There are two parts of the body that are most associated with a high level of fitness—the abs and the arms. Remember when you were a kid, and someone asked you to make a muscle? You'd flex your arm. The biceps, triceps, and forearms are incredibly important to overall fitness, which is why you should commit the time to train them properly—even if you work out at home.
In this guide, we'll share the best arm workouts at home. You'll learn about ways to train your arms with bands, dumbbells, or even your own bodyweight. The at-home arm workouts listed below can help you complete a great workout with little time commitment, ultimately getting you closer to a stronger, more muscular upper body.
Why Train Your Arms?
Besides the fact that your arms will look better, training your arms is important because they're involved in other functions. The biceps help the back with pulling motions, while the triceps (which are bigger than the biceps) assist the chest and shoulders in pressing activities. The forearms help with grip and stabilization. In short, training the arms directly will make you a better athlete overall in the short and long terms.
No-Equipment Arm Workout at Home
Good news: You can actually perform an arm workout at home without any equipment at all. If you have space and a couple of common household items, you can complete this workout. Perform 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps for each of these exercises with 30 seconds of rest between sets, and you can be done with this workout in less than 15 minutes.
Bodyweight Table Curl: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps
Lie on the floor with your upper body underneath a table with legs bent and feet flat. Reach up and take an underhand grip on the edge of the table. Using your biceps, and assistance from your legs, if necessary, curl your body up as far as you can without hitting the table. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position, reset and repeat.
Isometric Biceps Flex: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps
This is about as simple as it gets. Hold your arms to your sides, make fists, bend your elbows, and flex your biceps as hard as you can. Squeeze the muscles for a count of two. Relax your arms for a second, and repeat. If you want to stimulate the forearms as well, hold a couple of tennis balls and squeeze them while performing the flex.
Diamond Push-Ups: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps
Press down to your knees and place your hands on the floor as if you're making a diamond shape. Straighten your legs behind you and get into a pushup position. Lower yourself as close to the floor as you can, then use your triceps to push up until your arms are straight. Repeat.
Forearm Push-Ups: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps
Get on your knees and rest your forearms on the floor so they are in line with your body. Straighten your legs behind you and get into a pushup position. Drive your hands and forearms into the floor and straighten your arms. Your upper body should go up until you're in the top position of a push-up. Lower yourself to the starting position and repeat.
Note: If you're not strong enough to do this with your legs straight, bend your knees instead. This makes the exercises a bit easier and puts less pressure on your upper body.
Dumbbell Arm Workouts at Home
The dumbbell may be an arm's best friend when it comes to working out. You can train the biceps, triceps, and forearms in a multitude of ways thanks to the freedom and versatility that dumbbells offer. These exercises are among the best and performing 3 sets of 10-12 reps with heavy weight helps them grow and get stronger. If endurance and toning are your goals, shoot for 20 reps instead with a more moderate weight. Rest for one minute between sets.
Zottman Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Stand with your arms to your sides while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Turn your hands so the palms are facing up. Bend your elbow and curl the dumbbell up to shoulder height. Turn your palms so they are facing down and lower the dumbbells back down. Turn your hands again, and repeat.
Preacher Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Rest your upper arm on a bench or chair and hold a dumbbell in your hand. Start with your arm straight while holding the weight. Push your upper arm into the bench or chair and curl the weight up by bending your elbow. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat. Once you finish with the first arm, switch and do the same with the other.
Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Stand as you did with the Zottman curl but turn your hands so the palms are facing each other. Curl the first arm up as high as you can by bending the elbow. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat with the other arm. Once you've done this with both arms, you've completed one rep. Repeat. You can also perform this exercise with both arms simultaneously if you like.
Overhead Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Take a hold of a dumbbell with either hand and press it overhead. Place the other arm on your hip or keep it at your side. Bend your elbow and lower the dumbbell as far as you safely can behind your head to feel a stretch in the triceps area. Push the dumbbell back up to the starting position. Repeat for the desired reps, and switch arms to perform the exercise again in the same manner.
Lying Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Lie on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the dumbbells up so they are at arms' length over your shoulder area. Your palms should be facing each other. Bend the elbow and lower the dumbbells to the sides of your head as far as you safely can. Straighten your arms and press the weight back to the starting position. Squeeze the triceps hard at the top of the movement, and repeat.
Resistance Band Arm Workouts at Home
Resistance bands with handles are great for arm workouts at home, but the loop version can work just as well. These exercises help maximize the contraction of the muscles, but the tension decreases as the tension on the band is released. Perform as many reps as you can in one minute for each of these exercises. If the exercise calls for you to perform it with one arm at a time, devote 30 seconds to each side. Repeat for three circuits with two minutes of rest between circuits.
Single-Arm Band Reverse Curl: 3 sets of 1 min.
Stand in the middle of the band with both ends in your hand with a palms-down grip. Keeping your palm facing the floor, bend your elbow to perform the curl. Allow the arm to straighten to complete the rep and repeat. Perform the exercise with the other arm as well. If you find you're not strong enough to use both ends, hold one and let the other rest on the floor.
Two-Arm Band Curl: 3 sets of 1 min.
Stand in the middle of the band with the handles in each hand, or if you have a loop band, hold part of the band in both hands with your grip at shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows to curl and increase tension in the band. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
Single-Arm Band Curl: 3 sets of 1 min.
This exercise is performed similarly to the single-arm band reverse curl, except that the palms are facing up to target the biceps more directly. Try to turn your pinky up at the top of the curl to make the contraction even more intense.
Band Extension: 3 sets of 1 min.
Stand in the middle of a band with the ends in your hands. Press the ends up so your arms are up towards the ceiling. Bend your elbows and release tension in the band. Allow your hands to go behind your head as far as you safely can. Straighten the arms and increase tension on the band to return to the starting position. Repeat.
Close-Grip Push-Up with Band: 3 sets of 1 min.
Wrap the band around your back and hold the ends in your hands. Get into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Perform push-ups as you normally would, but the band will increase tension as you press up. Slowly lower yourself under control to the floor and repeat.
These workouts show you don't need much equipment to get a great arm pump in from home. But you do need to put the work in to see results. Train arms consistently, making sure to include rest days between workouts, and you'll see those results come to fruition. Don't be afraid to take different exercises from each workout to make your own. That allows even more possibilities and keeps your workouts fun and engaging.