Join Pat Chadwick as he shows you a back and bicep workout that specifically targets all areas of your back and biceps with bodyweight. Learn how to advance your pulling strength and grow your muscles by using variations of pull-ups on the bar and on gymnastic rings.

There are 10 unique exercises in this workout that will give you a serious burn and a good sweat. You will perform each exercise for 10 reps followed by resting for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise - take extra rest if you need to, just don't give up!

Here's the deal, presently, we tend to sit behind a computer screen for hours which can be very difficult to maintain correct posture, and research suggests that if this bad habit is practiced at an early age, this can cause strain on the spine, muscles, tendons, joints, discs, and bones which can cause fatigue and distortion. You can also prevent this by practicing regular exercise as it strengths the upper body muscles such as your chest, trapezius, and core, which will improve your posture.

What Muscles are Worked by this Back and Bicep Workout?

The primary muscles worked are the latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, triceps, rhomboids, trapezius, teres major, anterior deltoids, and infraspinatus. The secondary muscles worked are the abdominals, biceps, and forearms, serratus anterior, and posterior deltoids.

What Level is this Back and Bicep Workout?

All fitness levels can participate in this workout as the video will demonstrate a Beginner’s version of each exercise in the bottom lefthand corner. Beginner’s, intermediate, and advanced level Gymless athletes can enjoy the gains from this workout! This is a challenging routine, and we only get fitter and stronger when we get out of our comfort zone! You can pause the video and take a longer break if you need to - just don’t give up!

Back and Bicep Routine

Australian Pull-Ups

  1. Place yourself under a low bar or gymnastics rings with your arms locked out and hands being in line with your chest. Your body should be at an inclined slope with your feet together, legs extended and heels dug into the ground. Engage your core to ensure your body is in a straight line. The steeper the slope of your body is, the easier it will be to execute this exercise.
  2. Exhale as you pull up by bending the elbows. Pull up as high as you can while keeping your core tight. 
  3. Inhale as you extend your arms and return to the starting position. Lock your arms out fully before repeating the next rep.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. You can learn more about this exercise and its benefits in this Australian pull-ups tutorial.

Reverse Ring Flys

  1. Using gymnastics rings, you will begin in an Australian pull-up position where your body is at an inclined slope with your arms and leg extended, and feet together. Brace your core to keep your body rigid and straight from head to feet. The general rule is that the flatter the slope of your body, the easier it will be to perform this movement.
  2. Exhale as you retract your scapulars (pulling your shoulder blades together), and draw your hands away from each other backward to create a T-shape with your body. Keep your arms as straight as possible. Hold at the top position for 2 seconds.
  3. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. If this movement is too difficult, you and walk back a few steps so that your body is at a steeper angle. This will take the load away from your upper body muscles.

Ring Curls

  1. Begin by standing tall whilst holding a pair of gymnastics rings using a supinated/underhand grip. 
  2. Take two steps back followed by leaning backwards and extending your arms to put your body at an inclined slope. Engage your glutes and core to ensure that your body is rigid.
  3. Exhale as you contract your biceps and curl your hands towards your head to shift your draw your body upwards. Pull up as high as you can. Keep your core tight throughout this movement.
  4. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position by extending both arms. Ensure that your arms are locked out before repeating the next rep.
  5. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. Want to learn more about targeting the biceps using only body weight? Check out this bicep curls tutorial to see 7 different exercises that you can do at home, today!

Pull-Ups

  1. Start in a dead hang position with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, using a pronated/overhand grip. Your arms are locked out and your feet are off the ground. Engage your core.
  2. Exhale as you pull the bar towards the ground by contracting your biceps and back muscles. Pull up until your chin is above the bar. 
  3. Inhale as you slowly extend your arms and return to the starting position. Lock your arms out fully.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. We have extensively covered the benefits, progressions, and variations of this exercise in this pull-ups tutorial. Be sure to check it out.

Pelican Curls

  1. Stand tall and grip tightly on the rings using a supinated/underhand grip. Walk two steps forward, followed by extending your arms behind you and shifting your weight to your toes. Your body is at an inclined slope. Engage your core to keep your body in a straight line. 
  2. Exhale as you curl your biceps by pulling your hands down to pivot your body backward. Maintain core engagement throughout this movement. Hold at the top position for two seconds. 
  3. Inhale as you extend your arms and return to the starting position. 
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps. The general rule is that the flatter your body is, the harder it will be to perform this exercise as more load will be distributed to your upper body muscles.

Inverted Deadlifts

  1. Begin by gripping the bar or rings tightly using a pronated/overhand grip. Kick your legs up whilst keeping them straight and together, to arrive in an inverted hanging position where your head is pointing towards the ground, and your feet are pointing towards the ceiling. Brace your core and keep your body in a straight line.

  2. Inhale as you slowly sink your hips towards the ground while keeping your arms and legs straight. Lower until your back is parallel to the ground. Your legs should form a 90-degree angle in relation to your torso at the bottom position.

  3. Exhale as you squeeze your glutes and core to push your hips forward and return to the inverted hanging position. 

  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps.

Skin the Cat

  1. Grip the bar or rings tightly using a pronated/overhand grip.
  2. Keeping your arms locked out, you will kick your legs upwards to loop your legs through the space between your head and your hands. Tuck your knees inwards towards your chest. Lower down until your back is parallel to the ground. Inhale as you do this.
  3. Exhale as engage your core and back muscles to pull your hips backward and return to the starting position. Keep your knees tucked in towards your chest. Lock your arms up fully before repeating the next rep.
  4. Repeat this movement for 6 reps. This is a great exercise for developing your core and lats for advanced skills such as the back lever and front lever. Practice this exercise regularly and you will sure unlock these moves.

Australian Pull-Ups (Supinated Grip)

  1. Begin in an Australian pull-up position using a supinated/underhand grip. Your hands are in line with your chest, arms and legs fully extended, feet together, and body at an inclined slope. Brace your core. 
  2. Exhale as you curl to pull your chest as high as your can towards the bar while keeping your core tight. 
  3. Inhale as you slowly extend your arms and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this movement for 10 reps.

Isometric Chin-Up Hold

  1. Start in a dead hang position with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width using a supinated/underhand grip. Your core should be tight and your feet should be off the ground. 
  2. Exhale as you pull your body upwards by bending the elbows until your chin is above the bar. If you can’t pull up, you can kick up to assist in getting into the position.
  3. Hold this top position for 20 seconds. Keep your core, biceps, and back muscles tensed.

Commando Pull-Ups

  1. Stand tall facing sideways of the pull-up bar.  Grab the bar tightly using a mixed grip with your hands in front of each other. Your arms should be locked out and feet off the ground to be in a dead hang position. 
  2. Exhale as you pull up by bending the elbow until your chin clears one side of the bar. Keep your core tight throughout this movement.
  3. Inhale as you return to the starting position, locking your arms out before repeating the next rep. 
  4. Repeat this movement with your chin clearing the bar on the opposite side.
  5. Perform this motion for 10 reps. You can find out more exercises that are bicep dominant in this chin-ups tutorial.

Thank you for following along with me in this workout. You are improving at least 1% a day so keep this momentum up and follow through until you’ve reached your fitness goals. I encourage you to try different workouts that target different muscle groups such as the complete chest workout and 10 min ab and core workout. This will allow your back and bicep muscles to recover - See you there!

About the Author

My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.