Build bigger arms, pecs and shoulders at home with this 4-move bodyweight workout

Iron isn't always necessary to build a more muscular physique

Man performing push ups
(Image credit: Getty Images)

T-shirt season is almost upon us, so it’s time to get the arms, chest and shoulders looking swole. This 20-minute workout is ideal for squeezing into your busy schedule and will build a bigger upper body from the comfort of your own home, as you don’t need a single piece of equipment. Plus, each exercise will challenge your core too, just for good measure.

Can a bodyweight workout actually change your physique though? Yes, they can. Hypertrophy – a.k.a increasing the size of your muscles – comes down to a number of factors, but the most important factor is progressive overload. This is where you increase the amount of stress placed on the muscles by upping the intensity of your exercises. This can be done by increasing your reps, weights, or adding in tempo work, while several studies also support the effectiveness of bodyweight exercises. So, as long as your workouts continue to challenge you (like this one), gains will be made.

As we mentioned earlier, no home gym equipment is needed for this workout, so it can literally be completed anywhere. Perform each exercise for 15 reps, then take a 30-second break in between each exercise. Once you’ve completed one round, rest for 90 seconds, before repeating the workout two more times. Here are your exercises:

  • Push-up
  • X-plank
  • Commandos
  • Shoulder taps

Now it’s time to work your lower body – here’s a five-move leg and glute workout that you can do at home, again, using nothing but your body weight. Finally, finish the week off with this 10-minute core workout and you would have worked all the main muscle groups in your body. 

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.