Upper Body Isometric Exercises with PDF

Isometric exercises are an easy and efficient way to increase strength and stability. If you’ve just started working out and want to develop strength effortlessly, you can try the isometric workout. In this article, I’m going to share a myriad of isometric exercises for the upper body (with PDF) that you can do with and without equipment at home.

I’ve shared more than 25 exercises including bodyweight and weighted isometric upper body workouts, so you can do them depending on your strength.

Save this for future use: The Best Upper Body Dumbbell Workout (With PDF)

Who Can Do Isometric Upper Body Workout? 

Isometric exercises primarily use for rehabilitation purposes. If you’re a beginner, senior, middle to old age female or you have recently recovered from injury, then you can do isometric workouts to strengthen a specific muscle, or entire upper and lower body.

Download Upper Body Isometric Exercises PDF
isometric workout for upper body

Please note: If you have any injuries, please consult a qualified professional for any medical attention.

Related: Isometric Exercises List (with PDF)

Well, doing isometric training has several benefits, for example, It

  • lowers Systolic Blood Pressure
  • Strengthen injured muscle
  • Reduce the risk of injuries
  • May increase bone density and many more.

Isometric Upper Body Workout for Chest

1. Wall Press Hold

If you have an issue with doing push up on your toes, then wall push hold can be useful for you and help you scale up for regular push up. 

To perform this move,

  1. Stand against the wall and place your hands on it, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your elbows and lean forward and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Repeat as many times as you like.

2. Isometric Push Down Hold 

Once you would be able to do wall press hold, you can try “push-down hold” on your knees or toes, depending on your strength.

How to do push downward hold

  1. Get into the “up” position of pushup.
  2. Lower your chest halfway and hold, instead of going down close to the floor.
  3. Hold for as long as you can and repeat for the desired number of times.

3. Isometric Squeeze Press Hold with Dumbbell

You can even do an isometric upper body workout with dumbbells for developing the chest.

You can try an isometric squeeze press.

Steps to do:

  1. Lie on the floor on your back hold one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip above your chest with your palms are facing each other.
  2. Press the weights up until your arms are fully straight.
  3. Squeezing your pecs, hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Do as many times as you like.

Related: Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Home And Gym

17 Dumbbell Chest Exercises You Can Do Without A Bench At Home
The 6 Best Dumbbell Exercises For Lower Chest

4. Cable Fly Hold

If you want to build a shredded chest, you can incorporate a cable fly isometric workout in normal chest your routine.

The steps are quite simple,

  • Attach the handles to an appropriate height, grab them firmly with your hands and take a couple of steps forward.
  • Standing in the split stance, slightly bend your front knee, lean forward and bring the handles toward each other until they are in front of your belly.
  •  Squeezing your chest, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat for a couple of times.
You may also like: Resistance Band Chest Workout
The Best Calisthenics Chest Workout

Isometric Upper Body Exercises for Shoulder Exercise

If you have just recovered from a shoulder injury, you can try the below isometric exercises for shoulder rehab.

5. Isometric Shoulder Flexion at Wall

  1. Stand in front of the wall, take a folded towel, make a fist in your right hand and place it over towel on the wall at your oblique height on the side of the right shoulder.
  2. Gently press through your fist into the wall to activate your shoulder muscles.
  3. Do it 5 to 10 times for five to 10 seconds each time.
Also, see: Bodyweight Exercises For Shoulder (10+ Workout)

6. Isometric Shoulder Extension at Wall

  1. Stand upright a few inches against the wall (back facing the wall) with your arms are straight at your sides.
  2. Make a fist and softly press into the wall for five to ten seconds.
  3. You’ll feel slight activation in your shoulder.

