Your Perfect Upper Body Bodyweight Workout Routine

By Daniel Delisle
Creator of the PushX3


Looking to build a stronger, more defined upper body?

If so, you need to make sure that you get the right exercises in place.

Doing a simple, yet highly effective upper body workout routine using just bodyweight movements can be an excellent way to gain strength as well as functional fitness.

The good news is that you just need a few exercises to work every muscle in the upper body, so this routine does not need to be overly complex.

Let’s first walk you through the main moves to know about, and then show you your very own AMRAP workout routine.



Starting off your workout off is the pull-up. Pull-ups are great for hitting the back, lats, as well as biceps, and if done properly, will also work your core to a small degree as well.


When doing the pull-ups, you have the option of a close grip or wide grip hand position, with each variation hitting the back from different angles. To work the middle back, choose a closer grip hand position and to work the wider back, separate the hands by a few feet.

You can also reverse your grip, which will then put more focus on the bicep muscles as you do this exercise.


Balance Push-Ups

The second move to get into place with your workout routine is the push-up.  To perform this exercise, you’ll want to use a Bosu Balance Ball, or my favorite, get a hold of a set of PushX3.

Doing balance push-ups are key to introducing physical exertion to the smaller stabilizer muscles. The pushX3 is a unique piece of equipment that will make a regular push-up much more effective by increasing your muscle activation and also allows for a number of advanced push-up variations.  

When doing the push-up, make sure that you lower down in a smooth and controlled manner, going as low down to the ground as you can, then push your body all the way up, extending the arms, and keep your core tightened.


Chain-Break Burpees

This is a Nick Nilsson special. We all love and hate the Burpee, but add this simple “chain-break” variation to turn your shoulder muscles into solid rock. 

Start your Burpee in the upright position, then lower into a squat with your hands on the floor in front of you.  Kick your feet out and perform a push-up, then return your feet back to the squat position, and then jump up into the air as high as you can. Finally, when you land from your jump, do 5-10 chain-breaks.

The chain-break is performed by lifting your elbows out to the side and hands close together in front of your face – like you’re holding a chain in front of your face – then punch both elbows back as far as you can, separating your hands – like you’re breaking the chain!  When doing this move, make sure that your elbows are up as far as possible and upper arms are approximately level with the floor.

Do 5-10 chain-breaks each time you complete your burpees and you’ll start to feel the burn and really work those shoulders!


Chair Dips

Finally, the last exercise in the upper body bodyweight workout routine is the chair dips. These can be done with the feet up on a bench in front of you for a more advanced variation, or done with the feet flat on the floor for the beginner variation.

When doing this move, make sure that you lower yourself down as far as you can go without going beyond parallel.  Going too far in this move would place excess strain on the shoulder joint, possibly leading to injury.

So there you have the four key moves to get into place with your upper body, bodyweight workout routine.


AMRAP Workout Routine

Here is a simple workout that you can do in 10-15 minutes right in the comfort of your own home.

Wide Grip Pull-Ups – 3 sets of 15 reps
Push-ups using pushX3 – 3 sets of 15 reps
Close Grip Pull-Ups – 3 sets of 15 reps
Chain-Break Burpees – 2 sets of 15 reps
Chair Dips – 3 sets of 20 reps
Reverse Grip Pull-Ups – 2 sets of 10-15 reps

So don’t worry that if you don’t have weight equipment you can’t get in an effective workout. Use these four exercises and you can be seeing strengthening results in no time.




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