People often think about weight lifting when they think about upper body workouts. The weights can be smaller but using weights seems to be a staple. However, there are upper body bodyweight exercises you can use and get results from as well.
The best upper body bodyweight exercises can help you get the results you want without having a complete weight set at home. One of the most common reasons people avoid working out is because of the cost of entry.
People think they have to have a weight set at home or a gym membership to get results. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can use bodyweight exercises to reach your goals, especially weight loss and toning goals.
But then there is the upper body, which seems like you need weights. The truth is, you will need weights if your goal is to bulk up and get a built body of muscle. But not everyone wants to have a weight lifter’s body; some just want to be toned.
Luckily, toning doesn’t require weights or losing weight in the upper body. In fact, you can use nothing but the best upper body bodyweight exercises to get those results. Women benefit significantly from bodyweight exercises for upper body because women don’t usually want to bulk up.
Instead, women typically want to lose weight and tone their arms, back, shoulders, and chest. These exercises are perfect for that goal; start easy and work your way up.
Upper Body Bodyweight Exercises | Planks
Planks are the perfect place to start and can quickly be done without equipment. In fact, if there is enough room for you to lay down, there is enough room to do planks. That means you can do this exercise anywhere you want, at any time.
- Lie flat on the floor, facedown with your forearms resting on the floor, holding your upper body up.
- Use your toes to hold up your lower body while keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Engage your core by flexing your abs and keeping your shoulder blades relaxed.
- Hold this position for as long as you can, increasing that time with each attempt.
Some exercises are more than just upper body bodyweight exercises. Mountain climbers are the perfect example of exercises that work out multiple points on your body. This exercise will work out your upper body and your core and legs.
- Start in the push-up position with your hands on the ground shoulder-length apart.
- Hold yourself as forward as you can so that your head is right in the middle or slightly above your hands.
- Flex your abs while pulling your right knee inward toward your chest, keeping your left foot back, and holding up your left leg. Then, return your right foot back while bringing your left knee up toward your chest.
- Repeat that process as fast as you can for as long as possible. There is nothing wrong with starting out slowly and increasing the speed as you go.
We know the plank and pushups. But did you know there is a way to combine them for the ultimate plank workout? This is not what you envision. It is still one of the best upper body bodyweight exercises.
- Start in the plank position with your forearms down on the ground holding up your upper body and your lower body resting on your toes.
- Shift your weight slightly to the left arm while lifting your right arm from the ground and placing your right hand down on the ground.
- Shift your weight again slightly to the right while lifting your right arm and placing your right hand down on the ground. You should be in a push-up position now, with both hands shoulder length apart.
- Keep your abs flexed the entire time. Now repeat the process but in the opposite direction to return to the plank position. Do this as many times as you can, trying to increase that number every time.
Beast Shoulder Tap
This upper body workout is part of a new “animal-stye” trend hitting the fitness scene. The idea is to work out like an animal, using the animal’s posture and stances to get the workouts done. Think animal when reading the instructions for this workout.
- Start out an all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Lift your knees off the ground but keep them slightly bent so that your lower body is resting in your toes. You are now in the start position.
- Lift one hand off the ground and use it to tap the opposite shoulder. For example, left-hand lifts touch the right shoulder, and right-hand lifts touch the left shoulder. However, lift only one hand at a time.
- The goal is to move the rest of your body at all, just your hands. You may not be able to do this perfectly at first, shifting your weight from side to side. But that’s okay; keep practicing until you get it right.
There are upper body bodyweight exercises that can work out just about any part of your upper body. However, it is not easy to work out your back with bodyweight exercises. That is why Supermans are very important and should be on every bodyweight workout list.
- Start lying facedown on the floor with your arms stretched upward and your feet and legs tight together. Think flying like Superman.
- Lift your arms and legs off the ground about 4-6 inches or as far as you can without hurting yourself. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then relax.
- Repeat the process keeping your head neutral and your arms and legs as straight as possible.