7. Standing Shoulder External Rotation

  1. Stand beside the wall with your right shoulder facing the wall (perpendicular position).
  2. Take a folded towel, make fist, bend your right elbow to 90-degree so your forearm is at oblique level, and place your right fist on it.
  3. Smoothly press into the wall for desired amount of time.
  4. Repeat as many times as you like.
More shoulder workouts you can do: 10 Dumbbell Exercises For Shoulders

8. Isometric Shoulder Internal Rotation

To do this move,

  1. Start with standing in front of the wall.
  2. Bend your elbow on the side of the shoulder you want to activate.
  3. Make a fist in working hand, and place it on the corner of the wall.
  4. You can use soft towel under your fist for support.
  5. Softly press into the wall for five to ten seconds.

Once you feel confident about your shoulder strength, you can even do isometric exercises with a resistance band and dumbbells.

Try the below exercises:

  • Resistance Band and DB Front Deltoid Extension
  • Band and DB Lateral Deltoid Extension
  • Upright Row Hold
  • Shrug Hold
Related: Best Calisthenics Shoulder Workout (10 Exercises)

Isometric Upper Body Workout for Biceps

Whether you want to reduce pain or increase strength, you can do isometric biceps exercises from the list below according to your strength.

These exercises will increase biceps strength and make your arms stronger.

9. Single-Arm Isometric Bicep Curl (Down and up method)

  • Sit comfortably on a chair with your on the floor.
  • Bend your right arm until your forearm in line with your elbow.
  • Place your left hand on your right hand palm.
  • Gently press down with your left hand, hold for a couple of seconds and then press upward with your right hand.
  • Do it several times.

Related: The Best Isometric Bicep Exercises


10. Isometric Towel Curl

  • Stand in the split squat stance, slightly bend your front knee and place your foot on the one end of the towel while grab the other end with an underhand grip (with right hand).
  • Curl your arm until your forearm is in line with your elbow.
  • Squeezing your biceps, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat for a couple of times.

11. Isometric Leg Curl Hold

  • Standing in the normal stance, lift your right leg and bend your knee so you can hold your feet with your left hand.
  • Curl your arm until your biceps muscle activate.
  • Pause for five to ten seconds and repeat twice with your both arms.
You can also save it:  The 10 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Arms

12. Dumbbell Isometric Concentration Curl

  • Holding one dumbbell in right hand, sit on the edge of a bench.
  • Place your elbows inside your right thigh.
  • Curl your arm until you feel the contraction in your bicep and hold there for five to 10 seconds.
  • Do for a couple of times.
  • Use dumbbells according to your strength.

13. Isomeric Bicep Barbell Hold

You can also use a barbell to do isometric bicep exercises.

  • Standing in the shoulder-width stance, grab an empty bar with an underhand grip.
  • Keep your arms straight in front of you.
  • Curl your arm until your forearms in line with your elbows.
  • Hold for a five to 10 seconds and then extend your arms.
  • Do as many times as you want.
If you work out with dumbbells, check out: 10 Best Dumbbell Biceps Workout

Isometric Exercises for Upper Body – Back

If you want to work on your back without putting much stress, you can do isometric back exercises.

The isometric back exercises are, especially for seniors or newbies.

The following exercises can help you improve your upper body strength and develop a better posture.

14. Isometric Y Raise

  • Lie on your stomach, arms straight in front of you and legs extended behind.
  • Raise your arms slightly in a “Y” shape.
  • Squeezing your back muscle, hold in this position for five to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat four to six times.

Related: 16 Isometric Back Exercises With PDF


15. Isometric T Raise

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms are straight out to the sides.
  • Raise your arms slightly outward in a “T” shape.
  • Hold in this position for five to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for six to eight reps.
Check out different variation of IYT raises

16. Isometric W Pull and Hold

  • Lie prone on the floor with your arms are straight in front of you.
  • Slightly lift your chest off the floor and pull your arms inside so they together form “W” shape.
  • Hold in that position for five to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for six to eight reps.

17. Isometric O Raise Workout for Upper Body

  • Lie prone on the floor with your arms are straight in front of you.
  • Lift your chest a few inches off the floor and bring your arms all the way behind you so they meet each other on your lower back, and form “O” shape.
  • Hold in that position for five to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for four to six reps.

