10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout

8 Nov

During my first week of half marathon training I ran a total of 5 times.  Wow – that’s a lot for me!  Since I’ve been dedicating more time to running I’ve been including a few more super quick interval workouts instead of my longer strength workouts.  Most of the time I do body weight exercises and really give them my all during each intervals.

Intervals have been so much fun for me lately.  It’s easier to push yourself knowing that you only have to do the exercise for 20-50 seconds. 

Let me know if you try this one out.  I was feeling the workout in my triceps, shoulders and chest the next few days after completing this 10 minute workout.

It’s super quick but super effective.

Set the timer for 15 rounds with 10 seconds of rest and 30 seconds of work (if you don’t have an interval timer here’s a link to a free online interval timer).


There are 5 exercises you will do, 3 times through.  You won’t get much rest – just enough time to get ready for the next exercise.  If you need more than 10 seconds rest you can change your interval timer to allow for more rest.  Your workout will be longer than 10 minutes then.

Write down how many of each exercise you do.

10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout

1. Tricep pushups

Begin in a high plank position with you arms close to your body.  Keep your body in a straight line and lower your chest to the ground (or as close to the ground possible), while bending your elbows back.  Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body and use your triceps to push back up to the starting position.

*Modification: Do this on your knees


2. Swimming supermans

Begin laying on your stomach with legs and arms extended.  Swim your arms out to the side and around (like a breast stroke) and lift your chest up, arms back and legs up.

*Modification:  Keep your legs on the ground and do not lift up as high


3. Legs elevated high plank to low plank

Begin with your feet on a chair, hands on the ground at shoulder width.  Hold your body in a straight line.  One arm at a time, drop down to your elbows.  Once you are on both elbows, press up back to high plank, one arm at a time.

*Modification: Keep your legs on the ground instead of elevated.


4. Pike press

Begin in an upside down V position, hands a bit wider than your shoulders, legs out wide.  Bend your elbows and lower the top of your head to touch the ground (not your forehead).  Press back up to the starting position.

*Modification: Do not lower your head to touch the ground, just as low as possible.


5. Mountain climbers

Start in plank on your hands and feet.  Jump your right foot forward, then switch to your left.  Switch back and forth as quickly as you can.

*Modification: Instead of jumping quickly between your feet, slow it down into a step between feet.


10 Responses to “10 Minute Upper Body Interval Workout”

  1. Andrea@WellnessNotes November 8, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    I love quick, intense workouts. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with the half marathon training!

  2. Faith November 8, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    Your workout sounds very intense but I love it. I love how you are detemrined on the marathon. Good luck.

  3. Joslyn @ missfitbliss November 8, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Oh all of those exercises brought on some serious flashbacks! Especially the mountain climbers;)

  4. The Hot and Fit November 8, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    I absolutely hate triceps push ups, just cannot do them, but I recently discovered the pike press (only I did it with one leg up, so initially it looks more like one leg downward facing dog….?) and wow after 15 reps I was dying!!

    I tried the online interval timer but I couldn’t figure out where to plug in the numbers for rest and for work…might try it again later…

  5. Leah @ Why Deprive? November 8, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    These exercise remind me of The Shred! Love it! 🙂

  6. greensandjeans November 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    This is awesome! I travel a lot with my new job and I love anything that I can do in a hotel room!

  7. Estela @ Weekly Bite November 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Great workout! I love doing interval workouts. I feel like it recharges my body 🙂

  8. Lily's Health Pad November 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Those V-presses look fun! I just tried one and I call tell those will give my shoulders a workout!

    Ps-I can only do tricep pushups on my knees. 😦

  9. Alina @ Duty Free Foodie November 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    I like this routine! Bodyweight circuits are awesome 🙂

  10. lifewithacrazypup November 10, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Great exercises! I wish I hadn’t just finished at the gym or I would have tried this one today!

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