Arm exercises for women without weights

One of the best things you can do to improve the strength and look of your upper body is to work your arm muscles.

Everybody wants toned arms, so today I am going to go through a few bodyweight arm exercises and arm exercises without weights that you can do at home.

All of these arm exercises you can do with just your own body weight and a handful of resistance bands and will help build your muscles and burn through that arm fat.

Firstly the warm up

Warming up is important before any exercise, even if you are training without weights.

You ideally want to do 10 minutes of light cardio to get your heart pumping.

As your heart pumps faster, it increases the blood flow in itself and around the body. Helping the body warm up and oxygenating your muscles.

Next you also want to do some dynamic stretching. This is stretching where you are moving, not a stretch where you would hold a certain position static.

Movements like arm circles and overhead swings are a simple way to warm up your shoulders and elbows.

Having your muscles warmed up before you start exercising will help decrease your chances of a muscle strain or tear, as warm muscles relax and contract easier.

Having warmed up before you work out will also increase your range of motion during your movements and increase your performance, strength and endurance.

High knees:

Start by jogging on the spot. Try to bring your knees up to hip level.

Not only will this get your heart beating and warm you up, but it will start stretching your legs out.

It is important to warm up your whole body.

Even though you may only be focusing on your arms, other muscles like your legs, glutes and core will be working to help you stabilise and balance your body throughout.

Skipping rope:

A skipping rope is another good warm up as you will be stretching out your arms as well as cardio with this one.

You don't even really need a skipping rope; you can just move your arms as if you had an invisible skipping rope and this will increase your heart rate.

Arm circles:

To do arm circles stand feet flat, hip width apart, extend your arms out to your side.

Slowly move your arms in a circular motion rotating forward. Do this for 20 seconds, then do them backwards.

Forward overhead swings:

Start with your arms down by your side, take a small step forward with one leg and as you do so, swing both arms overhead.

Now step back and swing your arms back down to your sides.

Banded pull apart:

Hold either end of your resistance band in each hand. Raise your arms up in front of you to about shoulder height, keeping them straight.

Now pull the band apart, squeeze shoulder blades together, hold for a moment and then release.

Overhead reach:

Start standing, feet shoulder width apart.

Now move your right foot forward in front of your left foot, at the same time you want to extend your left arm up over your head and lean slightly over to feel a stretch up your right side.

Pause and return to standing position. Repeat for the other side.

The workouts

When training, doing the workouts correctly and with proper form is far more important than the number of reps or the strength of your resistance band.

So start slow, use a lightweight band and practice getting the exercise correct before trying something more advanced.

Some people like to train their arms up to 6 times a week, but I like to have a rest day in between my arm days, so do about 3 arm sessions a week.

Your arms are always working, whether you are carrying the shopping in or hoovering, so you will need to give your arm muscles some time to repair between your workouts.

The bird dog

This is a simple exercise that can be done without weights and is really effective at toning your shoulders, triceps, biceps and you will even feel it in your thigh muscles.

It provides your arms and legs with a good stretch so it can be done as a warmup or as a stand-alone exercise.

This is a good one to do at the start of your training session after you have completed a warmup, to give your whole body a good stretch before going onto more challenging exercises.

How to do the bird dog

To start, get on your all fours, hands shoulder width apart and directly under your shoulders. Engage your core.

Extend out one leg and extend out the opposite arm.

So, if it's right hand, it's left foot. Hold this position for a moment then release and return to your start position.

Now switch sides and do left hand, and right foot. Whilst your legs extended you must keep your toes pointing to the floor.

Keep repeating for as many reps as you can.

Resistance band lateral shoulder raises

Shoulder raises work your shoulder muscles.

Your shoulder muscle is not only responsible for raising your arms, but it also supports the shoulder joint, preventing your shoulder from dislocating, especially when carrying heavy objects.

This is definitely a must do upper arm exercise, not only for aesthetic reasons but to help you with everyday tasks and prevent any injuries.

How to do a shoulder raise

You will need a resistance band and an Axiumpole to anchor it to.

Start by looping your band to a low point on your Axiumpole, attach a handle if you wish for more comfort.

Stand strong with your back to your band, feet hip width apart, core engaged.

We will start with the right shoulder, so hold your band in your right hand, and slowly raise your arm up to shoulder height.

Pause and slowly lower it back down. That is one shoulder raise. Try to keep your arms straight throughout the movement.

After your reps, remember to switch sides and work your left shoulder.

Arm exercises for women without weights

Push ups

Push ups are a great strength training exercise that not only targets your arm muscles, but your entire body.

You can practise push ups anywhere and there are various different ways in which to do a push up depending on your ability.

Push ups will not only give you strong arms and chest muscles, but also work your glutes and core muscles.

How to do a regular push up

Get on all fours, hands shoulder width apart, and extend your legs straight out behind you so you are now supporting your body weight on your hands- palms flat and feet, keep your core engaged.

This is your starting position.

This position is also known as the high plank position.

Don't arch or dip or back, you want a straight line from your heels up to your head.

Now slowly bend elbows to lower yourself to the floor, pause and then push back up. Remember to keep your glutes engaged also.

If you are new to push ups, try them with your knees bent, supporting your weight on your bent knee instead of your feet.

This will make them a lot easier whilst you build your arm muscles.

Ready to make it harder?

If you're ready to make your push up harder, try adding in a resistance band.

To do this place a small band over your back and hold either end in your hands. Make sure it feels tight across your back.

To prevent the band from moving whilst doing your push ups, cross the band so that there is an X over your shoulder blades.

This will provide you with added resistance when you push up.

A more advanced technique is the decline push up.

To do these types of push ups, you will need a bench or a box to place your feet on.

