Upper Body Bodyweight Workout

By Mike Thiga author of The Muscle Experiment

Planning an upper body workout using your bodyweight has many different movements that together will form a solid upper body workout that will not only get you stronger than you are now but will also help you increase your lean body mass if you train it hard three times a week.

The pushup is a timeless classic that is essential when building a bigger chest, larger delts, and wishbone triceps. When you're able to master the push-up movement it will yield similar benefits to the bench press.

Another classic bodyweight movement is the pull-up which hits every muscle in your body. It is also an underrated movement when it comes to both arms and abs development. Doing pull-ups also stands alone as being the original biceps curling movement, improving both your arms and your back muscles.

The plank is another impressive measure of your fitness and strength. Doing the plank requires very good shoulder stability plus plenty of muscle endurance for the abs, the lower back, the shoulders, the neck, and legs. The plank also works very well in developing core strength with an impressive six-pack (more TUT (time under tension) means more muscle).

This movement is not equipment-free because you'll need a barbell or an ab roller. The ab tension you'll feel as you roll out is similar to the tension you experience when doing the plank, just a little more difficult. The farther you roll out, the more difficult this exercise becomes, which leads to better results.

Arguably as versatile a back movement as pull-ups, the inverted row is a good opposing motion to work with pushups. Turn your hands about so that you're holding the bar in an underhand position, and suddenly you've got a much better bicep builder than any other curl variation. This movement is key for building a pair of wide shoulders with big arms.

Diamond pushups or close-grip push-ups specifically targets your triceps. When you got big triceps your arms will look much bigger. Since your biceps and triceps grow in pairs, when you've got bigger triceps it means bigger biceps as well.

This advanced variation of the plank not only creates a greater challenge for your core, but also forces your chest and shoulders to pick up some of the load. It also proves you can work your chest, shoulders, and abs at the same time.

The No. 1 favorite exercise for any trainer wanting to burn fat is the burpee, which has now become a staple in programs ranging from bootcamps to CrossFit, plus everything in between. The burpee is a full-body explosive motion requiring better cardio than a hill sprint plus more coordination than most exercises.

Note: For more information checkout The Lost Secrets of Bodyweight Training

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