The most common arm exercises you’ll see in the gym involve weights. In fact, dumbbells are one of the most frequently used pieces of kit, and small one-handed ones can put a bit more resistance on your strength training. When you’re working out at home though, you may not have weights lying around. Don’t worry, there’s a bunch of home arm workouts you can do to strengthen your arms without weights! It’s important you warm up properly, however, before attempting any of these.
1. Elevated Push-up
A good old fashioned push-up is a terrific starting point for anyone’s home arm workout. Once you’ve got those mastered, though, try the elevated push-up. Rest your feet a little higher up, on a stool, footrest or small wall in the garden, if you have one. Whatever it is, make sure it’s sturdy and solid, and rest your feet on it and lower yourself into the push-up position and then do the exercise as normal. The extra effort required to push your body level will really power up those arms.
2. Downward Dog Push-Up
What if you don’t have a stool, small wall, or suitable solid thing? Don’t worry, you can take your home arm workout up a notch with a downward dog push-up. Instead of the usual push-up position, adopt the downward dog position, which is easiest described as a little pyramid. Your bum should be right up in the air, your hips at 90 degrees, palms flat on the ground. Then, use your arms to lower your upper body so that your head touches the ground, then push yourself back up. All the time keeping your legs and torso at that ninety-degree angle. Your triceps will be working overtime!
The dreaded P-Word itself, the Plank! It looks so simple until you actually do it for a while, and soon has your arm muscles pushed to the max. Get down into a push-up position, making sure your lower back isn’t bent, so your whole weight is on your palms and toes. Then, wait. Just wait it out. Don’t be beaten by the plank. Hold it there for about 30 seconds. If you struggle with that, the high plank, you can try the low plank. This is the same basic pose but instead of using your palms, you rest on your forearms.
4. Plank Walk
“But, I like the high plank AND the low plank. I can’t decide which one to use in my home arm workout. Can’t I do both?” Yes, of course you can. You can make this a really powerful routine in your home workout by doing the plank walk. This is where you alternate high plank and low plank, working every arm muscle you’ve got. Starting from a high plank position, lower one arm into the low plank position, resting the elbow and forearms on the ground, and then the other arm. After a while, press back up into the high plank pose, one arm at a time. It isn’t easy and you’ll feel the burn, but it’s got some serious gains if you keep at it.
5. Arm Rotations
While these are commonly performed with a weight in each hand, they’re effective in their own right without dumbbells and are a perfect home arm workout. Start making small circles with your arms outstretched and gradually get bigger and bigger. It will help loosen up your shoulders, especially if you’re doing each arm for a couple of minutes at a time. If you want to make this a little trickier but don’t have any dumbbells at home, try using plastic bottles that you’ve filled with water. One litre of water is equivalent to 1kg, so it’s easy to keep track of how much you’re lifting!
6. Chair Dips
No special workout gear needed here, unless you consider a chair to be a vital bit of gym equipment. Even so, if you have a suitable chair, use it for a chair dip. Take a seat, and grip the edge of the chair, inch yourself forwards and dip your body. Lower yourself, keep your hands gripped to the edge of the chair, and then lift yourself back up again. It’s a home arm workout that wouldn’t look out of place in the gym, except for the chair of course, but needs must!
7. Bodyweight Triceps Dip
Maybe you don’t have a chair, though. Maybe you’re in your flat’s garden, or garage, or somewhere that’s just devoid of anything. No problem, you can still do a dip and give your triceps that much-needed workout. Sit on the floor, knees bent, toes up and place your hands behind you, palms flat on the floor and your fingers pointing towards your body. Now lift yourself off the floor, keeping your heels planted to the ground. Don’t try to overstretch, you’ll only lift yourself a few inches. When you lower yourself back down, keep the arms working by not actually sitting back down. Just lower yourself until you’re almost sitting down, and then lift yourself back up again. You’ll seen feel those triceps burning!
8. Body Saw
Get into the low plank position we mentioned earlier on – elbows and wrists on the floor, body straight, on your toes. Your shoulders should be level with your elbows and from there, rock forwards and backwards, bringing your shoulders in front of your elbows, and back again. Don’t bend the hips, keep your body straight and keep your core engaged. This is a fantastic home arm workout that works loads of other muscle groups too.
9. Burpee With Push up
Burpees do so much, they could go in any list of home workouts. Throw in a push up in there, however, and they really power up the arms. This might take a bit of practice to get spot on if you’re not tried it, so take it slowly to begin with. Start by standing up and then move into a squat position, and put your hands on the ground. Use your arms for stability as you kick your legs back so you’re now in a plank position.
At this point in a normal burpee, you’d reverse what you just did, but in this extra arm exercise one, we’re going to take it one step further and put a push up in here. Might as well, seeing as you’re in the position for it, right? Do a push up, return to a squat position and then jump back up to a standing position. This is a pretty punishing home arm workout, but add it to your regular routine and you’ll see results quickly.
10. Plank Jack
Oh, you got as far as the plank walk and thought that was about it for planking did you? We’ve got one more ferocious plank workout for you – the plank jack. Get into a high plank and after a few seconds of holding your balance, jump your feet out and back in, as if you were doing a star jump. Be sure not to let your hips bounce while you do it, all the focus is on the arms and keeping your core stable. It’s a toughie, but a goodie!
There you go, ten arm-azing home arm workouts without any equipment. Yes, we said arm-azing and you should too.