Wednesday, October 27, 2021
The Best Muscle Workouts


21 Arm Workouts With and Without Weights

Whether you’re just bored hanging at home or you’ve been meaning to work on your fitness, you can totally achieve…

By admint10m , in Arms , at July 2, 2021

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Whether you’re just bored hanging at home or you’ve been meaning to work on your fitness, you can totally achieve a strong upper bod with at-home exercises for your arms.

To narrow down the best tips to get you to the gun show 💪 , we asked Thomas Salvatore, personal trainer and owner of Your Daily Motivation Fitness, to give us the lowdown on all things arms.

So how often should you pump some iron? A 2016 research review suggests that training muscle groups at least twice a week can maximize results. So building a 20–30 minute arm routine into your schedule 2 or 3 times a week is a good place to start.

To build muscle in your arms, you’ll want to focus on the following upper-body muscles:

  • Biceps. These are the sexy, bulging muscles at the front of the arm (the ones you flex in front of the mirror).
  • Triceps. These are the muscles on the backs of your arms that you don’t use as directly when carrying or lifting (which is why they’re usually weaker than biceps).
  • Lats (latissimus dorsi). These are the big ol’ V-shaped muscles that connect your arms to your spine.
  • Deltoids. Posted up on the outer part of the shoulders, these muscles are known for their iconic triangular shape.

As with any exercise routine, adding a combo of healthy diet, cardio, and strength training is a great way to reduce body fat and add muscle mass.

If you have no weights in sight or you’re new to arm workouts, you can just use your body weight to get an arm workout.

According to Salvatore, most arm exercises without weights are just variations of planks or push-ups, which means they require you to engage your core (two for one!).

“This means you might not feel the same intense burn in your arms like you would with weights, and that’s totally fine,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective. I promise you will feel it the next day.”

1. Push-up: 3 sets of 10 reps

How-to: Start in a high plank position, with hands placed a little wider than shoulders. Keep your gaze straight down toward the floor. Using your arms, lower yourself to the floor, then push yourself back up by engaging arms and core.

Pro tip: Start with just 10 push-ups. Then increase the number weekly as you gain strength.

Muscles targeted: Triceps, chest, and shoulders

2. Triceps dip: 3 sets of 12 reps

How-to: Triceps dips can be done with a couch, chair, or bench (really any stable surface you’d sit on). Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the chair and move your pelvis and booty forward, giving yourself enough space to dip down.

Step your feet forward slightly so your legs are almost straight (but don’t lock those knees!). Slowly lower your body down and then press back up, concentrating on engaging your triceps to lower and lift.

Muscles targeted: Triceps

3. Side plank with arm extension: 3 sets of 10 reps on each side

How-to: Lie on your right side with feet stacked. Push right forearm into the floor for support and stability as you lift into a side plank. Keep right arm perpendicular to your body and left arm in line with your body.

Make sure your torso is in a reasonably straight line with your head, neck, and legs. Engage left arm by extending it toward the ceiling, making sure not to lift it higher than your shoulder. Lower your arm back down. Complete a full set before repeating on the other side.

Muscles targeted: Obliques, arms, legs, and shoulders

4. Superman with arm extension: 3 sets of 10 reps

How-to: Lie facedown with legs extended and arms bent so elbows are by your sides. Engage shoulders and glutes while lifting arms, chest, and legs off the floor (this is the Superman part). Straighten arms in front of you, then bring them back into the bent position. Lower back down to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders, lower back, and glutes

5. Inchworm: 3 sets of 10–12 reps

How-to: Start in a high plank position with wrists under shoulders and legs extended behind you. Lift hips toward the ceiling as you slowly walk hands back toward feet until you’re in a forward fold. (You can bend your knees if necessary to get your palms flat on the floor.) Slowly walk hands forward, returning to high plank position.

Muscles targeted: Chest and shoulders

6. Plank tap: 3 sets of 15–20 reps

How-to: Start in a high plank with hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked over wrists, and legs extended behind you with feet at least shoulder-width apart. Keeping core and glutes engaged and hips as still as possible, tap right hand to left shoulder, then left hand to right shoulder to complete 1 rep.

Muscles targeted: Triceps, deltoids, lats, glutes, and core

7. Decline push-up: 3 sets of 10 reps

How-to: Start in a high plank position with your toes on a step, box, or exercise ball (anything that can elevate your legs). Bending your elbows, carefully lower your chest toward the floor. Push through your palms to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Deltoids, triceps, chest, and core

You can work dumbbells, medicine balls, or kettlebells into a weighted arm routine. No weights? No problem. Grab milk jugs, laundry detergent containers, or a weighted backpack. Any heavy objects you can safely get a grip on will do!

How heavy you want the dumbbells depends on your goals. “I have the most success starting people with lighter weight and more reps for a few reasons: I can see what fitness level they’re on, and it’s easier to add more weight or reps when needed,” notes Salvatore.

You can always up the weight as you go.

1. Biceps curl: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: While standing or sitting, hold a weight in each hand with arms extended toward the floor. Slowly bend your elbows, bringing the weights toward your shoulders. Lower the weights back down to the starting position, making sure elbows and wrists are aligned throughout the movement.

Muscles targeted: Biceps

2. Lateral raise: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand or sit with arms at your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping palms facing your body and elbows slightly bent, lift the dumbbells until your arms are parallel to the floor, so your body forms a T shape. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders and triceps

3. Triceps kickback: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with palms facing your body. Slowly hinge forward by pushing hips back and slightly bending knees.

