Trying to get rid of flabby arms or bingo wings? Or do you simply want to get toned arms? Remember that all arms are beautiful and as you age decline of your muscles is normal.
The term “toned” has no official definition, and it can vary in meaning depending on personal goals. But the two most common meanings for toned arms are either “smaller” or tighter arms that are defined or bigger and more defined arms. Both of these toned arm goals require increasing muscle definition.
To get more defined muscles, very little fat needs to cover your muscles which means losing body fat is crucial for results. Along with arm exercises, you should improve your diet to help you lose weight and fire up your metabolism. If bigger toned arms are what you’re aiming for, be sure to also incorporate heavier strength training and really challenge your arm muscles when you work out.
The following arm exercises target your biceps, shoulders, and triceps to help strengthen and work all arm muscles. All exercises can be done without weights, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge, you can also incorporate weights, resistance bands, or any other weighted item in your home into the movements.
Increase weights gradually…
If you do choose to incorporate weights or any other weighted item into these arm exercises, be sure not to overdo it. Although lifting heavy is a way to increase muscle, if the weight becomes unmanageable, you can start to sacrifice proper form and put a strain on body parts that should not be engaged in these exercises.
A good rule of thumb – choose a weight that you can lift ten times repeatedly without straining yourself.
Which Muscles Arm Exercises Work
When most people think of strong and toned arms, something like this may come to mind 💪. But in reality, your arm is made up of more than 20 muscles, not just your bicep. With these six arm exercises, you can expect to work the following muscles:
Upper Arm Muscles
- Biceps brachii (your bicep muscle, located in the middle of your upper arm)
- Brachialis (deep muscle underneath your biceps)
- Coracobrachialis (found deep under your biceps and connects to your shoulder blade)
- Triceps brachii (your triceps muscle, located on the back of your arm)
- Brachioradialis (muscle on top of your forearm)
- Rear delts (also known as posterior delts, found on the back side of your shoulders)
- Anterior delts (also known as front delts, located on the front side of your shoulders)
- Lateral delts (also known as side delts, found on the sides of your shoulders)
adidas Training: Build The Best Upper Body Workout
The adidas Training app has fully Guided Workouts for you to choose from or create your own with the Workout Creator.
Workout Creator: A Custom Upper Body Workout in 10 Seconds
- Decide how long to work out
- Choose “Upper Body”
- Pick your intensity level
- Decide if you want to work out with no equipment or just resistance bands
- Opt for the neighbor-friendly setting to avoid jumping or noisy exercises
- Generate workout
The 6 Best Arm Exercises Without Weights
1. Bicep curls
The classic bicep curl is an essential arm exercise if you’re looking to strengthen your upper arm muscles – the biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis. This arm exercise can be performed with dumbbells, a resistance band, or even with two water bottles, depending on what you have available to you.
Proper Form Tip
Be sure to keep your elbows close to your body and your shoulders down and away from your ears to maximize the recruitment of the biceps during this exercise.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span>
2. Tricep dips
Tricep dips are purely focused on using your own body weight, and you guessed it, working your triceps brachii, or tricep muscles. This arm exercise can be done almost anywhere, but popular variations include using a chair, bench, or step.
Proper Form Tip
Keep your butt and lower back close to the chair or prop you are using to maximize the benefits of the exercise. To increase the intensity of this move, mix up the tempo! Try some slower and faster triceps dips.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span>
3. Up downs
Up downs, or moving planks, is the exercise on this list that packs the most punch. This arm exercise targets not only the triceps and shoulders but, as an added bonus, also your core and lower back. The more muscle groups you recruit for an exercise, the more calories you burn.
Proper Form Tip
Engage your core throughout the movement, ensuring that your shoulders, hips, and feet are in a line. Additionally, be sure that your hands or elbows (depending on if you’re doing the “up” or “down” part of the exercise) are placed directly underneath the shoulders. Try to resist the urge to rock side-to-side while performing this exercise.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span>
4. Narrow to Wide Push-Ups
Feel free to do this arm exercise on your knees if it’s too challenging. The narrow push-ups will engage more of your triceps, and the wider push-ups will engage more of your chest. If you perform this push-up variation on your knees, be sure that your thighs don’t touch the mat.
Proper Form Tip
Prepare for a push-up but avoid arching your back or sticking your butt in the air. Remember to draw your shoulder blades back and down and keep your elbows close to your body. Look down at the floor to keep a neutral neck to avoid any strains. And remember to breathe!<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span>
5. Bent over row
Put your shoulders into it with this arm exercise. The bent over row, sometimes called the barbell row, targets the backs of the shoulders – also known as the rear delts. Most people tend to focus on working only the front (anterior) and side (lateral) of the shoulders and forget the rear delts.
Add a resistance band or weighted item to each hand for this arm exercise if you’re up for a challenge and it feels right for you.
Proper Form Tip
Stand shoulder width apart and bend forward at the hips. Create a slight bend in your knees, and be sure to keep a straight back throughout this exercise. Lower your arms towards the floor until your elbows are completely straight. Start the pull motion with your arms, and make sure your elbows pull up in line with your shoulders, creating a “t” shape.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span>
Feel like a boxing superstar with this move! Throwing some punches can be a great way to tone your arms. Particularly your shoulders, triceps, and lats. To increase the difficulty of this arm exercise, you can add a dumbbell to each hand.
Proper Form Tip
Distribute your weight equally and shift your weight to the balls of your feet. Exhale when you punch, and don’t extend your arms completely.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”> </span>
Start Your Arm Workout Now
Head over to the adidas Training app to start toning your arms! Incorporate these moves into your next upper body workout or add them to a core workout to take your routine to the next level.
Here’s a tip for an awesome 6-minute workout: Pick three exercises from this list, and three exercises from this core exercise list, alternating one upper body and one core exercise. Perform each exercise for one minute, one after the other. Yes, it will be tough but it’s only 6 minutes!
Are you up for the challenge? Leave a comment to let us know what workout you came up with.