If given the option, every regular guy out there would prefer having highly muscular arms to a flabby or wiry pair of upper limbs. That is why as soon as they joined a gym, they are raring to have a go on every machine or free weights that will pop up those guns. In fact, it is a common problem for many gym newbies to neglect giving attention to their core and legs from time to time, in their haste to increase their biceps’ size.
As for the ladies, most if not all, desire to have firm and toned arms next to a having an hourglass figure and flawless skin.
May the Force (of resistance) Be With You
Other than having a well-balanced nutrition that causes healthy protein synthesis, your arm muscles, like the rest of the skeletal muscles in your body have to be subjected repeatedly to stress and resistance in order to grow optimally. The repeated flexing and contraction during workout causes micro tearing to your muscle fibers. Hypertrophy would then ensue when you rest, as homeostasis takes effect and your body starts repairing the damages it detected (tearing), thereby forming several new muscle protein strands called myofibrils in the process.
Ideally, you need to work with weights and/or tensile counterforces to build and strengthen your muscles, and that is not just the ones in your arms. But what about if you don’t have quick access to barbells, dumbbells and other exercise equipment?
Fortunately, there are several readily available forces of resistance at your disposal. It includes various portable and immovable objects in your home and immediate surrounding, an accessible body of water like a nearby pool or lake, and most of all: your own body weight.
Here are our top suggestions for Arms Home Workouts Without Weights:
- Push Ups
Before you start rolling your eyes and saying “duh”, we have some things to say about this fairly common exercise. Not only are there several variations to its usual form wherein you can work out different arms and upper-body muscles, but there are also several techniques that you can employ to increase the level of difficulty or resistance.
Its most basic form, as you perhaps already know, involves lying face down on the floor with your body slightly suspended in midair with your palms and toes on the ground surface. Your arms are bent with palms lying flat on the floor near your shoulders. You will slowly push your torso up until your arms are fully extended, and then down again until your chest is hovering about 2-4 inches from the floor to make one count. Repeat 12-15 times to make one set, breathing in during the downward motion and breathing out on the upward phase. This movement works out your biceps, forearms, upper back, and chest muscles.
Here are some of the fundamental push up variations and their corresponding benefits:
- Diamond Push Ups – your palms are lying close to each other underneath your chest. The tips of your right and left hand’s index fingers are almost touching each other, and so are your thumbs, thus forming a diamond shape. It works out your triceps.
- Wide Grip Push Ups – Your upper limbs are spread out more that your upper arms are almost perfectly aligned with your shoulder blades. It builds and strengthens your shoulders.
- Raised Legs Push Ups – Your feet are raised on a sturdy chair, bench or other kinds of platforms. This is like a basic push up with a slightly increased level of difficulty. It also gives your upper back muscles a great workout.
- Clap Push Ups – This requires you to explosively push your upper body up so that you can lift your hands off the floor and clap them together once before dropping them back. The impact caused by the drop induces more micro tearing in your arms’ muscle strands, which leads to hypertrophy.
- Compound Push Ups – There are actually various movements that you can add to push ups to simultaneously work other muscle groups such as your abs, legs, and glutes. For instance, it can be incorporated to planking, burpee, or heel kick up, wherein you will do the basic push-ups with one leg raised and bent in such a way that the heel of your foot faces the ceiling. Once you get to the point where your arms are fully extended, you will kick up the raised leg to make one count. Do 8-10 reps and then switch to the other leg and for another 8-10 reps to make one set.
- Chin Ups and Pull Ups
If you can install an overhead bar between a sturdy doorjamb or a pair of steady poles, then you are all set for these exercises. Either one has a greater level of difficulty than push-ups since you will be lifting your entire bodyweight here instead of just half of it. Both are more focused on strength than stamina, so you can just do low reps, like 6 to 8 per set.
How do you differentiate the two? Traditionally speaking, you do an overhand grip (with your palms facing forward) to do pull ups, while you do a reverse grip (palms facing backward) in doing chin-ups. Although, both requires that you lift your entire body until your head goes higher than the bar or your hands. You can also do variations on both by simply widening or narrowing your grip, thereby working different muscle strands in your arms, along with various areas of your chest, shoulder, and back muscles in the process.
- Inverted Bodyweight Row
Lie down straight under a sturdy table with non-slippery edges, with your head sticking out on one side. Firmly grab the edge of the table and pull your upper body up and down for 10-12 reps, all the while keeping your legs straight through the whole sequence.
Actually, it is so much better if you can find a low bar or other steady objects wherein you can lie underneath and have a better grip. This is great for your biceps, triceps, and back muscles.
- Triceps Dip
Start by sitting on an edge of a bench or a wide sturdy chair. Grab the edge of the seat, straighten your legs together with your feet on the ground, and lift and slide forward your body.
Your buttocks are now off the bench and suspended over the floor by your flexed arms. By slowly and alternatingly bending your arms at the elbow and flexing them straight, you will be lowering and lifting your body repeatedly, thus working out your triceps and shoulder muscles. Do 3 sets with 15 reps each.
- The Inchworm
Begin by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bend down from the waist until both of your palms are flat on the floor with fingers facing forward, all the while trying to keep your legs as straight as possible.
Slowly crawl with your hands forward while keeping your feet in place until your body forms the starting position for a push-up exercise. Do one push-up, and then slowly crawl back with your hands and return to the starting position. Repeat this sequence for 8-10 times to make one set. Do at least 3 sets.
These are just some of the many effective arms home workouts without weights. It was mentioned earlier that if you have access to a nearby pool or clean lake, you can likewise take advantage of water resistance to work out your upper limbs or even your entire body. But that subject deserves an entire article altogether, so perhaps, we will do one next time.
For the meantime, follow and master the routines presented here and start building and strengthening those arms. Thanks for reading and we hope that you learned something.
Des: [This article presented the many possibilities for building and strengthening arms muscles at home without the aid of weights and gym exercise machines. All you need is a little creativity in taking advantage of forces of resistance within your reach, like your own bodyweight for instance. This piece also cited several examples of arms exercises that have been proven time and time again to produce great results.]
Chester is the founder of HeroMuscles, the father of two children. I workout every day and I really want to share with you my knowledge and experience about my passion on this blog. It would be great if you dropped by, read what I wrote and left some comments.