Arm-Sculpting Exercises With & Without Weights

Sculpted arms can make you look toned and attractive in any attire. While working on arm sculpting exercises, you do not need high-end equipment or any complex exercise routines. Arm toning can be done with minimum equipment such as weights, a bench or even without any fancy equipment. Physical trainers emphasize on the importance of working on the arms with and without weights not just to tone the arms but also increase their muscle strength.

Arm-Sculpting Exercises With & Without Weights

Arm-Sculpting Exercises

The arm sculpting exercises are rather helpful to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders helping to reduce or prevent any pain in the shoulders, arms, back and neck. Apart from getting a sculpted look, these exercises help to maintain the flexibility and strength.

Here are some of the most effective arm sculpting exercises with and without weights.

Arm Sculpting Exercises with Weights

Working with weights for arm sculpting exercises, facilitates speedier development of arm muscles. While working with weights, heavier weights should be opted for better results. Performing two or three sets of arm exercises with weights can speed up the process of sculpting the arms. Various exercise routines can be followed for upper arms, forearms as well as wrist strength.

Routines with dumbbells such as overhead press, triceps chops, triceps extensions, barbell bench press and bicep curls concentrate on building triceps and biceps. To perform the said routines, stand straight, hold one dumbbell in each hand firmly and perform the exercise slowly yet steadily. It is important to remember not to swing or use momentum to do any of the following exercises.

Bicep Curls:

Bicep Curls are the arm sculpting exercise with weights. For bicep curls, hold a dumbbell with palms facing upward grip, hold your hand at the side of your body and let the dumbbell hang in front of your thighs, moving only your forearm bring the dumbbell up to the shoulder by bending your elbow. Pause at this position momentarily and slowly lower the dumbbell to the initial position. It is important to ensure that your elbows remain stationary and to the sides of your body during the entire exercise. Doing this about 10-12 reps for 2 to 3 sets every alternate day can do enough to give the biceps the workout they need.

Triceps Extensions:

Triceps extensions is the best form of arm sculpting exercise with weights to tone and strengthen your arms. To perform the Triceps extensions, your feet should be about shoulder width apart from each other in line with your shoulders and with both hands hold a dumbbell over your head. Lower your hands by bending your elbow behind your head. Hold momentarily for a while and return to the initial position. It is must to keep the upper arms stationary and only the forearms should move. Breathe in as you perform this exercise. Doing this about 10 to 12 reps for 2 to 3 sets can help flex the triceps muscles.

Arm Raises:

For arm raises exercise with weights, stand with your feet apart in level with your shoulder. Hold a dumbbell in each hand on each side with palms facing in inward grip. Move your hand up sideways up to the shoulder level only keeping the arms straight. Hold for a few seconds and return to the beginning position. Repeat this slowly in a rhythm for a few times. Doing this about 10 to 12 reps for 2 to 3 sets can help tone and strengthen your arms.

Dumbbell Cross Jab:

Hold the dumbbells at your chest height with the elbows bent and palms facing each other. Extend your right arm across your body until the weight is in line with your left shoulder. Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip width and knees slightly bent. Repeat with the left arm as you return to start. The dumbbell cross jab arm sculpting exercise works on the muscles in the back and the shoulders in addition to the arms and chest.

Arm Sculpting Exercises Without Weights

Though working with weights is extremely beneficial in achieving toned and sculpted arms, the same results can be achieved without any equipment as well. Several exercises without weights are prescribed for muscle toning in arm sculpting exercises. Routines like push-ups and planks also help to build arm strength and muscles. 

Push Ups:

Push up routines such as close hand push-ups, wall push-ups, triangle push-ups, closed leg push-ups or simple dips are exert equal pressure on the muscles as while performing dumbbell press with heavy weights. 


Planks are also quite helpful for working on toning the arm muscles without weights. Two or three sets of standard planks, side planks are a complete workout for building the arm strength. Other variations of planks such as keeping hands on a plate and rotating it clockwise and anti-clockwise can also be performed.


Another excellent all round workout and one of the easiest arm-sculpting exercises is swimming. While swimming, the arms need to push the water to allow the body to move around. This exerts enough pressure on the arm muscles and helps toning and strengthening them. You can swim freestyle or butterfly, both are excellent ways to give your arm the ideal exercise routine to sculpt them as well as build the muscles. You can start with two or three laps in one go and increase the number of laps as you get comfortable. For those who do not know swimming, deck press can do the job. Hang on the end of the pool and try to lift your body with the help of your arms without moving the rest of the body. It is similar to push-ups and is one of the effective arm sculpting exercise. 

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell is a gym equipment that helps with arm sculpting. Kettlebell come in different weights. It is to be held with both hands and used in swinging motion. Keep both the legs apart in level with the shoulders and swing the Kettlebell in between the legs. The motion should be kept slow and steady to avoid injury. The motion of the kettlebell works on the arm muscles building them and toning them. Another way in which kettlebell can be used is by holding it in one hand and bending side by side or bending on the opposite side. 

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are flexible and stretchable bands that can be carried anywhere. It provides an amazing workout to tone the arms and build muscle strength. Several exercise routines like hitchhiker, goalpost rotation, sling shots and stance curls can be done with resistance bands. One end of the resistance band can be fixed to a hook to facilitate the use of the band for exercises like triceps press. Another way of using resistance band is by pressing it under the heel of one foot and then stretching the other end to perform routines like bicep press and bicep curls. 

Yoga Postures

Every posture of yoga is said to have certain impact on every body part thus giving a full body workout with each posture or asana. Yoga not only helps to build body strength but also enhances the flexibility of the body. Certain postures of yoga are great for toning the arms and can be practiced for great arm sculpting exercises. Postures or yoga asana such as the mountain pose is extremely beneficial for strengthening the arms. Another variation of the mountain pose is the downward dog. In downward dog, bend over from the waist and walk forward till you are in the mountain pose. Stay in this position for at least 10 seconds and drift into the plank position and stay another 10 seconds, then again into the mountain position and lastly walk back to the bent position. Performing such exercises on regular basis can help yield fast results for sculpted and well toned arms in no time.


Arm sculpting need not be an intense workout session with high-end machines and expensive equipment. The building of muscles in the arms works well with general weights as well as several exercises routines that do not involve weights. You can choose a routine from these arm sculpting exercises. Strength training for the muscles of the arms is great but stretching is essential to prevent injury and facilitating the joint movements free. Hence simple yet effective exercises can be chosen for effective arm sculpting.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 3, 2017

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