Der­val O’Rourke

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside -

This week I’m shar­ing one of my favourite cir­cuit work­outs and I’m fo­cus­ing on nail­ing lunch with a recipe.

For this work­out I’ve used a 15kg bar but sub­sti­tute this for a pair of dumb­bells if you like.

If you pre­fer a home­based work­out get cre­ative with what you have at home, con­sider us­ing a cou­ple of one-litre water bot­tles. I reg­u­larly find my­self do­ing a quick cir­cuit at home when I can’t make it to the gym.

I love to mix up my train­ing and am al­ways on the hunt for new and chal­leng­ing work­outs. This arm work­out is a toughie but is great to build up mus­cle and strength in your up­per body.

I train with a cou­ple of friends and we love this cir­cuit to give our arms a good burn!

Su­per Cir­cuit: Ex­er­cise 1Bent over row:

Take an over­hand grip on the bar­bell (palms in to­wards you), bend at the knees and bring your torso for­ward. Aim­ing to keep your spine flat and head up.

Lift the bar­bell to­wards you, keep­ing the el­bows close.

At the top, squeeze be­tween the shoul­der blades and hold for a brief pause (count to two).

Slowly lower the bar­bell back to the start­ing po­si­tion.

x10 reps

* This ex­er­cise is not rec­om­mended for peo­ple with back prob­lems.

Ex­er­cise 2 Straight/ up­right row

Hold the bar­bell with a grip that is a lit­tle nar­rower than shoul­der width apart. Again use an over­hand grip where your palms face in to­wards your body. The bar should rest on your thighs.

Keep a slight bend in el­bows and keep your back straight

Raise el­bows up to­wards ceil­ing and out to the side. You want a straight line from your shoul­der out to your el­bow.

Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it and con­tinue un­til it nearly touches your chin.

Stop at the top mo­men­tar­ily be­fore slowly low­er­ing down to the start po­si­tion.

x10 reps

Ex­er­cise 3 Over­head press:

Hold the bar­bell with a grip that is a lit­tle nar­rower than shoul­der­width apart. An over­hand grip is best.

Place the bar­bell so it rests on your shoul­ders with your el­bows high and close to your body.

Bend your knees slightly and push through the heels as you press the bar over­head.

x10 reps

Aim to re­peat each of these ex­er­cises X10 reps. Re­peat the cir­cuit three times.

Take one minute re­cov­ery be­tween each cir­cuit.

Top tips

The most im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber when do­ing these cir­cuits is that form is key. Be fa­mil­iar with the ex­er­cises and per­form them safely to avoid in­jury and to get the most from your ef­forts. Be cau­tious as well with the weight used; in case of doubt, use less weight rather than more.

It’s also vi­tal to breathe. Breathe through the move­ment in­stead of hold­ing your breath as this can cre­ate un­wanted ten­sion. Breath­ing out on the hard part is gen­er­ally rec­om­mended.


Tally rye is a personal trainer and co- founder of the Girl Gains move­ment. I love her bal­anced ap­proach to food and ex­er­cise and es­pe­cially like fol­low­ing her on­go­ing #BestMe jour­ney. Take a look at her ac­count for some great gym and home-based work­out ideas @Tal­lyrye

Pic­tures: Miki Barlok

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