The 10 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Arms

It’s quite difficult to find genuine bodyweight arm exercises on the web. Before I started writing this article, I’ve searched on Google “what are the best bodyweight arm exercises that you can do at home?” And I have found some authoritative websites who have published a bunch of exercises as bodyweight arms workout.

However, most of the exercises they mentioned, do not primarily engage arm muscles like biceps, triceps, wrists, and forearms.

Here is the bodyweight arms workout they posted on their website: planks, shoulder taps, oblique twists, superman, burpees, kickboxing punches, etc. These exercises may work on arms but that’s not what people are looking for.

And to serve you with relevant information, I’m going to share a complete list of bodyweight exercises for arms. And if you workout at home, you can include all exercises in your overall bodyweight exercise routine.

Related: The 15 Best Bodyweight Back Workouts At Home

Bodyweight Arm Exercises: Tricep Muscles

Triangle Push-ups

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Focus: Strength & Muscle Building

How to do triangle pushup

  1. Place your hands on the floor, forming a triangle shape and get into a pushup position with your arms are directly below your chest. Keep your body straight from head to heels and feet hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale and lower your chest toward the ground as low as possible and contracting your tricep muscles press yourself back to the starting position. This is your one repetition.
  3. Do as many reps as possible according to your strength.

If you’re a beginner then you can try kneeling variation of triangle pushup. And to do that, get on your four arms with your hands forming a triangle shape and your arms stay straight underneath your chest. And then repeat the same steps and complete as many reps as you can do.

Bodyweight Dips

For tricep muscles, the dip is one of the effective bodyweight workouts you can do at your home. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate, male or female, you can do this at home for strength and muscle gain.

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Focus: Strength, Balance, and Muscle Building

Here, I’m going to share how to do chair dips with step by step instructions:

  1. Sit on a chair, keep your feet hip-width apart on the floor, and place your hands on the edge of a chair, palms are down and grip the edge of a bench with your fingers.
  2. Lift your butt off the chair, move your torso forward, and slightly bend your knees in front of you. That’s your starting position.
  3. Now, pushing through your arms (and contracting your triceps) raise your torso upward until your arms are fully extended, pause for a moment and then bend your elbows to lower your body to the start. That’s your one repetition.
  4. Keep doing it until you feel good contraction in your triceps. Do three sets of 15 reps each.

If you don’t have access to a chair, you can try floor dips as it doesn’t require any equipment. And to do the floor dips, follow the below steps

  • Sit on the floor, keep your legs in front of you with your knees are bent to 30-degree and place your hands on the floor (fingers pointing forward while your elbows facing against your body) in line with your shoulders. This is your starting position.
  • Now, contracting your triceps, push through your arms to lift your buttock off the floor until your elbows are fully extended. Pause for a second and then bend your elbows to return to the start. This is one repetition.
  • Repeat for the desired number of times.

Pseudo Planche Push-up

I feel Psuedo planche pushup is one of the best bodyweight workouts for arms. It target all muscles of arm such as biceps, forearm, wrist and especially the triceps. But to perform this move, one need to have better control over his body and good strength in his arms.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Focus: Strength and Muscle Building

Here are the simple steps you can follow to do pseudo planche pushup

  1. Get on your knees, place your hands on the floor (shoulder-width apart) besides your stomach with your fingers pointing slightly outward. Keep your feet hip-width apart, arms straight and back flat, that’s your starting position.
  2. Inhale and lower yourself slightly toward forward and then press back to the start. That’s one rep.

To make it easy, you can try the kneeling version of this push-up. All steps will be the same, only your knees will be grounded and supporting bodyweight along with your arms.

Triceps Extension Pushup

Difficulty: Intermediate

Focus: Strength

  • Place your forearm on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart, and get into plank position.
  • Now, pushing through your triceps, lift your elbows off the floor and extend your arms fully so that your tricep muscle got fully engaged.
  • Hold for a sec and then lower your elbows back to the start but avoid touching the floor. Repeat as many times as you like.

Bodyweight workout for arms: Bicep Muscles

Bicep Leg Curl

Difficulty: Intermediate

Focus: Strength and Balance

You can do bicep curls using your legs, you can train your one body part with the help you another body part and that’s the beauty of bodyweight exercises. However, we cannot hide the truth, and the truth is bicep leg curl won’t be as effective as the dumbbell or barbell curls.

But if there is possibility of increasing strength and toning bicep muscles with the bicep leg curls, why would anyone skip that?

The steps to perform bicep curl using leg are very simple

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms straight in front of your thigh.
  2. Lift your right leg off the floor, bend knee and grab your feet with your right hand with an underhand grip. That’s your starting position.
  3. Slightly bend your left knee, and curl your right hand as much as possible. Pause, squeeze your bicep and then return to the start. This is your one rep.
  4. Do as many reps as you can do.

