Upper Body Workout Without Weights

Working out and staying fit seem to be a more complicated task for all of us locked in our homes. We have no space and no equipment while Netflix, YouTube and Instagram constantly tempt us to lay down and scroll.

It’s time to start moving our bodies before we merge with our couch and damage our eyes from all that screen time. 

Luckily for you, we brought together six exercises that will help you get started with your fitness routine, with no equipment and in less than one hour. You only need two things to complete the exercises: a towel and something elevated from the ground such as a chair or a bench.

They will help you stay fit, increase muscle-mass and strengthen your upper body only using your bodyweight. You will find a complete workout that is designed to target your entire arms, chest, shoulders and back muscles.



Here you will need to use that chair or bench we mentioned earlier, make sure its fully stable before you begin. This exercise will mainly target your triceps while also working some of your chest muscles.

To do it, stand in front of the chair with your back facing it. Place both hands on the chair with your fingers facing forward, fully straighten your legs and back and let your bodyweight fall solely on your arms.

Now, bend your arms making sure that your elbows are always properly tucked in and pointing back, this will make your butt go down to the floor. Once your elbow is bent at a 90 degree angle and before your butt touches the floor, bring your body up by straightening your arms.

Remember to keep your legs and back straight, tighten your core and use only your arms to lift your body. You’ll feel the burn after a few reps.


High Plank Row

This exercise will work primarily your shoulder and back muscles and strengthen your arms and core. To begin, get on the ground and lift your body with your arms and legs fully straightened. To make it easier, you may bend your legs and hold your weight on your knees.

For this exercise it is crucial that you keep your whole body straight. Imagine as if you had a straight line coming from your shoulders, passing through your butt all the way to your feet or knees.

Once you have the position, lift one of your arms and pull it back, bending your elbows. Imagine as if your arm was being pulled by a string attached to your elbow. Once you get a 90 degree bend, bring your arm back down and do it with the other one.

Remember to always keep your body straight, tighten your core and squeeze your back and shoulder muscles in every rep.


Isometric Squeeze

This simple exercise will work your biceps and triceps and is completely based on your ability to fight yourself. To do it just stand up, keep your back straight and put your hands together like this: leave one arm by your side and bend it at a 90 degree angle keeping the palm of your hand facing up.

Then, place your opposite hand on top of it perpendicularly and hold them together firmly.

Now, simply try to push the hands against each other; one going down and the other one up. The one that pushes down will work your triceps, while the other one is engaging your biceps.

Squeeze and hold for at least 15 seconds and then change it to the other side. The longer you can hold, the better.

Remember, keep a straight back and really squeeze the muscles against each other to feel the burn.


Towel Hammer Curl

Here is when that towel will come into play. This exercise gives you full muscle engagement in your biceps and forearms. What you need to do is stand up and grab the towel from both ends with your palms facing in, letting the towel hang in a U shape.

Then, step on the towel as you are holding it so that your arms are completely stretched out. Now, without moving your arms from your side, bring up that towel and foot until you get a 90 degree angle fold in your knee.

It is important to have a full range of motion and maintain a steady form: straight back, tight core and both palms facing each other. You will feel your biceps burn after a few reps.

If it's too heavy, do it without the towel but try to squeeze your biceps as if you were holding heavy weights in them to engage it completely.


Diamond Pushups

This is one of the most complete exercises for developing upper body strength and muscle work. When performed correctly, it will engage your chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, back and even your core muscles.

The key is to maintain form and have a full range of motion.

The body position is the same as the one used in the High Plank Row, the only difference is that now both hands should be together forming a triangle shape with the thumbs and index fingers.

When you have it, bring your body down until you get a 90 degree bend in your elbows and come back up. Remember to keep your form and have a full range of motion to really work all those muscles.

You can also let your body rest on your knees to make it easier it you want to.


Key Takeaways

  • Working out and staying fit while locked inside can be challenging, but it's crucial to start moving our bodies to maintain our physical and mental health.
  • These six exercises can help you get started with your fitness routine, and you only need a towel and something elevated from the ground such as a chair or a bench. These exercises can help you stay fit, increase muscle-mass and strengthen your upper body using your body weight.
  • The exercises target your entire arms, chest, shoulders and back muscles. They include dips, high plank row, isometric squeeze, towel hammer curl, diamond pushups, and declined pushups.
  • Each exercise has a different focus, and it's important to maintain proper form, have full range of motion, and keep the body straight, tightening the core and squeezing muscles to feel the burn.


Declined Pushups

For this exercise you will once again need the bench or chair. This exercise is designed to work your entire chest and arm muscles. Once again you will place your body in the same position as in the High Plank Row, but this time, your feet should be placed on top of the bench.

Remember to keep your body completely straight, let it drop until your face touches the ground and then bring it back up using your arms. If you maintain proper form, you will feel your chest pumped after a few reps.

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