5 Upper Body Exercises Without Weights for Buff Arms

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // August 6, 2021

So you want toned, buff arms, but weights aren’t for you? Done! Some of the very best upper body workouts are completely equipment-free. After all, what’s more challenging: pushing 10-pound dumbbells or pushing your own bodyweight? Notice, I didn’t specify a number. Who needs that?

The bottom line is that great arms can come in practical ways. Here are 5 upper body exercises without weights.


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    Benefits of Upper Body Exercises Without Weights

    Upper body exercises without weights, meaning bodyweight exercises, are so beneficial.

    Wondering why you should incorporate these moves into your routine instead of dumbbells and weight machines? Here are a few reasons weight-free moves can be your secret to buff arms.


    Upper body exercises body weight exercises can be done anywhere. No excuses even if you’re traveling or can’t get to the gym.

    Challenging To Your Muscles

    Using the weight of your own body challenges your muscles to maintain balance.

    Bodyweight moves can also be even more difficult which means you build more muscle, increase stamina, and enhance your endurance.


    With any exercise routine variety is important. If you feel that your upper body results have hit a plateau, maybe you need to integrate more bodyweight movements.

    These upper body movements without weights could be a great switch-up!

    Here’s the upper body plan:

    • Perform each exercise for the number or time listed.
    • Rest after you finish them all and go through the series once again.
    • For maximal results – try three rounds and feel those arms the next day!

    Watch me demonstrate this 5 minute upper body workout in the video below or check out the exercises underneath it for full descriptions and images!

    [adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”FX7azzl4″ upload-date=”2021-01-15T22:42:37.000Z” name=”5 Bodyweight Moves For Buff Arms” description=”5 Bodyweight Moves for Buff Arms ” player-type=”static”]

    Best Upper Body Exercises Without Weights

    Walking Push-Up


    A) Start with hands on the mat–a fists distance apart from each other– legs long and on toes in a full plank position with your abdominals engaged.

    B) Walk your right hand and foot out to the side and lower to a push up by bending your elbows to the sides and lowering your chest toward the mat, then press up straightening your arms. Bring the right and left foot back to your starting position and repeat on the other side.

    Perform 10 total push-ups (5 per side).

    Tricep Dips

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a tricep dip

    A) Start seated with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place hands directly under the shoulders with finger facing your feet and lift hips to a hover.

    B) Bend elbow straight back and use your triceps to press back up.

    Perform 12-15 dips. Make sure to keep abs and glutes tight and lifted.

    Related: 15-Minute Tricep Toner


    Chris Freytag demonstrating punching

    A) Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and bend knees slightly. Tighten the core to keep your center still.

    B) Punch out one arm at a time at a steady pace.

    Perform rapid, fast punches for 1 minute.

    Three Point Push-Up

    Chris Freytag Demonstrating a 3-point push up

    A) Begin on all fours and then lift your left leg straight behind you.

    B) Hold your left leg straight behind you as you bend your arms to lower yourself into a low push-up position.  Straighten your arms. Repeat.

    Perform 5 with the right leg out and 5 with the left leg out.  Add reps as you get stronger.

    Side Plank

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a full side plank

    A) Begin lying on the floor with your hand on the floor and stack your shoulder over your hand. Feet are stacked on top on each other.

    B) Lift your body into a side plank position, keeping your abdominals engaged and your feet stacked. Repeat on the other side.

    Hold plank for 30 seconds each side. 

    *You don’t necessarily need a yoga mat to do this upper body workout without weights, but I find that it helps with wrist comfort!

    I’m using my Gaiam Premium Sticky Yoga Mat because when things start getting sweaty, the non-slip surface is key!!

    READ THIS NEXT: 15 Push-Up Variations You’re Going To Want To Try

    5 Minute Workouts, Fitness, Strength Workouts, Upper Body Workouts, Workouts, Workouts by Length

    Printed from GetHealthyU.com


    on Reply

    very nice article, thank you for sharing such a helpful information.

    on Reply

    I am not an active work out older woman , I was in a very bad wreck numbers of years ago an I would love some easy exercises that I maybe could do. Sitting in a chair an I am diabetic an I would love some good very easy cooking recipes too !! Thank

      on Reply

      Hi Paula - absolutely. Have you tried our Core for Seniors blog? Take a peak at this blog with some sitting in a chair workouts for the core! https://gethealthyu.com/best-core-exercises-for-seniors/

    on Reply

    Nice! I've been doing 30 push ups daily, for the past 60 days, and are now seeing the results. Yes, incorporating eal push ups make a difference!

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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