Quick Fix Upper Body Compound Exercise Workout

Get ready for a quick and effective upper body workout that uses compound exercises. Each compound exercise targets one or more upper body muscle groups.

  • Warm up with 5 minutes of light cardio
  • Perform each exercise as directed, clicking on the pictures for a closer view
  • Choose a weight heavy enough that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps.  The last 2 should be difficult, but not impossible
  • Do this workout 3 or more times a week with a day of rest in between.  
  • Beginners - 1 set of 12-16 repetitions
  • Intermediate/Advanced - 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions 
  • Note:  In these demonstrations, I'm using a BOSU ball.  If you don't have one, you can use a step, floor, bench or stability ball

Compound Bicep Curl/Overhead Press

Paige Waehner

(1) Sit on bench (or stand) and begin with a bicep curl

(2) bringing the weights towards the shoulders.

(3) Immediately turn the palms out and raise arms into 'goal posts'. (pictured)

(4) Lift arms straight up overhead, but don't touch the weights at the top. 

This exercise works the biceps and the shoulders. 

Compound Concentration Curl/Kickback

Concentration Curl. Paige Waehner

(1) Kneel with right knee forward, left knee back.  Prop the back of the right arm against right leg, weight hanging down towards the floor.  Bend left elbow and bring the weight up towards the waist.

(2) Simultaneously bend the right arm into a concentration curl and straighten the left arm in a kickback.

Repeat for all reps and switch sides. 

This exercise works the biceps and the triceps. 

Compound Chest Press/Close-Grip Press

Chest Press - First Position. Paige Waehner

(1) Lie on the bench and begin with arms bent, knuckles towards the ceiling, elbows no lower than shoulders. (pictured)

(2) Contract the chest and straighten arms overhead (don't touch weights).  Lower weights.

(3) Reposition arms so that elbows are next to the torso and palms face each other. 

(4) Contract the triceps and push weights straight up over ribcage.  Lower back down and repeat the series. 

This works the chest and triceps 

Compound DB Pullover/Tricep Extension

Dumbbell Pullover - First Position. Paige Waehner

(1) Begin by lying on the bench holding a weight in both hands, arms lowered behind you no lower than shoulders. (pictured)

(2) Contract the lat muscles to pull the weight up overhead.

(3) Bend the elbows and lower to 90 degrees in a tricep extension.

(4) Straighten arms and repeat series.

This works the back and triceps 

Compound DB Row/Straight Arm Raise

Dumbbell Row Starting Position. Paige Waehner

Begin with torso parallel to the floor, weight in right hand hanging down towards the floor (abs in). (pictured)

(2) Bend the elbow and contract the lat muscles to pull elbow up towards ribcage.

(3)  Straighten arm and

(4) immediately lift arms straight back until it's level with the torso.

This works the back and rear shoulder. 

Compound Pushup/Tricep Pushup

Pushup. Paige Waehner

Begin in pushup position (on knees or toes) and

(1) lower into a pushup until elbows are at 90 degrees. (pictured)

(2) Push back up and reposition hands so that they're on either side of the ribcage. 

(3)  Lower down into pushup and 

(4) pushup back up, this time concentrating on using the tricep muscles. 

This works the chest and triceps 

Compound Deadlift/Clean & Press

Deadlift Starting Position. Paige Waehner

Stand with feet hip-width apart, weights in front of thighs.

(1) Keeping knees straight, tip from the hips and lower weights to knees or lower.  Pull torso back up and at the same time

(2) bend elbows, bringing them up to shoulder level in an upright row

(3)  Slowly squat down and flip the arms so that palms face forward.

(4)  Press arms up into an overhead press.

This works the lower back, shoulders and upper back. 

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