How to build arm muscles without weights? well, Arm exercises can be confusing and difficult at the same time. Even for the experts, getting the balance right between biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles can be a demanding task. For people that want to build their overall arm muscles without using dumbbells, barbells, or any other weight, you need to maintain a proper routine and eat a balanced and healthy diet.
Especially during this pandemic, home exercises have become essential to stay healthy and lively. Exercising increases dopamine release which is a hormone associated with the feeling of happiness.
Exercising is only half of the story. Eating a balanced nutritious diet helps in cutting down body fat and increases immunity at the same time. So, if you are planning to get a shredded body, start following this guide. Gym exercises can't completely be copied at home because of the absence of weights. But with a bit of modification, you can easily do them at home.
Best Arm Exercises without Weights
Understanding the science behind it is equally important as a lot depends on focusing on the right muscles for development. Doing anything and everything won't take you too for. You need to have a well thought out plan for everything to work.
Nothing beats the age-old pushups. This is an exercise that you must do properly to get your desired arm muscles. Pushups are great for both beginners and experts. It doesn't matter what your body type is, if you learn to do them regularly, nothing will be able to stop you.
- First, you need to position yourself in the plank form. Keep your shoulders wide and put your body weight on your arms while resting your palm flat on the ground.
- Your shoulders should be right above your palms.
- Extend your legs to the fullest and keep them a few inches separated.
- Engage your body core and glutes to the exercise.
- After getting into position, you will need to bend your elbows and lower your core without touching the ground and then get up slowly.
- While getting upkeep your arms straight and the core center. That completes one rep.
Depending on your strength and bodyweight, aim to complete at least 20 reps 4-5 times each week. Increase the numbers every week. Always remember, when it comes to bodybuilding, quality is much more important than quantity. So get your form right and keep pushing yourself.
2. Downward Dog Push-Ups
This exercise specifically targets your shoulder muscles and triceps. As the name suggests, this is another form of push up.
- Get into the position of a normal pushup or plank.
- Then using your palms push yourself into a downward dog position.
- While you are in that position, stretch your arms and shoulders forward and lower your forehead as close as you can to the ground without touching it.
- Take a deep breath and transition yourself into the plank form. That completes one rep.
When you do this exercise you will notice your triceps muscles squeeze and expand. The movement also involves your shoulders. Try doing 10-15 reps each time go until you are completely exhausted.
3. Chair Dips
Chair dip is another exercise focused on your triceps. All you need is a chair and proper guidance. You can do it using your bed or sofas ledge as well. Initially, it may be difficult for some but once you get the hang of it, the chair dip becomes a simple exercise.
- Start by sitting on the chair and grabbing the edge of the chair.
- Push your feet forward and keep your knees aligned with your ankles.
- While keeping your arm straight, push your body upwards from the chair using your palms.
- Now get down slowly and move a bit forward to avoid the chair. Go past the chair’s edge by bending your elbow.
- When your hip reaches the chair’s edge, in the same form get back up to the initial position.
- Focus on your triceps and don’t bend your knee while doing chair dips.
Do 10-15 reps of 3 set for the first few weeks. After that increase the numbers without pushing yourself to the very limit. Otherwise, you might suffer muscle strains.
4. Plank Tap
Plank tap is a modified version of the original plank. While planks reduce belly fat, plank tap works on your triceps, core, and glutes.
- You need to start in a higher plank position while keeping your hands at a shoulder distance, palms aligned with the shoulders.
- Extend your feet to the fullest and engage your body’s core with this workout.
- While maintaining that position, tap your left shoulder using your right hand. Keep your hip as straight as possible and don’t shake your left arm.
- Do the same with your left hand and tap your right shoulder. That completes one rep.
- Keep alternating your sides and to make the workout less draining, maintain a gap between your legs.
This exercise targets your triceps and shoulder muscles. It also increases your core strength. Try to complete at least 15-20 reps for each set and then increase it as you get more comfortable.
5. Inverted Rows
While many still believe you need weights or gym equipment to do this work-out, there is a way to do it at your home.
- Use a sturdy table or any solid bar that you may have in your home.
- Lay down underneath the bar or table facing up. Then grab the edge at a wider width than your shoulders using an overhand grip.
- Keep your body completely straight. Only your hands and elbows will move in this workout.
- Now pull your body up and touch the bar/ table with your chest and get down slowly. That’s one rep.
It might be a risky exercise this using a table if it’s not sturdy. You can go to the nearest park and find a bar to do this inverted pull-up. This work-out impacts back muscles and biceps. Do 10-12 reps for a total of 3 sets.
