20 Best Upper-Body Workouts at Home

Bri Hand
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Upper-body workouts at home offer several benefits, including improved posture, increased metabolism, enhanced performance in daily tasks, and reduced risk of injury. And the good news is that you can do them your way—with or without equipment!

Below, we’ll dive into home workouts you can easily incorporate into your exercise routine to target your upper-body muscles, including: 

  1. Push-ups

  2. Floor triceps

  3. Triceps dip

  4. Alternating punches

  5. Inchworms

  6. Back extensions

  7. Side and lateral arm raises

  8. Plank rise

  9. Hindu push-ups

  10. Shoulder press

  11. Chest flies

  12. Lat pulls with resistance band

  13. Triceps extension

  14. Reverse fly 

  15. Bent-over row

  16. Triceps kickback

  17. Overhead press

  18. Biceps curls 

  19. Resistance band pull-apart

  20. Dumbbell front raise 

Let’s dive in!

10 upper-body workouts at home without equipment

1. Push-ups

  1. Get into a plank position with arms extended, shoulders over hands, and toes supporting the lower body.

  2. Bend elbows to lower your chest toward the floor.

  3. Just before reaching the floor, extend your elbows to push your body back up.

  4. Return to the starting position. 

2. Floor triceps

  1. Sit on a mat with your feet flat and close to your hips. 

  2. Place hands on the floor behind you, elbows bent, palms flat, and fingers pointing forward. 

  3. Extend elbows to lift hips into reverse tabletop.

  4. Lower hips back down.

3. Triceps dip

  1. Sit on a chair, feet flat on the floor.

  2. Place palms facing down beside hips, gripping the front of the seat.

  3. Lift your body off the chair, keeping your knees slightly bent and arms fully extended.

  4. Inhale and lower your body until your elbows form a 90-degree angle.

  5. Pause, exhale, then push back up, squeezing your triceps.

  6. Do two to three sets of 10–15 reps.

4. Alternating punches

  1. Stand with one foot in front and fists below the chin.

  2. Punch each arm at a time, creating a straight line from shoulder to hand.

  3. Return hand to guard position.

  4. Alternate punches with a consistent tempo.

5. Inchworms

  1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart.

