How to Work Out Your Arms Without Weights

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In surveys, having impressive arms is second only to having six-pack abs. And while there are countless strategies using extra weight and machines that will work and develop your arms, we are focusing on using just your own bodyweight.

Arm Anatomy

Before we get into the actual exercises, let’s look at the two main muscles of the upper arm: triceps and biceps. While biceps are on the front of your arm, your triceps are on the back.

So when your arm is flexed the bicep is contracted while your tricep is elongated and visa versa when unflexing. This is important to keep in mind.

The other thing worth noting is to exercise both muscles equally so they are both strong and will give you more of a balanced look as far as tone and definition. Favoring one over the other is a recipe for an injury.

Tricep Exercises

Diamond Push-Up

This is one of the best exercises to work the triceps. While the standard push-up works both the chest and triceps, the Diamond focuses more effort on the triceps.

Start by getting into the standard push-up position, but instead of having your hands shoulder-width apart, have them together directly in front of you.

Make the diamond by having your thumbs and forefingers respectively touching each other.

While keeping your elbows in as close to your sides as possible, slowly lower yourself down until your chest touches the top of your hands. Push back up to the starting position.

While doing this exercise, be sure to pull in your abs, glutes, thigh muscles and keep your back in a straight line. Aim for 4 sets of 6 reps per set.

Bench Dip

All you need are two horizontal flat surfaces, like two chairs or a horizontal bench and a chair. Have the flat surfaces far enough apart where your feet can be on one and your body just off the other one.

With your feet up on one horizontal surface and sitting on the other, grab the front side of the surface you are sitting on.

Now move yourself forward so that you are just supported by your arms. In a pinch, you can do this exercise with just one flat surface keeping your feet on the floor.

Keeping your back straight, slowly lower yourself until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Now push yourself back up until your arms are straight again.

The goal is to do 3 sets of 8 reps per set.

Bicep Exercises


The best exercise to work the bicep is the chin-up. You’ll need an overhead bar of some kind to hang onto. To start, grab the bar with both hands palms facing toward you slightly less than shoulder-width apart.

Keeping your abs pulled in, pull yourself up until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Pause slightly before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Do 4 sets with 6 reps per set.

Inverted Row

Start by laying underneath a low bar or table, just high enough where you can grab it with your arms outstretched. Grab the surface with palms facing away from you.

With your feet still on the floor, pull your bodyweight up until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.

Pause and slowly lower yourself back down. Aim for 3 sets of 8 reps per set.

Doing these 4 exercises will not only build arm strength, but increase muscle size for tone and definition.

All of these exercises will work for both male and females, however females will not develop the size due to hormonal differences between the genders.

A Guide to Tricep Exercises

For super-sized arms, you must spend time training your triceps. That is not to say you should ignore your biceps because you need to develop them to balance out your arm as a whole.

The exercises giving you the most results for the time spent doing are presses, extensions and dips.


Foam Press

While the bench press works both the triceps and shoulders, adding one small change focuses the effort more on the triceps. Start by lying flat on a bench.

Put a piece of circular foam, like from a foam roller or pool noodle, across your chest length-wise. Now take the bar off the rack and lower it until it just touches the foam.

Push back up until your arms are almost fully extended, but not locked.

Close-Grip Bench Press

Just changing the width of your grip moves more of the effort to the triceps. Start by lying flat on a bench with an overhand grip and your hands shoulder-width apart or narrower. Make sure you are directly under the bar.

Now lower the bar until it just touches your sternum. Pause and push back up to the starting position.


This one is a favorite among triceps developers.

Start by supporting yourself on a dip rack or a set of parallel bars with your arms almost fully extended but not locked.

With your knees bent and ankles crossed, slowly lower yourself until your shoulders are almost even with your elbows. Pause and then push yourself back up to the starting position.


Dumbell Lying Tricep Extensions

Start by lying flat on your back on a bench. Hold a pair of dumbbells over your head with palms facing each other. Now keeping your upper arms straight, bend at the elbows and lower your forearms until the dumbbells touch the top of your shoulders.

Pause and then push the weight back up to the starting position.

Rolling Bar Extensions

This is similar, but yet different than the previous extension. Start by lying flat on your back with a loaded EZ Bar over your head.

Grab the bar and roll it up and forward so that your arms end up straight and the bar is directly above your shoulders.

Pause and reverse the move ending with the bar again above your head and rolling the bar back on the floor.

Do as many reps of each exercise as you can. Once it becomes easy, increase the weight and drop back on the number of reps.

For variety, and to work your triceps still differently, add in lat pulldowns and rows. Search the Internet for instructions on how to do these two tricep exercises.

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