A Full Upper Body Workout in Just Five Minutes

Full body workouts definitely have their place and can certainly be very useful. Not only do they have the advantage of letting you work each muscle group more regularly than a split routine does, but they also mean it doesn’t matter quite so much if you miss the occasional workout due to circumstances outside your control. They’re more fun too…


There’s just one problem: they take forever! How can you be expected to fit exercises for every one of your body parts into a routine that won’t last the entire day?


Well, we may just have your answer right here! While working out might be slow going when using certain full body routines, it actually doesn’t have to be – and especially if you take more of a circuit-like approach to the proceedings.


Here is one full body circuit that will train your biceps, triceps, pecs, shoulders, abs, legs and lats all in just five minutes. Better yet, it’s completely scalable to be just as challenging as you need it to be!




The workout is as follows:

  • 10 Diamond Push-Ups
  • 30 High Knees
  • 8 Pull Ups
  • 10 Incline Push Ups
  • 10 Toe Touches


There’s no rest in between of course and the idea is that you’re going to try and repeat this as many times as you can. This is the part that ensures it’s going to be as challenging as you need it to be. Sure, on the face of it this is a relatively simple bodyweight routine that anyone can do. But once you start trying to make it round 4 rounds in just five minutes, you’ll see that it’s incredibly tough and challenging.


And if you do manage to go round four times? Well then you’ve essentially done four sets of five different exercises – the same as you might reasonably do at the gym during a ‘normal’ workout. Go to failure on each set and move on as you can no longer complete anymore to keep the momentum up and try and beat your high score each time. This is a great form of ‘gamification’ that can also help to keep you motivated.


You’re likely familiar with all the components of this workout but just in case, here is a quick recap on each of those moves:


Diamond Push Ups: Push ups with your hands directly beneath the center of your chest and in a diamond position. This trains the triceps more than regular push ups.


High Knees: Simply run on the spot with high knees, great cardio and a good challenge for the legs.


Pull Ups: Performed strictly, despite the time element, these will train the lats and biceps.


Incline Push Ups: Put your feet up on a bench and then perform push ups that will target the upper chest and shoulders.


Toe Touches: These are sit ups combined with leg raises. From lying flat, lift your legs and arms simultaneously (both straight) and touch your fingers and toes at the apex of the movement.

Leave a Comment