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Arm Exercises Without Weights

Shashank Nakate Nov 23, 2018
Using the body weight is the best way to train your muscles. In fact, if you perform such exercises regularly and correctly, you won't have to resort to using weights at all. These arm exercises without weights would help save both your money and time.

Quick Fact!

The constant movements of arms while swimming tones them. Therefore, swimming is considered as one of the best exercises without weights.
The arm exercises are performed for strengthening the biceps, triceps, and muscles of wrist and hands. It is not always necessary to resort to weights for performing exercises. Although weights help in shaping the muscles quickly, you may not have access to them every time you want to work out.
It is not always possible to visit a gym to perform workouts owing to limitations like time shortage, unavailability of space and in some cases, money. The exercises performed without weights are as effective as those with weights.
Some of the simple exercises that can be performed without weights include the pull-ups, push-ups, plank pose, ball toss, etc. With regular practice, you can master them in a short while. The exercises mentioned further should help in strengthening as well as shaping the arm muscles.


The pull-ups are performed by lifting the body upwards with the help of arms.
Pull-ups can be performed with the help of horizontal bar or a door that is strong enough to support the body weight. Supine pull-ups are performed by lying under a low bar.
• The bar should be grabbed with a wide overhand grip.
• The pull must be exerted in the same manner as described, except that the position need to be changed.
• Supine biceps pull-ups are performed by sitting under a low bar. To perform such pull-ups, the bar should be held with a reverse grip while maintaining shoulder-width distance between hands.


The push-ups are easy to perform and one can make them more challenging by taking a pause while at the bottom position.
Raising the legs and placing them on a bench/box can also increase the level of difficulty. Apart from triceps, the push-up exercise also targets the chest region and shoulder muscles.
• To perform the push-up exercise, you should first get in the prone position. Shoulder-width distance should be maintained between palms.
• You should then raise the body so that it rests only on the palms and feet. In this position, your hands must ideally stay perpendicular to the ground surface; here the body (from head to heels) should be maintained in a straight line.
• The body should be lowered till the elbows form a right angle. Finally, raise the body to its original position.

Tricep Dips

This exercise can be performed with the help of a chair or similar other hard surface with a firm edge.
• While you are sitting in a chair, place the hands on the edge of the seat.
• Stretch the legs forward and lift the body with the help of your hands.
• In the next step, lower the body while keeping it close to the chair.
• While you lower your body, the arms bend at the elbows. Angle at the elbows should not be lesser than 90 degrees; which means, you should not lower your body too much.
• In the next step, you must push back and raise the body. Do not lock the elbows; the stress must be absorbed by triceps.
• Repeating these steps 10-12 times should offer a good exercise to the triceps.

Ball Toss

The ball toss exercise requires you to first lie down in the supine position. This workout helps in exercising the triceps.
• Both hands are used because the ball is held in both hands while performing this exercise.
• Knees must be slightly bent so that the feet can rest on the ground surface.
• In the next step, raise both your hands and in the process, toss the ball upwards. After catching the ball, the arms should be brought back to their original position.

Arm Circles

This exercise can be performed in both, the standing and sitting position. If you prefer the sitting position, choose a chair without a back.
• Keep your hands to the side of the body with palms facing downwards. Arms need to be stretched out.
• Move both your arms in circles. Start with the clockwise motion. While you move your arms, keep them firm without bending at elbows.
• After moving the arms clockwise for a while, reverse the direction.
• The shoulders muscles, biceps and triceps are strengthened with this exercise.

Effectiveness of Body-weight Resistance

The resistance created by the use of weights and body weight is the same. It means you'll enjoy the benefits of a weight training exercise even without using the weights.

Yoga Poses for Arm Strengthening

Plank Pose

It is one of the simplest yet effective Yoga poses for strengthening the arms. This exercise (pose) strengthens the arms as well as the spine.
• The first step is to rest your body on the hands (palms facing downwards) and knees.
• In the next step, you should lift your knees and support the body with toes. Try to maintain your body (from the head to heels) in a straight line.
• Keep your chest from sinking and maintain the hands in a straight line - perpendicular to the ground surface.

Upward-facing Dog

The upward-facing dog pose is initiated from the face-down position. This exercise strengthens the arms and wrists. Also, the spinal cord gains strength from this exercise.
• Place your palms on the ground surface with the elbows bent.
• Lift the body by putting body weight on the palms and legs (i.e. front part of the feet). Don't put undue pressure on the lower back.
• The body should be lifted and the hands aligned in a manner that the shoulders, elbows and wrists are in the same line.
• Lower the body slowly and go back to the original position.

Downward-facing Dog

Start this exercise in a position where you rest on the hands and knees. The elbows should not be bent but aligned with the wrists and shoulder-joints.
• In the first step, the knees have to be lifted off the surface and the body weight rested on toes and palms. At the same time, the back needs to be pulled backwards; the back and arms should be aligned in a straight line.
• In this step, the bent knees should be straightened while pulling the hip backwards. The body should be rested on the flat feet (instead of toes) and palms.
• Now stretch the arms and legs as much as possible. After a while, slowly get back to the original position.

Hand and Wrist Strengthening Exercises

The Chinese hand balls and exercise rings can be effectively used to strengthen the hands, fingers, wrists and forearms to improve the coordination between them.

Chinese Hand Balls

The exercise with Chinese hand balls is performed by holding them in the hand while keeping them parallel to the ground surface. Initially, 2 balls are used for training; the number can be increased up to 6 after enough practice.
While doing this exercise, fingers are used for rotating the ball around the palm. Balls should be moved in a manner that they don't bang against each other. However, they should constantly be in contact with each other.
This exercise helps in stretching and toning the muscles of arms and also stimulates the energy meridians. The hand ball exercise is considered as therapeutic for people with arthritic or rheumatic fingers. It is also quite relaxing for over-thinkers or those who worry a lot.

Massage Rings

The massage rings are made of rubber and have nodules on their surface. These rings are squeezed gently, rhythmically and repeatedly with intermittent gaps. One should start with 15-20 squeezes in the beginning and repeat the exercise 2-3 times daily.
The arm exercises without weights are such that they allow to make use of the body weight. These exercises are considered as 'natural' because only a little or no use of equipment is made.
Workouts performed with weights help in gaining muscles in a lesser amount of time; however, sustained efforts are needed to keep them in proper shape. On the contrary, muscles gained without the use of weights take longer for curves to be seen. However, the effect of these exercises is long-lasting.