The Best and Reliable Upper Body Workout for Beginners

Looking for your starting upper body workout routine? This post is the best and easy to follow upper body workout for beginners.

Most people start to look for an upper body workout when they’re either trying to lose weight or gain muscle. Either way, it’s pretty hard to get a solid upper body routine going if you don’t know what you’re doing. The two biggest mistakes people make in the gym are not resting enough and not working out with proper form.

In terms of fitness, think of your arms as extensions of your legs. When you walk, run, jump rope, or even just sit at your desk all day typing on your computer, your legs do a lot of work to keep you up and moving around. That’s why it’s important to give them some rest and have a day where you just do exercises that focus on your upper body.

If you ignore this part of your body, you could hurt yourself by overworking certain muscles and creating imbalances that can lead to injuries down the road.

If you count yourself among those who want well-worked toned arms, defined shoulders, back, and abdomen strengthened, for a correct posture, find out that you can enjoy all these results shortly.

The development and definition of the upper body have many benefits. First of all, the well-worked muscle mass helps to accelerate metabolism and, implicitly, to burn fat tissue. Then the look of toned arms looks great. And, not to be neglected, most of the movements we make in our daily lives require strength, endurance, and tone.

Whatever your reason for not going to the gym, you can choose to do physical exercises at home. It is difficult to turn physical activity into a habit, but when you know you won’t have to waste time on the way to your gym or your busy schedule allows you to spend only 20-30 minutes playing sports, you don’t have much excuse, not to do it at home.

The best summer upper body workout for beginners and intermediates! Follow along with this fun, sweat-filled bodyweight arm workout to get those chiseled arms you’ve been working so hard on all summer!

Are you ready to get your arms and upper body in the best shape of your life? I sure hope so because it’s time to work out! This is an amazing at-home arm workout that you can do anywhere, anytime, no equipment needed.

That’s right: no weights or machines. You’ll be burning calories and sculpting your arms with two different circuits done twice each for a total of four rounds.

I’m going to take you through each movement step by step, showing you how to properly activate your core and engage your upper body to get the most out of each move.

Today I propose an intense training for beginners and intermediaries to prepare and transform your arms and upper body for summer.

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The exercises I propose today are performed with bodyweight or free weights and target the arms and upper body.

Summer is here and it is time to get toned up for the beach! This workout will help you target your upper body and arms. This is a great beginner workout but can be challenging for intermediates as well.

All the upper body exercises are done using your body weight.

The 9 upper-body exercises are:

  • 9 exercises
  • 40-sec exercise
  • 10-sec rest
  • Repeat 2 times

1)  Inchworm + Shoulder Tap

2)  Knee Push-Up

3)  High Plank + Arm Raise

4)  Single Arm Hold Plank

5)  Triceps Dip

6)  Downward Dog Push Up

7)  Up and Down Plank

8)  Renegade Plank Row

9)  Superman Lateral Pull

You should begin this upper body workout with a 5-10 minutes warm-up and finish with some stretching exercises.

1)  Inchworm + Shoulder Tap

You can do these exercises to strengthen and tone your upper body and arms. This Inchworm + Shoulder Tap exercise will help you get toned arms.

The Inchworm + Shoulder Tap is a full-body workout that also strengthens your core and improves your balance. It’s great for building strength in your shoulders and upper body, while also improving flexibility in your hamstrings and low back.

Learning how to do the inchworm exercise properly is important for two reasons:

1) so, you can get a full-body workout from this one move and

2) so that you can avoid injury.

The inchworm is one of those exercises that looks simply but is harder than it looks. It’s easy to do it wrong, which can lead to shoulder injuries.

The inchworm exercise is a solid movement to add to just about any routine. Because it can strengthen and stretch different muscle groups at the same time (it targets the upper body part: shoulders, triceps, chest, and the abdominals, and also the lower part of your body: hamstrings, calves, and glutes), it’s ideally positioned to be included as part of an active warm-up, or as part of a high-intensity interval training routine. 

How to do it

•      Stand tall, your feet roughly hip-distance apart. Check your posture—your ears should be aligned over your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, your abdominals engaged.

•      Take a breath in, then as you exhale, look down at the ground and start reaching your hands toward the floor in front of your feet, allowing your back to bend forward, rolling down one vertebra at a time. Allow your knees to bend slightly, as needed, to enable your hands to reach the ground.

•      Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Inhale and walk your hands forward, one at a time, allowing your heels to lift off the floor as your body begins to straighten.

•      When your hands are directly under your shoulders, check your form—you should be in a full plank position with your core, chest, quads, triceps, and shoulders engaged, your body forming a straight line from heels to head.

