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Best 7 Bodyweight Arm Workouts You Can Do Without Weights

Bodyweight Arm Workouts

Bodyweight Arm Workout - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

  • If you do not have access to weights or are new to arm workouts, you can use a bodyweight arm workout to tone your muscles and build biceps.
  • The no equipment arm workout targets your upper body, biceps, triceps, forearms, and upper back. It focuses more on building stronger muscles while giving you a leaner body.
  • Several research reviews suggest that weight-free bodyweight arm workouts for beginners, such as triceps dips at least twice a week, can optimize results. However, you need to combine it with a healthy diet and cardio to build more muscle mass.


Want massive, ripped arms? Don’t have any dumbbells or access to the gym? No worries. According to some reviews, one can comfortably toss aside weights and enjoy a toned body with a weight-free bodyweight arm workout.

Now, you might be thinking, how can you really build Instagram-worthy muscles without dumbbell curls and triceps pushdowns? Well, experts suggest that by altering your body angle and position and substituting your regular arm exercises with a bodyweight arm workout for mass, you can watch your biceps grow like weeds.

Below are some of the most fun and unique arm workouts that do not require weights. For optimal results, try incorporating a few into your bodyweight arm workout routine:

What Is A Bodyweight Arm Workout?

A bodyweight arm workout is an exercise that uses your body weight as resistance. It is an equipment-free ticket to the abs and guns show. It is perfect for boosting your endurance, fitness, and metabolism.

An article published in the Journal of Health & Fitness[1] found that using only bodyweight exercises during high-intensity circuit training is a fantastic way to reduce body fat, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance muscular fitness.

However, depending on your current bodyweight arm workout routine, your ability to build bulky muscles might be limited. You see, in as much as bodyweight exercises can help you bulk up like the Wolverine, bodyweight alone. It might not place enough stress on your body to fuel significant muscle growth if you are a regular exercise enthusiast already.

Nonetheless, the exercises can go a long way toward building up strength for athletic performance, preventing injuries, and promoting healthy living. A good bodyweight arm workout for mass is also the perfect starting point if you are an exercise newbie. It could help build an understanding of proper form and movement first and help you get stronger in the process. In any case, before you start building resistance with dumbbells and bands, you have to master bodyweight movements first.

Weights-Free Bodyweight Arm Workouts To Do At Home

Bodyweight arm workout routine
Ready to flex those muscles? Here are some super-effective exercises to work into your bodyweight arm workout routine or try next time if you are watching a Netflix and chill session with your partner.

1. Triceps Dips

It is an excellent no equipment arm workout. It primarily targets your chest, triceps, and muscles present at the back of your upper arms.

To perform the bodyweight workout:

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the chair or surface you are propping yourself on.
  • Shift your bottom forward so there is a gap of five to six inches between your back and the surface, giving you space as you dip down.
  • Bend your legs to a 90° angle with your feet that is firmly rooted to the ground or extend them in front of you.
  • Slowly lower your body weight straight down and push back up, focusing on engaging your muscles and core.
  • Ensure to do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

2. Chin Ups

If you are looking for the perfect bodyweight arm workout for mass, chin-ups are an excellent option. The workout program works your back and shoulder muscles and only needs a pull-up bar or a space you can hand from to perform it.

Here is how to do it:

  • Stand under a pull-up bar, grab on to it with your hand 10 centimeters apart with your palms facing you.
  • Pull yourself up using your biceps.
  • Pause when your chin is over the bar and gradually return to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

3. Pushups

Pushups Workout
The bodyweight arm workout helps strengthen your chest, shoulder, and triceps. It also helps engage your core to maintain the position, which is a bonus core component to the arm workout.

To perform pushups:

  • Lie down on a mat facing the floor.
  • Place your palms flat on the mat, besides your chest, hands should-width apart, fingers pointing forward, spine neutral, and legs straight (you can place your knees on the mat to make it easier to do).
  • Lower your body in unison towards the mat, keeping your elbows at a 45° angle.
  • Lower your chest until your upper body is parallel to the floor.
  • Push through the floor to go back into the starting position, maintaining control the entire time.

  • Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Other variations – you can try wide arm pushups, feet-elevated/decline pushups[2], or diamond pushups to help strengthen your arms, chest, and shoulders.

4. Shadowboxing

Studies show that throwing punches can help sculpt your arms. Shadowboxing involves working the muscles in your back, forearms, and shoulders. Uppercuts target the biceps, and straighter punches like jabs strengthen your triceps. To get the most out of this bodyweight arm workout, spend 15 to 30 minutes shadowboxing three times a week, and you will achieve well-defined arms in no time. You might also get an incredible cardiovascular workout in the process.

5. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers
Consider one of the most intense bodyweight arm workouts, mountain climbers targets numerous muscles, including your chest, glutes, triceps, and shoulders.

