One of the many reasons I fell in love with SoulCycle has to be the arms workout that happens toward the end of class. I appreciate that the focus moves away from fast-paced cardio and toward strengthening the upper body, which is not something you'll find in other indoor cycling classes. For days I can't make it into the studio, I have the next best thing — the arm workout, below, created by San Francisco SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither. "This less-than-10-minute toning sequence is super fun and will go by quickly when playing the right music," Jenny says. And lucky for us, Jenny created a pumped-up playlist to accompany the workout.
"For all of the exercises, be sure to set your posture right with abdominals engaged, glutes squeezed, and the shoulder blades pulling back and down," says Jenny. "If you need to drop to one weight in any exercise to keep form, that is better then doubling up with poor technique." You'll also want to do your best to perform each rep to the beat of the music. Start the playlist, grab a light pair of dumbbells, and get ready to work!
You will need to download the free Spotify software or app to listen to our playlists.
Front to Side Biceps
- Hold both dumbbells in your right hand in a half-kneeling position with your left leg forward. Place your left hand on your hip and keep your right arm straight by your side with your palm facing forward.
- Perform a bicep curl, bending your elbow and bringing the dumbbells to your right shoulder. Keep your right elbow tight against your rib cage as you lower the dumbbells back to starting position.
- Rotate from your shoulder so your palm faces the side, and bend your elbow to perform the bicep curl to the side, trying to reach your thumb as far back behind you. Don't arch your back or allow your opposite shoulder to roll forward. Slowly lower your arm, returning to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Perform 10 reps.
- Hold both dumbbells in your right hand in a half-kneeling position with your left leg forward.
- Keeping your right elbow glued to your side, bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle; your forearm will be parallel to the floor with your palm facing in toward your midline.
- Keep your elbow glued to side and forearm parallel to the floor as you open your forearm out to the right — like moving the hand of a clock from 12 to 3 o'clock.
- Bring your forearm back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Perform 10 reps.
- Remain in a half-kneeling position with your left leg forward, holding your dumbbells in your right hand with your elbow at 90 degrees and your forearm parallel to the floor with your palm facing in.
- Keeping your elbow bent to 90 degrees, raise your right arm to the side, stopping when the arm is parallel to the floor. Keeping the bend in your elbow, slowly lower your arm down to your side. This counts as one rep.
- Perform 10 reps.
Row to Triceps Extension
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Hold both dumbbells in your right hand, and bend at the waist. Keep your back parallel to the floor with a neutral spine — not rounded.
- With a slight bend in your knees, reach your right hand toward the floor, with your left hand on your hip for stability.
- Engage your abs, and bend your elbow behind you as you pull the weights to your torso. Keep arm tight to your torso with your elbow pointed upward. Throughout this exercise, keep shoulders and hips square with your collarbones wide and your chest open.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat this move 10 times, and on the tenth rep, hold the row position with your elbow back to perform a triceps kickback.
- Straighten your elbow, and extend your arm straight back, palms facing in. Squeeze your triceps, and then bend your elbow, returning to starting position. This counts as one rep. Perform 10 reps.
Now place your dumbbells in your left hand and switch legs (half-kneeling position with your right leg forward) to repeat the sequence on the other side. Once completed, run through the set two additional times, being sure to perform on each side.