A Quick Bodyweight Shoulder Routine That’ll Hit Your Core, Too

If you’re looking for a quick upper-body routine you can do anywhere—no equipment required—we have you covered with this bodyweight shoulder workout. Added bonus? There are also some core-specific moves in here, too.

In this video, which is the final installment in Sweat With SELF’s new Upper-Body Strength series, you’ll work your shoulders and upper body with some equipment-free moves that will challenge your muscles. Instructor Roz “The Diva” Mays—a NASM-certified personal trainer and pole instructor—and her colleague Tanya Saint Medley will lead you through a 20-minute upper-body workout that cycles through some of their all-time favorite upper-body moves: the reverse fly, reverse fly hold, half push-up, half push-up with leg lift, goalpost rotation, and single-arm goalpost rotation.

If a bunch of those moves sound similar, you wouldn’t be wrong! Workouts that include variations of exercises you’ve mastered are important because they challenge your muscles in slightly different ways. Take the reverse fly. While any kind of reverse fly really hones in on your rear deltoids (the small muscle in the back of your shoulder), adding a pause to the move just intensifies it—it’s just more time under tension. When you add a unilateral (or one-sided) component to any exercise, you can focus on the mind-muscle connection driving the movement. With bilateral moves, sometimes your stronger side can take over, but when you stick with single-sided exercises, you can better identify any strength or range-of-motion differences. That’s why the single-arm goalpost rotation is a great move to slot in after the bilateral goalpost rotation.

While this 20-minute bodyweight workout primarily focuses on upper-body moves, you’ll also perform some exercises that’ll specifically work your core. And that’s really important, since a strong core not only helps you perform upper body exercises more effectively, but it can also guard against injury. Core moves you’ll go through include the wood-chopper and side-crunch in sumo squat—the latter of which will really work your obliques, or the muscles along the sides of your abdomen.

So if you’re ready to challenge your shoulders, upper body, and core, grab your exercise mat and get started with this bodyweight shoulder workout! And if you’re looking for more bodyweight-only upper-body moves to try, check out the other videos in Sweat With SELF’s Upper-Body Strength series here.


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