Define your upper body without a single piece of equipment with this short but effective bodyweight workout. You can easily do this routine in a small apartment or hotel room, making it something that's easy and convenient to fit into your lifestyle. As you go through this routine, you're going to notice that this routine not only targets the muscles of the upper body, but also has components that engage the core, butt and thighs, as well.
We do each interval for 50 seconds, meaning that if you're lacking in upper body strength, you may need to stop and take a break at some point during some of the intervals. If you find your form starting to suffer, take a quick rest but jump right back into the motion as soon as you can. On the flip side of things, you can easily make this upper back, shoulder and arm workout much more difficult by adding weights (where applicable).
9 Different Exercises
50 Seconds Each
10 Seconds Rest between intervals
Upward Facing Plank + Lifts + Dip - Facing the ceiling, push up into a plank with your weight in your hands and feet. Lift one leg at a time, then do a tricep dip; bending at the elbows to lower the body towards the ground, all while keeping the arms pinned in close to your sides.
Rolling Side Planks - Start in a high plank with weight in hands and feet (or hands and knees to make it easier) and roll to open up your body, lifting and extending your arm so that it's straight up, perpendicular to the ground. Go back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side of the body.
Reclined Rhomboid Squeezes - Sit in a reclined position (as far back as you need to to engage your core), extend your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder height, and then pull backwards, focusing on squeezing those shoulder blades towards one another.
Walkdown Plank + Slaps - Walk your hands out one "step" at a time until you are in a full high plank position, lift one hand off of the ground at a time to slap the opposite shoulder. Walk yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
Side Push Ups - Lie on your side with the hand furthest from the ground pressed flat against the floor at about shoulder height. Press upwards through that hand to lift your upper body off of the ground as far as you can control. Repeat on each side of the body.
Arm Circles - Extend your arms straight out from your shoulder joint, and "draw" circles with your fingertips. Do a full 50 second interval drawing circles forward, and then another doing the same thing backwards.
Basic Push Ups - From your hands and knees or toes, drop your body down towards the ground, keeping your back flat the entire time. A push up is a true total body exercise but is especially great for the upper body.
Tricep Dips - Facing the ceiling, hands and feet flat on the ground (as if you were about to do a crab walk), extend one leg straight up into the air and dip by bending at the elbows. Alternate which leg is extended with each dip.
Pike Push Ups - Go into a downward dog with your head between your shoulders, and dip downwards towards the floor. By the time you reach this exercise, your range of motion may be small.
How to use this routine
Use this upper body workout with any of our HIIT cardio videos, or tack it onto the end of a more traditional strength training routine for the upper body to really burnout those muscles. If you like, you can do this routine 2-3 times through for even faster results.