Bodyweight Exercises for Your Upper Body
These 13 body weight exercises for your upper body give you simple moves you can do at home to get that sleek upper body.
Simple bodyweight exercises for your upper body: get toned
From body weight exercises to heavy lifting, you can get that strong and toned body. Being and feeling strong is sexy and can really boost your confidence. If that’s your goal, you’ll want to add some form of strength training. Cardio alone just won’t do it. In this post we’ll be talking specifically about bodyweight exercises and getting strong in your upper body.
We women tend to be stronger in our legs compared to our upper body. But this can change with some additions to your exercise plan. After incorporating these moves, you’ll be putting up your own carry-on bag into the overhead bin with ease!
We’re going to get a variety of pushing moves which build your chest and triceps (back of your arms) and pulling moves which work your back and biceps (hello gun show).
No equipment upper body bodyweight exercises
No surprise here, but pushups are a great way to build upper body strength without any equipment. You can build up with these and add a lot of variety. New to pushups? Start with wall pushups, then pushups from knees, and then pushups from hands and feet. Keep the elbows in (no chicken winging) to protect your shoulders. Pushups work your chest, triceps, shoulders, and core. You’ll see the benefits of this move when you put your carry-on in the overhead compartment, when you push off to stand up from your chair, and when you’re holding yourself up during plank.
Speaking of planks, while this is a great core move, it’s also an amazing shoulder exercise. Any time you have to hold yourself up, you’re using your shoulder muscles. You can get this benefit whether you hold plank from your forearms or hands. Serious sculpting move!
#3 mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are another great upper body move for the same reason as planks. You have to hold yourself up and stay steady as you move!
#4 Y raises
Y raises are going to help you build a strong and sexy back. Not only that, it targets some smaller muscles which will make you stronger when you do any pulling moves (tug of war, pullups, rows). When you do these, make sure to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. It’s a small movement, but you’ll feel it.
#5 crab kicks
Crab kicks are another shoulder move that’s fun and off the radar. It’s actually a great total body and cardio move.
#6 arm circles
Arm circles, while often done in warmups, are incredible for your shoulders. Do small circles and big circles to get the most bang for your circle buck.
#7 jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are awesome for your heart but also your upper body. You’re working your shoulders and upper back with this one. (Jumping jacks start at 3:04).
I know everyone hates burpees. They’re an acquired taste. I used to HATE burpees and would even skip workouts at Crossfit when they were programmed. But after doing thousands (if I were to guess), I’ve come to tolerate them. But that might be because there are other moves I hate more. Anyway, burpees are a great total body exercise and a fabulous (yes I said it) upper body move. You work your shoulders, chest, and triceps mainly with this one.
#9 plank to pillars
Plank to pillars are full blown shoulder and triceps love. Your abs will also be burning.
Inchworms work your back but also help to get movement in your upper back. These work your whole upper body. Add a pushup for bonus points (Inchworms start at 1:50).
#11 inverted shoulder press
Inverted shoulder presses are very challenging but make for a great option when you don’t have weights to do shoulder press. You can expect a good burn in your shoulders and upper back.
#12 handstand holds and handstand pushups
Another challenging and advanced move are handstand holds and pushups. We’re bringing back being kids with this one. Do these against the wall when you’re ready and really work your shoulders and upper back.
Dips are another great move to work your chest and triceps. They can be hard on the shoulders so only go down to where your elbows are at 90 degrees. Or skip them all together.
Start adding these bodyweight exercises for your upper body to your workouts and see how much stronger you get in your day to day life.
Until next time! -Atim
Want monthly workouts to help you tone up, lose fat, and feel good in your clothes? Join the waitlist for Fit and Lean Professionals. Launching January 2018!