A strong upper body is crucial – even for lower body activities such as running. While running involves a lot of leg work, you also need a strong upper body to maintain a good posture – and also to help propel the body forward (upper body workout).
Strengthening the upper body further reduces your risk of injury. The shoulder, in particular, is the most unstable joint in the human body. Thus, strengthening the muscles and structures around it is essential for support and stabilization.
Moreover, you don’t need to dedicate a ton of time to upper body exercises – or purchase expensive gym equipment. In fact, you can strengthen and tone your upper body in less than 20 minutes.
The following 20-minute upper body workout uses only bodyweight exercises – meaning you can perform this workout anywhere and anytime.
Here’s how you do it:
Each exercise should be performed for 1 minute (except for the warm-up).
Warm Up: Begin with a 5-minute warm-up. This may involve skipping rope, high knees, or running in one spot.
Exercise #1: Dive Bombers
Begin in a downward facing dog. Slowly bend your elbows – performing an upside down shoulder press. Drop your hips and bring your chest through, straightening your arms. Look forward. Then, perform the same movement in reverse. Bend your elbows and send your hips and buttocks back up toward the sky. Repeat for the entire minute.
Exercise #2: Doorway Rows
Squat down facing a doorway. Hold onto the frame with one hand. Bend your elbow and pull your body in toward the doorway. Repeat 5 times on one side and then 5 times on the other side. Continue to alternate for the set duration.
Exercise #3: Chest Push-Ups
Lie face down on a mat. Plant your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Push your body up off the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your toes. Slowly lower so that your elbows are bent to about 90-degrees. Your chest should almost touch the ground. Then, push back up, straightening your arms. Repeat for the whole minute.
Exercise #4: Tricep Dips
If you have bars, you can use them for this exercise. If not, you can use a bed, couch, or chair to perform this one. Plant your hands behind you on the elevated object. Straighten your legs out in front of you. Make sure to engage your core. Bend your elbows and lower down into a tricep dip. Push back up and repeat.
Exercise #5: Supermans
Lie face down. Extend your arms straight in front of you and extend your legs straight back behind you. Slowly lift your arms and chest up off the ground. At the same time, lift your legs off the ground – squeezing your buttocks. Hold for 5 seconds. Lower, then repeat.
Perform 3 rounds of the above 5 exercises.
However, remember to hydrate before, throughout, and after your workout. If you have time, perform a quick stretch and cool down session afterward.
Want to balance out your upper body workout with a lower body workout? Try these 6 workouts for amazing legs. Become the best version of yourself – start today!