Upper body workout: easy-to-make DIY weights for strong arms

Posted by for Strong Women

Strong Women ambassador Alice-Rose Miller demonstrates how to build stronger arms using an old rucksack. 

Blazers, barbell pads, out-out shoes: these are just a few of our everyday staples that haven’t seen the light of day in…well, a few months now. But it’s about time we start making use of our pre-lockdown-life belongings again.

So, dig out your commuter rucksack and stuff it with books, light dumbbells, a bag of oats – anything that will add enough weight to help you towards your strength goals.

Using your weighted rucksack during these exercises will strengthen your back, chest, shoulders and triceps. Now that’s getting a whole lot from one piece of DIY kit. And you didn’t even have to cave and purchase those £100 online dumbbells (pats self on back). 

BENT-OVER ROW

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Upper body workout: Strong Women ambassador Alice-Rose Miller demonstrates bent-over row using a DIY weighted rucksack in this quick-but-efficient 10 minute workout
  1. Grip the weighted rucksack on both sides. 
  2. Stand with feet hip-width apart (keeping a slight bend in the knees) and hinge forward from the hips – with your arms hanging straight down at your sides. 
  3. Bend your arms to bring the rucksack up to your chest – making sure to keep your back straight, neck long and elbows tucked in to your sides. 
  4. Lower the rucksack down towards the floor for three seconds. 
  5. With every rep, squeeze the shoulder blades together as you bring the weight up. 
  6. Lower the arms back down.

Do 10 reps

    OVERHEAD PRESS

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    Upper body workout: Strong Women ambassador Alice-Rose Miller demonstrates overhead press using a DIY weighted rucksack in this quick-but-efficient 10 minute workout
    1. Grip the rucksack on both sides and bend the arms to bring it to your chest. 
    2. Tuck your hips under, squeeze your glutes and engage your core. 
    3. Extend your arms to lift the bag up over your head. 
    4. Make sure that your shoulders stay down (and are not lifting up towards your ears). Squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top of the move.

    Do 10 reps

    FLOOR PRESS

    strength-training-floor-press-3
    Upper body workout: Strong Women ambassador Alice-Rose Miller demonstrates floor press using a DIY weighted rucksack in this quick-but-efficient 10 minute workout
    1. Lying on the floor, take the bag by both sides and hold it over your chest. 
    2. Place your elbows about 45 degrees away from your body. 
    3. Make sure your tailbone is tucked under and your shoulders are back and down. 
    4. Press the bag up towards the ceiling, extending the arms directly above your chest. 
    5. Lower down for three counts.

    Do 10 reps. Rest 60 seconds. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds. 

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