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Upper body workout with Athlete, Leome Francis


Looking for an athlete-worthy dumbbell workout? Basketball player Leome shares his favourite upper body dumbbell exercises that keep him strong.

My name's Leome Francis and I train at PureGym Milton Keynes. I originally got into the gym through playing basketball. In the past few years I have really started to focus on training and here are my favourite upper body exercises.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 4x12 reps - 45 seconds rest

Shoulder Press

With the shoulder press, I like to keep it controlled on the way up and on the way down to make sure I am building strength and endurance so that when I am going into games I am not getting tired.

First of all it is important to select an appropriate weight and the exercise will get very tough half way through. Hold the dumbbells either side of your head with your palms facing forward and elbow at a 90 degree angle. Extending through, press the dumbbell above your head until they are almost touching, before returning to the start position. 

Dumbbell Pullover - 5x10 reps - 45 seconds rest


As well as building upper body strength I like to maintain a strong core and one of the main exercise I use for that is the dumbbell pullover. With this exercise you start by lying down on a bench with the weight in a triangle behind your head. Whilst keeping a tigh core to remain balanced you slowly control the weight to above the chest. This will work my upper core as well as my shoulders and chest, which is why I think it's a great exercise.

Lie down flat on a bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Using both hands hold the dumbbell directly above your chest with your palms facing away. Once you are confident you have a firm grip, slowly lower the dumbbell until it is level with your head, keeping a tight core and slight bend in the elbow. Slowly return to the start position and repeat.

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Want to find out more? Check out our free Exercises section and get a breakdown on how to perform different exercises for different muscles groups.

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