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The Best Upper Body Workouts that You Need to Try Today

The Best Upper Body Workouts that You Need to Try Today

Chest, shoulders, back, and arms are some of the primary areas that people come to the gym to work upon. But what do all of them have in common? Together, they constitute your upper body. People try numerous techniques and methods to get the upper body of their dream. After all, your upper body is what gets noticed most by others. Besides, having a strong upper body would enable you to carry out most of the strength-based tasks in your everyday life.   

So, if you are one of those who are looking for strengthening their upper body, we have got good news for you that you have reached the right place. We are going to list up some of the most highly effective upper body workouts that are going to drastically boost up the strength in and around the said area.

Let us acquaint you with the best upper body workout regime that you need to get yourself into.

Best Upper Body Workouts for You

While making this list, we have tried to make it as diverse and multi-dimensional as possible. This is why we have put together different types of upper body workouts so that you never get bored. It should also be noted that these aren’t exclusively for men. People of any gender can perform them to enhance their upper body.

So, without any further ado, let us find out about them.



Probably the most effective and popular upper body workout exercise that you can perform is the pull-ups. It is essentially a perfect alternative to weight lifting. It targets your shoulders, arms, and back.

In order to perform this upper body workout, you need to find a pull-up bar and hold on to it in an overhand grip. Make sure that your hands are at shoulder-width apart. Proceed to hang your body straight below the bar. Stay in this position for one or two seconds before lowering yourself down to the starting position.

Perform a minimum of ten pull-ups with three sets. Try to take a 15-second break between each set. If you want to raise the difficulty level even further, then you need to change your hand placement.  Remember, the closer you place your hands on the bar, the harder it will be for you to pull yourself up.   

You can also add a weight belt around your waist in order to elevate the difficulty level even further. Keep your hands further apart from each other. This would help in building the upper lateral muscles. Besides, it will add more width to the back. The closer you keep your hands, the more emphasize your bicep muscles would get.

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell Shrug

Dumbbell shrug is an extremely personalized upper body exercise since it allows you to control the weight you want to challenge yourself with. A great aspect of this exercise is that you can perform it anywhere as it only requires dumbbells.  You can do it in the gym, home, or even in a park.

We recommend you to start with lower dumbbell weight and gradually shift to heavier weights depending on your comfort level.  This multi-beneficiary exercise works your shoulders, arms, back, and chest.

To perform this workout for upper body, you need to start by standing tall. Hold the dumbbells at your sides with the palms facing each other. Next, you need to bend yourself slightly in a squat position so that the dumbbells are at the same level as your knees.

Proceed to propel yourself upward in an explosive motion. Next, you need to shrug your shoulders and back hard at the top. You then have to get back to the starting position to finish your reps.

Perform ten reps and three sets with light-weight dumbbells. Once you level up, you can perform eight reps per set. Don’t forget to take a break of 15-30 seconds between each set.

Chin Up


Next up on our list of workouts for upper body is the chin up. This is a great exercise that you can practice on a low impact day to give yourself a break from weights. It focuses on your shoulders, back, chest, and arms.

To do this, you need to grab a chin bar first with an underhand grip. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart from each other. Try and engage your core and pull yourself up by using your arm strength. Do it until your chin is over the bar. Next, you need to ensure that your elbows are tucked to your sides during the entire duration of the exercise.

When you reach the top, pause for a bit and lower yourself down until your arms become straight again. Keep doing this at least eight times per set for a total of three sets. Don’t forget to take a break of 15-25 seconds between each set. You can angle the upper body back while pulling your body up to the bar if you want to feel your lower lateral muscles. This under hand grip helps in putting more emphasis on the lower lateral muscles.

You can add to the difficulty level of this exercise by changing the placement of your hand and putting them closer to each other. Trying a waist belt also elevates the level of difficulty.



Your upper body workout regime would be incomplete without dips. This might be difficult to perform at home since you need a dip station. However, weight bench or bars or even sturdy chairs can also be used for the same.

If you want to use a chair or bench, then sit with your back to the bench or chair. Proceed to grab the edge with both of your hands. Keep your palms on the top of it while your fingers at the bottom.

Make sure your legs are together and your backside is at the same level as that of your bench or chair. Stop before your butt hits the floor while performing this exercise for your upper body. Gently lower yourself down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Wait for a second or two and get back to the starting position and repeat. Perform 10-15 reps per sets and try to do at least three sets. Feel free to take a break of 30-40 seconds between each set.

In order to introduce a variation in the exercise, you can choose a seated dip machine. To do this, you need to increase the weight you are using so that triceps are taken care of.  However, if boosting the chest is your motive, then you need to keep your elbows pointed out to the sides. You then have to bend forwards at the waist rather than keeping your upper body straight.

Barbell Biceps Curl

Barbell biceps curl

The barbell biceps curl is an upper body workout that focuses on your shoulders, arms and back. All you need to perform it is a barbell with the heaviest weight that you can muster to complete your sets.

Keep your legs hip-width apart from each other. Hold on to a barbell with your palms facing up. Raise the barbell by using a slow and steady motion until the muscles of your biceps are fully contracted. Be sure to start at your thighs. Stay in this position for a second before you get down to the starting position.

Repeat this for 10-12 reps and perform at least three sets of this exercise. Be sure to take a break of 15-40 seconds between each set. For achieving the best results, you can keep your elbows glued to your sides. Also, try to hold your chest as high as you can during the entire tenure of the exercise.  This will ensure that a lot of emphasis is put on your biceps and that your shoulders muscles are out of the movement.  

Diamond Press Up

Diamond press up

Last but not least on our list of the best upper body workout exercise is the diamond press up. Now, don’t worry! This is not as fancy as it sounds and you can perform it basically anywhere. It focuses on your arms, shoulders and back. You can say that this is a more challenging version of a push-up.

To perform this exercise, you need to start with your hands and toes on the ground or mat. Try to align your body as straight from your shoulders to toes as possible. Your arms need to be straight as well. Both of your hands need to be close enough together so that you are able to form a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs.

Be sure to engage your core and keep your hips up so that your back stays straight. Slowly, lower yourself down towards the ground, bending at your elbow.  Until you have reached the starting position, keep pushing up from the ground. Try to perform ten reps and do a minimum of three sets.

Feel free to take 30 seconds breaks between each set. In order to elevate the difficulty level of the exercise, you can point the elbows out to put more stress on your triceps.


Your upper body is what gets the most attention after your face. So, be sure to work hard on it. However, just to be clear, it is not only for aesthetic purposes only. You need to work on your upper body to increase its core strength. The aforementioned upper body workout regime will help you achieve that. As you see, most of them can be performed at the comfort of your home and don’t require too many equipment. So, go out there and bring out the Hercules in you!