•      Now tap one time each shoulder

•      Keep your legs relatively straight and begin walking your feet forward, one at a time, toward your hands. This should provide a nice stretch through your hamstrings, calves, and glutes as your hips start lifting toward the ceiling. Exhale as you step forward.

•      Stop when your feet are as close to your hands as you can comfortably bring them. Remember, you can bend your knees slightly to ease the stretch on your hamstrings, but try to keep them as straight as possible

•      Return to standing by slowly rolling your back up from the hips, straightening one vertebra at a time. Inhale as you go. When you’re back in the starting position, you’ve completed one repetition. Continue for time or repetitions, depending on your workout.

2)  Knee Push-Up

Knee push-ups target upper chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles.  This exercise is perfect to be included in both men’s and women’s upper body workout.

Push-ups are a great and vigorous way to work your upper body, including your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, and abs. Push-ups can also be modified to accommodate people of all fitness levels.

Push-up variations include wide arm push-ups that focus on your outer chest muscles and narrow arm push-ups that focus on your inner chest muscles. Although there are many variations of the standard push-up, few people know about the knee push-up.

This exercise is a great way to get started with push-ups if you are unable to perform the traditional version.

The knee push-up is an excellent choice for beginners to start building up their strength. The main difference between a knee push-up and a normal push-up is that you are resting on your knees rather than your feet.

You are essentially taking a lot of the weight from your lower body and keeping it in your upper body. This allows you to focus on strengthening the parts of your body that will be used for a normal push-up, like your arms and core.

How to do it

•      Get on your knees by bending them. Lean your hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart, and just below the shoulders.

•      Make a hook with your lower legs and keep them slightly in the air. Keep your body straight, with the head and the core in one continuous line. This is the starting position;

•      Grounded on the knees, start bending your elbows as you slowly breathe in until your chest gently taps the floor;

•      Stop for less than a second, then breathing out, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.

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3)  High Plank + Arm Raise

The plank exercise is one of the most important exercises in fitness. It engages almost all the muscles in the body, which means it helps in improving your overall fitness.

Planks are a great way to build your core strength. Most of us will do regular planks or side planks, but how many of you have tried the High Plank with Arm Raise? It’s a great exercise to work on your core and arms at the same time.

This is a bodyweight arm workout at home that you can do today to strengthen your arms and upper body.

This exercise is called the High Plank + Arm Raise. It’s very simple, but it can be deceivingly challenging.

The rolling movement of the body as you switch arms shifts the load to your core which then works hard to maintain your balance. This is one of those exercises that have an immediate impact on your posture. 

Muscle targeted: Shoulders, triceps, glutes, lower back, core.

How to do it

•      Begin in a plank position with your weight resting on your forearms and your body in a completely straight line from your shoulders to your ankles

•      Tighten your abs and without letting your hips shift, raise one arm out straight in front of you. 

•      Pause, then lower it back to the starting position.

4)  Single Arm Hold Plank

This single-arm-hold plank exercise will involve your whole upper body and is a bodyweight-only movement that is as effective as it is simple.

A plank is a great way to strengthen your core. But if you’re looking to work on your arms and shoulders, try this single arm hold plank.

Single Arm Hold Plank Exercise is an exercise that will help you to build strength in your core, shoulders, and arms. But this exercise is not recommended for people who have back problems.

The exercise is simple to learn and helps you improve your balance.

The single-arm plank hold can also be done by placing the hand on an exercise ball. The ball will make the exercise more challenging as it forces the body to fight to keep balance.

Plank To Single-Arm Hold is a core body move that strengthens your abdominals, shoulders, and lower back while training your body to have better balance and stability.

How to do it

•      Start in a push-up position with the hands under the shoulders and the legs extended directly behind wider than shoulder-width apart. 

•      Squeeze the thighs and glutes while lifting one hand off the mat bringing it to the hip and pressing the other hand into the ground.

•      Keep this position for 20 s

•      Repeat the move on the other hand

5)  Triceps Dip

The triceps are made up of three heads, hence their name, and if you want to increase the strength and size of your upper arms you need to work all three. Fortunately, you can do just that with one exercise – the triceps dip.

This muscle is used for pulling and pushing movements in everyday activities.

Triceps dips are a simple bodyweight exercise that will help you build and strengthen the muscles in your upper arms.

Triceps dips are an upper body, compound exercise. The triceps dip targets the triceps, as well as the chest and the front of your shoulders (anterior deltoids).

Triceps dips are a great bodyweight arm workout at home. They can be done on a bench or parallel bars.

How to do it

•      To begin the exercise, you need to place your hands on a chair, on a bench at least shoulder-width apart. Now you have to slide off your butt off the bench and extend your legs out.

•      Now you have to straighten your arms while keeping your elbows a bit bent to keep tension on your triceps and not on your elbow joints.

