Climb the Ladder – Shoulders

Shoulder Ladder Torture Tuesday class - February 13, 2013

Shoulder Ladder Torture Tuesday class – February 13, 2013

Ok, so yesterday I’m minding my own business and my big sis sends me a workout suggestion. I see it. It’s a ladder workout. I haven’t done one of those in YEARS. But this one was a little different. Instead of adding reps each round to a particular exercise, it added a whole new exercise each round. Hmmm. Fascinating. So I checked it out. Then realized it was too easy for my peeps. So I edited it… Body-By-Robes styled it. And then I edited it again. Just to be sure we had gotten in all the upper body we could POSSIBLY squeeze in. 🙂 And this is what you get – a HARD CORE shoulder extravaganza:

What You Need:
– Yoga Mat
– Set of Medium Weights (4 for beginners, 6 for super advanced women, 8 for super advanced men)
– Set of Light Weights (half of your medium weight is recommended)
– Towel/Water
– Timer if you want to keep track of your time

There are 10 different exercises in this workout, numbered 1-10. Each exercise has a set number of reps assigned to it (i.e. 10 Standing Flyes). When you begin the workout, you begin by performing Exercise #1. Then rest for 10 seconds. Then perform Exercise 1 + Exercise 2. Then rest for 10 seconds. Then perform Exercise 1 + Exercise 2 + Exercise 3. Then rest for 10 seconds. You get the picture. Eventually you will do all 10 exercises listed in a row, finishing with Exercise #10. THAT is when your workout is complete.


Below are your exercises. In parentheses next to each exercises is the number of reps you will perform for that specific exercise in each set (when you get to that exercise in the ladder).

Tricep Press Up - finished up dog position.

Tricep Press Up

1) Tricep Press Ups (5): Lay flat on your stomach, hands tight by your chest. Keeping your elbows tight to your side, press to an upward dog. Make sure you extend your elbows so you get a “press” in your tricep muscle. Return to the floor. For my yoga enthusiasts, please do not tilt your head back. Head stays neutral, facing forward. P.S. You’ll be thanking me later that I didn’t make these full push-ups. Now rest for 10 seconds. Cuz you’re done Exercise 1. But now you’ve gotta do Exercise 1 again + add on Exercise 2 below.

*NOTE: I. Do. Not. Want. You. To. EVER. Let. Go. Of. Your. Weights. From the second this workout starts until the second it finishes, I want those weights in your hands. The only exception is when your medium weights get to hard for you (it’s gonna happen, trust me) and in one of your 10 second rest periods between ladder sets, you may exchange them for your light weights. That means for Tricep Press Ups, you’re going to grab those weights, one in each hand, and use them for your balance on the floor rather than putting your hands on the floor. WHY? Because this workout is moving fast. We don’t have time to drop weights, pick them up, blah blah blah. AND, the more weight you hold onto, the more calories you burn. It’s that simple.

2) Standing Flyes (10): Do Exercise 1 (above) again. Then quickly stand tall, knees slightly bent, shoulder width apart. Grab one weight in each hand and extend your arms in front of you with thumbs toward the ceiling, keeping a TINY bend in your elbows. Pretending both arms now have a cast on them from your bicep to your fingertips, open both arms wide (DO NOT MOVE YOUR ELBOWS!) like you’re giving someone a BIG hug. Do not bend over. Do not bend backward. Stand tall the entire time. Return arms back in front of you, touching weights together. That’s 1 rep. Repeat 10 times. Now rest for 10 seconds, but get ready. You’re gonna go back and do Exercise 1 again! You get the picture yet?

Rear lift. You will replace stability ball with one weight in each hand.

Rear lift. You will replace stability ball with one weight in each hand.

3) Rear Lifts (15): You’ve just completed Standing Flyes. Drop your arms down by your sides, then behind you. Turn your palms so they face forward, knuckles facing the floor, weights still in your hands. Again, without moving your elbows at all, just lift those arms like you’re passing the weights to someone behind you who’s a little bit taller than you!  Keep your chest up, draw abs in tight, and squeeze shoulder blades together. Lower weights back to your butt. That’s 1 rep. Repeat 15 times. Image to the right shows the position IF you had a stability ball in your hands. It’s helpful for a visual. I want you to use your weights though. No ball. Now rest 10 seconds. Then right back to Press Ups (Exercise 1) again and repeat the cycle, adding on Exercise 4.

Great image of lateral raise showing start (faded) and lifted position.

Great image of lateral raise showing start (faded) and lifted position.

4) Lateral Raises (20): You’ve just done Exercises 1-3. Remain standing, dumbells next to your sides, feet shoulder width apart. Slowly raise dumbells out to the side until tyour arms are parallel to the floor, keeping a tiny bend in your elbows. All movement is in your shoulders. Lower back to your sides. That’s 1 rep. Repeat 20 times, then 10 second rest and get back to your tummy. I think you’re getting it now. EVERY cycle starts with those 5 press ups. 

