Need a simple upper body workout to do when you’re short on time but want to get a quick workout in? This workout is simple but effective so you can get your workouts done even if you’re short on time
Hey guys, I have another workout coming to you today! This one is a super simple upper body workout that can be done in less than 20 minutes with just a couple pieces of equipment (specifically, a band and a slam ball).
Starting last November, I’ve been working out with my son in the mornings before he goes to school a 2-3 times a week. I drop my daughter off at junior high, then I workout a bit with my son until it’s time for him to go to school. It’s great for mother-son time, plus we both get to workout 🙂 It’s a win-win!
You can replace the ball slams in this workout with battle ropes if you want
This usually gives us about 40 minutes to workout in the morning, so we usually do 15-20 minutes of cardio then 15-20 minutes of strength training and some stretching before we have to leave for school. Thus, our strength training workouts are simple and quick so it’s easy for him to do and it fits into the time that we have for workouts.
This particular workout is one of the ones I put together for us to do, and we usually do this one or a variation of this one together once a week. Sometimes we’ll replace the mountain climbers with another exercise, like plank jacks, or do battle ropes instead of ball slams.
Gabe makes a great fitness exercise model, doesn’t he? 😉 I took some photos of him doing a few of the exercises for my blog post. I should have taken photos of him doing all of the exercises so the photos would be consistent, but I completely spaced that out.
This simple upper body workout is 4 exercises done in a circuit 4 times.
- Seated row (exercise band or machine) x 15
- Tricep pushups (knees, toes, or fitness box) x 10-12
- Mountain climbers x 20/side (with or without exercise sliders)
- Ball slams x 10-12 with no-bounce slam ball
- Short rest, then repeat for 4 sets total
This workout only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete, so it’s quick and efficient but effective. You’ll want to make sure that you do a warm-up beforehand for about 5-10 minutes, then follow it with a cool down and stretches.
If you have more time on your hands, you can pair this workout with my simple leg workout for a complete full-body workout!
Seated row with a band (you can always do this with a machine, too, or do bent-over rows instead). Make sure to sit upright and relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
Tricep push-ups on a box: keeping your hands shoulder width apart (or slightly narrower) and holding a firm plank position, lower yourself to a push-up but keep your elbows squeezed in to your sides as you lower down.
Ideally, your elbows should not be less than a 90 degree angle to protect the tendons in your arms, so you don’t have to go all the way till your chest touches the box. Here’s a video of how to do tricep push-ups without a box:
Here’s a video demo of mountain climbers, for this workout we’re doing them fast and not doing slow mountain climbers:
And here is my video on how to do ball slams, one of my favorite exercises!
If you want to ramp this up a bit, you can always turn these in to ball slam burpees, a fun combo exercise that will get your heart rate up. Let me know if you try this quick and simple upper body workout, tag me on social if you take some sweaty selfies!
Disclaimer: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your medical professional, doctor, or physical therapist.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist