6 Upper Body Exercises At Home

The Best 6 Upper Body Exercises At Home

If you want to work out the shoulder, back, arms, and chest muscles, doing one of the 6 upper body exercises at home would be useful. These muscles will benefit, and your metabolism rate will shoot while your cardiovascular health improves. Still, the bone density will be higher.

So, what are good upper body exercises at home?

  • Push ups
  • Pull down
  • Bear Crawl
  • Back squats
  • Inverted Row
  • Landmine Press

Of course, as a beginner, you may have to start with the simple ones as they are less demanding. Not only shall we comprehensively go through the best upper body workouts, but we shall also show you how to do them correctly.

6 Upper Body Exercises At Home 


Push-ups are ideal for working out the upper body and are highly recommended for those who do not have enough time for a 14 days workout plan to lose belly fat at home. Why? They focus on the torso muscles, the abdominal ones not being an exception.

How do you do push-ups like a pro?

  • Get on your knees and place your hands (shoulder-width apart) on the floor. 
  • Straighten your legs and arms to get enough body support from your toes and arms
  • Ensuring that your chest is not touching the floor, lower your entire body and pause in that position for a couple of seconds.
  • Lift your body off the ground and lower it again.
  • Repeat the push-up as you wish; it is among the best exercises at home! 

Expert’s Tips

  • Avoid irritating the shoulders when doing upper body exercises at home by keeping your elbows in. 
  • You can buy push-up bars to make the workout better and more effective

10 Best Push Ups To Buy Today

Push-up BarCurrent Rating
Perfect Fitness Perfect Pushup + Ab Carver Pro4.7
Push-Up Bars with Non-Slip Sturdy Structure 4.4
Perfect Fitness Pushup Stands4.6
CAP Barbell Pair of Push Up Bars4.6
READAEER Push-Up Bars; Cushioned Foam Grip & Non-Slip Sturdy Structure4.5
Juperbsky Push-Up Stands Bars Parallettes Set4.7
5BILLION Strength Training Push Up Handle4.4
LAOBEN Push Up Board (10 in 1)with Pushup Handles; Foldable4.3
OPL Large size Push up bar, Extra thick non-slip foam grip5
Push Up Board Strength Training: Non-Slip Sturdy Structure4.6

Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldown targets the largest muscles (in your back), specifically the latissimus dorsi, which is the largest muscle in that area. With lat pulldown, your body increases intensity by focusing on the biceps and triceps, which are smaller muscles. Hence, incorporate lat pulldown in the upper body exercises at home.

SellerThe Best Lat Bar MachineCurrent Rating
AmazonFitness Reality X-Class Light Lat Pull Down & Low Row Cable Attachment3.9
WalmartTangnade Lat Pull Down Machine**
WalmartHeavy Duty Steel Lat Machine (DF910) by Deltech Fitness3.5
WalmartPlate-Loaded Lat Pulldown & Low Row Machine**
WalmartSingle Stack 300 LB Cable Pull Station Titan Fitness Lat Tower Machine4.8
AmazonSpace Saving, Titan Fitness Plate Loaded LAT Tower v2 4.6

Lat pulldown has many advantages, including muscle building, chest strengthening, and improvement of your overall posture. Besides, spinal’s stability becomes better.

Eager to do the lat pulldown workout as one of the upper body exercises at home? Great!

  • Grab the lat bar with your hands (right hand on the right lat bar handle and left hand on the left lat handle) while sitting on the lat pulldown machine. Your hands should be slightly shoulder-width apart.
  • A vital thing to note so as to maximize your movement and results is that your thumb finger should not go under the bar but above it to maximize your grip as you engage your back fully. 
  • Ensuring that the elbows are a little in front of you, and as you pull down the lat bars, ensure that the elbows are also in line with your hips.
  • With the above posture, your shoulders should not suffer impingement, and you should have increased strength, which is necessary for pulling down more weight when the lat bar goes down. 
  • Repeat the exercise for as long as you can.

Tips: Pulling the lat bar behind your head hinders you from lifting a great amount of weight overload, which would be ideal for your lats. Besides, that also hinders you from maximizing your engagement while doing upper body exercises at home.

Bear Crawl

Also known as mat bear crawl or just crawl, bear crawl involves the arms, core, and back. However, the legs are also involved even though they are not part of the upper body. 

This exercise is perfect as it involves the entire body. Besides, no machine is needed; your body weight is all you need. 

