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15 Bicep and Tricep Calisthenics No Equipment Exercises to Turn Upper Arm Flab to Beautiful Fab

Are you looking for bicep calisthenics, no equipment exercises and workouts? Have you noticed, it’s nearly time to wear those sexy summertime off-cut sleeves and show off those beautiful upper arms. Unsurprising, you are looking for calisthenics exercises to tone and define your arms for summer. 

Let us show you the best calisthenics bicep and tricep, no-equipment exercises to turn heads, whether in a dress, off-cut top, or strapless number for your next night on the town. Being conscious of your upper arms as a woman is common, so let’s remove the worries. 

Can You Train Biceps and Triceps With Bodyweight?

Here’s a look at six bicep and tricep calisthenics, no equipment exercises, from our top 15:

  • Diamond push-ups (8)
  • Plank ups and downs (15)
  • Wall handstand (5)
  • Bodyweight curls (3)
  • Pull-ups (11)
  • Modified concentration curls (3)

But first, let’s understand upper body training for women before going over exercises and workouts.


Can You Build Biceps and Triceps With Calisthenics?

For whatever reason, you can’t go to the gym and so you need to do bicep and tricep calisthenics, no equipment exercises. In addition, you don’t have any weights or traditional equipment at home. Let’s discover the truth about training biceps and triceps with calisthenics, before sharing the best exercises.

Does Calisthenics Tone or Strengthen Muscle?

Before enjoying bicep and tricep calisthenics, no equipment exercises at home, you’d likely prefer some evidence to support how they can build your arms. A small randomized North Dakota State University trial examined whether calisthenics can tone and strengthen muscles (7). 

Progressive push-ups were compared to bench presses three times weekly for four weeks. Muscle thickness and strength improved similarly for both exercise groups. Defined and strengthened lean tricep muscles give you that toned look for sexy outfits.  

Furthermore, a Cardiff Metropolitan University review shows that weightlifting is more effective for strength and muscle gains if you’re looking for that as a woman (6). Adding weights or makeshift props at home may help you improve upper body strength more if that’s a goal. 

Interestingly, a Brighton and Sussex Medical School meta-analysis suggests that there are two barriers for women using strength training: gender stigmas and a lack of knowledge (12). A lack of knowledge isn’t a problem once you discover our top exercises. 

A gender comparison review by the University of Alabama found that women are more able to increase relative upper body strength than men (16). Men are more likely to increase absolute strength instead. 

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How Can I Build My Biceps Without Equipment?

The key to toning your upper arms and biceps with calisthenics is progression with makeshift equipment or no equipment. 

A review indicated that adding light makeshift weights could improve strength (6). Progression is easy in calisthenics with more reps, sets, and makeshift weights at home. A Norwegian narrative review shows the following reps and sets for ideal muscle toning (13):

  • Use bilateral calisthenics for biceps when pressed for time
  • Perform at least one upper-body pulling and pushing exercise during each set
  • Do a minimum of four weekly sets for your biceps alone
  • Use 6-15 repetitions per set of bicep calisthenics for beginners
  • Change to 15-40 reps per set of bicep calisthenics to reach absolute muscle fatigue

The review also notes that free weights are ideal, but you can use makeshift weights once your muscles are no longer fatigued by calisthenics alone (13). You’ll discover a makeshift weights workout for biceps and triceps below, to target the muscles of your upper arms (2). 


In addition, combine calisthenics with aerobics for added benefits. A small Malaysian study combined calisthenics and aerobics to find the combination helped obese women improve cardiovascular and muscle endurance better than calisthenics alone (17). 

More research is necessary following such a small study. However, another small North Carolina study confirmed how aerobics and bodyweight exercises reduced fat and aided weight loss better than either technique alone (10). 

Often, upper arms need strengthening and some reduction to tone them perfectly for a well-defined and sexy physique. Blending calisthenics and cardio with high-protein meals and healthy whole foods can tone your arms better than exercise alone (14).

How Do You Do Arm Calisthenics Without Pull-Ups?

