Don't have access to a gym? Traveling or staying with friends? Don't put your training on hold. You can still get a workout in with these brief but effective 10 minute upper body workout sessions.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

It’s Tuesday night. 7pm.

You get home and slump down on the couch, exhausted after a longer than expected day full of meetings, moaning colleagues, rushed conversations, never-ending phone calls and a bitch of a commute home.

Tuesday night is usually your upper-body workout at the gym, but you just can’t face that 30 minute drive, the fight for equipment, and the inevitable queue for the bench press. Looks like it’s another night home in front of the TV then…

Or you could make the most of a bad situation, get your arse in gear and hit up a 10-minute brutal body-weight workout.

All you need for this is 10-minutes, a resistance band, a pull-up bar and your own body-weight.

The Push/Pull Superset

Push/Pull Superset
Upper Body Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Chin-ups (any grip) 1 Half your maximum
Regular Pushups 1 Half your maximum

This is so simple, you’d think it can’t possibly do much. But boy does in test your mental and physical strength.

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Take half your maximum reps for chin-ups and half for push-ups. (So if you can do 12 chin-ups and 20 pushups you’ll do 6 chin-ups and 10 pushups.) Knock out your set of chin-ups, then drop down immediately and do 10 pushups. Repeat this as many times as you can in 10 minutes.

Woman Doing Push Ups

The Mechanical Drop Set

Mechanical Drop Set
Pushup Work
Exercise Reps Rest
Feet Elevated Pushups Maximum N/A
Regular Pushups Maximum N/A
Knee Pushups Maximum 30 seconds

Perform your maximum number of pushups with your feet elevated on a chair, then immediately go into a maximum regular pushups, before dropping to your knees and maxing out again. Rest 30 seconds and repeat twice more, before going into the pull-up mechanical drop set –

Mechanical Drop Set
Pull Up Work
Exercise Reps Rest
Wide-Grip Pull-Ups Maximum N/A
Narrow Grip Chin-Ups Maximum N/A
Negative Chin-Ups 5 30 seconds

This follows the same principles as the above circuit, but is slightly different in that you only perform five reps on the negative chin-ups. The aim is to take five to 10 seconds for each one though. This is to be completed three times through as well.

Mechanical drop sets work on the principle of performing your hardest exercise first, then moving to a slightly easier variation, before moving to a third exercise. This third exercise would be a walk in the park were you to perform it first, but after going to failure on the other two, even the easiest of pushup or pull-up variations will leave your muscles smoked.

10 Minutes of Fury

10 Minutes Of Fury
Upper Body Workout
Exercise Reps
Spiderman Pushups Max in 60 seconds
Chin-ups Max in 60 seconds
Band Pull-aparts Max in 60 seconds
Close-Grip Pushups Max in 60 seconds
Band Curls Max in 60 seconds

Get as many reps in 60 seconds as you can on each exercise before moving to the next. You can take as many breaks as you need, but the goal is to get as much in as you can before the timer goes. As soon as you finish the band curls, go straight back to the Spiderman pushups and complete another round.

The Wrap Up

Whether you’ve literally just got 10 minutes to train and can’t make it to the gym, have decided to switch your training over to solely body-weight moves, or want something extra to add to your usual weights routine, you can do a hell of a lot in 10 minutes.

Robert Lemus
Posted on: Thu, 04/02/2020 - 09:28

Such great upper body workouts. Thanks for this!

Posted on: Fri, 08/01/2014 - 18:14

What is a spiderman pushup

Posted on: Thu, 05/01/2014 - 10:27

Hi on the 10 mins fury do I do 2 rounds of it

Posted on: Fri, 02/07/2014 - 09:39

Good upper body workout

Posted on: Thu, 02/06/2014 - 17:02

Ok the home PULLUP part... If you don't have a pullup bar you either have to by a bar, a pullup stand, or use strength bands for rows. Now if you have a person with you then you can do pullups from you on the ground and your hands in theirs.