Crush This 20-Minute Home Workout To Strengthen Your Upper Body

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If you are truly time-starved, one of the best ways to fit in a workout is to do it at home, where you can save on travel time and slip in your exercise while doing something else.

For example, this 20-minute upper-body workout – designed by LDN Muscle for Opti fitness equipment by Argos – can easily be done while you’re waiting for your dinner to cook. All you need is a kettlebell and two dumbbells, and you’ll get just as effective a workout as if you spent an hour going to the gym and back.

20-Minute Upper-Body Home Workout

Do four rounds of the following five exercises in total.

Dumbbell thruster

Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Hold dumbbells just above your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push back up and press the dumbbells straight overhead, then bring them back down to the starting position.

Alternating single-arm kettlebell swing

Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Hold a kettlebell in one hand, letting it hang between your legs as you stand in a shallow squat with your feet hip-width apart. Swing the kettlebell up to chest height in an explosive movement with the power coming from your legs, rather than lifting the kettlebell up with your arm. At the top of the swing swap the hand that’s holding the kettlebell. Control the swing back down so the kettlebell moves between your legs, then swing again.

Curl and Arnold press

Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Hold dumbbells by your thighs, palms facing out. Curl them up to your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your sides throughout, then press them overheard, turning your hands so your palms face forwards at the top of the press.

Dumbbell bent-over row

Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Hold dumbbells by your thighs, palms facing towards you. Bend your knees slightly and lean forwards from your waist allowing the dumbbells to move and hang below your chest. Your back and arms should stay straight. Squeeze your shoulders together and lift the dumbbells towards your chest, then slowly lower them.

Bench dip

Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Find a stable surface, face away from it and place your hands on it behind you. The further your feet are from your hands, the harder the exercise will be. If doing dips with your legs straight is too tough at first, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Start with your arms straight, lower until your elbows are bent at a 90° angle, then push back up.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.