No Weights Arm Workout

April 21, 2017

Working out on vacations can be difficult for me when I don’t have dumbbells or a yoga mat.  Today, I want to share 5 of my favorite arm moves that require no weights.  Try this at home, work, in an airport or on your next trip.  These body weight moves use what your mama gave you, so you don’t need anything else. Note: The elevated push-up can be used on anything, but feel free to do regular or modified pushups instead.

Complete each move for 60 seconds with a 5 second break in between each move.

Plank taps

To do this move: Begin in plank with your shoulders directly over your wrists, booty tucked, and push through your heels and hands. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder, then repeat on the other side.  Continue alternating taps and try not to move your hips back and forth. Continue for 60 seconds.

Staircase planks

To do this move: Begin in plank with your shoulders directly over your wrists, booty tucked, and push through your heels and hands.  Bring your right arm down, then your left arm down so that you are in a forearm plank.  Push up with your right arm, then your left arm so that you are in plank again.  Continue moving through the series, alternating which arm you bring down first for 60 seconds.

Elevated Pushups

To do this move: Begin in plank with your hands pressed in to a bench, ottoman, couch, or something knee to thigh height. Keep your elbows close to your torso and lower your chest. Push yourself back up to plank position. Continue for 60 seconds.

Bend and press arms + paddle

To do this move: Move 1: Keep your arms straight out to your sides with your palms facing backwards. Slightly bend your arms and push them back out. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Move 2: Alternate bending and pressing your right and left arms as quickly as you can for the remaining 30 seconds.

Tricep bend and presses

To do this move: Bend slightly at the waist and keep your body in a straight line from your head to your tail.  Bend and press your arms behind your back. Continue for 60 seconds.

Repeat entire circuit 2-3 times.

Add in a few weighted arm moves too.

PIN for later

Try it out and let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below!

Check out my collection of workouts here.

Please read this disclaimer before attempting.

  • candy April 21, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Well even I in my older age can still do some of these workouts for the arms. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Of course! Glad you like them!

  • Hannah April 21, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I’ll need to try this workout out!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Yes girl! Hope you enjoy!

  • Sheryl April 21, 2017 at 7:33 am

    Reading this just as I am preparing to do my arm workout today!! The bend and arm press paddle looks so easy but can kill you!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Yes! It burns so good!

  • Trish @ The Trish List April 21, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I really needed this post! Thank you! I have such weak arms, I need to build the strength!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Me too! A little practice every day goes a long way. 🙂

  • Theresa April 21, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Great! There are three exercises I have never done before 🙂 I work as a dance teacher and am always looking for new ideas. Thanks!
    Love from Austria!
    Theresa |

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Of course! Hope you love them!

  • Courtney Buechle April 21, 2017 at 8:36 am

    This looks like such a good workout. I love that you posted a visual too!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Thank you, Courtney. The visuals always help me!

  • Beth Kondrick April 21, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I love this – I don’t have any weights but I want to work on my upper arm strength! Although lifting my three year old son seems to do the trick too, ha! The visuals are super helpful as well, I’d love to see more posts like this!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Yes! Kids build muscles quick. Thanks, Beth. I usually post one fitness post a month targeting different areas. Most of them require little to no equipment

  • Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor April 21, 2017 at 10:33 am

    These are great workout moves we all can use. I love a good plank and never think about how they help work out my arms as well. The triceps bend and presses, I will definitely have to incorporate in my at home workouts.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks girl! I hope you love them.

  • Victoria with One Sharp Mama Blog April 21, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Love this! I could even do these at work! Thanks for sharing 😃

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      Yes you can! I am all about workouts I can do anywhere.

  • Susie liberatore April 21, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I don’t need to lose weight but I need to get in shape for sure!! I love all of these and can’t wait to try them

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks girl!

  • Natalie April 21, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Definitely saving this! I often think “I need to work out my arms” but I don’t have weights so I hardly do at home. These exercises are great!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you, Natalie!

  • Julie April 21, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Fantastic workout! This is so great for the busy moms. Thanks for sharing!
    Julie *

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Of course! Hope you love it!

