This page offers a brief overview of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts that can be done at home that focus on the upper body. These workouts are here to inspire you to be active when you are interested and try something new. Therefore you should never feel obligated or pressured to exercise, please listen to what your mind and body are asking of you. We have tried to make each of these workouts accessible and scalable to any level, if you are unsure of a movement please google it as we have not yet had time to make tutorials for all movements. If you have any questions or comments please reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.
We all have different physical skills, experiences, and previous injuries. Therefore it is imperative that you adapt each movement to fit your needs and desires. You can modify these movements in any way, but we suggest a few possible ways below.
- Push-ups: To increase the difficulty you can make them clapping push-ups, or vary the position of your hands. At any point if it becomes too difficult to do a push up here is a step wise way to make them easier.
- Plank Push-up: Come down in a flat plank till your chest touches the ground, then drop your knees and come up.
- Knee Push-up: Drop your knees to the ground, bring your chest to the ground, push up.
- Dips: To increase the difficulty put a weight on your lap, to decrease the difficulty move
Making at Home Weights
If you do not have weights or stretch bands, here are a few ways to make weights at home. You can fill up any bag (hand bags, backpacks, suitcases) with heavy items (filled water bottles, books, canned food) from around your house. Get creative! If you do have weights or resistance bands, please make sure they are appropriate and safe to use.
This workout gets its name from everyone’s favorite poker game. Throughout it you will be building sets of 21 with groups of 3 different movements. This workout focuses on burning out a specific muscle group one at a time. You will need one weight that you can do 7 reps of raises with. Make sure you do not go over 21 and bust!
- 7 regular push ups, 7 wide push-ups, 7 diamond pushups
- You can modify push-ups
- 7 regular dips, 7 wide dips, 7 regular dips
- You can make dips easier by bringing your legs closer in
- 7 front raises, 7 side raises, 7 bent raise
- You can drop weight if needed
Repeat 3 times!
This workout is inspired by one of our favorite woodland creatures, soft, cuddly, and with an upper body that can run faster than you. For this workout you will not need any weights, but you will need space, about 15 feet. Try to channel your inner bear..
- Do as many walking push-ups as you can within the space you have (10-15 feet)
- Bear crawl back to the start
- Do 15 dips or 15 handstand push-ups
Repeat until you feel like a bear
Yup, this workout has one focus and one focus only, those deltoids. While there are a number of different movements that work your entire upper body, each one will hit a different part of your deltoids. For this workout you will need one set of weights that you can do for 10 reps with. See the start of this page on how to make weights at home.
- 10 front delt raises
- 10 decline push-ups
- 10 side delt raises
- 10 dips (as deep as you can go!)
- 10 bent raises
- 10 upright row
Repeat for 3 rounds or until you can not feel your shoulders. If too easy, increase your weight!
This workout mainly focuses on building biceps, ticepts, and forearms for surgery season. You will need two sets of weights, a heavier set that you can do for 4-8 reps, and a lighter set that you can do for 10-14 reps. For making at home weights see the top of this post.
- 8 reps bicep curls, heavier weight
- 8 reps overhead tricep extension, heavier weight
- 14 reps bicep curls, lighter weight
- 14 reps overhead tricep extension, lighter weight
Repeat counting down by reps of two for 3 rounds. (8-6-4 and 14-12-10)
This workout will target the larger muscles, chest, back, shoulder, and core. Perform each movement for either until 1 minute has or until you have reached muscle failure. You will need one weight for all exercises, see above for how to make weights.
- Push-ups: One round each of Traditional, Diamond, Neutral
- Single arm rows
- Shoulder Raise: Forward and Lateral
- Arm circles: One round forward and reverse
- Regular Plank for
- Sit ups
- Flutter Kicks