Pull elbows up so they’re at a 90-degree bend and in line with your back. Extend arms behind you until they’re straight, and then slowly return them to the 90-degree bend, keeping upper arms still so your elbows stay high.

Muscles targeted: Triceps

4. Overhead triceps extension: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand or sit with a straight back, holding a dumbbell with both hands around the center. Raise the dumbbell over your head. Slowly bend elbows so the weight sinks behind your head. Slowly lift the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Triceps

5. Rainbow slam: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball over your head. Swivel so you’re facing your right side, raising back heel off the floor as you bend knees like you’re doing a lunge. Slam the ball to the floor as hard as you can, and then catch it.

Return to the starting position with arms above your head. Swivel so you’re facing your left side and repeat the lunge stance and ball slam (notice that you’ve made a rainbow shape in the air with the ball). Return to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders, core, legs, glutes, and back

6. Kettlebell swing: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the kettlebell handle with both hands in front of you. Bend knees slightly and let the kettlebell swing between your legs, keeping back flat and neck straight.

Thrust your hips forward (heh!) to drive the kettlebell into the air in front of you. Use your arms to control it, but don’t pull it up. Let the kettlebell swing back down through your legs. Control its fall by keeping core engaged. As the kettlebell swings down, immediately move into the next rep.

Pro tip: Before swinging, make sure your core is engaged and pull your shoulders down and back, maintaining this form during the whole set. The goal is to use your lower body to drive the exercise, but this full-body move will still work your arms.

Muscles targeted: Lats, shoulders, chest, abs, glutes, quads, hips, and hamstrings

7. Dumbbell pullover: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Lie on your back on a bench or stability ball, holding a dumbbell with both hands. Keep feet planted firmly on the floor. Engage core and lift arms toward the ceiling, carefully holding the dumbbell above your chest with both hands.

Keeping lower back fully pressed into the bench or ball, slowly drop your arms overhead until biceps have arrived at ears. Slowly return your arms to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Lats and chest

Just because resistance bands come in cute colors doesn’t mean they won’t slap you silly. Salvatore warns that they’ll light up every muscle in your arms and give you an overall burn (in a good way!).

“When people perform an exercise with dumbbells, it’s easy to lose tension toward the top of the range of motion,” Salvatore explains. “With bands, we get the opposite action — it’s constantly increasing resistance force as the band gets longer. This way, you will have the strongest force at the end of the range, which will be the greatest contraction in the muscle.”

1. Biceps curl with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand on the band so it lies under the arch of your foot. Grab the ends of the band, with palms facing forward and arms by your sides. Keeping elbows tight against your sides, slowly bend (curl) arms until your hands meet your shoulders. Slowly lower your hands to return to the starting position.

Pro tip: As soon as you feel that burn of peak contraction, it’s a sign that you need to hold it for an extra second or two.

Muscles targeted: Biceps

2. Triceps pressdown with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Safely secure the band to a bar or door. Stand facing the band with knees slightly bent. Grab the band at its highest point. With elbows at your sides, pull the band down toward the floor until arms are fully extended. Return to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Triceps

3. Pull-apart with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one end of the band in each hand. Lift arms to chest height, keeping them straight with palms facing down and hands about 6 inches apart. The band should have a little tension without being taut.

Pull the band apart, extending your arms wide to the sides and keeping them at the same height. Bring your arms back to the center.

Muscles targeted: Chest, shoulders, and back

4. Staggered-stance row with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Stand in a staggered stance with left foot in front of right. Secure the band under your left foot and hold one end of the band in each hand. Slightly bend your knees and hinge forward at hips, engaging core and keeping back straight. Extend your arms toward your left foot, keeping light tension on the band.

Pull your hands toward your torso in a rowing motion, keeping forearms, elbows, and hands aligned with rib cage. Extend your arms to return to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders and triceps

5. Triceps kickback with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Step left foot forward and secure the band under left foot, holding one end of the band in each hand. Engaging core and keeping back straight, bend left knee and hinge forward at hips. Bend elbows to 90 degrees, keeping arms close to your sides.

Slowly straighten your arms at the elbow, keeping upper arms still as shoulder blades squeeze together. Bend your elbows again to return to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders, triceps, and back

6. Single-arm front raise with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps on each side

How-to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, securing the band under your feet. Hold one end of the band in right hand, resting right arm by your side with light tension in the band.

Raise right hand straight in front of you, bringing arm to chest height. Use only your arm and shoulders here — avoid letting your torso tip or your shoulder crumple. Lower your arm to return to the starting position.

Muscles targeted: Shoulders

7. Single-leg row with band: 3 sets of 10–15 reps

How-to: Secure a resistance band to a sturdy surface like the base of a heavy desk or table. Standing on one leg, hold the band in front of your chest with arms extended. Squeeze shoulder blades together and pull elbows back to complete a rowing motion. Pause with elbows bent, then slowly return to the starting position.

Pro tip: If standing on one leg is too challenging for your balance, try starting with both feet on the floor until you feel comfortable progressing to one foot. If you want more of a challenge, you can also add in single-arm rows in-between your standard rows.

Muscles targeted: Triceps, back, and core — plus balance!

Whether you want to use weights, your body weight, or resistance bands, there are plenty of effective arm exercises you can bang out at home.

Don’t be afraid to get creative to make these exercises work in your space.

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