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Arms and Abs Metabolic Circuit

May 8th, 2012

Hyper Training Lab #31: Arms and Abs Metabolic Circuit

Circuit in action arms and abs photo

Click here to see this circuit in action

Exercises Shown in the Video:

Set-Up: This circuit requires a partner and one SandBell per person. When doing each exercise, maintain proper, athletic posture as seen in the video. Do not arch your lower back or lock out your knees when doing SandBell Swings, One Arm Snatch and Clean, or SandBell Chops. Always control the SandBell and do not let the weight of the Bell pull your arm or body downward.

Repetitions/Rounds: The goal of a metabolic circuit is to elevate the heart rate for an extended period of time. Try to do each exercise for 45 seconds to one minute and complete at least five rounds. If you need more of a challenge, increase the weight, repetitions, or length of time for each exercise.

  1. SandBell Swings: Maintain proper athletic position—do not arch the lower back or lock out the knees. If you are familiar with kettlebell swings, this is the exact same exercise using a SandBell. Control the SandBell and do not let the Bell pull your arm downward on the downfall. Only swing the SandBell up to shoulder height and not above the head. If catching/releasing the SandBell and switching hands is too hard to do, swing with one arm at a time (with no release) and switch arms after each round.
  2. One Arm Snatch and Clean: Use your body’s strength to pull the SandBell up above your head and then slam it back down on the floor. In this exercise, it’s very important to not lock out your knees or arch your back, doing so can cause lower back injury and/or pain. When slamming the SandBell to the floor, be sure to squat down to pick up the SandBell—don’t just bend over at the hips, squatting takes pressure off the lower back.
  3. Russian Twists: Focus on keeping your core locked and tight, and your back straight without any curving. Keep your upper-arms/biceps pressed into the sides of your ribs so you’re holding the SandBell parallel to your stomach. Do not use only your arms to extend the SandBell out to touch the floor on each side, actually engage your core and twist your stomach side-to-side, tapping the SandBell to the floor with each twist. It helps to move your head with your body and look at each wall every time you twist side-to-side to properly twist and engage your core. If you feel pain in your tail bone/seat bones, sit on a SandBell or foam board.
  4. Partner Ab Twists: Maintain the same positioning as the Russian Twists. Catch the SandBell, twist the core to touch the SandBell to the floor and then throw back to your partner. Keep your core and arms tight to control your throw and movements. After the first round, switch sides with your partner so you work both sides of your core.
  5. SandBell Chops: Maintain proper athletic position—do not arch the lower back or lock out the knees. Partner 1 holds the SandBell flat on their palms, arms extended outward at shoulder height. Parter 1 uses their core, arm and lower-body strength to hold the SandBell still while Partner 2 “chops” the SandBell. Parter 2 should focus on keeping their body tight and core engaged when chopping the SandBell. To make this exercise more difficult, Parter 1 can slowly move the SandBell up and down, side-to-side, or in a circular motion so that Partner 2 has to follow the SandBell while chopping.
  6. SandBell Slam: Maintain proper athletic position—do not arch the lower back or lock out the knees. Squat down to pick up the SandBell, triple extension from the legs, core and upper-body to force the SandBell up over head and then use controlled force to slam the SandBell back down on the floor.

Targeted Muscle Groups:

Arms, shoulders, core and grip/wrist/forearm

Ideal Exercises for Those Training to:

  • Increase cardiovascular endurance
  • Improve upper body strength
  • Improve core strength and stability
  • Improve grip, wrist and forearm strength
  • Athletic training for sports (basketball, football, baseball, volleyball)
  • Cross-training
  • Improve muscle coordination

Recommended Equipment:

For each exercise in the arms and abs metabolic circuit, we recommend you use a SandBell that is 10-15% of your body weight. The goal of these exercises is to do more repetitions and rounds, rather than max your body out by weighing it down. A metabolic circuit is supposed to increase your heart rate for a period of time. We recommend using a weight that challenges your body, yet doesn’t tire your muscles out after only 20 seconds of exercising.

The arms and abs metabolic circuit exercises can also be done using the Hyperwear SteelBell. The faster, more active shifting movement of the steel inside the SteelBell will increase the difficulty of all the exercises, especially the SandBell Swings, One Arm Snatch and Clean, and the Slam. Because the steel shot inside the Bell weighs more than sand, the SteelBell will accelerate faster when driving the Bell upwards, which will force you to exert more energy to control the SteelBell and bring it back down to the ground.

We recommend using the SandBell and SteelBell for this circuit because these tools are safe, durable and work grip, wrist and forearm strength. Because you must grip into the Sand/SteelBell to hold onto the Bell, you are working grip, wrist and forearm muscles with every exercise in addition to the targeted muscle groups.

To make these exercises even more challenging, wear the Hyper Vest PRO weight vest seen on Lateef Johnson and Edwardo Williams. Loading the body with extra weight will cause it to use more energy to complete the exercises and make the workout more strength and cardiovascular challenging.


These exercises and weights are recommendations and should not be completed if you have any pain or ailments in your grip, arm, shoulder, core or back. Hyper Training Lab exercises are designed to get you healthy, toned and fit. We don’t encourage over-training or strenuous exercising that leads to injury.

If you are working out with the Hyper Vest PRO, we recommend starting out with 5 lbs. loaded in the vest, and then gradually increasing the weight 10 lbs. so that too much weight and stress are not added onto the body. Weight vest training is a great way to intensify any exercise, just be sure to not overload your body and cause injury or fatigue.

Featured in the Video:

Master Trainer Lateef Johnson (wearing the Hyper Vest PRO), Master Trainer Edwardo Williams (wearing the Hyper Vest PRO), Master Trainer Brook Benten, and Jordan Pratt.

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