Bodyweight Workout - Upper Body

Thursday, October 14 2021 5:27 PM
By Ellen Healy


Today, we present our members and the public with an at-home workout for all ages and skill levels. The following bodyweight workout is designed for your upper body, with no weight machine or free weights needed.

Let’s get it, fit fam!


Upper Body Workout You Can Do At Home


Part 1


Bird Dog Crunch - 30 reps (15 reps each side)

Bird Dog

Begin on all fours in a tabletop position. Be sure your knees are under your hips, your hands are under your shoulders, and your spine is maintained in neutral. Raise your right arm and left leg, keeping shoulders and hips parallel to the floor. Hold the position for a few seconds, then bend your elbow and knee, and crunch your right elbow close to your left knee. Then extend both limbs out again. Perform 15 with your right arm and left leg, then 15 with your left arm and right leg.


Elbow to Plank Push-ups - 20 reps (10 reps each side)

Elbow to Plank Pushup

Start in elbow plank position - on your forearms in 90-degree angles with your legs extended supporting your lower body, and with you facing the floor. Keeping your forearms and feet shoulder-width apart, flex your abs and glutes, keeping your head and neck in neutral. Slowly put your hands on the ground one at a time, until you are in a push-up position. Hold for a few seconds and then lower yourself back down by placing one forearm on the floor at a time. Do this for 20 reps total,  starting on your right side for 10 reps and then your left side for another 10.


Elbow Plank – 1 minute x 3, rest 45 seconds in between each set

Elbow Plank

Assume plank position (see description above). Hold the position for one minute. Rest 45 seconds. Do these three times, with 45 second rests after each minute is complete. 


Part 2


Kneeling Push-ups or Standard Push-ups - 20 reps


Whatever is most comfortable for you, you can perform this move on your knees or your toes. Get in a pushup position, resting on your hands and toes (or knees) facing the floor. Position your hands a little wider than your shoulders. Your hands should be under your shoulders, not out in front. Gently lower your body so that your chest is about three inches from the floor. Push-up from the ground. Repeat. Pro Tip: clench your butt and engage your abs. Bend your elbows at 45-degree angles. Reverse the motion and explode back up. Do 20 reps of these push-ups.


Twisting Elbow Plank - 20 reps (10 reps each side)

Twist Elbow Plank

Start in a side elbow plank position on your right side with your feet nice and stacked on top of one another. Place your left arm behind your head, your hand by your ear. Rotate your left rib cage towards the floor, bringing your left elbow to meet with your right hand. Hold for a moment pulling your navel towards your spine. Return to starting position. Do these 10 times, then switch sides and do another 10!


Spider-Man Plank - 20 reps (10 each side) x 3, rest 45 seconds in between each set

Spiderman Plank

Start in on your hands and toes in plank or push-up position, whatever you prefer. Bring your left knee to your left elbow. Return to the starting position and repeat the move, but on your right side – bringing the right knee to your right elbow. Do this for 20 reps total, 10 per side. Perform the move on each side three times with 45 seconds of rest after each set.


Part 3


Incline Push-ups - 15 reps

Incline Pushup

An incline push-up is an elevated form of a traditional push-up. This exercise primarily works your chest but keeps your core muscles engaged to protect your back. To perform, stand in front of a bench, table, bed frame, whatever! Lean forward and place your hands on whatever you’re using to perform the move, keeping your hands shoulder-width apart. Step back one leg at a time into the plank position. Bend your arms slowly, lowering your chest. Straighten your arms, pushing away. Repeat for a total of 15 reps.


Mountain Climber Plank- 25 reps

Mountain Climber Plank

Assume plank position, where your arms are fully extended. Be sure to spread your fingers to give yourself more leverage. Bending your left leg, draw your left knee up and across your stomach. Gently touch your right elbow with your left knee, holding the touch for a second or two. Slowly return to the starting position. Perform 25 reps on that side, then repeat the knee-to-elbow move 25 times on the other side, with your right leg meeting your left elbow.


Plank Jack – 1 minute x 3, rest 45 seconds in between each set

Plank Jack

Start in a push-up position, again with your arms fully extended. Have your feet close together to start. For one minute, jump your feet away from one another – out and in, out and in. Do this for one minute three times, with 45-second rests in between. If this move is a bit difficult, you can alternate your feet, one at a time. Having one leg jump out and then back in, and then alternating your legs.


Ready to stretch that upper body after this awesome bodyweight workout? Check out the Upper Body Stretch blog below:

Upper Body Stretch



Ready for more workouts? 

There are so many at-home workouts for you to choose from, designed for all ages and skill levels!

At-Home Workouts


For more awesome workout videos and fitness tips, visit Genesis Go!

Want to get the most out of every workout AND avoid gym injury? Check out this blog on common workout mistakes and how to avoid them.


Stay healthy, folks! 


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