  2. Bend forward and place hands on the floor.

  3. Inhale and walk your hands forward into an extended plank position.

  4. Perform one push-up.

  5. Reverse the movement, returning to the starting position.

6. Back extensions

  1. Lie face-down, hands by the sides, palms facing up.

  2. Engage your abs and slowly lift your chest off the ground, relying on the lower back muscles for the movement.

  3. Lower chest back down and repeat.

7. Side and lateral arm raises

  1. Stand upright, feet hip-width apart.

  2. Roll your shoulders backward and engage the core.

  3. Extend your arms straight ahead to shoulder height.

  4. Lower your arms back down in a controlled motion.

  5. Raise both arms to the side to shoulder level.

  6. Control your arms back down.

  7. Alternate between these movements.

8. Plank rise

  1. Start in a plank position, resting your weight on your forearms and keeping your body straight.

  2. Tighten your abs and push up onto your hands one at a time.

  3. Keep your hips steady and alternate between plank and extended plank positions.

9. Hindu push-ups

  1. Get into a push-up position.

  2. Push your hips up and back.

  3. Flex at the elbows, lowering your head toward the ground between your hands.

  4. Shift your weight forward, keeping your chest slightly above the ground.

  5. Continue moving forward until your hips are nearly on the floor and your torso is upright.

  6. Reverse the movement in one fluid motion and repeat.

  7. Find a rhythm to keep the movement smooth.

10. Shoulder press

  1. Start with arms bent at 90 degrees, hands on either side of your shoulders.

  2. Keep your palms facing forward and push up vertically overhead.

  3. Fully extend arms.

  4. Control arms back to the starting position.

10 upper-body workouts at home with equipment

11. Chest flies

  1. Lie face up, holding weights straight up over the chest muscle with palms facing in.

  2. Brace your core and slightly bend your elbows.

  3. Slowly lower arms to the sides just under chest level.

  4. Avoid going too low to keep the emphasis on the chest and prevent strain on the shoulders.

  5. Lift your arms back up to the starting position to complete the exercise.

12. Lat pulls with resistance band

  1. Stand or sit, holding a resistance band with both hands, hands about two to three feet apart.

  2. Raise your arms straight up.

  3. Keep your left hand in place and squeeze the right side of your back.

  4. Open the band, pulling the right elbow down toward the ribcage.

  5. Return to the starting position and repeat.

  6. Complete desired reps and switch to the left side.

13. Triceps extension

  1. Stand holding weight in both hands.

  2. Extend arms straight over the head, palms facing in.

  3. Bend elbows and lower hands, allowing the weight to move behind your head.

  4. Keep upper arms close to ears.

  5. Contract your triceps to extend your arms, returning to the starting position.

  6. Do one to three sets of 8–16 reps

14. Reverse fly

  1. Sit on a chair holding weights in both hands.

  2. Bend forward, keeping your back flat.

  3. Brace abs and maintain good neck alignment.

  4. Using your shoulders, lift the weight to the torso level without jerking the arms, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows.

  5. Lower the weights and repeat.

  6. Do one to three sets of 8–16 reps

15. Bent-over row

  1. Hold weight in each hand, palms facing the body.

  2. Bend at the waist, maintaining a 45-degree angle, with a straight back and engaged core.

  3. Inhale.

  4. Exhale and pull the weights toward your body, ensuring your arms don’t go higher than parallel with the shoulders. Keep legs and lower body stationary throughout.

  5. Lower the weights with control to the starting position while inhaling.

  6. Do one to three sets of 8–16 reps.

16. Triceps kickback

  1. Stand holding a weight in both hands, palms facing in.

  2. Bend knees slightly and hinge forward at the waist, keeping a straight spine.

  3. Engage the core, keeping your head aligned with your spine.

  4. Exhale, push forearms backward and engage triceps.

  5. Pause, then inhale and return to the starting position.

  6. Do two to three sets of 10–15 reps.

17. Overhead press

  1. Start with feet hip-distance apart, holding weights with bent elbows and palms facing outward.

  2. Press the weights overhead, ensuring that you don’t lock your elbows.

  3. Maintain a straight back and engage abs throughout.

  4. Lower the weights to the starting position.

  5. Repeat.

18. Biceps curls

  1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart.

  2. Hold weights in front of thighs, palms facing out.

  3. Brace abs and bend elbows to curl weights toward shoulders, keeping elbows close to the torso.

  4. Slowly lower back down, keeping tension on the muscles.

  5. Repeat.

19. Resistance band pull-apart

  1. Stand with arms extended in front at chest height, holding a resistance band.

  2. Keep arms straight, and pull the band toward the chest, focusing on mid-back engagement.

  3. Maintaining a straight spine, squeeze shoulder blades together, pause briefly, and slowly return to the starting position.

  4. Do two to three sets of 12–15 reps.

20. Dumbbell front raise

  1. Hold dumbbells in each hand.

  2. Position dumbbells in front of upper legs, elbows slightly bent.

  3. Lift dumbbells up in front of you, keeping your arms horizontal.

  4. Lower back down.

Supercharge your upper-body workout at home with Hydrow

Interested in at-home workout equipment that can help you work your upper-body muscles—and more? Be sure to check out Hydrow’s rowing machines, which offer a full-body, low-impact workout for cardio, strength, and recovery. 

Each rowing stroke works 86% of the muscles in your body, meaning you can squeeze in a highly effective workout in less time when compared to other workout types like running, cycling, or swimming. Plus, our extensive library of workouts will transport you to stunning waterways around the world and keep you motivated with instructions from our team of world-class Athletes.

Get the best of cardio and strength training with a rowing workout, and learn more about Hydrow today!

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Hydrow's Content Marketing Manager and enjoys writing, singing, kayaking, and Zumba!