Forget dumbbells – Get big arms, chest and shoulder muscles with this 10-minute push-up workout

Upper body bodyweight workout don't get quicker and more effective than this

Muscular young man in sportswear, preparing for workout outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We love push-ups here at T3; we think they are the ultimate bodyweight exercise to build muscle in your arms and pecs (to build back muscles and biceps, try pull-ups instead). Just how versatile are push-ups? Very, as this 10-minute push-up-only workout exemplifies. You'll be doing eight push-up varieties, targeting different muscle groups for maximum efficiency in the shortest possible time.

Push-ups boost your cardiovascular health (believe it not!) by raising your heart rate and your body consuming more oxygen as the workout intensifies. Push-ups can also help prevent lower back injuries by stabilising your back muscles and relieving pressure and strain on your lower back. Not confident enough to do push-ups? Check out our complete guide on how to master push-ups.

This workout involves several push-up variations and should last approximately 12 minutes with 20-second rests between exercises. All required is an exercise and an elevated object like a sofa, chair, or even a stack of books for the elevated push-up variation. However, we'd recommend making sure whatever object you use can support your body weight and provides a strong anchor point: The exercises:

  • Assisted one-arm push-ups (20 seconds each) 
  • Elevated diamond push-ups (40 seconds)
  • Archer push-ups (20 seconds each) 
  • Pike push-ups (40 seconds 
  • Explosive push-ups open & closed (40 seconds) 
  • Slow push-ups (40 seconds) 
  • Fast push-ups (40 seconds) 
  • Explosive negative push-ups (40 seconds)

Enjoyed this workout but would prefer a more introductory taster to push-ups? Try this 5-minute push-up routine for chiselled pecs. For those who want to strengthen their core and abs, we recommend checking out this 5-move standing ab routine shared by PT and Blok trainer Chloe Trigg. Looking to go further than push-ups in building your chest and shoulder muscles? We challenge you to take on this 4-move dumbbell workout that will see you enjoy massive gains.

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.