Sometimes you just don’t have the time to get to a gym. Thankfully you can do arm toning exercises at home with little to no equipment and get great results. The best thing about exercising at home is that you can involve the kids and be a healthy role model. If you’re down on the floor, more than likely your little people will be there too, doing the exercises right along with you. Below are five exercises to tone arms, no equipment needed. Aim for ten reps of each starting out.
Everyone knows (and perhaps loathes) the traditional push-up. It’s the standard of all at-home exercises: no equipment or preparation required. Push-ups tone your arms and back and can also engage your abs and core muscles. For a refresher, lay on your stomach on the floor with your toes pointed down. With hands at your shoulders, push up using your arms, keeping your back and legs straight. For an easier variation, bend your knees and push from there instead.
My four-year-old son can do push-ups faster than me. Have a friendly competition to see who can do the most in your home. Get your tiny tot involved by placing them under your face and give them a kiss or high five each time you lower yourself to the floor.
You can try a “diamond push-up” by meeting your index fingers and thumbs under your chest (instead of at your shoulders) to form a diamond and push-up from there. Find more than eighty variants of the classic push-up on Greatist to mix things up even more.
To start, stand in front of a sturdy, hard chair. Facing away from the chair, lean down and place your hands on the seat with your fingers pointing out. Keep your back straight, and walk your legs out in front of yourself. Bend your arms, and lower your rear close to the floor. Hold it, then push back up to straighten your arms. The closer your knees are to the chair, the harder the exercise is. These arm toning exercises work the back of your arms, which is where your triceps are located. Add extra weight with a kid on your lap as you push up and down!
The plank is a staple yoga move and a great home workout standby. This one is not only awesome for abs, but it also strengthens your arms and back. It’s a push-up without the pushing part. Lay on the floor and then lift your body, with your hands and forearms on the ground, toes supporting your lower body. Aim to hold your back and legs straight for a minute. Challenge your kids to see who can hold a plank the longest for a fun contest! Go for three planks starting out.
This is the only one that requires weights but you don’t actually need them; you can use half gallons of milk, bricks, or mouthwash if you want. The overhead press works lots of arm muscles—biceps, deltoids, triceps, plus your back—so it packs a strong punch. Start by holding your “weights” in your hands at your shoulders, your elbows bent and your knuckles facing up. Keeping your arms in line with your shoulders, straighten your arms and “press” your weights above your head until they touch, hold a bit and then slowly lowering. The more weight, the harder they are.
This one is like a laying down pull-up. Your kids will think you look silly, but you’ll feel the burn so much you won’t care. Lay on the floor under a sturdy table. Reach up to grab the edge of the table with your fingers on top of the table. Pull up with your arms to bring your chest up to the table, then slowly return to starting position. Make the rows easier by bending your knee and more difficult by lifting your legs or propping them up. Inverted rows work your back and arms and also help improve your posture.
Do you have other favorite at-home arm exercises? Let us know your faves and who won the exercise challenge between you and your kids on Twitter.
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