Drop the Dumbbells and Do This 3-Minute No-Equipment Arm Workout Right Now

Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Gener
If you don't own a trusty pair of dumbbells or you're traveling far from a gym—dumbells don't exactly make the best carry-on item!—you can still get in an arm-toning workout from anywhere that will leave you sore for days. And guess what? All you need is a few minutes, a fun song, and a handful of different weight-free exercises.

"No-equipment arm workouts are a great way to get in a burn while on the go—especially if you don’t have any weights with you," says Sarah Grooms, trainer at obé. "Using your own resistance against the air can be an effective and efficient way to focus on form and proper alignment, all before adding any extra weight as an option to level up."

While some arm workouts can drag on forever, this one helps you feel the burn in a fraction of the time. Just be warned: There are a lot of reps ahead, and your arms won't get a break.

The best no-equipment arm workout

Get ready to work

  1. Choose your favorite 3- to 4-minute song.
  2. Find a neutral spine with your feet parallel and grounded slightly outside of your hips. Make sure to keep a micro bend in your knees throughout the series.
  3. As you’re working through each different move, think about lengthening your neck, retracting your shoulder blades in toward your spine, and breathing naturally.

The workout:

Start with one set and work your way up to two or three sets as you start to feel stronger. Try not to take a break between exercises—keep going strong.

Lift and lower (24 reps):

  • Laterally lift and lower your arms in front of your body.

Lift and lower pulse (24 reps):

  • Adjust the movement to be smaller as you pulse your arms up and down with your palms flat to the floor.

Pouring out the coffee (24 reps):

  • Internally and externally rotate your shoulders as if you’re pouring coffee out into the floor.

Arm circles (24 reps):

  • Circle your arms backwards, then reverse and take them forward.

Next, try this full-body HIIT workout without weights:

Have a resistance band on hand? Use it in this 15-minute arm workout. You can also try the floor arm workout that will leave you sweating.

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