You don’t need weights to strengthen and tone your arms. You can use equipment in your home, your local park or your child’s playground to give yourself a great upper-body workout. Try simple exercises to tone up your biceps, triceps and shoulders with simple objects such as a bench or a bar.
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Tone Your Triceps
Do triceps dips to strengthen your triceps on the back of your upper arm. Sit on a chair or bench with your palms next to your legs on the front edge. Wrap your fingers around the front edge of the chair. Scoot forward so your butt is off the chair and your weight is on your arms. Bend your elbows and lower your butt down in front of the chair. Before your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, straighten your arms and push your body up until your butt is level with the edge of the chair. Repeat eight to 15 times.
Build Your Biceps
Chin-ups target your upper back and your biceps, which are on the front of your upper arm. Reach your arms straight over your head and grab a bar with your palms facing toward your body. Bend your knees so your feet are behind you and you’re hanging from the bar. Bend your elbows and pull your body up until your chin is level with the bar. Slowly lower your body back down until your arms are straight. Repeat until your arms are fatigued. If you need to swing your body to assist with the movement, stop and rest. If you’re new to chin-ups, you may only be able to do one or two to start. If this is the case, do one or two repetitions, rest one minute and complete one or two more repetitions. As you get stronger, add repetitions until your arms are fatigued.
Strengthen Your Shoulders
Rear deltoid inverted rows strengthen the back of your shoulders, with your upper back and arms working to assist with the movement. Lie on your back with your belly directly under a bar fixed at a position 2 to 3 feet off the ground. If you’re in the gym, you can use a bench press or squat rack with the bar fixed in this position. If you’re doing this workout outside, you can find a bar this height on piece of playground equipment. Bend your knees and place your heels on the floor. Reach up and grab the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows and pull your torso toward the bar, keeping your back straight. Lower and repeat eight to 15 times.
Warm Up to Engage Muscles
Warm up with at least five minutes of cardiovascular exercise before beginning strength exercises. Perform these exercises two to three times a week and always allow at least one day in between for your muscles to recover. Check with your physician before beginning any new exercise routine.