Can You Still Build Muscle If You Do Cardio?

There are many upper body cardio workouts that you can do to build your muscles. This article focuses on the upper body muscles and the cardio exercises that you can do to target different upper body muscles.  As such, the text examines the upper cardio workouts that you can do using weights.

If you don’t have weights, don’t worry there are many exercises outlined below that you can do without gym equipment.

If you are suffering from a leg injury, do not worry, this article also caters you with various exercises that you can do to develop upper body muscles without engaging your legs.

You don’t have any excuses; you just have to enjoy building your upper body muscles while doing cardio exercises with the help of the many exercises listed below.

Upper Body Cardio Workouts Without Weights

The upper body cardio exercises are known for burning fat and calories. There are various upper body cardio exercises that you can do without weights. For example, you can do mountain climbers, wall push-ups, wall walkouts, rhomboid pulls, arm circles, shadow-boxing, many others.

These exercises target the arms, shoulders, chest, back, core, and abs. In addition, they keep your upper body muscles tight and lean. Besides that, cardio exercises are good for managing heart related diseases and for lowering blood pressure.  Below are some exercises that you can try at home without equipment.upper body cardio - Wall workout

Hand Walkouts

This exercise is beginner-friendly and can be done by anyone regardless of age and gender. In addition, it targets delts, abs, core, and triceps. The mentioned muscles get strengthened by doing the hand walkout. To do the exercise follow the steps below

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your body to place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
  3. Then start walking your hands going forward.
  4. Continue walking until your hands are below your head. You can balance with your toes as you keep your body is flat.
  5. Reverse your hands to a starting position.
  6. Repeat

Wall Push-Ups

This exercise is easy to do and it can be done by elders who may fail to do traditional push-ups. In addition, wall push-ups can be done by those suffering from shoulder injuries. More so, targets the shoulders, pecs, triceps, and chest muscles. To do the exercise, follow the steps below;

  1. Stand on your feet at shoulder-width apart facing the wall. Make sure that your hands can reach the wall being fully stretched.
  2. Touch the wall with your palms and press in while bending your elbows. Press in towards the wall until your face touches the wall.
  3. After that, reverse to the starting position or until your arms are fully extended.

Upper Body Cardio No Legs

You might not be able to train to stand on your legs for various reasons. However, that should not deter you from doing upper body cardio exercises. There are various exercises that you can do without using your legs. For instance, you can do boxing, swimming, curl press, and many others. Below is an exercise that you can try out;


Boxing movements can keep your heart pumping faster. The boxing moves are good at developing the upper body muscles such as the chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and many others. This exercise can be done while seated or standing.

  1. Seat up straight.
  2. Pull up your hands to be by your chest with elbows bent and pointing downwards.
  3. Start jabbing alternating your arms. Make  sure that your arm is fully extended before folding it to the starting position
  4. Repeat

Upper Body Cardio - BoxingUpper Body Cardio No Equipment

There are various exercises that you can do to improve your cardiovascular health. Some of them include push-ups, boxing, suicide drills, sumo squat punches, and more. Below are some of the exercises that you can try out;

Sumo Squat Punches

This exercise targets various muscles. The exercise targets the upper body and lower body muscles. For instance, some muscles that you can exercise include arms, legs, hips, and butt. To do the exercise follow the steps below;

  1. Start by doing a sumo squat with your feet wider apart.
  2. Bend the knees and lower your body to make your thighs parallel to the ground.
  3. Your arms must be bent with elbows pointing downwards. Your fists must be resting on your chest.
  4. Start by punching to the left. Then punch with your right hand alternatively.
  5. Reverse your body to the standing position.
  6. Then repeat the moves up to 50

Suicide Drills

This exercise targets the shoulders, arms, spine, and legs. To do the exercise, follow the steps below;

  1. Stand on your feet wider than shoulder-width distance apart.
  2. Bend and distribute your weight to your right leg. Let your left hand touch down near the right foot.
  3. Alternate and distribute your weight to your left leg. Let your right hand touch down near the left foot.
  4. Repeat 50 times.

