Follow along with Pat Chadwick as he does a quick and effective chest and back routine. Learn how to utilize different variations of the pull-ups, dips, and push-ups as a superset to increase time under tension on your muscles and build a bigger, stronger upperbody. 

This workout contains 12 different exercises that are all different variations that are specially designed to target different angles of the chest and back muscles, which will create more stimulus and growth. You will new a pull-up bar and a pair of dip bars to do this workout. You can read the top 10 calisthenics equipment parts article that we recommend you to have as a part of your home bodyweight workouts.

What Muscles are Worked by this Chest and Back Workout?

The primary muscles worked are the pectoralis major, triceps, anterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi, biceps, trapezius, rhomboid, posterior deltoids. The secondary muscles worked are the abdominals, obliques, serratus anterior, and forearms.

What Level is this Chest and Back Workout?

This workout is designed for those who are at intermediate level and above as the exercises listed below are relatively challenging. But, the video above will demonstrate easier alternatives for each exercise so that all fitness levels can join into the workout.

10 Min Chest and Back Workout

Pull-Ups

  1. Start by gripping the bar tightly using an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lift your feet off the floor so that your body is hanging from the bar. Engage your core.
  2. Exhale as you pull up by bending your elbows, whilst keeping your core tight. Pull up until your chin reaches above the bar. 
  3. Inhale as you gradually lower down by extending your arms. Lock them out fully before repeating the next rep.
  4. Perform this movement for 10 reps before moving on to the next exercise. You can practice an easier alternative which is the Australian pull-up. Check out this Australian pull-up tutorial to find out more!

Dips

  1. Place your hands on both sides of the parallel bars with your arms locked out, chest up, and head facing forward. Let your feet hang straight underneath your or behind you with bent knees.
  2. Inhale as you lower your body while keeping your elbows close to your torso. Stop when your elbows joint reaches 90 degrees. Keep your core tight throughout this movement.
  3. Exhale as you push up to the starting position until your arms are locked out, maintaining posture in an upright position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. If you find this movement hard, you can regress by placing your feet on the floor to support you with the push-up phase, or practice bench dips instead. Find out how to do this by checking out this dips tutorial.

Push-Ups

  1. Start in a push-up position your hands at shoulder-width apart, with shoulders being stacked on top of your wrists. Your legs are extended and your feet are together. Brace your core to keep your body rigid. 
  2. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows to lower yourself to the ground. Lower until your elbows are at 90 degrees.
  3. Exhale as you push up by extending your arms to return to the starting position. Contract your chest and triceps as you do this.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. You can regress to doing knee push-ups by dropping your knees on the floor if you find this exercise difficult.

Chin Ups

  1. Grip the bar at approximately wider than shoulder-width using the underhand/supinated grip. Hang from the bar with your arms extended and feet off the ground. Tense your abdominals by drawing your belly button towards your spine.
  2. Exhale as you pull yourself up by bending the elbows, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pull up until your chin is above the bar. Keep your core tight.
  3. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position. Lock your arms out fully before repeating the next rep.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. You can learn the progressions to unlocking this exercise by checking out this chin-ups tutorial.

Inverted Dips

  1. Place your hands on the parallel bars with your arms locked out and your torso upright. Rotate your hands approximately 45 degrees outwards so that your palms are facing slightly forward. Lift your feet off the ground or let it hang straight. Brace your core. 
  2. Inhale as you lower down to the ground by bending your elbows until they’re at 90 degrees. Keep your core tight throughout this movement.
  3. Exhale as you push through your palms to extend your arms out and return to the starting position. 
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps.

Diamond Push-Ups

  1. Begin in a diamond push-up position by locating your hands at the center of your chest with your index fingers connecting, and your thumbs also connecting (forming a triangle/diamond shape). Engage your glutes and core to ensure that your body is in a straight line from head to feet. 
  2. Inhale as you lower your chest down to the ground, keeping your elbows close to your torso rather than flaring them out. Lower until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Maintain core engagement throughout this motion.
  3. Exhale as you push through your palms and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. Learn more about this exercise and its variations in this diamond push-ups tutorial.

Commando Pull-Ups

  1. Position yourself sideways to the pull-up bar and grab it tightly with palms facing towards each other, and one hand in front of each other. Your arms should be locked out and your feet should be off the ground. Brace your core and maintain stability. 
  2. Exhale as you pull up until your chin clears one side of the bar, whilst keeping your core actively engaged. 
  3. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this for 10 reps and ensure that you alternate your sides of where your chin clears the bar after every rep. Find out different pull-ups variations in this pull-ups tutorial.

Straight Bar Dips

  1. Place your hands on a single straight bar slightly wider than shoulder-width and palms facing behind you. Your feet should be together and off the ground. Engage your core to ensure to keep your body stable and rigid.
  2. Inhale as you lower into a dip by bending your elbows, your body muscle move around the bar. Lean over slightly and reach your legs forward to keep your body in balance. Lower until your lower chest touches the bar. 
  3. Exhale as you push up by extending both arms and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps.

Staggered push-ups

  1. Begin in a staggered push-up position with one hand away from the other. Your right hand should be extended approximately one foot over your head, and your right hand should be one foot closer to your left hip. Contract your glutes and core to ensure that your body is in a straight line.
  2. Inhale as you lower by bending the elbows until your chest is above the floor and your elbows are at 90 degrees.
  3. Exhale as you extend both arms and return to the starting position. Lock your arms out fully before repeating the next rep.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps.

Two-point Pull-ups

  1. Begin in a dead hang position with your hands gripped on the bar at slightly wider-than shoulder-width using an overhand/pronated grip. Your feet should be hanging off the ground. Keep your core tight and body rigid.
  2. Exhale as you pull up by bending the elbows until your chin is above to bar, while simultaneously keeping your tight. This is point one.
  3. Inhale as you lower down until your head is just below the bar. This is point two.
  4. Alternate between pulling up to point one and lowering to point two for 10 reps.

Narrow Dips

  1. Place your hands on the dip bar with your arms locked out, core tight, and torso upright. Rotate the bars 45 degrees inwards so that your palms a facing towards you. Lift your feet off the ground.
  2. Inhale to lower your body by bending your elbows, while keeping your torso upright. Lower until your elbows are at 90 degrees.
  3. Exhale as you push through your palms by contracting your triceps to extend your arms and return to the starting position. Lock your arms out fully before repeating the next rep.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps.

Archer Push-Ups

  1. Start in a wide push-up stance where your hands are wider than shoulder-width apart and your body is in a straight line from head to feet. Engage your glutes and core. 
  2. Inhale as you lower yourself to the right side by bending the right elbow while keeping your left arm straight. Maintain core engagement. 
  3. Exhale as you push back upright your right arm to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 6 reps followed by switching to the opposite side and also do this for 6 reps. You can learn more about this exercise and its variations in this archer push-ups tutorial.

Well done for completing this intense workout today! I truly hope you feel the pump as much as I do! This routine will really develop your upper body strength and give you a great physique if you practice it regularly. I love this routine as it’s super challenging. To allow your muscles to rest, you can try my other workouts such as the 10 min ab & core workout to sculpt up your abs - See you there!

About the Author

My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.