeiro-9
(Photo: Brian Reilly )
Jaclyn Cordeiro-10
(Photo: Brian Reilly )

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold either a dumbbell with both hands or a resistance band handle with one hand overhead. Slowly extend your elbows and raise the weight behind your head, then bend your elbows to return to the start. The important part of this exercise is to slowly release the weight down and avoid bending your elbows further than a 90-degree angle. This helps to keep tension on the triceps.


Photos by Brian Reilly.