Upper Body Cardio Machine

An upper body cardio machine is a machine that you can use to do various cardio exercises. It affords trainers to exercise while seated. The machine is user-friendly. For instance, those with leg injuries or people who use wheelchairs can use the machine.

Some exercises that you can do using the upper body cardio machine include cycling, arm cycling, and more.Upper Body Cardio - wheelchairs workout

Upper Body Cardio Circuit

Cardio circuit training involves doing several activities that target various body muscles. You make sure that the time to do each exercise is short to do the next exercise. As such, you will be alternating between a set of exercises that targets different body muscles.

In this case, you have to choose exercises that target the upper body muscles. Then you can do those exercises making sure that you do them with high intensity. Some upper body exercises that you can do include barbell bent-over row, push-ups, shoulder press, triceps dips, biceps curls, and more.

After choosing your exercises, you can decide the time that you want to spend doing the exercises. Ideally, you can take 10 to 4 minutes to do the circuit exercises.

For example, you dedicate a minute or two in doing one exercise before moving on to the next exercise. In addition, you can do the exercises without resting in between.

This is because you will be alternating and exercising different upper body muscles. For instance, you can move from an exercise that targets arms and do an exercise that targets the chest. Then move on to another muscle group and so forth.

Upper Body Cardio Workout Leg Injury

Having a leg injury does not mean you have to stay in bed and in a wheelchair without doing any form of exercise. There are various exercises that you can do regardless of your leg status. In this case, cardio exercises are meant to leave you breathing fast.

And there are upper body cardio exercises that you can while nursing your injured leg. For example, you can do shadow boxing,  speed bag workout, overhead press, seated cable row,  hand pedaling, and more.Upper Body Cardio - seated cable row

Upper Body Cardio Reddit

In Reddit, people suggest various exercises that you can do to target your upper body. Regardless of your ability status, there are many upper body exercises that you can do.

In Reddit people suggest kettlebell swings, Murph workout, dumbbell military press, swimming (using a pull buoy), and more. These exercises target various upper body muscles. In addition to that, they keep your heart pumping faster.

Upper Body Exercises

Doing upper body exercises is good for developing strength, endurance, muscle mass, and more. You use your upper body in various ways to do day to day activities. As such, your upper body muscles must be strong and fit. You can use gym equipment or do an exercise that doesn’t need equipment.

Some upper body exercises that you can do to build muscles include bench press, chin-ups, reverse curls with bar, bent over row, incline flye, overhead press, and many others. If you don’t have gym equipment, you can try diamond push-ups, plank sidewalks, dragon walk, and many others.

As you do upper body exercises, your shoulder considers the muscles that you are targeting. Upper body muscles include biceps, triceps, traps, delts, back, spine erector, rhomboids, and many others. However, you should avoid hurting yourself.

Some injuries might cost you your life. Therefore, you must exercise smart. Burn calories, strengthen your muscles, build muscle mass, and keep your cardiovascular health.

Final Word

As you do upper body cardio exercises, you can build muscles using various exercises that target different muscles. In the above text, there are various upper body cardio exercises that you can do to build muscles.

Regardless of gender, age, you can find the exercises that meet your needs. For instance, if you have leg injuries, this article has a list of exercises that you can do. Some of them include boxing, swimming (pull buoy), overhead press, and many others.

In addition, the article gives upper body cardio exercises without legs. Furthermore, there are examples of upper body cardio exercises for circuits, without weights, with equipment, and more.

As such, you cannot have an excuse of not doing cardio exercises that can build your muscles. Whether you have leg injuries or other reasons, the above text gives you a list of exercises that you can do to keep your cardiovascular health.

Which cardio exercises are good for building muscles? How do you keep yourself fit when you have leg injuries? Share your experiences below.

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1 thought on “Can You Still Build Muscle If You Do Cardio?”

  1. Wow, this is a very good post and to see that there are some very good upper body cardio that I can do to help me get fit is good. Since the start of the pandemic, I did not leverage on the time to get fit but now I think is not to late and the first karts of my body I wanna work on is my upper body. Thanks!


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