Upper body Workout no weights
Everybody wants to know how to improve the look of their arms. Guys want them to be bigger. Women want them to be slender and toned.
Arms, like abs, are at the forefront of most people’s minds because they look impressive.
Gym-owners know this, and thus most gyms are packed wall-to-wall with equipment specifically designed to work your arms. While not all of it is useful, getting results is simply a question of putting in the work and following a smart plan like this one.
But if you’re travelling, working out at home or elsewhere, it’s a bit trickier. You still need to do the work, but you also need a way of training your arms without weights.
Fortunately for us, there are a number of arm exercises that you can do just about anywhere. These mainly involve using your bodyweight, but it’s also useful to have access to a TRX or resistance bands.
Before we get to the exercises, it’s worth taking a moment to look at the anatomy of the arms so we can understand what makes them look the way that they do.
Forgetting about the forearms for the time being (which we’ll take a look at in another article), the main muscles of the arm are the triceps and biceps.
These are the muscles that we need to focus on training if you want to improve the look and strength of your arms.
It’s worth restating here that using light weights and doing countless reps (15+) isn’t going to cut it; this goes for men and women.
To force the muscles to grow (which is what gives them shape and definition/makes them look ‘toned’) you need to overload them with exercises that you can ideally perform for sets of 6-12 reps.
It’s not uncommon for people to prioritize training one of these muscles over the other based on a particular goal, but it’s crucial that both are trained equally to achieve a balanced look and avoid injuries.
The triceps are found on the back of the arm, and are often neglected by men in particular who would rather train the muscle that they can see – their biceps (curls get the girls etc).
But it’s worth paying particular attention to the triceps because they are a bigger muscle group than the biceps. If you want bigger arms it follows that you need to place added emphasis on training them.
Training the triceps isn’t just important for men, though. Women are genetically predisposed to storing more fat than men, and in different places. Whereas a man typically stores fat on the upper body (resulting in beer bellies), women tend to store it on their thighs and arms.
Although the biceps are relatively small muscles, that doesn’t mean that they should be paid any less attention (not that anybody is guilty of that!)
Located at the front of the arm, biceps are perhaps the muscle most commonly associated with strength – just ask any child to make a muscle and he or she will strike a biceps pose.
Not only are they good for looking at, but they have practical uses too. A strong set of biceps will help you with any pulling exercises that strengthen your back. In turn, this will help to improve posture and reduce the chances of any pain or injuries that may otherwise occur.
The great thing about tricep (and chest) exercises is that they can truly be done anywhere – you really don’t need any equipment, other than a floor and a wall. Here are 3 of the best:
1. Diamond Push-Up
Diamond push-ups are far from easy, but done correctly they’re one of the best tricep exercises you can do.
To perform a regular push-up you would position your hands roughly shoulder-width apart, involving both the chest and triceps. By placing your hands together and keeping your elbows close to your body to do a diamond push-up, the emphasis is placed upon your triceps as opposed to your chest.
Here’s how it should be done:
- Start in a push-up position with your thumbs and index fingers of each hand touching to make a diamond shape
- While keeping your elbows as close to your side as possible, lower yourself down until your chest touches the back of your hands.
- Keep everything tight (abs, glutes, thigh muscles) throughout the movement.
- Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
Regressions (if it’s too difficult):
- Diamond Push-Up Against Wall
- Hands-Elevated Diamond Push-Up
- Regular Push-Up From Floor