Say goodbye to flabby arms and hello to toned muscles with these top 10 bodyweight exercises for arms and shoulders!
Are you tired of jiggling arm fat every time you wave goodbye? Do you want to build some serious guns without having to hit the gym? Look no further than the world of bodyweight exercises!
In this article, we’re going to show you the top 10 bodyweight exercises for arms and shoulders. They help you build arm strength without ever having to pick up a weight.
Whether you’re a seasoned fitness pro or a beginner just starting your fitness journey, these exercises are guaranteed to make your arms feel like guns.
So get ready to flex those biceps and let’s dive in!
Top 10 Bodyweight Exercises For Arms
There are many effective bodyweight exercises that can help you build and strengthen your arm muscles. Here are the best ones:
Push-ups are not just a punishment for gym class anymore! They are one of the most effective and widely used bodyweight exercises for arms.
When you do a push-up, not only are you working your chest and shoulders, but you are also targeting your triceps and biceps all at the same time!
The push-up is a versatile exercise that can be done just about anywhere – your bedroom, your living room, the beach, or even a parking lot.
And it’s so simple, too. Just get into a plank position with your arms shoulder-width apart, and lower yourself down to the ground and back up again.
Plus, since push-ups are a compound exercise, meaning they engage multiple muscle groups at the same time, you’ll burn more calories and get more bang for your buck in terms of time spent exercising.
Looking to add some serious size to those guns of yours? Look no further than the humble chin-up!
This classic bodyweight exercise is a staple in the fitness world for a reason – it’s one of the best exercises for building biceps and forearms.
But chin-ups aren’t just a bicep exercise – they also work your back muscles, specifically your latissimus dorsi, or lats for short. These are the muscles responsible for that coveted “V-shape” back that everyone wants.
Plus, chin-ups are a great way to improve your grip strength, which can come in handy in all sorts of everyday activities, from carrying groceries to opening jars.
The best part? Chin-ups require minimal equipment – just a sturdy bar or some playground equipment will do the trick.
And there are plenty of variations to keep things interesting, whether you’re doing wide-grip chin-ups to target your lats or close-grip chin-ups to really isolate those biceps.
Now, let’s be real – chin-ups aren’t easy. If you’re new to the exercise, you might find yourself struggling to complete even one rep.
But don’t give up! With consistent practice and proper form, you’ll be banging out chin-ups like a pro in no time.
3. Plank Walk-Ups
Let’s talk about plank walk-ups, also known as the “I hate myself, why am I doing this” exercise.
These bad boys are no joke – they’re a challenging bodyweight exercise that will work your triceps, shoulders, and core muscles all at the same time.
- To perform this exercise, start in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet together.
- Then, one at a time, walk your hands up to a push-up position, with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Hold this position for a beat, then walk your hands back down to the plank position.
- And repeat, because apparently, once wasn’t enough.
So why would anyone subject themselves to such torture? For starters, plank walk-ups are a great way to improve your upper body strength and stability.
They target your triceps, shoulders, and chest, which are all key muscle groups for pushing movements.
Plus, since plank walk-ups require you to engage your core muscles to maintain proper form, you’ll also be working your abs and obliques.
Plank walk-ups are hard. Like, really hard. If you’re new to the exercise, you might find yourself struggling to make it through even a few reps.
But that’s okay! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a six-pack. With consistent practice and proper form, you’ll be crushing plank walk-ups in no time.
4. Diamond Push-Ups
This exercise is a variation of the classic push-up, but with a twist – instead of placing your hands shoulder-width apart, you’ll bring them close together in a diamond shape, with your thumbs and index fingers touching.
By bringing your hands close together, you’ll be putting more emphasis on your triceps muscles, which are often neglected in traditional push-ups.
But diamond push-ups aren’t just good for your triceps – they also work your chest and shoulders, just like regular push-ups. Plus, since you’re keeping your elbows close to your sides, you’ll be engaging your core muscles more to maintain proper form.
Here’s how to perform a diamond push-up:
- Start in a high plank position with your hands close together in a diamond shape under your chest.
- Lower yourself down towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your core engaged.
- And then push yourself back up to the starting position, all while trying to resist the urge to collapse in a sweaty heap.
If you’re new to diamond push-ups, don’t get discouraged if you can only do a few reps at first. Like any exercise, it takes time and practice to build up strength and endurance.
5. Wall Walks
Wall walks – not just a fun tongue twister, but also an awesome bodyweight exercise for arms and shoulders. And no, we’re not talking about walking into walls by accident (although we’ve all been there).
Here’s how to properly perform this exercise:
- Start in a push-up position with your feet against a wall.
- Then, walk your feet up the wall and your hands back closer to the wall. Keep your body straight at all times.
- Once you’ve reached the top, slowly walk your feet back down to the starting position.
