upper body workout at home for beginners

It’s HARD to find good upper body exercises when you have no equipment. Which is precisely why I wrote this 15 minute upper body workout at home for beginners!

Requiring no weights, it still gets the job done. We’ll target your arms, chest, and back in a super efficient and effective home workout.

Make no mistake: while this upper body workout is written for beginners, it will still make you sore. I work out my upper body regularly and still felt this workout the next day.

That’s because these moves are effective and will get you results.

My favorite thing about this workout is that each move is relatively simple. Using your bodyweight to create resistance is an extremely effective way to train and tone – if you know the right moves to do.

I hope you enjoy this upper body workout at home for beginners!

Please note: Check with your physician before starting any exercise routine or starting any particular diet. See this Disclaimer for more details. This post may contain affiliate links. For details, please visit my Disclosure page. Thank you!

Upper Body Workout at Home for Beginners: How It Works

Before completing this workout, perform the warm up stretches. These consist of dynamic stretches (meaning that you’re moving while performing them, rather than holding a particular stretch for a certain amount of time).

Then complete the 15 minute AMRAP workout. AMRAP stands for as many rounds as possible. This means that for the full 15 minutes you’re cycling through the movements without stopping.

Perform the indicated repetitions of each exercise. Once you’ve completed all 7 exercises (or 8 if you’re doing the bonus exercise), rest for 30 seconds, then start over at knee push-ups. Continue like this until the 15 minutes are up.

Afterwards, complete the cool-down stretches. Unlike the warm-up ones, these are all static stretches you hold for 30 seconds. Make sure to perform them on both right and left sides.

That’s all there is to it! Let’s get started!

15 Minute Upper Body Workout at Home for Beginners

Workout Warm-Up

Time: 2.5 minutes

  1. Arm circles (shoulder warm-up) – 30 seconds each way, starting with small circles that steadily get bigger
  2. Dynamic chest stretch (chest warm-up) – 30 seconds
  3. Thoracic rotation (back warm-up) – 30 seconds each side

15 Minute AMRAP

Time: 15 minutes (stop when time is up)

upper body workout at home

5 knee push-ups with plus (chest, triceps, serratus anterior)

  • At top of push-up when arms are straight again, push your upper back towards the ceiling and pause for 1 second. Then do another push-up.
  • Adding the “plus” engages your serratus anterior even more, improving posture and decreasing your risk of shoulder impingement.

10 Y, T, I raises (trapezius, deltoids, and rotator cuff)

  • Perform 10 Y raises, 10 T raises, and 10 I raises each for this move.
  • Keep your chin tucked with your forehead resting against the ground.

10 bodyweight tricep extensions (triceps)

  • Perform against a wall.
  • Instead of doing a push-up against the wall, keep your hands shoulder-width apart and elbows just below shoulder level. Use your triceps (back of your arms) to control the move.

20 tricep pulses (triceps)

  • Perform this move on your knees or standing, leaning slightly forward, back flat.
  • Extend straight arms out behind you, palms facing in, and pulse your arms towards each other. You should feel this move in the back of your upper arms.

10 plank pulses (deltoids and latissimus dorsi)

  • Get into a forearm plank position. Perform by rocking forward and backward (in a controlled motion).

10 supermans with arm extension (deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboids)

  • Lay on your stomach with legs extended and arms bent, hands by shoulders. In one movement, raise chest/arms and legs off the ground. While remaining raised, extend arms straight out. Bring arms back and then lower back to ground. That’s one rep.

10 plank to downward dog toe taps (deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboids)

  • Get into an upper push-up position. Hands should be on the ground, not forearms.
  • In one movement, raise your hips up and shift your weight back, reaching with one hand for opposite toes. Return to upper push-up position. That’s one rep. Continue until reps complete, alternating which arm reaches back towards toes.

Bonus: bicep curls with sheet (biceps)

  • This is a bonus move you can perform if you have a sheet or long blanket available.
  • Stand with back against a wall and feet 1 foot from wall.
  • Perform by grasping each end of the sheet and placing one foot in the middle. Then curl your forearms up, using your leg to provide resistance. Lower back down, being careful not to create too much resistance while lowering.

Workout Cool-Down

Time: 4.5 minutes

  1. Lat stretch – 30 seconds
  2. Lying back twist stretch – 30 seconds each side
  3. Shoulder stretch – 30 seconds each side
  4. Tricep stretch – 30 seconds each side
  5. Bicep stretch – 30 seconds each side

I hope you enjoyed this beginner upper body at home workout! If you liked this workout, check out my other ones here!