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Toned Upper Body Workout | Yesenia Ponce

Toned Upper Body Workout | Yesenia Ponce

If you’re looking to sculpt and tone your upper body, then check out this complete upper body workout from Primeval Labs Athlete Yesenia Ponce!


Yesenia takes you step-by-step through her complete warm up and workout routine while giving some helpful muscle-building pointers along the way.


Here’s the workout:

Yesenia Ponce Toned Upper Body Workout

Warm Up

Yesenia begins all of her upper body workouts with a thorough warm up that helps prepare the muscles, joints, and connective tissue for the heavy lifting ahead. This warm up also helps increase blood flow to the tissues surrounding your shoulder joint and elbow, which provides greater cushion, stability, and support from which to press during your workout.


Grab a pair of light dumbbells and perform the following circuit three times resting 1-2 minutes in between each round:

  • Side Lateral Raises
  • Front Raises
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Shoulder Press
  • External rotation

For reference, Yesenia uses a pair of 5-pound dumbbells for her warm up, but feel free to scale the weight up or down depending on your abilities. She also prefers to train by feel during the warm up, not so much keeping track of how many reps she’s performed for each movement, but more focused on making sure the target muscle is working and everything feels right and ready to go.


If you prefer to have a hard set number and not as comfortable training off of instincts, perform each movement for 12-15 controlled reps before proceeding to the next movement in the warm up.


After your three rounds are complete, it’s time to get to the real workout!

Upper Body Workout

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

4

10-12

Lat Pulldown

4

10-12

Triceps Rope Pushdown

4

10-12

EZ Bar Curl

4

10-12

Machine Chest Press

2

10-12


Upper Body Workout Training Tips

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

The dumbbell shoulder press is an excellent exercise for developing the deltoids, and it’s a great overhead pressing alternative to those who find barbell overhead pressing taxing on the shoulder joint.


When performing the dumbbell overhead press, make sure to keep your forearms, elbows, and wrists in a vertical line. This position allows for maximum force output during the press as well as limits undue stress on your wrist and elbows.

Lat Pulldown

To make sure you’re pulling evenly, make sure your hands are spaced equally apart from the midpoint of the bar. Otherwise, you’ll be pulling unevenly between the two sides of your body, which could lead to muscle imbalances down the road.


As you perform the lat pulldown, make sure to focus on driving your elbows down and back, trying to tuck them into your back pockets if possible. Initiating the movement from your elbows instead of your hands may help you to feel the exercise more in your lats and less in your forearms and biceps.


Other ideas to help increase lat activation and reduce the involvement of the biceps, could be to:

  • Use a wide, pronated grip with thumbs over the bar instead of wrapped under it, and
  • Placing Fat Gripz on the bar
  • Using a slow eccentric (which increases time under tension and helps reinforce the mind-muscle connection)

Triceps Rope Pushdown

The pushdown is one of the staple exercises for building the triceps, and unlike the triceps kickback, the use of the cables on the pushdown allows for constant tension on the three heads of the tricep throughout the entire range of motion.


Unfortunately, many lifters mess up this relatively simple exercise by allowing their elbows and hands to move too much during the exercise.


When performing the triceps rope pushdown, make sure you do not allow your elbows to flare to the sides, as this will shift tension away from the triceps and onto the chest and shoulders. Additionally, when you are lowering the weight, do not allow the hands to drift too high, as this will result in tension being removed from the triceps.


Your hands only need to reach about chest level for the triceps to be stretched completely. Once you reach this position, perform your next rep.

EZ Bar Curl

As with any form of curl, resist the urge to heave the weight up with momentum and body english. Doing so calls into action other muscle groups (shoulders, traps, etc), which means the biceps are doing less work.


Since we’re focused on the biceps, and only the biceps, when performing curls, choose a weight that you know you can lift for 10-12 clean reps, with no heaving, jerking, or flailing. At the top of each rep, make sure you’re getting a solid squeeze on the muscle, before slowly lowering the weight to return to the starting position.


At the bottom of each rep, flex the triceps to get a complete stretch on the biceps before performing your next rep.

 

Machine Chest Press

To round out her upper body workout, Yesenia performs the machine chest press for two sets of 10-12 reps.


For many people, the machine chest press can feel a bit awkward as it places the shoulders in an elevated and internally rotated position, which can create irritation at the joint. To help improve the comfort of the exercise, preserve shoulder health, and get a better workout on your chest, make sure to keep the elbows down and close to your sides. You can also use a thumbless grip for added stability when using the machine.


Finally, make sure to adjust the height of the seat so that the handles are in line with your nipples. Optimizing the setup of the machine can do wonders to improve the effectiveness and comfortability of the exercise.

Yesenia Ponce Intra Workout Supplement

To help fuel her training session, Yesenia mixes up a serving of EAA Max and sips it throughout her workout.


EAA Max is a full spectrum amino acid supplement, supplying all nine essential amino acids required to support muscle protein synthesis, including 5 grams of 2:1:1 BCAAs.


Each serving of EAA Max also supplies essential electrolytes from pink Himalayan sea salt as well as D-Ribose and Cluster Dextrin to facilitate nutrient uptake.


EAA Max mixes easily, tastes great, and comes in 10 thirst-quenching flavors!


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