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8 No-Equipment Arm Workouts

The best arm workout, while we often associate strong arms with the ability to bench press or lift pounds, neither a gym membership nor weight lifting is required to get the arm tone or muscles of your desires.

In reality, no specialized equipment is necessary to produce strong, muscular, and sculpted arms—just a few household things and enough room to move. However, before attempting these exercises, remember to stretch to warm up your muscles and prevent damage.

We've compiled a list of eight workouts that you can include into your routine or in 5 minutes of your busy day as you make supper, take a break from your desk, or watch Netflix. Intense arm workout and upper arm workout some even work your core and glutes sufficiently to allow you to perform a full-body program.

Arm circles

You can use basic yet efficient circular motions to strengthen your shoulders and arms. You may complete this workout in a couple of minutes without the need for any tools.

How to do it

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. Form a T with your body by extending both arms straight out to your sides.

  2. Slowly spin your shoulders and arms to form 1 foot-diameter forward circles.

  3. Continue in this manner for 15 circles, reverse directions and finish 15 revolutions in the opposite direction.

  4. Perform 3 sets in total.

Tricep dips

Using simply your body weight, you can bulk up your triceps. While you may perform this on the ground, a couch, bench, chair, or solid coffee table works well as a basis.

How to do it

  1. Put your hands shoulder-width apart on the object you're using to support yourself up.

  2. Shift your pelvis and bottom forward, leaving a 3- to 6-inch space between your back and the object, allowing you to sink.

  3. Bend your legs 90 degrees with your feet firmly planted on the floor, or stretch them out in front of you.

  4. Slowly descend and raise your body, focusing on activating your triceps.

  5. Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

Bicep curls to push press

Although you may use weights for this workout, everyday items such as a can of food can be just as beneficial. This workout primarily targets your biceps, but it’s also suitable for your deltoids.

How to do it

  1. Keep your back straight and your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Hold your household object with one hand, palm front, and stretch your arm down to your side.

  3. When curling your bicep, keep your elbow close to your body. Bring the item to your shoulder in a controlled manner.

  4. Then, as you force the thing upward above your head, turn your hand outward, so your palm and wrist are pointing toward the ceiling. Extend your arm up.

  5. Bring your object down slowly in the same direction you came until your hand is at your side in the beginning position.

  6. Rep eight times with one arm, then switch.

  7. On both sides, aim for 3 sets.

Plank sidewalk

By moving side to side, you may put a new spin on a classic plank. It will strengthen your arms while toning your core muscles.

How to do it

  1. Before beginning, this exercise set a timer for one minute.

  2. Begin in a raised plank posture; arms stretched under your shoulders and palms firmly planted on the ground.

  3. Extend your legs behind you, pushing your toes into the floor. Your core should be activated and aligned with the rest of your body.

  4. Instead of keeping still, walk your hands and feet to one side. Take two or three steps in one direction (or as much as your space allows).

  5. Return to your starting point and walk the same number of steps in the other direction. Continue walking sideways until your time is up.

  6. If you need more of a challenge, extend the workout by 30 seconds or more.

Kickboxing punches

At home arm workout no equipment, throwing punches burns many calories if you've ever been in a boxing ring or a cardio kickboxing session. They also assist tone and strengthen your upper back and arms.

How to do it

  1. Begin in a hip-width posture with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Raise your right arm to a 45-degree angle, fist slightly below your jawline.

  3. Extend your arm across your body and strike an imagined target in front of you with your fist. Punch with vigor, but don't overextend your shoulder muscles.

  4. Throw 15 powerful punches with one arm before switching to the other.

  5. Finish 4 sets on each side.

Rolling pushups

Instead of the typical pushup, consider a full-body workout that tones your arms while also engaging your back and shoulders.

How to do it

  1. Begin in a raised plank position and gradually drop down for a typical pushup.

  2. Lift one arm off the ground and extend your hand toward the ceiling as you return to your starting position. 

  3. Rotate to your back by placing your free arm on the ground behind you on the other side. As you spin toward a raised front plank posture, lift your other hand toward the sky.

  4. Lower yourself into a pushup and repeat, turning from side to side.

  5. Perform ten pushups for one set and 3 sets in total.

Side plank

Side planks, while often thought of as an oblique workout, actually train your arms and shoulders.

How to do it

  1. Lift your core while lying on your right side on the floor.

  2. For added support, press your forearm into the ground. The angle between your supporting arm and shoulder should be 90 degrees.

  3. Extend your legs out and brace yourself with your feet. Your torso, neck, head, and legs should create a reasonably straight line.

  4. Stretch your non-supporting arm toward the ceiling to engage it.

  5. Hold for 30 seconds, then move to the left side for the same amount of time.

  6. Finish 2 sets on each side.

Superman

This effective lower back, glute, and shoulder workout require no equipment. If you stick with this workout, you'll find your physique shaping up to epic proportions.

How to do it

  1. Engage your glutes and shoulders as you simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off of the floor.

  2. Hold this upward position for 3 seconds. You'll look like superman or supergirl flying through the air.

  3. Slowly come back down to your starting position.

  4. Complete 10 raises for one set and do 3 sets.

While many upper-body workouts include dumbbells and barbells, arm exercises without weights are still an effective method to work your muscles. After all, your body's weight is equipment in and of itself—you can use it to load and develop your arm muscles. No hard lifting is necessary, and a gym membership is entirely optional.

To be clear, working all of the muscles in your arms without weights is difficult. Therefore arm workouts without weights will only target specific areas, notably the tops of the shoulders (deltoids) and the triceps. Other arm muscles, such as your biceps, require some external resistance to function. However, the workouts described here are beneficial for targeting specific muscle areas when you don't have access to equipment.

Most arm workouts without weights are variations on planks or push ups, which require you to activate your core muscles as well, so you'll work those muscles at the same time. It means you won't experience the same intense burn in your arms as you would with, say, a shoulder press, and that's perfectly OK. The fact that these no-equipment arm workouts don't isolate the upper body doesn't mean they're not exercising it. 

The Takeaway

If you want to practice arm exercises at home, consider mixing 4 to 6 of the 20 routines below to build a workout—45 seconds of each motion, 15 seconds of rest in between, and repeating the whole thing three times is an excellent place to start. Some of these arm workouts target specific muscles, such as the triceps. In contrast, others target the shoulder muscles (including the deltoids and rhomboids), pecs, and latissimus dorsi (or the lats, the broadest muscles on each side of your back). These are all crucial regions to strengthen to lift bigger weights and conduct daily chores like carrying shopping bags or lifting your baggage quickly.

While these workouts are beneficial to everybody, regardless of fitness level, they are especially beneficial to novices. When you focus just on using your own body for resistance (rather than adding weights), it's simpler to acquire good form, which can help prevent injuries when you begin lifting more. (And if you want to make things more difficult without using weights, we've got a couple of suggestions for you as well.)

A couple of these exercises do necessitate the use of a surface, such as a box, bench, or step. Use a stairwell, sofa, a park seat, or any other comparable and stable surface you can locate.