How to Get Arm Strength at Home

How to Get Arm Strength at Home

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Body-weight exercises develop stronger arms and body together.

IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Stronger arms can be achieved by working out at home with little or no equipment rather than at a gym. Although doing traditional arm exercises, like curls and extensions, develops larger muscles, it doesn't always mean your whole body is stronger. Since your arms are connected to your shoulders and torso by connective tissues and nerves -- known as the arm lines -- strengthening your entire body while working your arms will improve your performance in daily activities and some sports. Rather than doing one exercise at a time, do a superset where you perform two exercises that work different muscle groups. It will also help you burn more calories than doing one exercise set, according to a 2010 study published in "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research."

Pushup and Pullup Superset


Put your hands on the floor below your shoulders and your feet together with your toes on the floor. Your body should be straight from your head to your heels. Inhale as you lower your body to the floor until your chest and hips are almost touching it.


Exhale as you push yourself up without hunching your back or sticking your neck forward. Perform eight to 10 reps.


Get up from the floor and hop up to grab the pullup bar with both hands facing you or away from you. Your hands should be shoulder-distance apart or slightly wider or closer than the width of your shoulder girdle, depending on your preference.


Exhale as you pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Inhale as you lower your body down until your arms are fully extended. Perform six to 10 reps. Rest for one minute before repeating steps one through three two more times.

Farmer's Walk, One Kettlebell


Use a kettlebell that you cannot easily shrug or curl with your arm so you don't cheat by using your shoulders to shrug. Carry the kettlebell with your left hand so it's hanging by your outer left thigh while standing with your feet about hip-distance apart and your shoulders even. Avoid excessive leaning to your left, which could cause you to lose your balance.


Take a few deep breaths with your belly before you start. Grip the kettlebell firmly to strengthen your grip. Walk about 30 to 40 paces in a straight line while keeping your posture upright and a steady pace.


Turn around and switch the kettlebell to your right hand. Walk back to the starting position for another 30 to 40 paces. Rest for 30 seconds before repeating the exercise two to three more times. Use a lighter or heavier weight to adjust the difficulty, or increase or decrease the walking distance.

Squat and Lunge Press Superset


Stand with your feet about shoulder-distance apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand over and near your shoulders with your elbows tucked against your ribs. Inhale as you squat down as low as you can while keeping your back straight. Exhale as you stand straight up, pressing the weights over your head at the same time. Inhale as you lower the weights to the starting position. Perform eight to 10 reps. Proceed to the next exercise with no rest.


Stand with your feet together while your hands hold the weights in the same position as in Step 1. Step forward about 2 feet in front of you with your left foot. Inhale and lunge straight down until your right knee almost touches the floor.


Exhale as you stand straight up while pressing the weights overhead without hunching your back or shoulders. Inhale as you lower the weights to your shoulders, and lunge down at the same time. Perform five to six reps per leg. Rest for one minute before repeating the exercises two more times.

Things Needed

  • Pullup bar
  • 2 dumbbells
  • 1 kettlebell


  • Always warm up your arms, shoulders and the rest of your body thoroughly before you exercise. Perform dynamic stretching for about five to 10 minutes before you train, which involves moving your body in their full range of motion repetitively in different directions. Sample dynamic stretches include arm swings, torso twists and old-school jumping jacks.
  • Train in different ways, not just one. Just because you can do heavy biceps curls with a dumbbell doesn't mean you'll perform well in pullups. This is based on movement specificity -- the SAID principle -- which states that your body will adapt and improve based on what you specifically train it to do. So if you want to get stronger triceps at pushups, then do pushups, not triceps extensions.


  • If you experience pain in your shoulder, arm or hands while performing any of these exercises, check with your health care provider before continuing to exercise. Because the exercise intensity of supersets can be high, do the exercises separately if you feel extreme fatigue, nauseous or dizziness while doing a superset. Gradually increase the intensity every week until you can perform one superset without getting out of breath easily.

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