No-Equipment Upper Body Strength Descending Ladder with Cardio Intervals

29 Min • Upper Body, Core
  • View on YouTube
    • Training Type Cardiovascular, Toning
    • Equipment Mat


    We put on our brainstorming hats to create this no-equipment workout that challenges your upper body, core, and cardiovascular system. Our goal is to use one of our favorite workout formats, a descending ladder, combined with short bursts of cardio to amplify the intensity. Lastly, we’ll complete a 3-minute total body AMRAP to fully fatigue those tired muscles. 

    Sometimes, we’re pressed for time and need a workout that uses the bare minimum. While this workout checks off those boxes, you’ll be doing anything but the bare minimum as you push, reach, and crawl for the next 30-minutes. Be sure to put in some work during the warm up to prepare your wrists and shoulders for the deep ranges of motion that are required during the workout circuit. 

    The workout circuit lasts about 15 minutes, and we’ll break for a brief intermission between rounds 1 and 2. Each round will decrease in length, but the rest periods will remain the same (15 seconds). Following each round of push-ups, prepare to transition into the 30-second cardio interval. Once you’re finished, you’ll have minimal time to move into the next round. While this may sound cruel, we promise this maximizes the workout’s effectiveness! 

    For the finisher, I’ve included a 3-minute AMRAP (refresh your memory on AMRAP workouts here) that “pulls it all together.” This AMRAP works the upper body, core, and cardiovascular system as a true test of your endurance and workout mentality. I have noted benchmark reps; however, you can complete as many as possible as long as you maintain form and safety. Like we mentioned in our article linked above, AMRAPs minimize rest breaks to maintain high intensity and energy consumption, which is one of the reasons they encourage maximum calorie burn in a short amount of time. The timer will indicate when it’s time for you to move on to the next exercise. 

    I have to be honest — I dislike AMRAPs and EMOMs and find them incredibly tough to complete. That being said, I think it’s extremely important to do these types of workouts to challenge your mental fortitude and physical endurance. What workout formats are you looking forward to conquering? 

    Printed Workout


    Workout Circuit
    40/30/20 seconds on with 15 seconds off / 30 seconds of cardio 

    R1 cardio: Shadow jumps 
    R2 cardio: C skips (in place or moving)  
    R3 cardio: Side shuffle and tap 


    Forearm plank + rock
    Superman holds
    High plank bird dog
    Tricep dip + ankle tap
    Plank pike reach

    AMRAP (Aim for 8-10 reps)

    Bear crawl + parkour (reps per side)

    Cool Down 

    Freeform stretch