  • Marinka April 21, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    It’s a good idea to promote arm workouts without weight. Love your staircase planks or any plank workout for that matter. Arm work outs are so important, because flappy upper arms is a turn-off. Another great variation on the push up, and a much harder one, is planting your hands under your shoulders and keeping your arms close to your body, instead of the wider stand. When you start practicing this one, you may get 1 in at first, but it is getting easier by practice.
    Will bookmark your site.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Yes. Too often people get stuck on the idea they need weights to develop upper body strength. Yes! Tricep pushups are a GREAT way to tone and define arm muscles. Great suggestion. Thank you, Marinka.

  • Logan April 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I still have a hard time with the stair planks. SO HARD! haha

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      They are challenging, but the more you practice, the better you will be.

  • Kim Airhart April 21, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    I would say that I need to start doing this but I know I know how much I hate planks. You are inspiring me to get off my ass though.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      I am not crazy about them either, but they are so good for many areas of the body. Glad it was motivating.

  • Sarah Althouse April 21, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    My arms hurt just looking at you do those planks. ha! Love this though and am going to share on FB.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      Haha. Thanks, girl! I so appreciate it.

  • Kim April 21, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I have an arm workout that I do, but I’m going to add this to my rotation

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks, Kim! I hope you enjoy it!

  • Akaleistar April 21, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I love a workout that doesn’t require equipment 🙂

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Me too ! Perfect for traveling. 🙂

  • Charlotte April 21, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Love this! Thanks so much for sharing, I was just noticing the other day that my arms seem to have lost some of their definition and I love that these exercises don’t require any equipment at all! Great post 🙂

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you, girl! Your arms look great in photos, btw. 😉

  • Lee Anne April 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Awesome, thank you for this! I’m totally going to try these out sometime.

    Lee Anne

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks, Lee Anne! I hope you love them.

  • Catherine Short April 21, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I love this! I don’t own dumbbells so I’m always looking for different exercises to supplement walks and yoga.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      I hope you enjoy it, Catherine!!

  • Rebecca Hicks April 21, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I love these moves!! And don’t you love that you can do an effective workout without any weights?! I love bringing my workout bands with me when I travel, because they are lightweight, but still give me some resistance if I want some!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      I love them too!! They were packed in my bag and we had to switch bags this morning and forgot to switch them over. haha.

  • Lianne April 22, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Your arms are strong! I’m not sure if I would even be able to do that staircase plank! Ha ha, I really need to add more exercise into my routine and ones that I can do at home are perfect for me!
    Lianne | Makes, Bakes and Decor

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm

      You totally can. You just have to start off small and work your way up to more reps!

  • Julie Torres April 22, 2017 at 9:48 am

    For sure going to try these, you make them look sooooo simple, this is an area I neglect most in my workouts.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks girl!! hope you love them!

  • jen April 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Great arm workout. Great to have movies to do at home or while away!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks, Jen!!

  • Sofia April 22, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Can’t help myself – staring at your gorgeous room decor!! And those excercises is realy easy – love the idea to do it st home!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks girl. My husband is a designer, so home design comes naturally to him.

  • Danielle April 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    This is great!! I can feel my arms burn just watching! 😉

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Haha. Hopefully you give it a try!

  • Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen April 23, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    This is an awesome workout. I’ll have to give it a try. Arms are one of my tough spots.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Thank you! Mine too, so I try to work on building up the strength.

  • Ginger Marie April 23, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I was JUST telling Janna today that I didn’t have any weights! This is PERFECT!! Thanks for sharing girl.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Of course!! Hope you try it!

  • April Kitchens April 24, 2017 at 7:40 am

    I have weights but I prefer body weight workouts. Much easier to do outside and not just at a gym. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      That’s so true!! Outside it’s so much easier.

  • Ashley April 24, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    This is great! I am always looking for no weight workouts for traveling. Love this!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Of course!! Gotta have great on the go moves.

  • Cameron - Diary of a Southern Millennial April 25, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    I love to plank when I don’t feel like getting our weights out. Planks definitely work out a bit of everything!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Me too! They are hard but effective.

  • Anna Salamatin April 28, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I was thrilled to find this…. with mobility issues I don’t exercise the way I use to, but these I can do!
    Thanks a Million!

    • Jessica April 28, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Thank you! So glad they are helpful.