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Home Arm & Shoulder Workouts


Your arms and shoulders are muscle groups that are some of the first to immediately benefit when you train them. Your biceps will be one of the first things people notice when they realise you’ve been training, and a good old ‘flex off’ is an age-old staple for fitness enthusiasts. The good news is that you don’t have to sit in the gym performing bicep curls to get results.

Not everyone can head down to the gym – whether that’s due to money, time or other constraints. However, for those that want to have a better physique, a lack of gym should not stop you from building bigger arms and shoulders.

We’ve designed a home arm workout for beginners and experienced fitness enthusiasts alike, that will build up your arms and shoulders without ever having to pick up a barbell.

Home Arm Workout

The following is a list and explanation of each exercise in our home workout. You’ll need a pull up bar or place to perform them in order to get the most from the routine.

1. Press Ups

Best for: Triceps

The standard press up is a great way to build your arms. Focusing mainly on the triceps when executed with good form, they’ll help you build good guns and can be done in very little space. If you want to add difficulty, there are lots of press up variations that we’ve covered in a previous post.

How to perform press ups: Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands roughly at shoulder level, press up from the floor to fully extend. Press back down so that your chest hovers just over the floor and repeat. Your hands and head should line up in an arrowhead shape to get the perfect position.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 10

2. Pike Pushups

Best for: Shoulders

Building impressive shoulders doesn’t demand equipment – you can also sculpt impressive traps and deltoids by performing pike pushups.

How to perform a pike pushup: Lean down and place your hands on the floor, keeping your hands closer to your feet. Press down so that the top of your head touches the floor and then press back up.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 10

3. Chin ups

Best for: Biceps

Installing a pull up bar or finding a stable tree branch in your garden is a great way to add more versatile training options at home. The chin up is a good exercise for isolating the bicep and helping it grow. Vary these by including close grip chin ups once you’ve mastered the standard one.

How to perform a chin up: grip the bar with your palms facing inwards. Pull up so your chin is just above the bar, then lower to a dead hang and repeat.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 8

4. Tricep Chair Dips

Best for: Triceps

Tricep dips are a terrific way to build up your triceps. You don’t need a fancy set of parallel bars – a simple chair provides enough support for you to blast some of these exercises and build up your arms.

How to perform Tricep dips: From sitting on a chair, grip the surface level with your glutes. Scoot your rear off the chair so you’re supported with your hands and feet. Walk your feet further out so that more weight rests on your arms, then dip down and push back up.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 10

5. Pull Ups

Best for: Shoulders/Arms

The full pull up is one of the best bodyweight exercises imaginable, a compound exercise that trains your back and arms with each rep. To increase the difficulty, hang a towel over your pull up bar and bunch up the hanging material – use it to perform your exercises.

How to perform pull ups: Grip the pull up bar with the palms of your hand facing outwards. Pull up so your chin is just over the bar and then lower back to dead hang.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 8

6. Handstand Press Ups

Best for: Shoulders

If you’ve still got pushing power left, handstand press ups are a terrific upper body workout. You’ll need a wall and a ceiling that is high enough, but once you’ve mastered these you’ll quickly see results.

How to perform handstand press ups: Place your hands shoulder-width apart and kick up into a handstand. Let your feet hit the wall and hold yourself stable. Descend so that your head almost touches the ground then press back up.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 5. If you master this, aim for freestanding handstand press ups.

7. Dead hangs

Best for: Forearms

Your forearms deserve some attention, so grab your pull up bar and let yourself hang. This builds up your grip strength and you’ll feel it quickly in your forearms.

How to perform dead hangs: Grip a bar overhead, lift your feet up off the floor and grip as hard as you can.

Recommended reps:Try to perform 3 sets of 30 second hangs.

8. Diamond Press Ups

Best for: Triceps

If you’ve got any energy left, diamond press ups are a great way to isolate the triceps and to increase the challenge of your workouts.

How to perform diamond press ups: Like a standard press up, but the objective is to bring your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers are touching, leaving a diamond shaped gap between them.

Recommended reps: 3 sets of 8

The Full Home Arm Workout Routine

You’ll need to grit your teeth to get through all of these tough, intense exercises – but the results will be worth it.

  • Press ups: 3 x 8-12
  • Tricep Chair Dips: 3 x 8-12
  • Chin Ups: 3 x 8-12
  • Pike Press Ups: 3 x 8-12
  • Pull Ups: 3 x 8
  • Diamond Press Ups: 3 x 8
  • Dead Hangs: 3 sets of 30 second hangs
  • Handstand Press Ups: 3 x 5 (If you’ve got any energy left!)

Of course, an intense workout routine like this demands great nutrition in order to help aid the body’s natural process of repair. A protein shake after training can help get the required calories and protein into your body straight after you’ve trained.

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