•      Now start bending your elbows to bring your body towards the floor and bend it until they’re at 90 degrees with the bench. Make sure you keep your back close to the bench.

•      Now when you reach the bottom, start pressing down into the bench while straightening your elbows to get back into your original position.

6)  Downward Dog Push Up

Downward Dog Push Up Exercise is a home upper body workout. It is one of the best workouts for the arms, back, and shoulders that you can do at home.

Looking for a total body exercise that stretches and strengthens? Try the down dog push-up. This exercise tones your upper and lower body while loosening up your hips and hamstrings.

The downward dog push-up is an effective bodyweight arm exercise that can be done anywhere. You don’t need to have a gym membership to work on your upper body or arms. You can even do this workout at home, in the park, or wherever you have enough space to stretch out on the floor.

This exercise is great for your arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back. It will develop strength, muscle mass, and tone in your upper body. If you’re looking for a great bodyweight arm workout at home, then this exercise is perfect for you.

How to do it

•      Begin in push up or plank position, engage the abdominals and low back, and lengthen the neck to create a long line from the top of the head to the base of the pelvis.

•      Push your pelvis up and back, hinging at the hip joints while dropping and widening the shoulders.  

•      Pay attention to your spine and only bend the hips as far as the hamstrings allow without pulling on the pelvis and spine. You can slightly bend your knees to access a deeper fold in the hips.

•      While holding the stable position of the hips and legs, bend the arms and shoulders to lower your head toward a spot between the hands and then push back into the stretch of the hips and hamstrings.

7)  Up and Down Plank

Do you want to build muscles on your upper body, arms, and shoulders? Perform this Up and Down Plank bodyweight arm exercise inside the comfort of your home.

The plank is a challenging exercise to improve your core strength and it also decreases back pain. It works the muscles of your abdomen, shoulders, and arms. When you do the exercise correctly, you engage many muscle groups at once.

Plank is a great move because it can be modified to be easier or harder based on your fitness level.

This move is a bodyweight plank variation that works your entire core, arms, and shoulders.

This is a fun exercise for building upper body strength. You could do this exercise as an alternative to the push-up and pull-up exercises.

Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short period. This plank variation takes it up a notch and works your shoulders and arms a little bit more. 

Muscles targeted: Abs, core, lower back, triceps, glutes, quads.

How to do it

•      Start in a regular low plank on your forearms, elbows directly in line with your shoulders, and core engaged to keep your spine in a neutral position 

•      From there, take your left (or right) arm and push yourself up to a high plank position on your hands.

•      From a high plank, drop back down to your elbows on the same side you started.  Think of it as a 4-point plank: up/up (left arm/right arm); down/down (left arm/right arm).

•      Keep your core engaged the entire time and your head in a neutral position to maintain spinal alignment.

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8)  Renegade Plank Row

Renegade Plank Row - This workout will help you build a stronger upper body and firm arms just by using your body weight.

The renegade plank row is an exercise that can help you build your upper body and core strength.

The renegade row (also known as a plank row) is almost a variation of the dumbbell row. It’s designed to target the upper back and, like a plank, designed to target the core. The beauty of the exercise is that in addition to targeting both groups of muscles that are hit during the plank and the dumbbell row, it also develops anti-rotational core strength, which can help with balance and coordination.

How to do it

•      Start in a high plank position, holding a set of 10-pound weights in your hands. Your hips should be lifted and your body in one straight line.

•      Row your right arm up, keeping it close to your body. Your elbow should go past your back as you row towards your chest.

•      Bring your right arm back to the starting position and repeat with your left arm.

•      Make sure you don’t rotate your body or shrug your shoulders as you row and do your best to keep your hips stable

9)  Superman Lateral Pull

If you want to shape your upper body and arms at home, then try this Superman Lateral Pull Exercise. You can do this in just about five minutes.

If you want to get more muscular arms and a bigger chest, then this is the perfect exercise for you. It’s called the Superman Lateral Pull Exercise.

This particular exercise is a favorite of mine: it hits every muscle in your back (and even your glutes).

How to do it

•      To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. 

•      Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.

•      Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off the floor. Then extend your elbows back towards your hips and squeeze your shoulder blades together while you exhale.

•      Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs, and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.

Last Thoughts:

This workout is the best work out for people who want to get fit. This is a routine designed to help you chisel your arms and upper body by using all of your upper body muscles without any weights, just your body weight!

You may be thinking “I can’t do this, I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, I’m not strong enough.” But that’s not what these exercises are about. This is an upper body workout designed to help you get toned arms, shoulders and back while burning fat and building strength at the same time.

And it doesn’t take hours to complete either. It will take under 20 minutes to complete and some motivation to be on your way to having toned arms and a strong upper body. and you’ll be able to do it from your own home.

Try it out, show me what you got!

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