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Arm Exercises for Women Without Weights

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
Arm Exercises for Women Without Weights
Tone your arms without pumping iron, but don't think it'll be easy. Photo Credit fitness image by Tomasz Wojnarowicz from Fotolia.com


If you're traveling or can't get to the gym, you can still do arm exercises without using dumbbells or barbells. Arm exercises that use your bodyweight, rather than weights, for resistance can be done anytime whether you're on the road or at home. Choose exercises that target your triceps, biceps and deltoids to strengthen and tone your arms.

Tricep Pushups

The pushup exercise utilizes the chest muscles along with the triceps and the shoulders. The tricep pushup, or close grip pushup, variation places more emphasis onto the triceps on the back of your upper arms. This is achieved by simply bringing your hands closer together than during a regular pushup. Begin by placing your hands closer than shoulder-width apart on the floor and stepping your feet back to get into pushup position. The arms are straight with the hands in line with the chest. Your back should be flat and your legs straight. Then, bend your elbows and keep them tight next to your sides as you lower your chest toward the floor. Press your arms straight and lift your body back to the starting position. Perform the exercise on your knees instead of your toes to make it easier.

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The dips exercise may be done with dip bars or you can use a chair or bench. The motion of the dip exercise is what is important to target your triceps, not the equipment you use. Perhaps the simplest way to do the exercise is to sit on a chair and place your hands on the front edge of the chair next to or slightly under your legs. You can sit on your hands to begin if that is what you need to do for your hands to be in line with your shoulders. Your legs are straight in front of you with your heels on the floor. Raise your body into the air and bring your hips in front of the chair with the arms straight. Then, bend your elbows and lower your hips toward the floor to the point until your elbows are at right angles. Keep your elbows squeezed tight to your body. Push yourself back up to the starting position to finish one dip. You can perform dips with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor to make the exercise easier on your arms.


Chinups are primarily an exercise for the middle back, but it also uses the biceps, forearms and shoulders to tone your arms. Consider the back toning a bonus. Use a chinup bar that is high enough that you can hang from it without touching the ground or bending your legs. Grab the bar with your palms facing you, hands shoulder-width apart. You should have to jump a little to grab the bar. Start with your arms straight and then bend your elbows to pull your body up until your chin is above the bar. Finish a chinup by lowering back down until your arms are straight. If performing one chinup is too difficult for you as it is for many women, do a half chinup by using a chair to get you to the raised position and then lower yourself down without the help of the chair. Alternatively, find an assisted chinup machine at the gym.

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