No Equipment? No Problem! At-Home Upper Body Workout

Okay…now that we’ve had time to process some of our feelings these last few weeks, it’s time to change out of those sweats (into some cute leggings), take a break from making TikTok videos, and get to work! Just because the gyms are closed doesn’t mean you can’t get in a killer workout during all this downtime and work up a sweat, and I’m not talking about the kind of sweat that comes with panic-teaching our kids math while they’re at home. Come on, moms and dads, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

This upper body workout is the perfect little burner to get you up off the couch and moving, all in the comfort of your own home, and the best part is if you don’t have equipment, you can use some common items you probably already have around the house. See, working out CAN be easy!

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At-Home Upper Body Workout

Grab two full water jugs. These little bad boys are going to be your dumbbells for the day. Bonus: If you do this workout first thing in the morning, keep one water jug with you all day and make it your goal to drink it! Water is so beneficial for so many reasons, and staying hydrated is key to reaching your goals and to just feeling good.

Perform each movement for 60 seconds. Once you’ve completed all the moves, that’s round one. Rest for about 60 seconds, and then begin round two. Repeat for a total of five rounds and watch those biceps, shoulders, and back get sculpted and toned in no time!

My Water Jug Super Plank

  • Begin in a plank position with your arms straight underneath your shoulders and your legs fully extended with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your core tight throughout the movement.
  • Grab a water jug with your left hand and, using a controlled motion, raise your arm until it is straight up over your body, turning your body to the side to assist the movement. Return the jug to the ground.
  • Lower your left arm to your elbow, followed by your right arm to elbow, then straighten your left arm, followed by your right arm.

  • Repeat the movement, grabbing the water jug with your right hand this time, raise your arm until it is straight over your body, turning your body to the side to assist the movement. Then return the jug to the ground.
  • Lower your right arm to your elbow, followed by your left arm to your elbow, then straighten your right arm, followed by your left arm.
  • Repeat for 60 seconds.

Cuban Press

  • This movement is a combo of an upright row and a shoulder press.
  • Grab two water jugs, 1 in each hand, palms facing your backwards. Keep your core tight throughout the movement.
  • Without shrugging your shoulders, raise the water jugs along your body up to chin height. “Butterfly” your elbows out to the sides, always keeping them higher than your hands.
  • Flip the handles of your water jugs around so your palms are facing forward, then press the water jugs up and together to full elbow extension, then slowly lower them back down to the starting position, flipping the water jug handles and your palms to facing backwards as needed to return to the starting position.

Tip: Keep the motion slow and controlled to maximize stimulation in the muscles.

Bent Over Row

  • Grab two water jugs.
  • Pike forward at the waist with your elbows fully extended and your palms facing in. Be sure to keep your back flat, your chest out, and your core tight throughout the movement.
  • Pull upward with your elbows in an invisible line through your belly button. Pull as far as you can until your arms stop, then lower them back down to full extension.

Tip: Keep your shoulders pressed down and back to isolate the lats.

Lateral Delt Raise

  • Grab two water jugs.
  • Keep your elbows slightly bent and locked in place with the water jugs down at your sides.
  • Raise the water jugs out and to the side?up to shoulder height or slightly higher. Then slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Keep your core tight throughout the movement.

Tip: If the water jugs feel too heavy during your lateral delt raises, you can swap them out for canned goods found in the pantry. The most important thing is to listen to your body and make sure your form is good!

See?! Who says you need to spend hours in the gym to get fit? This routine is a surefire way to light up those muscles and make the most with what you’ve got. So, in a few months, when you ARE back in the gym, you can show off all your progress to those gym buddies you’re currently missing! What ways have you found to stay active at home?! Please share in a comment below!


Here are some more at-home workouts you can do!

Total Body Burner: At-Home Kettlebell Workout
At-Home Stepladder Workout
No Gym, No Problem: Workouts on the Go
A Lotta Tabata || 4-Minute Total Body Toning Workouts
Fit On The Job! 6 Tips + 14 Exercises for the Desk Bound Professional

3 Responses

  1. Hey, I read your article and your information are such great and amazing it is so much helpful for me. Thank you so much:)

  2. Hello.. I need help. How can I get my 14 yearold daughter started. I am very concerned about her weight. She emotionally eats. She has started therapy again to help her with her emotional health. I am trying different things with her but feel I don’t succeed. I don’t want her to be Diabetic like I am or have other health problems. She has her whole life ahead of her. With the situation we are in I feel she will gain more weight and extremely worried.

    1. Hi Ana: It can be so hard when one of our kids is struggling. One of the best things you can do is be an example of healthy living yourself. It doesn’t have to be any thing extreme, just focusing on eating healthy foods and getting in some movement. And being positive in the way you talk about healthy living is huge. It should definitely help with her speaking with a therapist, which will help her dive deeper into what’s going on, which can, in turn, help with the healthier choices. We wish you both all the best! Please keep us updated on how she’s doing. She can do this, especially with you on her side. 🙂

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