This article is shared with permission from our friends at PaleoHacks.
Low impact functional arm strength exercises help to tone, while increasing mobility for your day-to-day functionality.
Add these exercises to any workout routine to tone and strengthen your arms!
T-Push-ups | 12 reps, alt sides
This exercise works the entire upper body and core.
- Begin in a high plank position with your feet out wide, your belly engaged, and your hips in line with your shoulders. Walk your hands out a little bit wider than shoulder width.
- Inhale to bend your elbows towards 90 degrees, and lower yourself down into a push-up position. Exhale to press back up. Twist your heels at the top and lift your left arm into the air to bring your body into a side plank position.
- Place your left hand back on the floor and inhale to lower yourself back down into a push-up. This time as you exhale, press up and lift your right arm into the air for a side plank on the other side. Continue alternating for 12 reps.
Tip: Keep your belly, butt, and thighs engaged the whole time.
Reverse Table Top with Arm Extension | 12 reps
This exercise works the biceps, triceps, shoulders, and core.
- Begin seated with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Place your hands down on the ground behind you, with your fingertips pointing forward towards your heels.
- Press into your hands and feet to lift your hips up. Transfer the weight into your right hand and lift your left arm straight back behind you. Pause for a moment and then place your right hand back down. Then switch sides. Alternate for 12 reps.
Chaturanga Push-ups | 10 reps
This exercise strengthens and tones the triceps.
- Start in a high plank position with your wrists lined up underneath your shoulders and your feet hips width distance. Engage your belly, glutes, and thighs, and keep a slight lift through your upper back by pressing the ground away with your hands.
- Keeping your elbows pointing back, inhale and bend your elbows to 90 degree angles to lower yourself down into a tricep push-up. Your upper arms should brush against your ribs. Exhale to press the ground away and straighten your arms back out. Repeat for 10 reps.
Tip: To modify, lower down to your knees.
Supermans | 12 reps
This exercise tones the triceps, rear delts, and the back.
- To begin, lie down on your belly with your forehead on the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms face down and keep your legs straight out behind you a little bit wider than hips width.
- Inhale to lift your arms and legs off the ground, using the strength of your back, glutes, shoulders, and triceps. Pause at the top, then slowly lower back down. Repeat for 12 reps.
Hellraisers | 8 reps per side
This exercise strengthens the triceps and shoulders.
- Begin in a forearm plank position with your forearms parallel to one another and your feet hips width distance. Engage your belly, butt, and thighs.
- Inhale to pick up your right forearm and place your right hand on the ground in line with your left elbow. Exhale to pick up your left forearm and place your left hand on the ground underneath your left shoulder so that you come to a high plank position.
- Inhale to lower your right forearm back to the ground, then exhale to lower your left forearm back to the ground, bringing you back into the forearm plank position. Repeat 8 times with the right arm first, then switch to the left side for 8 reps.
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High Plank Shoulder Taps | 20 reps, alt sides
This exercise tones the biceps, triceps, and shoulders, and gets the heart rate pumping!
- Start in the high plank position with your wrists lined up below your shoulders. Walk your feet out hips width distance. Engage your belly, thighs, and glutes.
- Shift your weight onto your left hand, then lift your right hand up off of the ground and tap your left shoulder. Try to keep your hips square to the ground.
- Place your right hand back on the ground. Then, shift the weight onto your right hand and lift your left hand up and tap it to your right shoulder. Place your left hand back on the ground. Continue alternating side to side for 20 reps.
Decline Push-ups | 12 reps
This exercise builds strength in the triceps, biceps, back, and shoulders.
- Begin in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Then, walk your feet a couple of inches towards your hands so that your hips lift up towards the ceiling, bringing your body into a v-shape.
- Look between your hands and keep the v-shape with your body as you inhale and bend your elbows, bringing the crown of your head towards the ground. Exhale to press back up and straighten your arms. Repeat for 12 reps.
Band Lat Pulldowns | 15 reps
This band exercise tones your biceps and back.
- Start kneeling down and holding onto an exercise band with one hand on each side. Inhale and straighten your arms above your head and hold the back taught.
- Keep the band taught as you exhale to bend your elbows and pull the band down to tap your chest. Squeeze your lats and rhomboids. Inhale to reach your arms back up. Continue for 15 reps.
Band Rear Delt Flexors |15 reps
This functional band exercise, tones the triceps and rear delts.
- To begin, kneel down and hold both ends of an exercise band out in front of you. Have your hands in line with your shoulders.
- Keep your arms straight and exhale to pull the band apart by taking your hands wider. Inhale, to slowly bring your arms back in towards one another. Repeat for 15 reps.
Band Overhead Triceps Extensions | 12 reps per side
This exercise strengthens and tones the triceps.
- Begin kneeling down and sit your hips back on your heels. Take your left hand behind your back and hold one end of an exercise band.
- Reach your right arm up and bend your elbow to take your right hand down your back and grab hold of the opposite side of the band.
- Inhale to straighten your right arm, stretching out the band overhead. Exhale to bend your right elbow again and take your hand back behind your head. Repeat for 12 reps and then switch sides.
Band Pulldowns | 20 reps, alt sides
This exercise strengthens the triceps, biceps, and the lats.
- Start kneeling down and sit your hips back on your heels. Hold onto the ends of an exercise band with both hands and straighten your arms up over your head.
- Keep your left arm straight above your head. Exhale to lower your straight right arm down by your side. Inhale to lift your right arm back up over your head. Exhale, to lower your left arm down by your side. Inhale to lift your left arm back up. Continue alternating for 20 reps.
Dumbbell Curl Kickbacks | 12 reps
This arm strength dumbbell exercise works the biceps, triceps, and core.
- Begin by standing up with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Squeeze your thighs together as you bend your knees and lower yourself into a half squat position. Keep your chest lifted and your belly engaged.
- Keep your palms facing inward and your upper arms pressing into your ribs. Inhale to bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders. Exhale to straighten your arms back out for a triceps extensions. Pause for a moment to flex your triceps. Then repeat for 12 reps.
Single Leg Lateral Shoulder Raises | 6 reps per side
This exercise strengthens the shoulders, triceps, and the core.
- To begin, stand with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Shift the weight onto your right foot and lift your left foot up off of the ground. Bend your left knee and place your left foot next to your right ankle.
- Stay balanced on your right foot by keeping your belly engaged. Exhale to lift your hands out and up in line with your shoulders. Inhale to slowly lower them back down to your sides. Repeat for 6 reps and then switch to balance on your left foot for 6 more reps.
Woodchops | 10 reps per side
This exercise strengthens the biceps, triceps, and the obliques.
- Stand up with your feet slightly wider than hips width. Turn your toes out slightly and hold the ends of a dumbbell with each hand.
- Engage your belly and keep your feet rooted down. Begin with your torso slightly twisted to the left so that the dumbbell is in line with your left hip.
- Exhale to twist your torso to the right and lift the dumbbell up in line with your right shoulder. Inhale to slowly twist to the left and lower the dumbbell back down in line with your left hip. Repeat for 10 reps and then switch sides.
Plank Rows | 12 reps, alt sides
This exercise tones and strengthens the biceps, triceps, back, and core.
- Begin in a high plank position holding a dumbbell under each hand. Take your feet slightly wider than hips width.
- Keep your belly engaged and your hips in line with your shoulders. Shift your weight onto your left arm and exhale to bend your right elbow and row the dumbbell up in line with your ribs. Inhale to lower your right hand back down.
- Shift the weight onto your right arm and exhale to bend your left elbow and lift the dumbbell up in line with your ribs. Inhale to lower in back down. Continue alternating for 12 reps.
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