5) High Knees (25): Threw this in there for a TINY break for your arms. Drop weights to your sides. Sprint with high knees. Each time a knee lifts is one rep. This will happen fast. It’ll take you maybe 5-10 seconds to d0 25 high knees. Do not overthink this. It’s easy. You’re sprinting. With your knees coming up high each time. Only change is you’re doing it with weights in your hands. Rest. 10 seconds. Start again. Adding Exercise 6 to the mix this time. Exercise 6 might be the death of you in this workout. There’s your warning.

6) Jab/Hook/Uppercut (25): I need a video of this one. I know. But here we go. Stand with weights in your hands, feet shoulder width apart. Be thinking that your heels are going to need to be able to move off the ground so you can pivot on the balls of your feet. Just keep that in mind. Hands up by your face in kickboxing ready stance. Pull your left shoulder back and jab your right hand in front of your face, pivoting on your right foot. Pull that hand back. Now left hand jab, pivoting on left foot. Pull it back. Now right hand hook (elbow bent 90 degrees, arm parallel to the ground, like your punching someone in the side of their head if they were standing right in front of you nose to nose), pivoting on right foot. Then left hand hook. Now right uppercut, bending elbow and imagining punching someone below their chin if they were standing right in front of you. Left uppercut. That’s 1 rep. Yes. You have weights in your hands. Yes. It’s hard. You have to repeat this entire cycle 25 times. And that’s only for round 6. You have 4 more rounds of this to go. You’ve earned your 10 second break. Take it. Then right back to your belly.  Starting over do Exercises 1-6 again, adding on Exercise 7 below.

You’re going to want to quit. Don’t.

Donkey Kicks/Hops. Thanks Jillian.

Donkey Kicks/Hops. Thanks Jillian.

7) Donkey Kicks (20): Hands shoulder width apart on the mat. Both feet to one side of the mat. Jump, both feet together, kicking your legs to the other side of the mat, kicking your butt with your heels on the way over. Check out Jillian on the right. And remember. You’re not dropping your weights. So hands on on your weights on the floor. Each time your feet touch the floor is 1 rep. Do 20. Then get back on your belly. Rest 10 seconds. Start over.

This girl's not quite there yet. TOUCH. YOUR. ELBOWS. TOGETHER.

This girl’s not quite there yet. TOUCH. YOUR. ELBOWS. TOGETHER.

8) Elbow Touches (15): Get back up. Stand tall. Make a goal post with your arms, out wide, weights in your hands (they’ve never left!). Your elbows are bent 90 degrees, knuckles facing the ceiling, upper arms parallel to the floor. Now squeeze your chest and pulling weights in toward each other, try to touch your ELBOWS together. That’s key. It’s easy to just touch your weights. Bump that (said Ashley!). Elbows. Touch. Do it. You can. I know it’s hard. I know you’re tired. Do. It. 15 times. Then rest. 10 seconds. Back on your belly.

9) Hip Dips (10): Get in a plank on your forearms. Keep your weights in your hands. The heels of your hands and the butt of the weights will be on the floor. Now squeezing your glutes, turn your left shoulder up toward the ceiling and dip your right hip down and touch the floor. Now repeat on the other side, opening up to the right and dipping your left hip on the floor. That’s 1 rep. Do it again. 10 times on each hip (alternating hips). Here’s a GREAT video of it. You’re almost done. 10 seconds rest. Back on your belly. Weights. In. Your. Hands.

For Wanda.

For Wanda.

10) Burpees: The Finale (5): You only have 5. And yes, they’re Burpee Push-Ups. You know the deal. Start standing. Squat, place your weights on the floor near your feet. You still have your weights in your hands remember? Cuz you’ve never put them down. 🙂 Jump back to a plank (don’t WALK. JUMP). Do a push-up. Then JUMP your feet back in to your hands. Reach your hands (YES, still with your weights in them) toward the ceiling and JUMP off the floor. Get some air. You only have 5. Don’t. Quit.

That’s it. You’re done. What was your time? How do your arms feel? Post your times below. We’re gonna do this one again in about a month and see if we can beat our time tonight of 26:29. I’m impressed. You. Guys. Rock.

About Robes

I am a child of God, a wife, a mother to Isaiah and Hitch, a stepmom to Alexis, a sister and a friend. I get to give back to others every day for my "job". In my spare time, I also happen to teach a bunch of crazy classes at Ponte Vedra Fitness, and this blog was mostly set up for my Gym Crazies who are not facebook but still wanted access to all my workouts! So... let's have "fun". :)
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1 Response to Climb the Ladder – Shoulders

  1. Pingback: Weekend Warrior Full Body Pyramid | Body By Robes

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