Since you’re essentially holding a plank position while climbing up and down the wall, you’ll be engaging your core muscles as well as your shoulders and triceps.
Also, wall walks can help improve your flexibility and mobility in your shoulders, which is important for overall shoulder health.
And let’s be real, who doesn’t want to be able to reach that top shelf without throwing out their shoulder?
6. Bodyweight Bicep Curls
Here’s how to do this arm exercise:
- To get started, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. (You can also hold a towel with your hands, just like you see in the video.)
- Then, curl your arms up towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your sides like you’re trying to smuggle something under your armpits.
- Hold the top position for a moment to really feel that burn, and then slowly lower your arms back down to your sides.
Not only do bodyweight bicep curls help tone and strengthen your biceps, but they also engage your forearms and grip strength.
7. Triceps Dips
Dips are another great bodyweight exercise for strengthening your triceps and shoulders. You can perform triceps dips using parallel bars or a sturdy chair or bench.
But since everyone has a chair at home, here’s how to perform triceps dips with a chair:
- Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your hands on the edge of the seat, fingers pointing forward.
- Walk your feet out and lower your body off the chair by bending your elbows, then straighten your arms to lift yourself back up.
As you can see, you can use your own body weight and the things you have around your house to get a good workout. Not having a gym nearby is not an excuse!
8. Handstand Push-Ups
If you’re looking for a bodyweight exercise that will make you feel like a gymnastics pro and build some serious upper-body strength, look no further than handstand push-ups.
- To get started, you’ll need to get into a handstand position with your hands on the floor and your feet against a wall for balance. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to do this – just find a sturdy wall and use your feet to help you stabilize.
- Once you’re in position, start lowering your body towards the floor by bending your elbows, like you’re doing a regular push-up.
- Then, push back up to the starting position, making sure to engage your shoulders, triceps, and upper chest muscles to power the movement.
Handstand push-ups are a challenging exercise that requires a lot of upper body strength and stability, but they’re also incredibly rewarding.
Not only will you be working those shoulders and triceps like nobody’s business, but you’ll also be building core strength and improving your balance and body control.
9. Commando Pull-Ups
Here’s how to properly perform the commando pull-up:
- Grab the bar with your wrists facing each other.
- Hold onto the bar with one hand facing up and the other facing down.
- Begin by hanging with your arms straight.
- Then, pull yourself up towards the bar while tilting your head to one side at the top.
- Lower yourself back down.
- Pull yourself up towards the bar while tilting your head to the other side of the bar.
- Lower yourself back down.
- Repeat the exercise while alternating sides.
This exercise targets your biceps, forearms, and back muscles. It’s one of the most powerful bodyweight exercises for arms, so make sure to add it to your upper body workout.
Let’s be real – nobody likes doing burpees. They’re like the broccoli of the exercise world – you know they’re good for you, but they’re not exactly the most enjoyable thing to consume.
But just because they’re not the most popular exercises doesn’t mean they’re not effective. Actually, burpees are one of the best bodyweight exercises you can do for your entire body. That’s right – not just your arms, but your chest, shoulders, and core muscles too.
Here’s how to properly perform burpees:
- Start in a standing position.
- Then squat down and place your hands on the ground.
- Kick your feet back into a push-up position, then quickly jump your feet back up to your hands and stand up.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Well, here’s where the fun (read: torture) comes in. Burpees are meant to be done quickly and with as little rest as possible between reps, which means you’re going to be feeling the burn pretty quickly. But hey, at least you’ll be getting a killer full-body workout in the process.
The Complete Arm Workout
Alright, you now have an arsenal of killer bodyweight exercises that are guaranteed to get those arms of yours in tip-top shape. But what good is a list if you don’t know how to use it?
Here’s a sample arm workout that will leave you feeling like a superhero (or at least like you could lift a car over your head):
- First things first, pick 4 exercises from the list we’ve just gone through. And don’t worry if you can’t decide – you can always switch it up every time you do this workout.
- Once you’ve got your exercises, it’s time to get to work. Do each exercise for a minute without any rest in between – this is what we call a “set.” And let me tell you, a minute can feel like a loooong time when you’re pushing yourself to the limit.
- After you’ve completed one set of each exercise, take a breather for about a minute. You’ve earned it!
- Then, get ready to do it all over again. That’s right, we’re doing 5 sets total. Are you sweating yet?
Mix and match your exercises each time you do this workout to keep things fresh and challenging.
These bodyweight exercises for arms and shoulders are the bomb. But hold your horses, you can’t forget about your lower body! You gotta give your legs some love too, otherwise, you’ll be walking around like Mr. Potato Head.
To keep your body looking proportional and fit, make sure to alternate your arm exercises with some leg workouts and throw in a core + back session to really round it out.
And let’s not forget about the importance of cardio, it’s not just for people who want to run away from their problems (wink, wink).
So, get to workin’ on those arms, but don’t neglect the rest of your body!