6. Lateral Plank Walk
Lateral plank is one of those workouts that looks relatively easy but once you start doing them you realize how tough they are. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid of this. Once you start doing it regularly in a good form, the exercise becomes easier.
- You need to start in a higher plank position while keeping your hands at a shoulder distance, palms aligned with the shoulders. Extend your feet to the fullest and engage your body’s core with this workout.
- Now, step to your right gently. Start with your right foot and follow up with your right hand.
- Maintain your plank form while you are moving sideways.
- Go another step to your right by using the same technique.
- Then get back to your starting position using your left hand and your left leg, in the same form. That completes one rep.
- After completing 4-5 reps on one side, do the same on the other side. This will engage your complete body.
Plank exercises are a complete body workout. They help in fat loss and muscle building. Do the lateral plank walk of 3 sets with each set consisting of 5 reps on each side. The first few sets are going to be tough. So take it slow and focus on your form more rather than the numbers.
7. Incline Push-Ups
This is an easier version of the original push up. As your body moves at an angle, this exercise doesn’t require heavy effort making it ideal for beginners. For pros, this can work as an ending routine.
- Use a box, bench, chair, or a table for that inclined height.
- Place your hands on the workout equipment and get into a high plank form. Keep your hands at a shoulder distance and palms aligned with the shoulders. Extend your feet to the fullest and engage the core.
- Gently bend both your elbows and lower your chest to the equipment you are using just as you would do for a basic push-up.
- Then get up while maintaining the same form and bending your elbows straight. That completes one rep.
If you find the normal pushup tough then you can start by doing inclined pushups as both the workouts target the arm muscles. Follow the same guidelines like the ones included in pushups.
8. Decline Push-Ups
On the difficulty chart, this version of push up stands at a higher category than the original version. But with great difficulty comes great rewards.
- Use a box, bench, chair, or a table to put your foot up. The more declined angle you get the tougher this exercise is going to be.
- Place your feet on the object and get into the plank form by placing your palms at a shoulder-width, on the ground.
- As you would do with any other pushup, bend your elbows backward and lower your core without touching the ground.
- Get back to the starting plank position in the same manner. That’s one rep.
As this is a difficult one, go easy on your first tries. Once you have mastered the form, do 15-20 reps for a total of 3-4 sets. Take 10-15 second breaks between each set. But don’t rest for too long as it will release the tension from your muscles.
9. Diamond Push-Ups
This form of pushup focuses more on your triceps and core. This is a decent exercise to have under your belt if you are planning to get into shape.
- You need to start in a higher plank position while keeping your hands at a shoulder distance and palms aligned with the shoulders. Extend your feet to the fullest and engage the core with this workout.
- Bring your palms together and form a triangle with your forehands and your thumbs.
- To lower your chest, bend your elbows gently and get back up in the same movement without your chest touching the ground. This concludes one rep.
- You can do this exercise by dropping your knees to the ground if you find the above-mentioned process difficult. But keep your core tight while doing so.
Doing 15-20 reps and a total of 3-4 sets might be difficult at the start, but try to do it as many as you can in multiple sets until you reach your exhaustion point.
10. Side Plank
To finish off your arm workout try doing the side plank. This exercise targets the core of your body and the oblique muscles.
- Lie down sideways on your right shoulder and place your right arm right beneath the shoulder.
- Put your left foot on top of your right foot and extend them to their complete length. At this moment the only body parts that will be touching the ground are your right arm and your left foot.
- Lift your hips off the ground and maintain that position for a specific amount of time.
- You can extend your left hand to the air for better balance.
- Do this on both sides for a set time.
If you manage to do the side plank for a total of one minute with 30 seconds on each side, all the other workouts will become relatively easier.
Tips and Tricks to Get Better Looking Arms
Aimlessly exercising won’t get you anywhere. Once you have set your body goal you need to follow through with a plan. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you along the way:
Firstly focus on getting your form right rather than going for numbers. Once you master the form for each of the exercises then focus on the intensity. Multiple sets with short breaks allow the muscle fat to burn which results in a chiseled look.
Maintaining a Routine
Don't slack off when you're exercising. The first few days are tough for everyone but it gets easier. And don't forget, good things take time.
You can consult a food nutritionist no matter what body type you are trying to achieve. Cutting down on carbs can get you a leaner arm but for a muscular arm, you will need calories and protein. So sort out your eating habit and avoid junk food.
As most of the arm exercises are different versions of pushups and planks, you can follow a general rule of thumb. Combine 5-6 workouts and do them each for 45-60 seconds and make it into a routine. The results will be visible within a few days.