Simple arm exercises: no gym required

Lack upper body strength? Wish your arms were less flabby and more toned? Target your biceps, triceps, and shoulders with these seven exercises. All of them are bodyweight exercises, so no hand weights or barbells needed.

This means you can do these exercises anywhere. At home, at the office, or at the park.
Start your arm routine with a few minutes of cardio (jump rope, jog in place, or walk) to warm up.

This will loosen your muscles, raise your heart rate, and decrease your chance of injury. Next, warm up your arm muscles with a few small arm circles.

Circle forward 25 times, then backward 25 times. Then aim to do two sets of 10 reps of each of the following exercises. End your workout with a few arm stretches, and your arms will be well on the way to your goal.

Standing Push-Up

A variation of your standard push-up, the standing push-up works your triceps, shoulders, and abs. Stand with a sturdy desk or piece of furniture three to four feet in front of you. Place your hands on the furniture about shoulder width apart and lean over until your body is at a 45-degree angle with the ground.

Balance on the balls of your feet, your close to your side, and bend your arms as you lower your chest toward the furniture. Push yourself back until your arms are straight again. Inhale when descending, exhale when rising back up.
Work your lower triceps by holding the furniture underhanded. Increase the intensity either way by moving your hands closer together.

Triceps Dip

Another great triceps exercise is the triceps dip. Sit on the very edge of a chair or bench. Place your hands next to your thighs on the edge of the chair, fingers facing forward. Use your arms to lift your body off the chair, then bend your elbows and lower your bottom toward the floor. Keep your elbows by your sides.

Increase the intensity by moving your feet further from the chair. No chair? Get in a crab position on the floor and bend and straighten your arms.


There aren’t many bodyweight biceps exercises that don’t require some sort of equipment (pull-up bar, barbells, free weights) but you can always do the standard push-up to indirectly work your biceps. Place your hands under your shoulders on the floor. Keep your toes on the floor and raise your body weight up with your arms. Lower back down. Repeat.

To lessen the intensity, keep your knees on the floor rather than your toes. Work different parts of your arms by decreasing or increasing the spacing of your hands on the floor.


A plank position will work your abs and upper body muscles. For a plank, place your hands on the floor under your shoulders, keep your arms and back straight, and hold your bodyweight up by balancing on your hands and toes. Your body should be in a straight line from your heels to your head. Hold for five breaths. Relax then repeat.

The Superman

Targeting your shoulders, back, and glutes, the superman is a great finishing move for your arms. Lie facedown on the floor with toes pointed away from you. Reach your arms straight above your head and place your palms together. Your body should be aligned in a straight line. Exhale and lift your legs a few inches off the floor. At the same time lift your arms, but keep your head on the floor and your back straight. Hold a couple seconds, inhale, and lower back down. Repeat.

Commit just 10 minutes to these arm exercises three or four days a week and you’ll notice stronger, toned arms in less than a month!

Same, but Different

Did you know that body builders have the same amount of muscle fibers as you do? The only difference is that theirs are thicker, thanks to years of intense training.

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