Strength training for the arms should be a fundamental component of any complete fitness program. There is more to having strong arms than meets the eye. Arm strength is functionally important for many of life’s everyday tasks, such as carrying, lifting, pushing, and pulling. These are all examples of actions that need arm strength. This post will teach you the best eight arm exercises without weights to tone every muscle in your arms, as well as break down which muscles you should focus on targeting in order to have strong arms.
There are a number of exercises that can help you strengthen and tone your arms without the use of weights, despite the fact that many classic arm strengthening routines entail using weights and taking place in a gym.
Which Muscles Are We Going To Work On?
Your hands, wrists, and all the way up to your shoulders are all locations where individual muscles may be located in your arms.
In addition, the muscles in your chest and shoulders serve crucial supporting roles in the various important motions that you frequently carry out with your arms.
The following are the primary main muscles that are contained inside the arms itself.
This well-known muscle is the one that allows you to bend your elbow as well as externally rotate both your hand and your forearm.
This muscle extends all the way down to just below your elbow from your shoulder down through the center of your upper arm. It makes it easier to raise your upper arm, often known as flexing it.
The brachialis is a powerful elbow flexor that runs from the middle of your upper arm to just below the elbow. It plays an important part in bending your elbow and spans from the center of your upper arm to just below the elbow.
This muscle is comprised of three separate heads, each of which originates at the shoulder and extends along the back of the upper arm all the way down to the area just below the elbow. When you straighten your arm, it is also responsible for extending your shoulder and placing your arm behind you. Additionally, it is responsible for extending your elbow when you do so.
Your shoulder muscles, upper back muscles, and chest muscles all contribute significantly to the strength output of your arms, in addition to the muscles that are actually located in the arms themselves.
Even though we don’t usually think of these muscles as being part of the arm, they play a crucial role in practically every movement and stabilizing force that’s required while you’re working with your arms.
These muscles are as follows:
The Primary Pectoral Muscle.
The pectoral major is the muscle that’s responsible for the majority of the arm’s actions, including pushing, elevating the arm, and lowering the arm from a flexed posture. Additionally, it rotates the upper arm and adducts the arm from a horizontal posture. It also helps with the adduction of the arm.
This muscle is a crucial component in the scapular stabilization process.
Muscles Located Behind The Shoulder Blades.
When you draw your shoulders apart, for example, the muscles at the back of your shoulders are responsible for moving your upper arm backward.
Your arm moves upward in all directions because of the muscles that surround the front, side, and rear of your shoulders. In addition to that, they are accountable for the rotation of the upper arm.
Muscles In The Rotator Cuff
These muscles not only help to initiate arm motions, but they are also vital for maintaining the stability of the shoulders.
This muscle is located in your upper back and is responsible for moving your upper arm downward, inside, or backward, for example during a lat pulldown or rowing action.
When you work on strengthening your arm as a whole, you should concentrate on using as many of these muscles as you can. This will guarantee that you have sufficient strength in proportion to the range of motion available in your arm.
The Eight Finest Arm Workouts That Use Just Your Own Bodyweight
The various arm muscles will be worked without the use of any additional weight in the following exercises, which are designed to be as effective as possible. The exercises range from simple to complex, and are presented in that order. Some of the moves target many muscle groups at once, including your abdominal muscles, while others focus on your arm muscles.
It is important to keep in mind that if you do not have access to a pullup bar or suspension trainer (such as gymnastic rings or a TRX system), it will be very difficult to develop your back and biceps without the use of an external weight.
Always remember to actively contract the muscles in your arms as you go through each repeat of these exercises. This can assist enhance the quality of your workout by increasing the amount of muscle activation you get.
1. Arm Circles.
This exercise targets the shoulder muscles and builds isometric strength in the biceps and triceps. It is appropriate for beginning exercisers. You are free to form smaller or larger circles, but you should make sure that you keep stress down your arm throughout the entirety of the set.
Arm circles can be performed by:
- Maintain a lofty stance with your arms extended out to the sides in a straight line and your muscles clenched all the way down your arms.
- While maintaining your arms straight and your elbows locked with tension, slowly form circles with your arms by rotating them around your shoulders. Be sure to preserve the tension in your elbows.
- Carry out three sets of ten to twenty repetitions in both directions. You may slightly alter the amount of work that is necessary by alternating between sets of large and small diameter circles.
2. Arm Forward Rises.
Isometrically strengthening your biceps and triceps while also working on the front of your shoulder is the goal of this workout. Adding weight, such as two cans of soup or two water bottles, will make this task far more difficult.
In Order To Execute Arm Front Raises, You Should:
- Maintain an erect stance with your arms out in front of you, thumbs pointing up toward the ceiling, and your shoulders back and down.
- Raise your arms over your head while maintaining them straight and locked out until they point straight up overhead. When viewed from the side, your upper arms should obstruct your ears.
- Bring your arms back to the beginning position in a controlled manner.
- Carry out three sets of ten to twenty reps each.
3. Arm Lateral Raises.
Isometrically strengthening your biceps and triceps while also working on the top of your shoulder is the goal of this workout. Adding weight, such as two cans of soup or two water bottles, will make this task far more difficult.
Arm lateral lifts can be performed by:
- Maintain a stance in which your arms are resting at your sides and your hands are turned inward, toward your hips.
- Maintain a straight stance and lift your arms out to the sides of your body until your body forms the letter “T” when viewed from the front.
- Bring yourself back down to the starting position slowly.
- Perform 10–20 repetitions of this exercise.
4. Wall Angels.
This exercise promotes shoulder mobility while also helping to strengthen the triceps and the shoulders.
In Order To Execute Wall Angels:
- You should be standing with your back against a wall, knees bent, and feet spaced around one to two feet (about half a meter) apart from the wall. Your head, upper back, and tailbone need to be touching the wall while you do this exercise.
