Upper Back, Arms, and Chest Workout - 23 Min Tabata Upper Body Workout


Calorie burn:

115 to 230





Equipment Needed:


Workout type:

Low Impact, Strength Training, Toning

Body focus:


Workout Details

Twenty-second active intervals sound like a piece of cake, but after three times through with these exercises your muscles will be burning.

Research has shown that 20 seconds of maximal exertion is the most that the body can take before it’s capacity to sustain that effort (particularly with proper form) starts to drop severely. The combination of the short duration of effort with a short rest interval increases your ability to sustain that maximal effort, which in turn allows you to burn calories at a continuously elevated rate.

Workout Structure
-3 Minute warm up
-6 Upper body exercises done in a Tabata format

Printable Routine

Warm Up Cardio – 1 Minute of each
-High March
-Tap Jacks
-Side Toe Touch Lunges

Tabata Routine: Upper Back, Arms, and Chest Workout
20 Seconds Active, 10 Seconds Rest; 3 Times

Bicep Curls – Isolate your biceps with this simple move, make sure that you use perfect form in order to make this exercise effective.

Tricep Extensions – Get rid of flabby arms with this tricep toning exercise that also incorporate the upper shoulder (deltoid) muscles.

Reverse Flys – Great for strengthening the rear deltoid & rhomboids (across the shoulder blades).

Chest Flys – For improving the strength and tone of the pectorals and bicep muscles.

Pullovers – Latissimus dorsi, tricep, and chest are all engaged during this move.

Overhead Presses – For deltoids & triceps.

How many calories does this burn?
We estimate that you can burn 5-10 calories per minute of this workout, or 115-230 calories.

We know that’s a huge variance, but it’s because the number of calories burned is largely going to depend on how heavy of a weight that you choose to use. Choose a weight that makes it hard to complete the last few reps of each 20 second interval. By the third interval, you should be struggling to lift that weight – however, do not give up proper form of the exercise.

Women; do not be afraid to lift a heavy weight that challenges you. As mentioned above, if you choose a heavier weight you’re going to be burning calories at a higher rate, as well as building lean muscle (which bumps up your calorie burn even while you are resting). Because of the lack of certain hormones, women have to try very hard to “bulk up”, and often have to take supplements. Do not avoid lifting heavy weights in an attempt to stay “thin” as it will only end up making it harder to stay lean in the long run.

Make sure that you do a cool down & stretch after you finish this workout.


04/12/15 9:13am

This was good the first round then holy heck do my muscles burn for that second round. Did the first with 5lbs weights then dropped to 3lbs for the second round. NICE! I like how sore my arms are now and how it feels like I did a great work out. :)


03/30/15 1:49pm

only burned 166 calories, I was hoping for more. I was using 5lb weights for everything but I could probably increase that for most exercises except the overhead presses. Those are really tough for me.


03/06/15 1:16pm

Really nice.


03/06/15 7:05am

This one just flies by but it is sooo effective at really putting those muscles through their paces. Thanks for another great workout, Kelli and Daniel!


01/13/15 2:32pm

Great workout!!


01/06/15 9:25am

Fantastic workout! Complete burnout all around. Thank you!


10/03/14 10:37am

I broke my ankle while out running 4 weeks ago and use this workout as part of my daily hour routine. I'm using an 8LB weight, which totally fatigues my muscles. I don't get loads of reps in with some of the movements, like reverse fly, because I concentrate on performing the move with goid form, so that I get the maximum benefit. I read that a heavier weight with less reps us better than a lighter weight and more reps. Thanks, so much for these videos, they've helped me from going insane. :-)


09/23/14 10:52am

I love tabata strength workouts too! I like to focus on form rather than counting reps and it seems like I get a better workout when there are three or more rounds.


08/26/14 5:03am

I love this one can we get some more upperbody tabata workouts.


04/29/14 8:27pm

I did this today. Great workout as most are. You guys rock!


12/11/13 6:54pm

What is the typical weight that you use for each exercise on here? I loved this exercise but I was never sure around what weight class I should be in for each one. I know every body is different but I kind of want to go off what you do to get an idea where I should be at. Thank you so much! I love your videos!


10/12/13 8:11pm

Great workout, thank you so much!


09/20/13 7:23pm

This is my favorite strength video, I wish you'd do an updated version with calorie counter, timer, etc. More exercises with simple dumbbells please!


05/20/13 10:13am

AWESOME workout! Thanks!

fitness blender

06/15/12 8:41am

@Liabia - Thank you for telling your friends & family about us, that really helps us grow, which means more workouts for you guys ;)


06/12/12 9:50pm

I love this new workout! I just added this to my routine last week and already see a difference in my arms. I have started a few of your workout videos a month ago and am seeing a difference throughout my body. I have been telling my friends and family about your website, thank you so much for having such great workout videos.

fitness blender

06/06/12 7:47pm

@Natara - Women can't "build" or bulk up without some serious lifting and/or hormone therapy. Don't rip yourself off of a faster metabolism by lifting light weights for fear of adding size. Lift a weight that feels really challenging by the last 2-3 reps of a set. @Kmayer - Good idea, I'll add it to the list.


05/20/14 4:40am

YES! Tabata routine for the waistline! :) Thanks in advance FB!


06/04/12 8:36am

Very cool routine. How about a Tabata routine for the waist?


06/02/12 1:40pm

Thanks for these videos, they keep me constantly working out! Just wanted to ask what weights would you recommend for women wanting to tone and not build? I'm not afraid of the weights, just don't know where to start

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