Bodyweight exercises go further than you think. They can be incorporated into your training easily, often without the need for equipment. Whether you are exercising in the gym or at home, bodyweight exercises will make for a great workout. Here are 6 bodyweight exercises for the upper body, perfect for strengthening and toning up your arms, chest and back.


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  1. Push-Ups
  2. Tricep Dips
  3. Pull-Ups
  4. Chin-Ups
  5. Shoulder Press-Ups
  6. Bicycle Crunches
  7. Plank

Push-Ups

Woman doing push ups

First up, push-ups. They're one of the most popular bodyweight exercises for the upper body, putting your chest, shoulders and triceps to work in one workout. They're great, and there are so many different ways to do them! If you have trouble doing a push-up, you can always use your knees to build up strength first. Once they become easier, move to full push-ups. To make things harder, you can then try decline or incline push ups.

Tricep Dips

Man doing tricep dips at home

You might not hit your triceps to their fullest extent just from push ups, and that's where tricep dips come in. Tricep dips are another excellent bodyweight exercise for upper body. They hit the triceps hard and fast! Use a chair or anything elevated and bend your arms to a 90-degree angle, lowering yourself to the floor. Press back upwards and go again for a full set.

Pull-Ups

Couple performing pull-ups

Pull ups are by no means an easy feat, and that’s why there are so many different types. When you finally master the pull up, they are awesome back builders and will target your upper body as a whole. Pull ups are probably the most effective upper body toning exercise out there.

Chin-Ups

Woman performing chin ups

Chin ups are another challenging bodyweight exercise for upper body. When you get them right, they're one of the best bicep exercises out there. They might even be better than the bicep curl! You can use a neutral or an underhand grip depending on how confident you are, and your biceps will thank you for it in no time.

Shoulder Press-Ups

Man performing shoulder push ups

Your deltoids are bigger than you think, and they are responsible for most of your upper body strength. Shoulder press ups are a great way to make sure your deltoids are working as hard as they need to. The idea is to keep your hands and your feet on the floor and push your glutes upwards until your body is in an upside-down V shape. Then do a press-up like motion, lowering your shoulders to the floor and back up. Another great bodyweight exercise for upper body strength!

Bicycle Crunches

Woman performing bicycle crunches

You can't forget about your abs when you're looking at toning your upper body. Few ab exercises are better than bicycle crunches; they are incredibly effective at hitting the upper, lower and mid abs all at the same time, as well as your obliques. What more could you ask for! Make sure you keep your elbows outwards and twist your torso so that they touch your knee in the middle.

Plank

Man doing plank at home

Wulst it does include muscles in your legs too, we can't forget how good the plank is for the arms, abs and back. These muslces are great to improve posture and prevent issues like back pain. Just make sure you keep your body straight and your head up to prevent injury and you're good to go!

These six bodyweight exercises for upper body should be enough to give you a seriously effective workout, without the need for any weights. They’re amazing for every muscle group you could need in your upper body


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.