10 Arm Exercises You Can Do Without Any Weights

No dumbbells needed.

Originally Published: 
Cycling rarely targets the arm muscles, so add bicep curls and triceps dips into your routine.


No dumbbells on hand? No worries. You can still get an effective arm workout using nothing more than your own bodyweight. Bodyweight exercises are also great for beginners, says trainer John Gardner. Here are 10 arm exercises you can do without any equipment.


Tricep Dips

Gardner recommends dips to work the triceps.

- Rest palms on edge of chair, fingers face forward.

- Knees bent, feet hip-width apart.

- Lower body until elbows bend 45 degrees.

- Push into palms to raise back up to start.

- Do 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.


Plank Rock

Fitness pro Joy Puleo says this exercise works the entire upper body.

- Get on all fours, knees under hips, hands under shoulders.

- Straighten one leg, then the other.

- Keep back long.

- Rock forward on toes, bring heels forward and back.

- Repeat rocking for 1 minute.

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Arm Circles

Work your biceps and triceps with this move from trainer Marshall Weber.

- Stand, extend arms straight out at sides.

- Elbows locked, make slow circles with arms.

- Maintain tension in your arm muscles the whole time.

- Do 3 sets of 20 circles forward, then 20 backward.


Shoulder Taps

Trainer Marnie Kunz says planks work more than your core.

- In high plank, hands under shoulders.

- Lift left hand to tap right shoulder.

- Keep hips aligned.

- Place hand back down.

- Lift right hand to tap left shoulder.

- Repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 on each side.


Wall Elbow Touches

Instructor Alayna Curry recommends doing higher reps for bodyweight exercises.

- Face wall.

- Place hands on wall at chest height.

- Lean in until elbows/entire forearm touch wall.

- Push off wall.

- Do 15 reps, 4 rounds.

- Step feet back for added challenge.


Prayer Pulse

This one works the shoulders, Curry says.

- Stand, lift hands to prayer position at chest.

- Keep hands, forearms, elbows glued together.

- Lift arms a few inches up for a pulse.

- Lower back to neutral.

- Repeat for 40 seconds at a quick pace, 4 times.


Forearm Plank Openers

AKT trainer Alissa Tucker likes this move for the biceps, shoulders, and back.

- Begin in forearm plank with palms up.

- Slide hands to the side to increase space between hands, then return to start.

- To modify, bring knees down.

- Do 16 reps, 2 to 3 sets.


Pike Push-Up

Trainer TJ Mentus says this push-up variation targets the shoulders and triceps.

- Start in push-up position.

- Raise hips into air, legs and back straight.

- Bend elbows, lower head to ground.

- Press away, back to pike.

- Do 5 to 10 reps, 3 to 4 sets.

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Pilates pro Jacqui Kingswell likes this arm exercise to hit the triceps.

- Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward at hips.

- Raise arms behind you, palms to sky.

- Slowly lift arms up and down. Squeeze muscles.

- Do 16 to 24 reps.

- Lift arms high and pulse 16 times.

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Try this version of a push-up from trainer Jacqueline Davis Moranti to light up your arms.

- Stand, hinge forward at hips.

- Walk hands out to a push-up position, hands under shoulders.

- Lower body into push-up.

- Press up, walk hands back to standing.

- Try 8 to 10 reps.

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