Ask any trainer to create the ultimate anti aging arm-toning routine, and it’s basically a guarantee that the workout will include at least one version of a push-up. But when you’re just getting back to exercise, are over 50, or dealing with achy wrists, mastering a push-up is akin to running a mile completely uphill. Instead, work your arms with these easier but oh-so-effective push-up alternatives that sculpt and build strength quickly and are anti-aging!
Why Try Push-Up Alternatives
Not only can the performance of a push-up be difficult and intimidating for beginners, but it is also uncomfortable, even dangerous to practice if you suffer from shoulder or back pain.
In this arm routine we include several alternatives to push-ups that provide similar benefits but also work around any injuries you may have!
There are many arm movements that can be substituted for push-ups that work the same muscles. The key to doing push-up alternatives is to engage the correct muscles with proper form.
As you perform the arm exercise routine below, be sure to focus on form first, moving slowly and deliberately until you feel confident in the movement.
No More Jiggly Arms Workout
Aim to do 2 or 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise. Between each toning move, you’ll be adding 30 seconds of fat-burning “air punches” to increase your heart rate.
Don’t be afraid of using heavy dumbbells, which will help tone, strengthen, and define the muscles in your biceps, shoulders, and triceps even faster.
We recommend starting with 8- or 10-pound dumbbells, but, as always: listen to your body!
Tricep Skull Crushers
Target area: Triceps
Body fat tends to be found in the tricep area, especially in women. Skull crushers are a fantastic push-up alternative to start your path to get rid of flabby arms.
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Hold the weights straight up over your chest, with your palms facing each other. Bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells to the tops of your shoulders. Do 12 reps.
Target areas: Arms, Back, Shoulders, Heart Rate
Arm exercises don’t always to include weights. The punches exercise is a weight-free way to help tone those bat wings! You can do this almost anywhere.
This is the one exercise where you’re not using weights and going for speed instead. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Keep your arms bent, with the elbows in near your body.
Tighten your abs and punch the air with the strength of your shoulders and back, not your wrists and elbows. Alternate between right then left. Continue for 30 seconds.
Related: Fun and Free Driveway Workout
Lateral Raises to Bicep Curls
Target Areas: Biceps, Shoulders
The shoulders are one of the most beautiful muscles to tone. When you work on your shoulders you can show off your delts in a tank top. No more worrying about those saggy arms when you have strong shoulders!
While standing, hold the dumbbells with your arms hanging at each side. Bend your knees slightly while keeping your abdominals tight.
Start with the lateral raise lifting your arms up at your sides, keeping the elbows soft and coming up to shoulder height.
Then, lower the weights back down to your sides—think like you are squeezing something underneath your armpits. Finish the exercise by doing a bicep curl, keeping your elbows in close to your sides.
Target areas: Back, Core, Shoulders
This is another shoulder arm exercise variation we love to help tone your arms. This push-up alternative will really work your upper arm area.
Put your feet together and hold the dumbbells in each hand, with your palms facing in. Lift the dumbbells in front of your body to shoulder height.
Rotate the dumbbells so that they’re parallel to the floor and then open your arms so that your body is in a “T” position. Lower the dumbbells slowly down to your sides. Perform 12 reps.
Target area: Biceps
Your arm muscles will be sore after this bicep curl variation. Concentration curls are a very focused move for your arms.
Only one dumbbell is needed for both arms, so feel free to choose a heavier one in order to anchor your elbows to your inner thigh. More support on the joint will also focus the bicep.
Starting position is in a seated position with your feet and knees hip width apart or wider. Hold the dumbbell in one hand, bend your elbow, and rest your arm on the inside of your thigh. Lower the dumbbell slowly and extend your arm to its full length.
Curl it back up until the dumbbell touches your shoulder. Perform 12 reps on each side.
How to Get Rid of Arm Fat
This is just the first part of a routine to get rid of flabby arms. But we need to be honest about arm fat loss. While this workout will strengthen your arms and increase your muscle, the only way to get rid of arm fat is through clean eating and exercise.
For the rest of this workout, click here to go to Prevention.com!