Here is how the experts do the bear crawl workout

  • Kneel and straighten your legs as well as the hands
  • While keeping your hip low, begin to move. Use the opposite limbs to move (move your right hand forward as well as the left leg and then make another move by moving the left hand and right leg
  • Once you have made about 10 moves forward (or at least move up to 20 ft), move backward the same distance 
  • Repeat this for as long as you can

Expert’s Tips

When doing upper body exercises at home, keep balance, keep the core on the move, and increase your speed without losing coordination.

Barbell Back Squats

The most utilized muscles on the upper body when you do barbell back squats include the arms, back, shoulders, and chest. 

SellerBest Barbell For Home GymCurrent Rating
RogueRogue Tb-2 Trap Bar4.8
RogueRogue 45lb Ohio Power Bar – E-Coat4.9
Fingersport 20kg Men’s Wonder Bar Olympic Barbell**
RogueThe Mat Chan Bar4.8
REPDeep Knurl Stainless Steel **
VulcanVulcan Absolute Powerlifting Bar4.9
EleikoIWF Weightlifting Competition Bar**
RogueRogue Pyrros Bar – 28mm – Stainless Steel4.9
American BarbellPerformance Training Bar**
VulcanVulcan 20 Kg V4.0 Elite 28 Mm Olympic Barbell**
REPGladiator Olympic Barbell**
TITANSafety Squat Olympic Bar V2**
REPRackable Curl Bar**
ROGUEOhio Deadlift Bar4.9
ROGUEThe Ohio Bar – Stainless Steel**
Ameican BarbellThe California Bar4.8

Highly targeting the glutes as well as the quads, the hamstring will equally be engaged when you start upper body exercises at home. Not forgetting that there will be calf engagement, too.

  • While the bar is resting on the rack, firmly hold it with your hand.
  • Move your head under it so that your entire body is now under the bar (none of your legs should be in front of the other when lifting the barbell, as that puts your legs at risk of being hurt).
  • Make sure that you have held the bar firmly, move your legs apart (slightly past your shoulder-width and then push the bar up. To have a good balance and enough strength to hold the weight of the barbell, let your toes stick out slightly to the sides. 
  • Your cores must be tight and look nice while the barbell is behind your neck. On the other hand, the wrist should be straight before flexing your glutes. 
  • Now move down and then up.
  • If the weight is overwhelming, re-rack the barbell and rest. If not, do 2 or more workouts, then rest.

Expert’s Tips

  • Ensure that your chest is up and the core tight when doing the above upper body exercises at home.
  • Also, fully engage the glutes and keep your hands close
  • Do not leave the rack while working out; you might want to return it quickly.
  • When going up, it is vital to breathe out

Inverted Row

There are many muscles involved when doing the inverted row workout, for example, the biceps, teres minor, trapezius, posterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi, infraspinatus, erector spine, the rhomboids.

However, having the right equipment when you do upper body exercises at home, such as inverted rows, is vital.

You could either use a squat rack or a smith machine. A smith machine comes more highly recommended. 

SellerThe Best Inverted Row BarCurrent Rating
AmazonUltimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar (Elevated Bar & Adjustable Width)4.5
AmazonPerfect Fitness Pull Up Bar 4.5
WalmartDoorway Trainer Plus Door Stamina Products 50-0050 Home Exercise Bar4.6
AmazonHeavy-Duty Home Gym, Gym1 Deluxe Doorway Pull-Up Bar, Supports Up to 300 Pounds4.2
WalmartUltimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar (Elevated Bar & Adjustable Width)4.7

Knowing how to do the exercise correctly makes all the difference, and here is how to do it.

  • Lie under the barbell and ensure it is at a good height. You can test this by moving your hand up as if to grab the barbell; it should be an entire arm’s height. This allows you to move up and down without touching the floor with your back. Plus, you do not have to strain to reach the barbell. 
  • There should also be an entire arm’s width so as to help you hold the bar comfortably and firmly 
  • So, hold the barbell and move upwards with the chest leading the way and then move back down without getting into contact with the floor
  • Repeat a couple of times and then take a rest

Expert’s Tips

Since this is one of the best upper body exercises at home, ensure that the chest is fully worked out when doing this exercise. To achieve that, ensure that the feet are not so close to the barbell but far away. This enables you to do a higher row that engages the upper chest more. 

Landmine Press

Contrary to what most people know, a landmine attachment is not a must-have to effectively do this workout. You read that right. So what? You can use a barbell. Stabilize it using a sandbag weighing about 45 pounds or a plate of similar weight. 

Based on your level of expertise, you should load some weight on the front side of the barbell when doing upper body exercises at home. 

