Pushups are effective upper-body exercises.
Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
Building upper body muscles without equipment -- in other words, using your own body weight as resistance rather than using weight machines or free weights -- is affordable, convenient, and most importantly, effective in building muscle. Body-weight training lets you vary your workouts, leaving little room for boredom or stagnation, and it can be safer than training with weights. Practice some foundational body-weight exercises to build your upper body muscles and increase your stamina.
Start in a plank position, with your palms and toes on the floor, and your shoulders, hips and knees in one long line. Position your wrists slightly wider than your shoulders with your toes tucked under, heels pressing back and core lifting in and up.2.
Keeping your core tight, inhale and lower your body in a straight line toward the floor.3.
Hover your body about 2 inches from the floor.4.
Exhale as you press your hands down, straighten your elbows and rise back to the top of the starting position.5.
Repeat for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Find a ledge or doorway that will hold your weight.2.
Stand directly below the ledge or doorway.3.
Jump and grab onto the edge of the ledge or doorway with the palms of your hands facing away from you.4.
Using the momentum from your jump, exhale and lift your chin over the ledge or doorway.5.
Inhale and return slowly to the starting position.6.
Repeat five to 10 times.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.2.
Hinge at your hip joint and fold forward. Lift your heels and place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your arms straight. This is your starting position.3.
Tighten your core, inhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your head toward the floor.4.
Exhale and press your arms straight again as you return to the starting position.5.
Repeat the exercise until muscle failure, when you cannot perform another repetition.
- Before performing any of these exercises, warm up with at least five minutes of jogging in place and gently stretch your major muscles, including the legs, hips, shoulders and chest.
- Keep your core tight and your shoulders relaxed in each exercise.
- Consult a physician before embarking on this or any new exercise regimen.