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Upper Body Workout To Build Muscle At Home

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Upper Body Workout To Build Muscle At Home
At Home Upper Body Workout

You might think working out your upper body muscles requires access to a gym, but this workout shows you can get an effective upper body burn no matter where you are. This workout should make you feel fatigued while strengthening and defining your upper body muscles.

Your upper body consists of your arms, shoulders, back, and upper abdominal muscles. Strengthening this part of your body helps support your body in many ways — from lifting heavy objects to potentially improving your posture. Exercising these muscles also helps to build lean muscle and scuplt your arms and abs.

The bodyweight exercises in this workout build muscle in your core, shoulders, upper back, triceps, and chest, for a total upper body workout. All you need to complete it is some space on your floor for an exercise mat or a towel, a sturdy chair or a bench, and a set of dumbbells. 

If you don’t have a set of dumbbells, you can substitute these for water bottles or food cans filled with water or sand, making this workout ideal for working out at home.

Strengthen your upper body with this at-home workout 

Give this workout a go for a total upper body burn. Before you get started with your workout, make sure you have your chair, mat and dumbbells ready. You should always  do a warm up for your workout by doing some skipping or dynamic stretching.

Bent leg jackknife - 15 reps

  1. Start by lying on your back on a yoga mat with your arms extended above your head. Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine and elevate your legs off the mat slightly. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. Bend your knees and using your abdominals, draw them in towards your chest, ensuring that your feet stay together. At the same time, bring your arms forward towards your feet, slowly lifting your head, shoulder blades and torso off the mat.

  3. Exhale. Slowly lower your arms and extend your legs to return to the starting position, but without lowering your feet to the floor. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Tricep dips - 15 reps

  1. Begin seated on a bench. Place your hands on the edge of the bench under your glutes and directly below your shoulders. Ensure that your fingers are facing forwards. Shift your glutes forwards off the bench. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. Bend your elbows to lower your glutes towards the mat, ensuring that your shoulders, elbows and wrists remain in line with one another.

  3. Exhale. Once you have created two 90-degree angles with your arms, push through the heels of your hands and extend your arms to return to the starting position. Avoid using your legs to assist you and always try to maintain an upright position. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Straight leg sit up and twist - 20 reps

  1. Start by lying straight on your back on the floor, with both arms extended above your head. Place both hands behind your earlobes. Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This is your starting position.

  2. Keeping your heels firmly planted on the floor, slowly lift your head, shoulder blades, and torso off of the floor. Ensure that it is your abdominals that initiate the movement, and that you do not use your arms to ‘swing’ your torso up.

  3. As you sit up, extend your left arm and twist over the right side of your body, as shown. Slowly untwist and lower your torso back into starting position. Repeat using your right arm and twisting over the left side of your body. Continue alternating between left and right for 20 repetitions.

Push ups - 15 reps

  1. Place both hands on the mat slightly further than shoulder-width apart, feet together on the mat behind you while resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. While maintaining a neutral spine, bend your elbows and lower your torso towards the mat until your arms form two 90-degree angles.

  3. Exhale. Push through your chest and extend your elbows to lift your body back into the starting position. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Circuit 2

Toe taps - 20 reps

  1. Start by lying straight on your back on a yoga mat with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your elbows and place your hands behind your earlobes. Gently raise your legs off the floor so that they form a 90-degree angle at your hips. Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. Exhale. Extend your arms to bring your hands up towards your feet — slowly lifting your head, shoulder blades and torso off the mat.

  3. Inhale. Lower your torso, shoulder blades and head to the mat and place your hands behind your earlobes to return to the starting position. Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Hand release push ups - 15 reps

  1. Place both hands on the mat slightly further than shoulder-width apart, and your feet together on the mat behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. While maintaining a neutral spine, bend your elbows and lower your torso to the mat.

  3. Extend both arms out in front of you. Bring your arms in towards your body and place your hands on the mat on either side of your chest.

  4. Exhale. Push through your chest and extend your elbows to lift your body back into the starting position. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Biceps curl to shoulder press - 15 reps

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand in an underhand grip (palms facing away from you) with arms extended directly in front of your body, plant both feet on the floor hip-width apart. This is your starting position.

  2. Bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells in towards your chest, ensuring that your elbows remain in close contact with the sides of your body.

  3. Using the muscles in both your shoulders and arms, extend your elbows and press dumbbells up above your head, rotating your wrists outwards (internal rotation) to turn your palms away from your body. Your arms should be in line with your ears on either side of your head.

  4. Once your arms are fully extended, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells into your chest and rotate your wrists inwards (external rotation).

  5. Extend your elbows to lower the dumbbells in front of your body and return to the starting position. Repeat for 15 repetitions.

Plank - 30 seconds

  1. Start by placing your forearms (wrist to elbow) firmly on the mat, ensuring that your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Extend both legs behind you and elevate your hips off the mat, resting on the balls of your feet.

  2. Brace your abdominals and ensure that your spine remains in a neutral position. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout.

Getting started with working out your upper body

This upper body workout is an intense one that will leave your muscles burning. When performing these kinds of exercises regularly, you can alternate your more intense workouts with active recovery workouts. This can help you unwind, relax, and give your muscles a well-deserved rest, while also allowing you to reap the benefits of a workout.

Once you’ve tried this upper body workout, you might also like to take a look at our free bodyweight workouts that can easily be done at home.

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.

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