6 Upper Body Bodyweight Exercises You Should Try
If you’re looking for a way to mix up your fitness routine, give bodyweight exercises a try. These exercises use your body weight as resistance, so they can be done anywhere, without any equipment. And, since they work for many different muscle groups at once, they’re a great way to tone your upper body. Check out these 7 upper body bodyweight exercises you should try. Let’s get started.
1.Down Dog To High Plank
This core strength move is a great start to any workout routine because it’s super simple and activates the entire body.
First thing’s first: get into a high plank. Start on your hands and knees with your hands directly below your shoulders. Come up off your knees while straightening your legs out so that your hands and toes are the only points touching the ground. Engage your core to maintain a flat back and keep your tailbone tucked in.
Now, all you have to do from here is shift back into a Downward Dog: allow your hips to press up and back so that your legs are at about 90 degrees toward you. Keep pressing through the heels of your hands until your arms are fully extended. From here, simply return to the high plank position by reversing the movement. Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the entire move!
You can perform this move as slowly or quickly as you’d like, but remember quality over quantity. It’s better to do a few reps slowly and with perfect form than to try to move too fast and sacrifice your form.
This is a great exercise to add to any workout routine because it gets the entire body moving. Plus, it’s easy to modify if you need to: if the full range of motion is too much for your wrists or shoulders, simply lower your knees to the ground while maintaining the rest of the position. You can also make the move more challenging by placing your hands on an unstable surface like a BOSU ball or TRX straps.
Even though push-Up is a well-known exercise, it is often done wrong. Make sure that when you do a push-up, your form is correct to get the most out of the exercise and avoid injury.
When doing a push-up, be aware of the following points:
-Keep your hands below your shoulders or just slightly farther out
-Bend at the elbows until they reach 45 degrees
-Push back up
If that’s too much, keep those knees on the floor. You can also opt to push up while standing next to a wall. Press your hands on the wall and keep your toes a couple of feet away from it. The same general rules as the push-up apply, but gravity will do much more work for you while your body is perpendicular to the floor.
Remember, good form is key to any exercise- so make sure you’re doing it right!
3. Loaded Beast Shoulder Taps
Loaded Beast shoulder taps are a great way to improve shoulder mobility and stability. To do them, start in the push-up position with your wrists under your shoulders, knees under your hips, and toes on the floor. From here, take all of the weight off of your knees and into your toes so that your knees are hovering a few inches off the ground (while keeping your back flat). From this position, lift one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Do 8-10 reps per side.
Improving your shoulder mobility and stability is important for overall strength and injury prevention. The Loaded Beast shoulder tap is a great way to do this.
4. Tricep Dips
If you’re looking for a move that targets your triceps, deltoids, pecs, and back all at once, the bodyweight tricep dip is perfect for you. This exercise can be done at different levels of difficulty, depending on your fitness level and what equipment you have available. The most challenging variation is the classic dip bar, where you support your entire body weight with just the muscles in your arms. We recommend using a bench or chair for a supported tricep dip if you’re just starting. The movement is simple: put your hands on the edge of the bench or chair with your fingers facing forward, start with straight legs, and lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and your core engaged throughout the movement. For an added challenge, try raising one leg off the ground as you lower yourself down. Bodyweight tricep dips are a great way to build strength in your arms and upper body. Give them a try next time you’re looking for a challenging arm workout move.
Supermans are one of those movements that work a lot of your body at once, and it’s especially great at targeting the back for muscle growth (which isn’t easy to do with your body weight).
To perform the Superman upper body workout, lay face-down and stretch your arms over your head. You should look like a flat board here. Now, all you have to do is lift your arms and legs off the ground simultaneously, about 4-6 inches, creating a bowl-like shape with the back of your body. Keeping your head neutral (look forward and down rather than up at your hands), hold the position for up to 5 seconds, breathing deeply throughout. Don’t let your back arch too much, or you’ll put unnecessary stress on your spine.
This is a great exercise to do at home with no equipment necessary. Just be sure to keep good form and focus on using those back muscles to lift your limbs. You should feel a nice burn in your lower back, lats, and even glutes by the end of the set. Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for best results.
Remember, quality over quantity. If you can only do 5 perfect repetitions, that’s better than 20 with poor form. Take your time and focus on each movement to get the most out of this exercise. You’ll be glad you did when you see those gains start rolling in!
6. The Forearm Plank
The forearm plank is an excellent way to build upper body strength. It works more muscles than you might think, and it’s a great way to engage your core and glutes.
To do the forearm plank, start in the push-up position. Lower yourself onto your elbows with your hands forward (elbow-to-forearm angle should be 90 degrees). Resist the urge to clasp your hands together, and keep your palms either on the ground or in fists.
Engage your core strength and glutes to tuck your tailbone under and keep your back flat. Don’t let your stomach arch to the ground, and don’t let your bottom stick up into the air. Hold this position for as long as you can.
The forearm plank is a great exercise for building upper body strength and developing core stability.