The best calisthenics upper body exercises for a building strength and muscle workout

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Working out with calisthenics is an effective way to build upper body strength and gain various functional fitness benefits.

Unlike some exercises that isolate one muscle group, such as bench presses or bicep curls, calisthenics involves multi-joint movements that engage many muscles together.

This means you can build muscle in your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and core all at once!

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make the most of your calisthenics training through effective bodyweight exercises and easy-to-find equipment.

Get ready to strengthen your upper body without the need for a costly gym membership!

Calisthenics is a popular exercise routine known for its ability to build superhuman strength skills and tricks.

Even if you’re just starting out, calisthenics can give you the foundational strength needed to execute more challenging moves like straight bar muscle ups, planches, and levers.

But it’s important to note that these upper-body skills will take time and effort to master no matter how tough your calisthenics workouts get!

Performing calisthenics as part of a combined training regimen is an excellent way to supplement your progress towards achieving these impressive feats of strength plus, you’ll also be sculpting your body in the process, making you look and feel like a real-life greek god in the bargain.

The best calisthenics upper body exercises for a building strength and muscle workout

Upper body calisthenics workout

This intense upper body calisthenics workout is your key to obtaining strength and muscle development gains.

For the most complete training schedule, you can add an independent leg day or two within your prescribed regimen.

You should be prepared to push yourself hard as this full-body program is designed with a high-volume of exercises and relies on minimum rest periods that will challenge your muscles until they reach failure.

If you’re looking to move mountains, then this comprehensive workout is your ticket to success.

Exercises For Calisthenics upper body Workout


Pull-ups are a classic exercise for building strength and mastering control of your upper body. To do a pull-up, start in a dead hang with your arms straight down and shoulder blades depressed.

Drive your elbows towards your hips to lift yourself up towards the bar until it nearly touches your chest.

Variations such as chin ups or explosive pull ups can allow you to measure progress more quantitatively and reach specific fitness goals more easily.

Adding pull-ups to a routine for building your back and biceps is a good way to track your physical progress and reach new fitness heights.

Dips on Straight Bar

To master the muscle up, consistent practice is key and this can be achieved by focusing on different exercises involved.

One of these exercises is dips on a straight bar which focuses on chest strength as well as activating the triceps and shoulders in order to help achieve the correct form.

To do this, you must lean forward to create a 90 degree angle between your arms and lower body for optimal results.

This exercise should always be undertaken with proper supervision or guidance from an experienced instructor in order to prevent possible injury or incorrect form.

Chest Dips

The upcoming exercise is designed to strengthen your chest and triceps, as well as strengthening your shoulders.

The amount of load placed on your chest will be higher than exercises you have likely done in the past, so keep that in mind when beginning the exercise.

You will need to go lower than usual to ensure that your shoulders can safely handle the added load aim for lower than 90 degrees for best results.

When you are bent over parallel bars with arms extended, make sure to tilt forward slightly and focus your sight downwards so that you can get optimal results from this exercise.


Push-ups are one of the most effective calisthenics exercises for building upper body strength and activating the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

They can be done with minimal equipment, making them a great choice for anyone from beginner exercisers to veteran gym rats.

Tinkering with the various variations of push-ups helps build muscle, increase endurance, or hone coordination skills.

Because you can play around with angles and levels, you will never get tired or bored of this amazing exercise as there’s always something new to try out!

With so many different options tailored for all fitness levels, push-ups offer an enjoyable yet efficient way to stay active.

Incline Push-ups

Incline push-ups offer an array of benefits, both for those just starting out and for those looking for a challenge.

It’s important to find the right height forYou in order to make the most out of this exercise; a comfortable height can make it easier, but if you are looking for a tougher workout, a greater incline will increase training volume on the pushing muscles.

Furthermore, if you have already been doing incline push-ups, then you can take one step further and try performing the harder variation of them from last time this technique focuses on specific muscle groups and builds concentration and strength.


The plank is a great calisthenics exercise that works the core muscles, and provides excellent core strength transfer to other exercises such as push-ups and pull ups.

When doing a plank, it’s crucial to protract the scapula and ensure a straight body line while engaging all your muscle groups.

Don’t forget to breathe normally this is key to optimizing the benefits of this valuable exercise! Planks not only train your core muscles but also target other muscles like the shoulders and glutes, creating balance in your body.

If you want stronger abs and an overall stronger physique, planks can help get you there!

Example of these Exercises incorporated into a Workout

Pull-ups – 20 reps

Dips on Straight Bar – 20 reps

Chest Dips – 20 reps

Push-ups – 15 reps

Incline Push-ups – 15 reps

Plank – hold for 1 minute

Repeat this workout circuit 3 times, reps are recommendations add you own rep variation to suit your level of fitness.

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