This 10-Minute Wrist-Weight Class Will Fire Up Your Upper Body

click to play video

"Get uncomfortable! That's where we need to be to get stronger!" instructor Mercedes Owens says in this PS Fit video, leading the way with a series of upper body exercises using wrist weights. Based in Los Angeles, California, Owens can also be found teaching at Barrys and as a Nike Trainer for the Nike Well Collective. She brings that experience to this 10-minute session, leading with both intensity and encouragement.

This strength session is perfect if you're in a time crunch because it's quick but it still targets several key areas of the upper body, including the shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Alongside assistants Poofy Moffitino, featured on the left, and Madisyn Maniff, on the right, Owens uses primarily one-pound wrist weights to create workout that will fire up your top half. No extra equipment? No problem! Feel free to follow along with just bodyweight movements, or if you prefer an extra challenge, try to increase the intensity with a slightly heavier weight option.

With simple and easy to follow instruction, Owens starts out strong with a series of curls, following a three count going up, with a slow lower using a three count going down. Next, Owens starts incorporating presses, single and overhead. As a gentle reminder, Owens tells the class to avoid locking out the legs. Instead, keep a soft bend in the knees to avoid any potential strain in the lower back. After a hold for fifteen seconds, Owens transitions on with a quick shakeout to prepare for the next phase. The next portion of the class focuses on targeting the triceps. "A well balanced workout is what we want," Owens says. Extending the arms backwards, Owens reminds the class to imagine pushing through water as the class performs the kickbacks. After going through a hold, the class adds a series of small, consistent circles.

The continuous theme of the class is to challenge yourself. Owens explains the next sequence for the class, encouraging everyone to try this, "AMRAP" — as many reps as possible — with a 45-second all-out effort. The sequence includes two kickbacks, then a lift to the chest, followed by two bicep curls and lift to the chest, then finishes out strong with two punches overhead. Encouraging the class to keep going, Owens asks, how many times can you get through it?

For the last section, Owens takes participants into a shoulder opener and closer combination. Emulating windshield wiper blades, Owens keeps a fun, upbeat tone as she shows the class how to open the right shoulder, then the left, and both arms together. To wind down, the class move towards bringing both hands together for a prayer press position and transitions into a series of pulses before going back to curls. "Don't stay in your comfy, cozy zone," Owens says to the class. "Get uncomfortable right here!" With tons of energy, Owens leads the class with encouragement, positivity and empowerment. Make sure to subscribe to our PS Fit YouTube channel for updates on our new workouts every week!

Name: Mercedes Owens

Outfit and Shoes: Nike

Instagram: @mercedesowens

Name: Poofy Moffitino

Outfit: Colorfulkoala

Shoes: APL

Instagram: @itspoofy

Name: Madisyn Maniff

Outfit: Uniqlo

Shoes: APL

Instagram: @madisynsloane

Jade Esmeralda, MS, CSCS, is a Staff Writer, Health & Fitness. A life-long martial artist and dancer, Jade has a strong passion for strength & conditioning, sports science, and human performance. She graduated with a Master of Science degree in Exercise Science and Strength and Conditioning from George Washington University.