There is a reason Erik Bartell is a trainer who is in such high demand. He knows how to push his clients to achieve their best. The military veteran and fitness expert commits two mornings a week to share his expertise and effort on the Muscle & Fitness Instagram page. But he’s not one of those trainers who just tells you what to do, his videos serve as a training partner as well. He commits his sweat equity to the cause.

Here’s the better news. You don’t have to commit a full hour or more to the workout. Many of us are busy, but we can spare 30 minutes to torch some calories and get better. Set aside some time to go through this HIIT upper body workout that Bartell shared recently, and you will see the results for yourself.

Pointers Before the Workout

Bartell says in the beginning of the workout that many movements will include dumbbell work, but he doesn’t want you feeling like you have to train super heavy. “For a lot of these, we just want to make sure that we’re moving, we’re keeping the heart rate up,” he explained. “Focus more on the high-intensity movements. If you would rather do this as a HIIT workout without dumbbells, (then) that is up to you.”

He can be seen finishing his Echelon pre-workout drink, and he advocates for people doing this workout to have one if they feel it will help them wake up. “If you got a pre-workout that you like, take it, but make sure you finish it a few minutes before we get started.”

The Warmup

The following exercises were performed before the main workout began. Do as many of these as you feel you need to in order to be ready. Bartell performed several reps of each in the video.

  • Wide Arm Circles – Make big circles with your arms to open the body up. Stretch as you take the arms back.
  • Wide Stretch into Self-Hug – Stretch your arms as far to the sides as possible, then wrap them around yourself.
  • Single Arm Circles – Focus on each side one at a time. Perform a few backwards, then to the front. Repeat with the other arm.
  • Inchworm Stretch – Slowly reach down until your fingers are on the floor. Walk out your hands as far as you can, then lower yourself into a locked-out pushup position. Perform a pushup, stick your butt up in the air, and walk your hands back to your feet. Return to the standing position.

Erik Bartell’s 30-Minute HIIT Upper-Body Workout

This session alternates upper-body-focused exercises with bouts of high intensity aerobic activity. Perform each exercise as recommended by Bartell as close to his recommendations as possible. He shares extra tips and tricks during the workout that you can apply as you proceed. If you feel you need to take a brief break, pause the video, catch your breath, and then get back to work.

The Workout
Exercise Time Rest/Transition
Half-Jack 1 min. 15 sec.
Pushups 1 min. 15 sec.
High Plank 1 min. 15 sec.
Kneeling Dumbbell Front Raise 1 min. 15 sec.
High Knees 1 min. 15 sec.
Dumbbell Drag in Plank Position 1 min. 15 sec.
Explosive Pushup from Knees 1 min. 15 sec.
Chest Press 1 min. 15 sec.
Shoulder Taps in Plank Position 1 min. 15 sec.
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows 1 min. 15 sec.
Water Break 1 min. 15 sec.
Sprawls 1 min. 15 sec.
Dumbbell Reverse Flyes 1 min. 15 sec.
Pushups 1 min. 15 sec.
Single Dumbbell Clean and Press (or Squat into High Pull) 1 min. 15 sec.
Opposite Toe Touch in Plank Position 1 min. 15 sec.
Dumbbell Rotation and Extension 1 min. 15 sec.
Water Break 1 min. 15 sec.
Dumbbell Curl/Isometric Curl Hold 1 min. 15 sec.
Close Grip Pushups 1 min. 15 sec.
V-Ups 1 min. 15 sec.
Jackknife 1 min. 15 sec.
Russian Twist 1 min. 15 sec.
Flutter Kicks While Holding Dumbbells in Chest Press Position 1 min. 15 sec.
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