Although we usually combine strong arms with the ability to bench or lift weights, neither a gym membership nor weights are needed to get the tonus of the arms or the muscles of your dreams.In fact, to obtain sturdy, fitted and sculpted arms, no sophisticated equipment is required. Just a few household items and enough space to move. (Remember, however, to stretch to warm your muscles and avoid injury before you tackle these movements.)
We put in place eight exercises that you can incorporate into your routine or five minutes of a busy day while you prepare dinner, take a break from your desk or watch Netflix. Some even engage your heart and glutes enough so that you can complete a full body routine.
While many upper body exercises involve equipment such as dumbbells and dumbbells, weightless arm exercises are also a good way to put your muscles to the test. After all, your body weight is an equipment in its own right – you can use it to load your muscles and make them work. It is not necessary to lift heavy objects and a subscription to a sports center is completely optional.
To be perfectly clear, it is difficult to work all the muscles of your arms without weight, so that armless exercise equipment will only target certain areas, mainly the upper shoulders (deltoids) and triceps. Other arm muscles, such as the biceps, usually need some external resistance to resist. But the exercises listed here are certainly useful for hitting certain key muscle groups when you do not have access to the equipment.
Most armless equipment exercises are a version of planks or pumps, which means that they also require your heart’s commitment, so that you work those muscles at the same time. This means that you may not feel the same concentrated burn in your arms as you would with, for example, pressure on your shoulders, and that’s fine. It is not because these arm exercises without equipment to isolate the upper body that they do not work. And believe us, you will feel the proof a few days later.
The next time you want to train at home with one arm, try combining 4 to 6 of the 16 moves below to create a workout, performing 45 seconds of each movement, with 15 seconds of rest in between, then repeating the whole. Three times, it’s a good place to start. The pectorals and the dorsal latissimus (or the lats, the largest muscles on each side of the back). These are important areas to reinforce, not only to lift heavier weights, but also to be able to comfortably perform activities of daily living such as carrying shopping bags or lifting your suitcase.
Although these exercises are useful for everyone, whatever your level of fitness, they are particularly interesting for beginners. When you focus solely on using your own body to build resistance (without adding weight), it’s easier to learn the right form, which can help prevent potential injuries that may occur when you start to lift heavier.
Some of these exercises require a surface, such as a box, bench or step. Use a staircase in your home, your couch, a park bench or any other similar and stable surface that you can find.
Amanda Wheeler, Certified Strength and Fitness Specialist and co-founder of Training Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and its allies; Teresa Hui, from New York, having participated in more than 150 road races, including 16 marathons; and Cookie Janee, an original investigator and specialist in the Air Force Reserve Security Forces.
If you want to start incorporating arm exercises into your home training program without knowing where to start, we have exactly the ticket. Our arm Workouts are easy, effective and you can do them almost anywhere.
Your body weight is all you need for the first set of exercises. It is therefore convenient to insert it into your schedule if you are traveling, on a business trip or even at the office. We have also included exercises that allow you to take advantage of dumbbells or weights if you have access to them. Try them alone or, better yet, add two to your usual our Pro workout for an added challenge.
Get to know your arm muscle anatomy
First of all: if you want to tone or develop your muscles, it is important to understand the anatomy of the muscles in your arms. In most cases, the biceps and triceps are the muscles that most people tend to target when working on their arms. That’s why we’re going to focus on that.
The biceps tend to show a marked difference in size faster than the triceps, which leads some people to overload them. However, it is crucial to work both muscle groups in the same way. Strengthening your flexor muscles (biceps) and triceps will help you maintain a balanced body, healthy posture, normal range of motion, and avoid injuries.
When thinking about the typical flexed arm, the biceps are usually the image that comes to your mind – think of the emoji® or classic bodybuilder posture. Located at the front of the arm, between your shoulder and your elbow, the biceps (or biceps brachii, the muscle of the two-headed arm) is an integral part of the body when you lift objects. The biceps itself is composed of two muscles, one short, the other long and extend beyond the elbow and shoulder, helping to stabilize the joints of the arm and shoulder. This muscle promotes flexion and can also support your back muscles when performing back exercises.
While the biceps are responsible for flexing the arm, the triceps (triceps brachii in Latin for “three-headed arm muscles”) is primarily responsible for extending the elbow joint – bending of the elbow and in turn of the arm. This three-part muscle is located at the back of the arm, between your shoulder and your elbow. The triceps can work in tandem with the pectoral muscles for a stronger and toned chest.
8 HOME WORKOUTS FOR ARMS
Ready to start? Here are8 Workout for arms you can do at home to help you develop the strength of your upper body and heart, all in one.
- ARMS CIRCLES
Strengthen your shoulders and arms with simple but effective circular movements. You can do this exercise in minutes without any equipment.
How to do
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend the two right arms on your sides to form a T with your body.
- Slowly rotate your shoulders and arms to make circles before about 1 foot in diameter.
- Continue for 15 circles, then reverse the directions and make 15 rotations in the opposite direction.
- Do 3 sets in total.
- TRICEPS DIPS
Build your triceps using only your body weight. Even if you can do it on the floor, choosing a sofa, a bench, a chair or a sturdy coffee table is also an excellent base.
How to do
- Place your hands shoulder-width on the piece of furniture on which you are standing.
- Move your pelvis and bottom forward so that there is 3 to 6 inches of space between your back and the object, leaving you free space when you dive.
- Bend your legs in a 90-degree angle with your feet firmly planted on the floor or extend them in front of you (but do not block your knees).
- Slowly lower your body and step back, focusing on the commitment of your triceps.
- Complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
- BICEPS CURLS TO PUSH PRESS
Although you can use weights for this exercise, it can be just as effective with household items such as a can of food or a bottle of laundry detergent. This exercise focuses mainly on the muscles of your biceps, but also works on your deltoids and your core.
How to do
- Stand feet apart from hip width and back straight.
- Hold your home or office item in one hand, palm facing toward you, and arm extended towards you.
- Keep your elbow close to your body as you bend your biceps – lifting the object on your shoulder in a controlled motion.
- Next, turn your hand outward so that the palm of your hand and the wrist are directed toward the ceiling while pressing the object over your head. Extend your arm to the top.
- Slowly bring your object back the same way you came until your hand is at your side in the starting position.
- Finish 8 reps with one arm then change position.
- Aim 3 sets on both sides.
- PLANK SIDEWALK
Tighten your abdominal muscles while strengthening your arms. Rotate a traditional board by moving from one side to the other.
How to do
- Set a timer for 1 minute before starting this exercise.
- Start with raised boards, arms stretched under shoulders and palms firmly on the floor.
- Extend your legs behind you with your toes pressing down on the floor. Your nucleus should be engaged and aligned with the rest of your body.
- Rather than standing still, place your hands and feet aside. Do 2 or 3 steps in one direction (or as much as your space allows).
- Then return to your starting point and make the same number of steps in the other direction. Keep walking from side to side until the time runs out.
- Prolong the exercise for 30 seconds or more if you need more than one challenge.
If you have already participated in the ring or a cardio-kickboxing class, know that throwing punches burns a lot of calories. They also help tone and strengthen your arms and upper back.
How to do
- Start your position with your feet at hip width.
- Bring your right arm to a 45 degree angle with your fist just below your jaw.
- Extend your arm on your body by punching an imaginary target in front of you. Put some strength behind your shot but do not overload your shoulder muscles.
- Throw 15 punches with one arm before moving to the other arm.
- Complete 4 sets on both sides.
- ROLLING PUSHUPS
Stay away from the normal push and try a full body exercise that tones your arms and engages your back and shoulders.
How to do
- Start with a raised board and lower for a traditional push.
- Returning to your starting position, lift one arm off the floor and reach for the ceiling. Rotate to the back by planting your free arm on the floor on the opposite side behind you. Raise your other hand to the sky as you turn to a raised front board position.
- Lower in a pushup and repeat – turning from side to side.
- Finish 10 pumps for one set and make 3 sets in total.
Although generally considered an oblique exercise, the side boards also work your shoulders and arms.
How to do
- Lying on the right side of the ground, lift your heart.
- Press your forearm into the ground for stability. Your arm and shoulder should be at a 90 degree angle.
- Extend your legs with your feet supporting you. Your torso should form a relatively straight line with your neck, head, and legs.
- Engage your non-bearing arm by stretching it towards the ceiling.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then go to the left side for 30 seconds.
- Complete 2 sets on each side.
No equipment is needed for this powerful exercise in the lower back, glutes and shoulders. Continue with this exercise and you will find that your body conforms to heroic standards.
How to do
- Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended.
- Engage your glutes and shoulders while simultaneously lifting your arms, chest and legs off the ground.
- Hold this position up for 3 seconds. You will look like a superman or a super-woman flying in the air.
- Return slowly to the starting position.
- Complete 10 raises for a set and make 3 sets.
7 MINUTES OF ARM TRAINING
Permanently ban those flabby arms with this 10-minute workout. These arm strengthening exercises tone up your triceps, the muscle located above your elbow.
Before you start, relax with a 6-minute warm-up routine. Then let cool for 5 minutes.
Target: arms, shoulders and chest
Completely extend your arms
Bend your elbows to lower yourself
Place your hands under your shoulders, arms fully extended, palms flat and fingers facing forward. The legs are straight and the knees are on the floor. Your body must form a rigid board from head to toe. Lower yourself by bending your elbows on the sides until your chest is about 2 inches above the floor. Repel and repeat 10 to 15 times.
Do not let your hips run down when you lower yourself.
Avoid arching your upper back when ascending.
For an easier version, perform the ascent with your knees on the ground.
Stay away from the wall
Fold your arms to lower yourself
Stand at arm’s length (or farther for more difficulty) from a wall. Place your hands on the wall at chest height and shoulder width or closer to you. A narrower grip will work harder on your triceps. With the elbows bent, bend your arms to lower the body against the wall. Let your heels fall off the floor as you lean against the wall to keep your body straight. Repel and repeat 10 to 15 times.
Your body should form a rigid board from head to toe during exercise.
For more challenge, perform the exercise with your hands on a stable chair or on the floor.
Lower yourself by folding your arms.
Sit on a stable chair with your hands gripping the edges of each side of you. Thumb your feet forward to lift your buttocks off the chair. Keep your knees hip-width apart and bent 90 degrees. Lower yourself by bending your arms at about 90 degrees, keeping your elbows tucked in. Straighten and repeat 10 to 15 times.
Do not push your hips up.
To make things easier, make the dips without the chair, hands on the floor.
For more challenge, dive on the bench with your legs straight.
Kneel on your right knee and lean forward
Straighten your elbow to raise your arm behind you as comfortable
Straighten your elbow to raise your arm behind you
Kneel on your right knee and lean forward. Raise your elbow behind you, keeping your arm bent at about 90 degrees. Straighten your left elbow to raise your arm behind you as far as you feel comfortable. Bend your elbow to return to the starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times. Then change your knee and perform the exercise with the other arm.
The rebounding elbow must remain elevated during exercise.
For more challenge, step back by holding a weight (such as a dumbbell or a bottle of water).
Try these other 7 minutes workouts:
- Legs, burns and bums
- Full body toning
- Great abs
- Firm buttocks