To perform it:

  • Start in a plank position.
  • Work your core as you lift your left leg slightly off the ground and bring your left knee towards the center of your chest.
  • Return the left leg to your back to a plank position as your switch sides, drawing the right knee into your chest.
  • Switch back and forth at a fast pace for 20 seconds. Do three sets of 10 to 20 reps.
  • 6. Downward Dog Waves

    Yes, even yoga moves can help strengthen your arm muscles and tone your body for that beach bod.

    To perform the bodyweight arm workout:

    • Stand on all fours, allowing your hips to rise.
    • Ground down through your palms, enabling your heels to rise.
    • Pull your body forward into a steady plank pose.
    • Pull your chest open, allow your hips to lift, and get back into the downward dog position (you can do this, move with straight legs or bent knees).

    7. Plank Taps

    Plank Taps
    The bodyweight arm workout for mass is ideal for building arm strength.

    To do it:

    • Assume the plank position.
    • Keep your arms placed on a mat, core engaged, and spine in a neutral position (you can make the exercise more challenging by keeping your feet close together). If you want to make it easier, be sure to widen your feet.
    • Tap the left shoulder with your right palm and place it back on the floor.
    • Tap the right shoulder with your left palm and return it to the floor.
    • You should complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

    Bodyweight Arm Workouts For Beginners

    If the above exercises feel a bit complicated, you can try incorporating the following into your bodyweight arm workout for beginners routine:

    1. Arm Circles

    The bodyweight arm workout for beginners focuses on your shoulder muscles and strengthens both biceps and triceps. You can make small or large circles, but make sure to maintain tension down your arms throughout the sets.

    To do it:

    • Stand with your arms straight out to the sides with your muscles contracted down your arms’ length.
    • Gradually make circles with your arms by rotating them around your shoulders while keeping them straight and elbows locked.
    • You need to complete three sets of 10 to 20 reps in both directions (you can perform sets of larger or smaller circles to change the needed effort.

    2. Wall Pushups

    Wall Pushups
    Wall pushups are an excellent bodyweight arm workout for beginners. They target your shoulders, biceps, and triceps to give you that magazine-worthy look.

    To perform the exercises:

    • Stand in front of a wall, one to two feet away.
    • Raise your arms and place your palms (shoulder-width apart) on the wall, with your fingertips pointing up.
    • Keep your legs straight, bend your elbows and bring your chin close to the wall – that is your starting position.
    • Take a deep breath, exhale and push the wall until your elbows are slightly bent and your chest away from the wall.
    • You need to take a deep breath again and go back to the starting position.
    • You should complete three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

    3. Crab Walk

    The bodyweight arm workout looks weird, but it can help you get results. According to a slew of scientific studies[3], the exercise helps boost body stability and targets your shoulders as your arms help keep you up.

    To do it:

    • Get into a crab position.
    • Place your hands and feet flat on the floor with your chest facing up and knees bent.
    • Keep your hips an inch from the floor, arms straight, and palms directly underneath your shoulders with fingertips pointing to your back.
    • Crawl forward by taking a small step with your left arm and right leg and at the same time another with your right arm and left leg.
    • Keep alternating these movements as you keep your hips low and chest up.
    • If you are looking to achieve optimum results, make sure to crawl backward or lateral, and you will achieve those Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot-like arms.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Here are some of the most commonly asked questions concerning bodyweight arm workouts:

    You can do so by trying out a no equipment arm workout that involves pushups, lunges, swimming, triceps dips, lateral raises, etc. The bodyweight exercise helps work all your muscles, including the smaller ones, targets your upper and lower body, and engages your core to the fullest, giving you a toned body. It might not have the same intense burn as working with weights, but it is as effective, and you will feel it the next day.

    Yes, they do. A good bodyweight arm workout can help you maintain a proper and healthier posture, something most individuals struggle with daily. Excellent posture can further boost the balance of your body, relax your muscles and reduce musculoskeletal pain. If you train your arms twice a week and enhance your nutrition, you can see substantial improvement in upper arm development in just six weeks.

    Unfortunately, while you can gain muscle strength with a bodyweight arm workout routine, there is only so much muscle you can build with triceps dips and pushups. However, try actively contracting your arm muscles during each repetition, as it will help enhance muscle activation and promote the quality of your training.

    Mainly linked to only strengthening the core and lower body, a bodyweight arm workout for mass like triceps dips could help build your upper arm strength substantially while targeting your chest and shoulder muscles.

    The Bottom Line

    Building your muscle strength should be a fundamental component of your fitness program. While there are numerous arm exercises, finding the perfect bodyweight arm workout routine that does not involve weights could be challenging.

    Fortunately, all the exercises mentioned above are an ideal starting point and progression for your no equipment arm workout.

    Nevertheless, in the end, you will have to branch out into weights-based workouts for continued muscle growth. However, if you still want to boost your arm strength and do not have dumbbells, you may have incredible bodyweight arm workout options that may help you to get started.

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