November 09, 2021 9 min read
Going to the gym every day can be hard. And there are some days where you simply don’t have the time! But your upper body still needs work to keep you in tip-top physical shape.
The good news is, there are plenty of upper body bodyweight exercises that you can complete from the comfort of your home without any equipment or barbells.
Keep reading to learn more about the best ways for you to work out your upper body at home using a bodyweight workout.
Before we delve into the exercises that you can do using your body weight that benefit your upper body, we must define what the upper body is.
This is because you may be looking to isolate certain muscles, or may need to work out specific muscles on certain days of the week. Your upper body contains several different muscle groups, which are broken down into different muscles. We have broken it down for you below.
Your upper back contains two different muscles. First, the trapezius is a triangular-shaped muscle that comes from your mid-back and extends up to your shoulder blade. You should work this muscle if you commonly suffer from neck or back pain, or if you want the make the back of your shoulders look sculpted.
The second set of muscles found on your back are the rhomboids, which are in the center of your back and extend up to your neck. Work these musclesif you are looking to improve your posture.
Your shoulders have a lot of weight to carry, so it’s no surprise that there are two different sets of muscle here as well. You have the deltoids, which are the muscles on the top of your shoulder. You’ll want to work on toning these if you want to improve your range of motion and have a more defined silhouette.
Besides just the deltoids, the rotators can also be found in the shoulder. These muscles are very important because they help to keep your arm in its place. Have saggy armpits? You’ll want to start by working out the rotators to tone this area.
The chest is also part of the upper body, and it only has one group of muscles, the pectorals. They cover most of your chest. As a man, you will want to exercise them to increase your chest size and definition.
This group of muscles has three players: biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles. And while there are exercises that can be used to isolate each of these muscles, you will probably want to work them out altogether for best results.
Take a peek at the following list to see some additional benefits you can reap by including an at-home upper body workout into your workout routine.
Don’t worry about having to purchase any equipment like barbells, as all of the following exercises only require the use of your body and items you can find around the house!
Ready? Let’s get started!
Pushups are a great arm workout that doesn’t require any dumbbells or other fancy equipment. But of course, the regular pushup might be a bit boring, so try them on a decline. This will put more weight on your arms and help improve their general strength and muscle composition.
How to Do Decline Pushups:
Floor or tricep dips are the perfect at-home workout when you want to work on strength training and defining those arm muscles (especially the triceps).
And, like the pushup, they are easy to set up. Dips are easy to engage in at any time of the day. Waiting for the laundry to dry? Do some dips. Waiting for a timer on the oven? Perfect time to pull over a chair and do some dips!
How to Do Dips:
Planks are especially beneficial to the core muscles found in both your stomach and your back. But they are an amazing exercise because they also benefit your arms and shoulders at the same time. No matter what muscles you are targeting, planks should be a part of your at-home workout.
How to Do Planks:
Sit-ups are another great exercise for your upper body, as they tone those abdominal muscles. But sit-ups can be difficult to do without assistance, which is why at home you should try the bicycle variation instead.
How to Do Bicycle Sit-Ups:
Burpees are a rather challenging exercise that works several different groups of muscles in your body. Although most of these muscles are in the upper body, doing a few burpees can help strengthen the muscles in your lower body such as your glutes and lower back as well.
How to Do a Burpee:
Burpees are a challenging and demanding exercise.
If you find yourself unable to do them, don’t be afraid to just stick to push-ups and planks until you are ready.
Although supermans are generally practiced in yoga, they are a great upper body exercise that doesn’t require too much expertise and no equipment to perform. You’ll want to do superman’s in order t work out your back muscles and to build strength in both your back and core.
How to Do Superman’s
Besides just being a great back workout, regularly engaging in the superman pose also helps your glutes, so don’t be afraid to throw a couple of these into your leg day!
Mountain climbers are a unique exercise that works out your arms, shoulders, and core in addition to your quads. It is a difficult exercise for beginners, often found under its other name, the running plank.
How to Do Mountain Climbers:
Lunges are perhaps one of the more well-known exercises on this list, while also being one of the easiest for beginners to engage in.
While lunges may seem like a leg exercise, they actually help you to build muscle in your upper body as well. This is because you hold a proper posture while you do lunges—which strengthens your core, back, and shoulder muscles.
How to Do a Lunge:
Handstands are an extremely difficult exercise that is not for beginners. You should not engage in handstands unless you have significant upper body strength. That being said, they are a great full-body exercise that specifically builds arm, shoulder, and core muscles.
How to Do a Handstand:
For the final no equipment exercise that you can do at home to help with your strength training routine, you should engage in side planks. Side planks are beneficial for your obliques, abdominal muscles, and arm muscles.
How to Do a Side Plank:
Hopefully, by now, you've realized that you really don't need any fancy equipment like barbells or a resistance band in order to strengthen your upper body. Of course, if you are trying to train for a specific goal, you should always discuss your plans with a personal trainer before you start exercising at home.
And if you need an idea where to start, check out this article on Hershel Walker's workout routine to get you started.