- Put your hands up in the air and bend your elbows until they are at a right angle to the floor (90 degrees). Raise your arms until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Extend your arms up above and make sure that they are completely straight. Your arms, head, upper back, and tailbone should all be in touch with the wall as you attempt to do this.
- Bring yourself back to the place where you started.
- Repeat for a total of three sets of ten to twelve reps each.
5. Downward Dog To Plank.
This exercise is great for building strength in the chest as well as the shoulders and triceps. It is an outstanding method for getting started in the process of increasing strength at the top position of a pushup.
In order to move from plank to downward dog:
- Get into a pushup plank stance with your hands directly under your shoulders and your arms out in front of you. If the pushup plank posture is too difficult for you at first, try beginning with your knees on the ground instead.
- To get into the Downward Dog pose, lift your hips and press your arms behind you while coming into the position. If you began the move on your knees, the next step will be to push yourself back far enough so that you may stand up without touching the ground with your knees.
- Holding the Downward Dog pose for a limited period of time before returning to the beginning posture is recommended.
- Repeat for a total of three sets of ten to twelve reps each.
6. Plank Tap.
This exercise is a modification of the plank that focuses on building strength in the shoulders, triceps, and biceps.
In Order To Execute The Plank Tap:
- Get into a pushup plank stance with your hands directly under your shoulders and your arms out in front of you. Keep your spine neutral. Holding your feet together during the workout will make it more difficult. Spread your feet apart to make the task simpler.
- Tap your right shoulder with your left hand before bringing your hand back down to the ground. Bring your left hand up to your right shoulder.
- Repeat with your right hand while shifting your weight to your left shoulder.
- Complete three sets of ten to twelve repetitions on each side.
There is no need to bring any equipment for the time-honored pushup, which works the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This arm workout has an additional core component due to the fact that you will need to use your core in order to sustain the position.
If you find that the regular variety of the pushups is too difficult for you, try doing them on your knees instead.
To do a pushup, one must:
- Put your hands beneath your shoulders, keep your back straight, and keep your legs straight as you go into the pushup position. If it helps, keeping your knees on the ground as you do the exercise will make it easier.
- Bending at the elbows will allow you to bring your complete body down toward the floor in tandem. Maintain a position with your elbows close to your sides or at an angle of around 45 degrees. Reduce the distance between your upper arm and the floor by lowering your chest.
- Drive back up to the top position by pushing through the floor while keeping control of the situation during the entire movement.
- Repeat for a total of three sets of ten to twelve reps each. In the event that the sets prove to be too challenging, you have the option of switching to the knees-down alternative.
8. Triceps Dip.
All you need is a chair to make this unique type of dip. Triceps and chest are the primary muscles that are worked with this workout.
To execute triceps dips using only your own bodyweight:
- On the chair you’re supporting yourself up on, position your hands so that they are shoulder-width apart.
- Move your pelvis and bottom forward until there is a space of three to six inches (eight to fifteen centimeters) between your back and the chair. This will provide you clearance when you lower yourself down into the fetal position.
- You may either bring your legs up to a 90-degree angle while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground, or you can stretch them in front of you while keeping your knees slightly bent.
- After lowering your body in a straight line slowly, you will perform a push-up while concentrating on activating your triceps.
- Perform three sets of ten to twelve repetitions each.
Is The Use Of Weights Absolutely Necessary To Achieve Larger Arms?
The development of large arm muscles is a typical objective, often pursued in conjunction with the strengthening of those muscles. Although they are closely connected, strength and muscular mass are not the same thing.
Unfortunately, even though it is feasible to improve your arm strength by performing the bodyweight exercises described in this article, the amount of muscle that can be built by doing these exercises is limited.
You will notice some muscle gain in your arms as you progress through the first phases of your fitness journey if you perform these workouts. You may take them to the next level by increasing the volume, which means performing additional repetitions, up to roughly 20 each set.
However, as you continue to improve, you will find that these workouts become too simple for you, and you will want additional resistance in order to continue to challenge yourself sufficiently to drive muscular growth.
In addition, as was discussed before, the back and biceps muscles are notoriously difficult to exercise without the use of supplemental apparatus.
This is due to the fact that these muscles are largely responsible for pulling motions, and there are no real practical ways to load these exercises using your body weight without a suspension technique such as a pullup bar or a TRX system.
If you want to achieve your aim of having muscular arms, you will need to go beyond arm workouts that only use your own bodyweight. Nevertheless, performing these workouts when you are unable to get to the gym will assist you in keeping your shape and function.
Exercises For The Arms That Don’t Require Any Equipment.
To include the moves described above into your routine for building stronger arms, keep the following recommendations in mind:
- The workout should be performed twice a week on days that are not consecutive.
- To get started, perform three sets of ten repetitions of the exercise that is the least difficult, such as arm circles.
- Perform three sets of one or two exercises that are of an intermediate level of difficulty. For each set, either push yourself to the point of exhaustion or stop when you reach 20 repetitions.
- Perform three sets of the exercise that is the most difficult for you to do but that you are still able to do for at least five repetitions. Complete these sets until you reach failure. If you can do more than twenty reps without stopping, the workout is not tough enough for you.
Your arms should be a primary focus of the strength training you do as part of your fitness program. Although there are many different arm exercises available, it can be difficult to locate effective arm workouts that do not involve the use of any equipment.
Your arm workout regimen may get off to a great start and continue to grow with the help of this article’s workouts, which do not require any equipment.
For sustained muscle growth over the long term, you will need to transition into routines that involve the use of resistance training equipment.
In spite of this, there are a number of good workout alternatives available to you to get you started if you want to strengthen your arms but do not have the necessary equipment.