18. Towel Row Hold for back

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms are straight in front of you, holding towel with your hands (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart).
  • Slightly lift your chest off the floor and pull your arms inside until the towel nearly touches your chest.
  • Hold in this position for five to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for six to eight reps.

Isometric Upper Body Workouts for Triceps

19. Isometric Extension Hold with Towel

  • Sit on the bench or chair, grab the towel (hold one end with your right hand behind head and another end with your left hand behind back).
  • Extend your right arm fully and then hold for five to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat for a couple of times for each arm.

Related: A complete list of Isometric Tricep Exercises


20. Isometric Tricep Dips

  • Sit tall on a chair with your arms straight at your sides, gripping the edge of the chair firmly.
  • Lift your butt off the floor, keep your legs straight in front of you with your toes pointing outward.
  • Push into the floor until your arms are fully extended.
  • Hold in that position for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Do four to five times.

You can also check out how to do different types of dips at home.


21. Isometric Tricep Kickback

  • Stand straight holding one dumbbell in each hand with your arms are straight at your sides.
  • Slightly bend your knees, lean your torso forward and pull your shoulder blades and keeping your elbows fixed kick your arms back until your triceps engaged.
  • Hold for five to 10 seconds and repeat three to four times both sides.
  • Keep your back straight throughout the movement.
If you work out with dumbbells, see this: 10 Best Dumbbell Triceps Exercises

22. Isometric Rope Pushdown

  • Anchor the rope to the attachment and set to an appropriate height of the cable machine.
  • Stand a feet away from the machine with your face facing the machine.
  • Slightly bend your knees, lean your torso forward and grab the rope firmly.
  • Push the weight down until your arms are straight.
  • Hold there for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat four to six times.
  • Maintain flat back during the movement.

Best Upper Body Isometric Exercises for Core

23. Plank Isometric Upper Body Exercse

  1. Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows underneath your shoulders.
  2. Keep the weight of your body on forearms and toes, face looking downward and maintain straight torso.
  3. Engaging your abdominal muscle, hold in this position for 25 to 30 seconds.

24. Side Plank Hold

  1. Lie on your right side on your forearm, elbow below your shoulder.
  2. Keep your legs straight and stacked from hip to feet.
  3. Brace your core and lift your hips and knees off the floor.
  4. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and then switch on the other side.

25. Isometric Hollow Crunch

  • Lie on your back with your arms are straight at your sides and legs are in front of you.
  • Slightly lift your torso off the ground and bring your knees toward your chest until they are in line with your hips.
  • Keep your arms straight off the floor beside your hips.
  • Engaging your core, hold in this position for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • You’ll feel greater activation in your abdominal muscle.

26. Isometric L-Sit An Intermediate Level Upper Body Workout

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand gip with your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hang onto the bar and raise your legs together until they are parallel to the ground, forming an “L” shape.
  3. Engaging your core, hold in that position for 10 seconds and then lower your legs.
  4. Repeat two to three times.
Best Pull-Up Bar Ab Workout

27. V-up Hold

  • Lie flat on the mat with your arms are straight behind you.
  • Lift your arms and legs together off the floor until your body is in “V” shape.
  • Engaging your core, hold in this position for 10 seconds.
  • Do a couple of times.

28. Isometric Lying Leg Raise

  • Start with lying flat on the mat with your arms are straight at your side and keep your hands underneath your butt for support.
  • Raise your legs straight and together until your feet pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Keeping your abdominal muscle engaged, hold in this position 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat twice.

29. Bird-Dog Isometric Hold Exercise for Upper Body

  • Get on your all fours with your arms are straight below your shoulder and knees underneath your hips.
  • Engage your abs, and raise your right arm in front of you and left leg behind you simultaneously until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for the desired amount of time and then switch on the other side.
  • Repeat two to three times.
You may enjoy: The 15-Minute HIIT Core Workout And Exercises

Upper Body Isometric Exercises PDF

Download this upper body isometric exercises PDF for future use.


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