With your feet being elevated, it will put more of your body weight on your arms, increasing the workload.

Doing this kind of push up, will really increase your arm strength.

You could even add a resistance band to this movement as you start to progress.

The diamond push up is where you start in the standard push up position, but instead you put hands together under your chest in the shape of a diamond.

This will really work your arm and chest muscles.

Resistance band front raises

The front raise is an arm exercise that particularly targets the front of the shoulder.

It will greatly improve your shoulders strength and functionality.

It will not only improve the overall look of your shoulder, but it will also significantly help you maintain good posture.

Good posture is vital to spine health and will help prevent back pain.

Standing tall with a good posture also makes you look slimmer.

How to do front raises

You will need a resistance band and an Axiumpole, loop your band around a low point of your Axiumpole.

Attach a handle if you want to make it comfier. Stand with your back to your band, feet hip width apart, core tight and engaged, shoulders back.

Lets start with your left shoulder.

Grasp your handle with your left hand, now raise your arm straight up in front of you, pause and then slowly release.

Remember to lift arms slowly and keep them straight throughout the movement.

After your reps, switch sides and work your right shoulder.

Arm exercises for women without weights

Plank position

Planks are another one of those bodyweight exercises that not only targets your upper body but also your lower body.

This exercise targets all of your arm muscles, back, core, glutes, hamstring and even the arches of your feet.

Planking for just a few minutes every day has massive benefits, from a better posture to a stronger core.

It is so simple to do, you can do them anywhere and they really don't take long. Aim to hold your plank for a minuet at a time.

How to do a forearm plank position

To do a forearm plank or an elbow plank as some people call it, get on all fours, with your elbows bent supporting your weight on your forearms not your hands.

Your elbows need to be shoulder width apart and directly under your shoulders.

Now get up on your toes with your legs straight out behind you.

This is the starting position, and you need to hold this position for as long as you can. Remember to keep your core and glutes engaged.

Try and hold for a minute. If you can hold it longer, then brilliant.

Another exercise you can do is plank up downs.

To do this, get into your plank position, and one by one straighten arms so that you are in the high plank position, then switch back to your plank position on your forearms.

For more plank positions, check out our Best exercises without heavy equipment blog.


Your triceps is the long muscle on the back of your upper arm.

It makes up two thirds of your upper arms muscle and if left unworked can give that bingo wing look that we all hate.

Not only is this a good exercise to do for aesthetic reasons but your triceps have a few important jobs to do too.

It supports your shoulder muscles and also when your triceps contract, it will pull elbows straight, straightening out your arm.

Working your triceps will really increase your arm strength and endurance. There's a couple of different arm workouts you can do for your triceps.

How to do a triceps dip

Sit on a chair or bench, palms flat on the chair with your fingers facing forward.

Start by walking your feet out so that your legs extended and your weight is on your heels.

Now lift your bottom up off the chair and move slightly forward so there is space between the edge of the chair and your back.

This is your starting position.

Slowly lower your bottom towards the ground by bending your elbows.

Pause for a moment and then push yourself back up.

That is one triceps dip.

How to do the triceps push down

You will need a resistance band and your Axiumpole for this one.

Starting position is standing in front of your band with it anchored to a high point, you may want to use a straight bar attachment or a set of handles.

The end of your band should be at about shoulder height and grasp your bar with your palms facing downwards.

Your elbows should be tight to your body and bent, hands shoulder width apart and in front of your chest.

Now slowly push both your arms down towards the floor. Really focus on squeezing your triceps during the movement.

Pause and then return to your starting position.

Remember to stand strong through the exercise, core engaged, and shoulders back.

Arm exercises for women without weights

Downward dog

The downward dog is a yoga position that will increase your arm strength. It works your triceps, pectoral muscles, traps, core, glutes and calves.

It's a strength training exercise that will give you a really good stretch as well as really toned arms.

This is good as either a warmup or stand-alone exercise also.

You may want to do this at the start of your workouts after you have completed a warm up.

The downward dog position

Start by standing with your feet planted firmly, bend forward, arms straight and place your palms flat on the floor.

You may bend your knees to do this if your need to.

Walk your hands forward so they are fully extended and push your bottom back into the air, legs extended behind you.

Your body should now be an inverted 'V'. You will feel a stretch through the back of your legs.

How to do a downward dog push up

From this position, you can also go into push ups.

Walk your hands forward until you are in the push up position, do one push up, then walk your hands back to the downward dog pose.

Hold your core tight throughout.

This will work multiple muscles; help you build strong arms and lose arm fat.

Single arm resistance band curl

Your bicep is another one of the major muscles in your upper arms and it sits in the front between your shoulder and your elbow.

When your bicep contracts it pulls your forearm up, bending your elbow.

It also rotates your forearm outwards.

It supports the shoulder, especially with your arms extended downwards whilst carrying heavy objects.

Working this muscle will really help you lose arm fat.

How to do a single arm curl

Attach your band to a low point on Axiumpole, and use a handle if needed.

Stand with your back to your anchor, feet shoulder width apart and starting with your right arm, hold the handle with your palm facing up.

This is your starting position.

Slowly curl your arm up towards you. Really focus on your upper arm and tensing your bicep muscle.

Pause for a moment and then slowly lower back to your starting position.

That is one bicep curl.

After your reps, switch sides and work your left arm.

Arm exercises for women without weights

And finally..

So for all you ladies looking to tone and shape up your arms, I hope I have shown you that there are more than enough different arm exercises without weights that you can do without a personal trainer and in the comfort of your own home.

You don't need to fill your home with expensive pieces of equipment, taking up all your free space, just grab a handful of bands from Axiumfit to add a little external resistance to your arm workouts.