Low impact functional arm strength exercises are designed to tone your muscles and simultaneously increase your mobility. While some functional arm exercises make use of nothing but bodyweight, other exercises utilize lightweight dumbbells and exercise bands to increase your arm strength, flexibility, posture, coordination, and balance, all of which help in reducing your chance of injuries. Include these exercises to your workout regime to tone and strengthen your arms.
This light dumbbell exercise strengthens your biceps, triceps, and the obliques.
- Stand up with your feet slightly wider than hip-width.
- Turn your toes slightly outward and hold the ends of a dumbbell in each hand.
- Engage your belly, keep your feet firmly down and 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 your left and lower the dumbbell in-line with your left hip. Repeat for 10 reps and then change sides.
This exercise tones your triceps, rear delts, and your back.
- Lie down on your belly with your forehead on the ground.
- Extend your arms out in front of you with the palms facing down and keep your legs straight out behind you slightly wider than hip-width.
- Inhale to lift your arms and legs off the ground, using the strength of your back, glutes, shoulders, and triceps.
- Pause when you reach the top and then slowly lower back down. Repeat for 12 reps.
3. Band Lat Pulldowns
This band exercise tones your biceps and back.
- Begin by kneeling down and holding onto an exercise band with one hand on each side.
- Inhale and straighten your arms above your head and keep your back tight.
- Keep the band taut as you exhale to bend your elbows and pull the band down to tap your chest.
- Squeeze your lats and rhomboids and inhale to reach your arms back up. Continue for 15 reps.
This exercise strengthens the triceps and shoulders.
- Begin in a forearm plank position with your forearms parallel to each other and keep your feet hip-width apart.
- 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 and then switch to the left side for 8 reps.
5. Dumbbell Curl Kickbacks
This arm strength dumbbell exercise tones your biceps, triceps, and core.
- Start by standing up with your feet together and hold 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, your belly engaged and face your palms inward with 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 and then repeat for 12 reps.
6. Decline Push-ups
This exercise improves strength in your triceps, biceps, back, and shoulders.
- Begin in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Walk your feet a couple of inches towards your hands so that your hips lift up, bringing your body into a V-shape.
- Look between your hands and maintain 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.
7. Band Overhead Triceps Extensions
This exercise strengthens and tones your triceps.
- Start by kneeling down and sit 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 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 change sides.
8. Plank Rows
This exercise strengthens and tones your biceps, triceps, back, and core.
- Begin in a high plank position holding a dumbbell under each hand.
- Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-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.
- Then, 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 back down. Continue alternating for 12 reps.
9. Chaturanga Push-Up
This exercise strengthens and tones your triceps.
- Start in a high plank position with your wrists lined up under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
- 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 angle to lower yourself down into a tricep push-up position while your upper arms brush against your ribs.
- Exhale to press the ground away and straighten your arms back out. Repeat for 10 reps.