Want to build your upper body strength without leaving the house? PT who’s helped Jodie Comer and Dakota Johnson shares six moves
- PT to Hollywood’s Jodie Comer and Dakota Johnson shares upper body workout
- Six moves that build your back, chest and arms without using any weights
- The celeb PT uses household objects including towels and doorframes instead
- Follow along each move for eight reps and three rounds for a full workout
Desperate to improve your upper body strength without pumping iron like a Arnold Schwarzenegger wannabe?
Well, you might be in luck.
Celebrity personal trainer Luke Worthington has revealed six moves which will make your arms burn.
And you don’t even need to lift a single weight or step inside the gym — they can all be done from the comfort of your own home.
For this exercise routine you do not need to lift a single weight or step inside the gym, simply follow the six steps below. Some moves will give you a ripped core and train your back muscles, while the others will make your biceps burn just by using a towel
Killing Eve star Jodie Comer pictured at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards as the winner for Best Actress for ‘Prima Facie’. She is one of many celebs to be trained by Luke Worthington such as models Winnie Harlow and Munroe Bergdorf. Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson, pictured right at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, has had help to stay fit from the same personal trainer
Getting creative with the space in his home, Mr Worthington uses bath towels, doorframes and his stairs to get a ripped core and muscular arms.
To ‘get the most bang for your buck’, Mr Worthington says a balanced upper body work out should include both ‘vertical and horizontal pushes and pulls, as well as some core stability’.
The PT has helped celebs including models Winnie Harlow and Munroe Bergdorf, Killing Eve star Jodie Comer and Hollywood’s Dakota Johnson.
Some moves will give you a ripped core and train your back muscles, while others will make your biceps burn just by using a towel.
Complete each of the following six moves for eight repetitions, with a 90-second rest between moves to catch your breath. Then repeat for three rounds.
Horizontal Pull Towel Row
For this move all you need is a towel and a door.
It might sound strange, but Mr Worthington insists it builds your biceps, back and core in exactly the same way as lifting weights at the gym.
First, put the short edge of the bath towel over the top of the door and close it.
Making sure it is securely in place, grab the loose edges of the towel.
Luke Worthington shows us how to use a towel to train your arms, back and core. Start by placing your feet towards the door and lean backwards, so that your body is at approximately 30 degrees
Using the towel pull yourself in a straight line. As you pull yourself up you should feel the muscles in your upper back and the front of your arms working
Place your feet towards the door and lean backwards, so that your body is at approximately 30 degrees.
Then, pull yourself in a straight line towards the towel.
Make sure you are squeezing your glutes and abdominals to protect your spine and tucking your chin to your chest to protect your neck.
As you pull yourself up, you should feel the muscles in your upper back and the front of your arms working.
When your chest reaches the edge of the towel, slowly lower yourself back to the start position.
If you want to make this move a bit easier, just start it in a more upright position, Mr Worthington recommends.
Horizontal Push Press Up
This wide press up variation will make your triceps, pectoral muscles, and shoulders burn.
To start, get into a high plank position with your arms straight.
Keep your hands wider than your shoulders and make sure your fingers are spread to take the weight off your wrists.
Squeeze your buttocks and your abdominals to protect your spine and then engage the muscles in your upper back by ‘shrugging downwards’.
When you are in plank position make sure you keep your hands wider than your shoulders and make sure your fingers are spread to take the weight off your wrists
If you feel this is not working your muscles enough, you can make it tougher by elevating your feet. You can do this by using a mall stool or step
Help to stabilise your back in this move by turning your hands outwards on the floor.
Then, lower yourself down towards the floor, ensuring you maintain a level spine and you are in one horizontal line from your ankle to your ear.
Once you reach this position, pause for one second, pressing your hands hard into the floor before pushing yourself back to the starting position.
As you push back up, make sure you keep a straight line and exhale fully when your arms are straight and you reach high plank.
If you feel this is not working your muscles enough, you can make it tougher by elevating your feet. You can do this by using a small stool or step, Mr Worthington says.
