Building a lean upper body doesn’t always require fancy gym equipment or expensive memberships. In fact, some of the most effective exercises can be done right on the floor of your own home. These workouts not only target your upper body muscles but also engage your core for a complete strength-building session. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, I recommend these floor workouts to build a lean upper body.

Incorporate these floor workouts into your fitness routine to strengthen and sculpt your arms, shoulders, chest, and back without the need for equipment. Remember to focus on proper form and gradually increase the intensity as you progress. With consistency and dedication, you’ll soon see improvements in your strength and muscle definition.

Keep reading for the best floor workouts to build a lean upper body, and when you’re finished, be sure to check out these 8 Tips for Boosting Muscle Growth After 50, According to a Trainer.

Workout #1: Pushup Variations

Pushups are a classic bodyweight exercise that effectively targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. By incorporating different variations, you can engage different muscle groups and keep your workouts challenging.

1. Standard Pushups

illustration of pushups
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Begin in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push through your palms to return to the starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

2. Diamond Pushups

woman doing diamond pushups
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Get into a high plank position but place your hands close together directly under your chest, forming a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs. Lower your body until your chest touches your hands. Push back up to the starting position. Perform three sets of eight to 12 reps.

3. Wide-Arm Pushups

Assume a high plank position with your hands positioned wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body down, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your torso. Push back up to the starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps.

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Workout #2: Plank Circuit

Plank variations not only strengthen your upper body but also challenge your core stability, making it a highly effective compound exercise.

1. Plank Shoulder Taps

plank shoulder taps
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Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your hips stable and facing the ground, lift one hand to tap the opposite shoulder. Return the hand to the floor, and repeat on the other side. Alternate tapping each shoulder for 10 to 15 reps per side. Aim for three sets with minimal rest between sets.

2. Side Plank Rotations

Begin in a side plank position with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Rotate your torso, reaching your top arm underneath your body. Return to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of reps. Perform eight to 10 reps on each side for three sets.

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Workout #3: Triceps and Chest Circuit

This circuit targets the triceps, chest, and shoulders, providing a well-rounded upper-body workout.

1. Triceps Dips

tricep dip
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Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Place your hands behind you, shoulder-width apart, with your fingers pointing toward your body. Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your weight on your hands and heels. Lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push through your palms to straighten your arms, and return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

2. Chest Press with Leg Raise

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended above your chest. Lower the dumbbells toward the floor while simultaneously lifting your legs off the ground. Press the dumbbells back up as you lower your legs. Aim for three sets of 12 to 15 reps per leg.

3. Decline Pushups

Assume a pushup position with your feet elevated on a stable surface, such as a chair or bench. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground, maintaining a straight line from head to heels. Push through your palms to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of eight to 10 reps.

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Workout #4: Superman and Reverse Snow Angels Circuit

This circuit focuses on the muscles in your upper back, shoulders, and rear deltoids, helping to improve posture and strengthen the often neglected muscles of the upper back.

1. Superman

illustration of superman back extensions exercise
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Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight. Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for two to three seconds, then lower back down with control. Aim for three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

2. Reverse Snow Angels

Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended straight out to the sides at shoulder level, palms facing down. Keeping your arms straight, lift them off the ground while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

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Workout #5: Pike Pushups and Triceps Extensions Circuit

These workouts to build a lean upper body wrap up with the pike pushup and triceps extensions circuit. This circuit targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper chest, providing a challenging workout for your upper body.

1. Pike Pushups

pike pushups
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Start in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your hips lifted into a downward dog position, forming an inverted V shape with your body. Lower the top of your head toward the floor by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your body. Push back up to the starting position by straightening your arms. Aim for three sets of eight to 10 reps.

2. Triceps Extensions

Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Hold a dumbbell with both hands overhead, arms fully extended. Lower the dumbbell behind your head by bending your elbows. Extend your arms back to the starting position, fully engaging your triceps. Aim for three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

3. Plank-up to Triceps Extensions

Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lower onto your forearms one arm at a time, so you’re in a forearm plank position. Press back up onto your hands one arm at a time. From the plank position, bend your elbows, and lower your chest toward the floor, performing a triceps extension. Push through your palms to straighten your arms and return to the plank position. Aim for three sets of eight to 10 reps.

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