If you want to sculpt a sexy pair of arms, the best thing you can do is get stronger with bodyweight exercises. Being able to do 10 close-grip push-ups and bodyweight chin-ups will do more for your arms than dozens of weighted curls and extensions.
Note: Perform the following workouts (1 and 2) on non-consecutive days. Your goal with these workouts is to improve your performance. Aim to use a more challenging variation or increase the number of reps each time you repeat a workout.
Close-Grip Push-Ups1 of 17
Start: Place your hands about chest-width apart and keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your ankles. Tuck your elbows to your sides and lower your body under control.
Finish: Once your chest lightly touches the floor, press back up. Make sure your body stays in a straight line, and squeeze your glutes and core throughout the movement.
Inverted Rows with Palms Up2 of 17
Start: Grip a bar in a squat rack with your palms facing up and arms about shoulder-width apart. Keep your body in a straight line and pull yourself up to the bar.
Inverted Rows with Palms Up Part 23 of 17
Finish: At the top, your lower chest should be touching the bar and your shoulder blades should be pulled down and back. Pause briefly and lower yourself back to the starting position under control.
TRX Bodyweight Tricep Extensions4 of 17
Start: Using a TRX or similar suspension trainer, grab the handles with an overhand grip and fully extend your arms in front of your body. With a slight forward lean, keep your stomach and butt tight so your body stays in a straight line. Bend your arms until your hands touch your ears and your body falls slightly forward.
TRX Bodyweight Tricep Extensions Part 25 of 17
Finish: Using your triceps, press yourself back to the starting position. The only movement in your arms should occur at the elbows.
TRX Bicep Curls6 of 17
Start: Using a TRX or similar suspension trainer, grab the handles with an underhand grip and lean back. Keep your body in a straight line and begin with your arms almost completely extended (a small bend is fine). Focusing on your biceps, pull yourself up until your chin is near your hands.
TRX Bicep Curls Part 27 of 17
Finish: Pause briefly at the top and lower yourself in a controlled motion back to the starting position.
Workout 18 of 17
*Alternate exercises 1A and 1B for 3 to 5 sets, then alternate exercises 2A and 2B for 3 to 5 sets.
Pike Push-Ups9 of 17
Start: With your feet resting on a bench behind you, get into a push-up position with your torso nearly perpendicular to the ground. Your hands should be just wider than shoulder-width apart. Using your triceps and shoulders, lower yourself slowly until the top of your head very lightly touches the ground.
Pike Push-Ups Part 210 of 17
Finish: Press back to the starting position.
Tip: To make this easier, start with your feet on the ground or on a platform lower than a bench. The higher the surface, the more difficult it will be.
Chin-Ups11 of 17
Start: Hold a pull-up bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart and palms facing you. Pull yourself up to the bar. Focus on driving your elbows down to your sides.
Finish: At the top, make sure your shoulder blades are pulled down and back and your chin is over the bar. Pause briefly and lower yourself in a controlled motion back to the starting position.
Tip: If you can't do bodyweight chin-ups, use a resistance band for assistance. If that's not an option, look for an assisted pull-up machine, or stand on a chair or bench and use your legs to help pull yourself up.
Band Press-Downs12 of 17
Start: With a resistance band tied to a pull-up bar or elevated rack, grab the band with both hands. Stand tall and bend your elbows so your hands are at about chest height. Using your triceps, press the band down. Only your elbows should move, and your upper arms should stay tight and close to your sides.
Band Press-Downs Part 213 of 17
Finish: At the bottom, squeeze your triceps hard. Pause briefly and slowly return to the starting position. Be sure to resist the band all the way up, taking 2 to 3 seconds to return to the starting position.
Dumbbell Curls14 of 17
Start: Stand tall with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Using your biceps, curl the weights up to about shoulder height.
Finish: Squeeze your biceps hard in the top position. Pause briefly and lower the weights in a controlled motion. Your elbows are the only joints that should move. Keep your shoulders stable and tight, and keep your upper arms close to your sides.
Weight: Most women should be able to start with 10- to 15-pound dumbbells. Adjust accordingly.
Workout 215 of 17
*Alternate exercises 3A and 3B for 3 to 5 sets, then alternate exercises 4A and 4B for 3 to 5 sets.
Nia Shanks16 of 17
Nia Shanks is a coach, health and fitness writer, and host of the Lift Like a Girl Podcast. She helps women build the bodies they want by becoming the strongest, most awesome version of themselves. You can find out more at her website, LiftLikeaGirl.com.