But if you feel you need to ease yourself into this plank move, elevate your upper body by placing a stool or step underneath your hands. This should make the move feel more manageable and take a bit of the weight off.
Vertical Push Doorway Overhead Press
This move will burn your upper back, triceps, shoulders and your chest and all you need is a doorframe. Mr Worthington even uses a wall and the staircase banister.
Stand about three to four feet away from a sturdy doorframe, with the door open.
Lean forwards and place your hands either side of the doorframe. Adjust your feet so you have a 90 degree bend at your hips.
Using a doorframe or something similar in your home lean forwards and place your hands either side before starting the move
As you press forwards aim to keep a horizontal straight line in your arms, through your upper back and through to your hips
Tip forwards onto your toes, so you feel the weight is shifted to your hands which are pushing up against the doorframe.
Aim to keep a horizontal, straight line in your arms, through your upper back and through to your hips.
As you lean into the door frame, bend your arms and continue to tip forwards towards the door frame.
Once you bend your arms so the doorframe is in line with your ears, press with both hands to bring yourself back to the starting position.
If you don’t feel a strong contraction in the muscle of the shoulders and the backs of your arms, you are not pushing yourself enough, says Mr Worthington.
This is the ultimate move for working your biceps and lower back muscles, he claims.
Lay face down with your belly touching the floor.
Reach your arms above your head with your palms facing the floor.
Keeping your arms straight, lift your chest and legs off the floor by engaging the muscles of your upper back.
Lay on your belly and stretch your arms and legs out keeping them off the floor. You will feel this move in your back muscles
If you struggle imagine you are trying to touch your elbows together behind your lower back. You should feel all the muscles in your upper back working
Keeping your palms facing down, pull your elbows down and towards each other, squeezing your shoulder blades together. To help, imagine you are trying to touch your elbows together behind your lower back.
You should feel all the muscles in your upper back burning.
Then, without letting your hands or feet touch the floor, return to the start position before repeating the move eight times.
This killer core exercise will make your abs sore.
Lying flat on your back, either on the floor or on a yoga mat, try to get as much of your spine touching the ground as possible.
If you struggle to do this, Mr Worthington suggests thinking about making a double chin and lifting up your belt buckle at the same time.
Now, raise your arms straight up towards the ceiling.
The key to getting deadbugs right is to get as much of your spine touching the ground as possible
Fully exhale as you stretch your leg and without letting your heel touch the floor, slowly return to the start position with your shins in a ‘tabletop’
Make a 90-degree bend at the hips and knees to create a ‘table top’ position with your shins.
Without lifting any part of your spine off the floor, reach your left arm up above and behind your head and extend your right leg.
As you extend your limbs, push your heel away and flex your foot so your toes are pointing towards the ceiling.
Fully exhale as you stretch your leg and without letting your heel touch the floor, slowly return to the start position with your shins in a ‘tabletop’.
Repeat the same move, but extending your right arm and left leg instead.
Towel Bicep Curl
Just as you thought your arms could not take anymore there is one final move to do, as Mr Worthington adds a bicep curl to the end of this routine.
Without lifting a single dumbbell and only using your own body weight, this move will help give you bigger biceps.
Grab the towel again and put the shorter side over the top of the door. Close the door towards you making sure the towel is secure.
Stand with your feet towards the door and, holding onto the edges of the towel, lean backwards so that your body forms an angle of approximately 30 degrees.
Grab your towel again and head back to your doorframe. Stand with your feet towards the door and holding onto the edges of the towel lean backwards so that your body forms an angle of approximately 30 degrees
If you find this move easy you may want to take it up a notch. To make it harder move your feet closer towards the door and having a more horizontal body angle
Make sure you squeeze your glutes and abdominals to protect your spine and tuck your chin to protect your neck.
Slowly bend your arms and bring your forehead in line with the towel.
Once you reach this position you should feel a strong contraction in the muscles at the front of your arm.
Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
If you find this move easy you may want to take it up a notch. To make it harder move your feet closer towards the door and having a more horizontal body angle, Mr Worthington recommends.
And to make it easier, move your feet further away and starting at a more upright position.
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