Fingers Inward Push-ups

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Focus: Strength & Muscle Building

The finger inward pushup may not work the same for all but when I do, my biceps get good pump. And this is why I’ve included in this list.

To perform this pushup

  1. Place your hands on the floor with your fingers pointing each other, and elbows point out to the sides.
  2. Then get into a normal push-up position and make sure your hands are below your shoulders. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, bend your elbows so they flare out to the sides and lower your body as low as possible toward the ground.
  4. Hold, and then contracting your arms push yourself back to the start. That’s one repetition. Do as many reps as you can do.

If you’re a beginner, you can try on your all fours.

Side Plank Up and Down

Difficulty: Intermediate

Focus: Strength

How to:

  1. Place your left hand palm on the floor, turn your body to the left while keep your right arm straight on your right side.
  2. Extend your left arm fully straight so your entire upper body weight stay on it. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, lower your body toward the floor, and as you come down your biceps got engaged, and pushing through your left arm return to the start.
  4. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can.

Bodyweight Forearm and Wrist Exercises

Knuckle Push-up

Difficulty: Intermediate

Focus: Strength

I think forearm push-up is one of the stronger push-ups for the arm that you can try at home. It strengthen forearms as well as triceps. However, It is an advanced workout and to perform this movement, you need enough strength in your arms.

Give it a try, here are the steps to do:

  • Close your fist (like a punch) place the outer part of your fingers on the floor with your hands are shoulder-width apart and get into regular position like your arms are straight below your shoulders, both feet together, and the body is straight from head to the heels. This is your starting position.
  • Keeping your core as tight as possible, lower your chest toward the floor, and then using your arm’s strength press back to the start. That’s one rep. You can repeat as many times as you like.
  • I would suggest you to do this movement on the mat.

Forearm Plank Walking

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

Focus: Strength & Muscle Building

How to:

  • Place your forearms on the ground, and start with a regular plank position. Keep your back straight and core tight.
  • Now, move on your forearms two steps to the right and then two steps to the left and return for the maximum number of times.
  • This exercise will not only strengthen your core but forearms also.
Related: 7 Bodyweight Exercises For Shoulders

If you want to do bodyweight arms exercises at the gym, try this…

Chin-up

Chin-up is one of the most effective bodyweight bicep exercises that you can do on a pull-up bar using your own bodyweight.

It is the best because in this move you’ll have to pull your entire bodyweight with the help of your arms’ strength. And the good thing is that chin-up is easier than pullup. It is because of the grip and hand position.

Other than biceps, the chinup also works on forearms and the triceps.

Here are the steps to perform chin-ups:

  1. Grab the pullup bar with an underhand grip with your hands are shoulder-width apart, and hang onto it with your arms straight.
  2. Bend your knees and cross your legs.
  3. Brace you core and pull your body toward the bar until your chin reaches to a level of the bar.
  4. Hold for a couple of seconds at the top, make sure your bicep is fully contracted and then lower your body in a controlled fashion. That’s your one repetition.
  5. The more repetitions you do, the better and the faster your biceps will grow.

Parallel Bar Dip

If you want to build a strong and aesthetic physique, you must include the bar dip in your overall workout regime. The bar dip is one of the powerful upper body exercises that you can do using your own bodyweight. It primarily works on your triceps and the chest.

How to do a bar dip:

  1. Grab the handles of the bar dip machine, and press the handle to lift your body off the ground, and hold your arms straight.
  2. Slightly lean forward your torso so you’ll be in a vertical position. And keep your knees bent and cross your legs behind you. That’s your start.
  3. Inhale and start lowering your body by bending your elbows until your chest is parallel to the ground.
  4. Contracting your tricep, press the bar until your elbows fully extended, now you’re in the starting position. That’s one repetition.
  5. Do as many reps as you can do.

Bodyweight Arm Workout Routine at Home

ExerciseTarget MuscleSetsReps/set
Triangle Push-upsTriceps312-15
Pseudo Planche Push-upTriceps38-10
Chair DipsTriceps312-15
Triceps Extension PushupTriceps28-10
Fingers Inward Push-upsBiceps210-12
Side Plank Up and DownBiceps38-10
Bicep Leg CurlBiceps310-12
Forearm Plank WalkingForearm310-15
each exercise engages and strengthens your entire arms

Increasing biceps and triceps with bodyweight arm exercises at home is not easy. However, with the help of the above workouts, you can strengthen your arms that will help you in your day-to-day activities such as pulling, pushing, and lifting. Additionally, strong arms also prevent injuries and make you feel superior.

Featured image: Sergeycauselove

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