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Arm Day at Home: How to Modify 3 Popular Upper Body Gym Moves

Arm Day at Home: How to Modify 3 Popular Upper Body Gym Moves

If you want to train at home but think you need the gym to get in a killer workout, it’s time for a mental reset. You may not have access to the same equipment and machines that you can find at the gym. But that’s ok — machines and heavy weights aren’t necessary to get in a kick-ass workout.

What’s the secret to ensuring you're getting an effective home workout and building muscle? Progressive overload. By gradually increasing the stress placed on your body, through methods like training frequency and volume, you continue to challenge your muscles to see strength gains and avoid plateaus.

Don’t believe us? Here are three at-home lifting alternatives for your next upper body workout, developed by our in-house Physical Therapist Amy Schultz.

1. Replace Bench Presses With Pushups

pushups

Muscles worked: Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, and the serratus anterior (the muscle just under your arms, that cover your upper ribs)

How to do Pushups:

  1. On a workout mat, get on all fours, with your hands and feet firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders and your fingers should face outwards (like the 🤗 emoji!).
  3. Inhale, and slowly lower down, pausing when your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Exhale and slowly push back up, making sure to keep your abs contracted the entire time.

Our Physical Therapist’s take on what makes this a good swap:
“Pushups use the same muscles required to perform a bench press — the arms, chest, and core!” says Dr. Schultz.

 

2. Replace Tricep Extensions With Tricep Dips

tricep dips

Muscles worked: Triceps, chest, back, core, hamstrings and the serratus anterior (the muscle just under your arms, that cover your upper ribs)

How to do Tricep Dips:

  1. Sit on the edge of a workout bench, or other stable surface, and grip the surface behind you with your hands shoulder width apart.
  2. Slowly lower down until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Feel free to keep your legs in a bent position or fully extend them out to make the move harder.
  3. Exhale and slowly push back up until your arms are almost straight.

Our Physical Therapist’s take on what makes this a good swap:
Dr. Schultz says “get those triceps working with some body weight dips — these incorporate some legs and core as well!”

 

3. Replace Reverse Flys With Prone Ts

prone Ts

Muscles worked: Mid-back, shoulders, core, and lower back

How to do Prone Ts:

  1. On a workout mat, lower yourself slowly, face down.
  2. While keeping your spine in a neutral position, slowly extend your arms straight out to the side, forming a “T.”
  3. Keeping your head down, slowly lift both arms straight up and down, pinching your shoulder blades together when you raise your arms up.

Our Physical Therapist’s take on what makes this a good swap:
“Prone Ts use gravity to provide resistance that is used in reverse flys while working the shoulders and back muscles,” explains Dr. Schultz.

Want more at-home alternatives? Find more alternative moves and modifications for your weekly at-home or gym workouts in the Fit Body App. Train with us and get your first 7 days free!

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