  • So, holding the front of the barbell cautiously and firmly, move the barbell upwards to chest level.
  • Lean slightly forward and have your legs apart (shoulder-width).
  • Next, flex your glutes as well as the core for great stabilization when working out.
  • Once in the above posture, move the barbell upwards to the maximum (based on your height and strength).
  • Keep it in that position for a few seconds as you press your chest hard and press the core as you return to the initial position (chest level).
  • Move the bar up to the max and then chest level again.
  • Repeat as many times as you can
SellerBest Home Landmine To BuyCurrent Rating
ROGUEPost Landmine4.8
AmazonYCDJCS T Bar Row Shoulder Press Landmine Handle Black for 50mm (2 Inches) Barbell Back Attachment4.1
Amazon3 Hand Grip Positions for Increased Versatility, Yes4All Viking Press Attachment for 2-Inch Olympic Barbell 4.7
TITANClean N Jerk Landmine Attachment V2**

Expert’s Tips

  • Do not stand straight while doing the exercise; simply lean forward to keep yourself stabilized.
  • Keep your feet apart (shoulder-width)
  • This is not only a chest exercise but a shoulder workout, too.

What Are the 10 Most Effective Upper Body Exercises at Home?

The most effective 10 upper body exercises at home are: push ups, pull down, bear crawls, back squats, inverted rows, landmine presses, overhead presses, bent-over barbell rows, resistance band pull-apart, and dumbbell front raise squats.

It is vital to be mindful of your body. So, as a beginner, always start with the best simple upper body workouts, for example, biceps and push-ups. 

Surprisingly, push-ups remain at the top of the best upper-body exercises  – they focus so much on:

  • The shoulders
  • The core
  • The chest
  • The triceps 

So if you only want to do one exercise, consider pushups.

What Are Good Upper Body Exercises At Home?

Good upper body exercises at home include;

  • Dumbbell front raise squat
  • Bear crawl
  • Pushups
  • Resistance band pull-apart
  • Inverted row
  • Lat pulldown
  • Overhead press
  • Bent-over barbell row

However, the best out of this list varies based on what you want to achieve, your current weight, and the equipment available. 

How Can I Strengthen My Upper Body Without Equipment?

If you cannot afford equipment but want to strengthen your upper body, do not worry; I have good news. You can strengthen your upper body without equipment by doing the following workouts: 

Beginner Upper Body Strengthening Without Equipment

Planks: Planks are effective upper body exercises at home because they strengthen the chest, shoulders, arms, core, glutes, upper body, and back. 

How to do planks as a beginner: 

  • Lie on the exercise mat and touch the workout mat with your arms. Both arms should be stretched upwards and hip-width apart.
  • Your legs should draw support from your toes since they will be touching the floor. The toes and arms help in balancing your entire body’s weight. 
  • Allow the shoulder blades to relax while the core fully engages. 
  • Stay in that position for the longest time you can. As days pass by, keep increasing the time you stay in that position; this is how your upper body gains strength. 

Bird Dog Holds: If you have back pains, this is the best workout as it relieves the pain. Besides boosting the glutes and the core, these workouts improve your flexibility and body posture. 

How to do bird dog holds as one of the upper body exercises at home: 

  • Kneel and hold the ground with your hands. The hands should be shoulder-length apart. 
  • Keeping your back straight, stretch your left arm away from you. While at it, stretch your right leg outward and raise it off the ground. So, your left knee and right arm should support your body while your left and right leg are fully stretched. Stay in that position for not less than 5 seconds.  
  • Have the right knee and left arm in their initial position again. Now stretch the right arm straight, away from your head. Also, stretch the left leg straight and outwards and raise it slightly from the ground. Your body is to get support from the right knee and left arm.
  • Stay in that position again for not less than five seconds. 
  • Keep interchanging the arm and the leg until you have had enough for the day. 

The above are not the only upper body exercises you can do at home without equipment. As a beginner, you can also do up-down planks, prone I, Y, T, and incline push-ups. 

If you are an expert or a graduating beginner who needs something tougher, here are some workouts you could do without any equipment: 

  • Burpees
  • Chin ups
  • Pike push ups
  • Clapping push ups
  • Mountain Climbers

Over To You

Tying out all 6 upper body exercises at home could have long-lasting effects on the muscles involved if you stay consistent and committed. However, some of these exercises can be risky, and it would help if you had someone on standby just in case something goes wrong (God forbid!).

Also, it would help to try all six workouts if you have the necessary equipment. You could start with the simple ones (based on our list), for example, bear crawl, pushups, and inverted row, before progressing to the most complex ones, for example, the barbell back squats, landmine press, and the Lat pulldown.

Have you done any of the upper body workouts? What was your experience, and which tools are you using?

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