HIIT Upper Body Exercises

Incorporating HIIT upper body exercises into your regular exercise routines will do wonders for building and toning muscles in your arms, chest, back, etc.

If you’re dieting, any HIIT exercises are the best way to promote fast and steady weight loss.

However, if you’re lean and you’re looking for muscle mass or better tone in your upper body, appling HIIT techniques to these exercises produce super results.

  • Pushups
  • Pull-ups
  • Weights

If you want to see fantastic results, focus entire workout sessions on your upper body with these exercises.

In fact, you could focus on these exercises for a month or more and stand a good chance of re-making your upper body?

Because the exercises listed below are compound movements, you’ll be working several muscle groups at the same time.

Let’s look at some of the best upper body exercises you can do for results.


Everybody knows what these are, and you can do them fast if you’re strong enough. But what if I can’t do pushups at all?

Pushups need to be a part of any exercise routine to build muscle and strength. They do more than building upper body, they are great for abs and midsection.

If you’re not strong enough at the moment to do pushups, just do them from your knees.

Kneeling Push Ups Work

Kneeling push ups are just an easier version of standard and the various versions of pushups.

I’m not talking about impressing anyone at the gym..Yet?

I’m talking about if you’re just starting out, out of shape, overweight, or whatever might keep you from standard push ups.

Doing them from your knees works the same upper body muscles and you can apply HIIT techniques to them just as well.  Over time you will build the strength to move to the standard version.

There are a wide variety of pushups such as: pike pushups, military pushups, diamond pushups, plyo pushups, sphinx pushups, Spiderman pushups and so on.

In fact, if you can get into doing these different types of pushups, that’s probably all you need to workout your entire upper body.


We all recognize that pull-ups are the benchmark of all upper body exercises.

They require a lot of upper body, and especially back strength — and the truth is few bother with them.

Even if you think you can’t do pull-ups, they are worth your effort to work towards.

If you can’t do one, it’s certainly not cheating to get someone to help lift your body weight as you pull with your arms and upper body.

Important Note About Using Assistants for Pull-ups

I see people trying to improve their ability to do pull ups with someone helping them — who never progress to doing them alone.

You must gradually increase your practice alone to actually build the muscles used.

Because pullups are depending on strong back muscles, don’t neglect back exercises.

Ideally, you should be able to do 10 to 15 pull-ups. Then you can do them at a fast pace that’s required when doing HIIT.

Using weights

So, there’s no doubt that both push ups and pull-ups are super for upper body workouts.

But taking your workouts to the next level means getting involved with dumbbells, barbells and other gym equipment.

The weight you use here should challenge your strength, but not annihilate you.

If you’re doing weight training correctly — you are doing sets – resting -doing another set, right?

That doing sets and resting is the core of HIIT exercises.

It’s just that you need to do the sets fast and “challenging” AND cut down considerably on the time spent resting to make your weight training HIIT.

Using weights for HIIT jut means going all out and reducing the wait time between sets.

Doing a lot of overhead presses with dumbbells and barbells with fast sets is going to give your upper body a great workout.

More HIIT Upper Body Workouts

  • Rowing
  • Rope pulldowns
  • Overhead cable triceps extensions
  • Dips

What Is HIIT

HIIT is simply the abbreviation for high-intensity interval training.

That means giving all you have (100%) with fast and intense burst of exercise

And then following that with short periods to recover

And then all out exercise again.

So you can see that it doesn’t really matter what particular exercise you chose to do — you can turn it into HIIT exercises.

Check out this post for several arm workout with dumbbells that will easily work with HIIT.

Training like this builds remarkable strength, muscle, and endurance while burning off excess fat fast.

HIIT does all of this because you are exercising with your heart rate up which is increasing blood and oxygen flow.

HIIT Still Requires Good Form

HIIT means putting out maximum effort at maximum speed. However, you never want to sacrifice your form for the speed. (actually that’s true no matter what type of exercise or workout you’re into)

Not only does bad form (or no form) reduce the efficiency and usefulness of the exercise, it can make it dangerous, and usually leaves you with more muscle soreness than necessary.

Not sure about correct form for your upper body exercises? Search Google and YouTube for demonstration videos.

The best way to practice proper form with exercise moves is to see what the right — then practice each move slowly as you begin to get the hang of it.

After you’ve become acclimated to the proper form you can try doing the exercise faster while continuing to maintain and focus on form.

Putting It All Together

There’s a good chance that practicing and working to perfect the exercises above ( pushups, pull-ups, and the weights) will be enough to keep you challenged for months.

And to tell you the truth, 2-3 months of regular HIIT should get you lean and shredded. If you’re overweight, of course it could take longer as your body sheds pounds.

Read this if you have any doubts about how often you should work out?

When you’re satisfied with your progress you can make a choice between hypertrophy (focused training for specific muscle groups) or sticking to the HIIT workouts.

HITT itself goes far beyond these upper body exercises and has many advantages and benefits. It all depends on your fitness goals and how you wish to look.

The fact is that HIIT workouts give you a lot of flexibility and are highly effective if you do them right.

The best way to start exercising and working out is with HITT. This way you will build a good foundation of strength and fitness before progressing to other forms of training.

Leave a Comment