There are guys out there who could spend all day at the gym, and some actually do. For everyone else, hitting the bike and weight room is more of a task than a treat. Getting cardio away from the confines of the treadmill is easy enough. All you have to do is lace up your shoes, and head outside for a run, bike, or hop in the pool to swim some laps. Even some strengthening exercises, like squats and planks, are easy to work into a routine away from the gym.
Working your arms is a little more problematic, because most of the go-to moves require a full set of dumbbells and other machinery. The secret to taking these moves out of the weight room is modifying them just a bit. These five exercises will help you build arm muscles without ever picking up a single dumbbell. All you need is some basic equipment: a stable chair, a towel, and some resistance bands. With these moves you can lose the gym, without losing your physique.
1. Chair dips can help build arm muscles
Though working larger muscle groups is certainly important, triceps need just as much love. STACK explained multiple arm muscles have to work together in order to create a strong pushing movement, so slacking on strengthening the back of your arms will make everything else suffer. While moves like weighted tricep extensions are typically favored for targeting this area, many people don’t do the move correctly. This shifts the load to different muscles, risking the chance of an imbalance.
Going with chair dips takes weights out of the equation, and you’re a lot more likely to get the move right. Make sure you have a sturdy chair before you begin so you don’t hurt yourself. Livestrong said to begin seated with your feet together on the floor in front of you as you grip the edge of the chair. Raise yourself off the seat, keeping your arms straight, then move your body forward just enough so that you won’t hit the chair as you lower yourself to the ground. Your knees should be aligned with your ankles. Bend your elbows to lower your body until your hips move below the edge of the seat, then push straight back into the starting position. Planning on running stadium stairs? Use those seats to your advantage.
This is a perfect exercise for beginners, but veterans might need a bit more of a challenge. Bodybuilding.com demonstrated a more advanced move that increases the load on your triceps by raising your feet onto something elevated. But don’t move on to this variation until you’ve mastered the basics, because proper form is the most important ingredient in any routine.