The muscles in our arms including both biceps and triceps are responsible for two major movements: pushing and pulling. Skip pull-ups and instead use a variety of other push and pull exercises, some of which are listed below (13). 

Diamond Push-Ups

Diamond push-ups target the triceps, deltoids, and pecs to tone and define your upper body (8). 

  1. Get into a push-up position with your feet braced on the ground,
  2. Straighten your back while bringing your palms closer together,
  3. Let your hands touch fingertips in front of your chest,
  4. Your palms must be close enough to shape a diamond,
  5. Focus on controlling your balance as you go down,
  6. Return by pushing into your hands and repeat.

One-Handed Push-Ups

Various push-ups engage your triceps for a good workout (15). The one-handed push-up simply makes it a unilateral exercise for added resistance on each side. 

  1. Get into a regular push-up position,
  2. Rest one hand on your back while in the upward position,
  3. Slowly descend while keeping your back straight,
  4. Rise slowly and with control and repeat.

Plank Ups and Downs

Plank ups and downs combine the tricep workout of a push-up to the plank exercise that typically doesn’t activate triceps in the traditional position (15).

  1. Start in a low plank rested on your forearms,
  2. Balance yourself on your toes as you keep your back and hips straight,
  3. Straighten one arm into a push-up position and follow with the other arm,
  4. Get back into the forearm plank position one arm at a time and repeat.

Reverse Push-Ups

Push-ups remain a key push exercise for the triceps (15). Placing your hands differently can also modify how you do them and activate your biceps as well. 

  1. Sit on your knees before bending forward to touch the ground,
  2. Rotate your hands backward until your fingers point toward your toes,
  3. Move your legs as far back as comfortable,
  4. Descend without bending your knees too much, rise slowly, and repeat,
  5. Enter back into the sitting on your knees position before rotating your hands back.

Read more: The Simplest Lower Back Calisthenics Guide for Beginners

Wall Handstand

Gymnasts famously use handstands to activate the triceps and shoulder muscles (5). However, most of us can use a wall to support the body during a handstand.

  1. Stand away from the wall, facing the wall,
  2. Bend forward, placing your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor,
  3. Kick your feet up against the wall,
  4. Push into the ground to support your body,
  5. Straighten your body as much as you can to place pressure on your triceps,
  6. Hold the handstand for 20-30 seconds.

Best Bodyweight Bicep Exercises for Pull-Ups and Modified Pulls

You’ll have everything you need for biceps workouts without equipment. You must include push and pull exercises in each workout to tone and define your whole arm  (13).  

Door Frame Rows

Rows are one of the best back and biceps exercises in calisthenics (3). Fortunately, you can still do them at home with a doorframe or makeshift weights. Here’s the door frame method:

  1. Stand facing an open doorway,
  2. Make sure you grab the frame securely with one hand on either side,
  3. Lean your body back,
  4. Pull your body toward the frame and repeat.


Any pull-up calisthenics exercise works your biceps (11). Find a stable “bar”  to use. This might include a tree trunk in your garden, playground equipment, or a door frame pull-up bar. Make sure it can support your weight first and wear gloves if necessary. 

  1. Stand in front of the bar, wrapping your hands around it,
  2. Your palms will face toward you,
  3. Slowly engage the biceps while pulling yourself up until your chin is at bar height,
  4. Hold your chin-up for 1-2 seconds before releasing and repeating.



Pull-ups successfully target the biceps, traps, and lats, whether you enjoy neutral, rope, pronated, or supinated grip pull-ups (11). Here’s how to do pull-ups with a tree trunk:

  1. Grab the tree trunk with gloves and palms facing away from you,
  2. Pull your body up until your chin is at trunk height,
  3. Drop back carefully and in a controlled manner and repeat.

Modified Bicep Curls

Bicep curls remain an effective pull exercise for the bicep muscles (3). So, use any weighted item you have at home to do modified curls including bands, milk jugs, etc.

  1. Stand with a weighted item in each hand,
  2. Bend at the elbow and bring your hands bilaterally or unilaterally to your shoulders,
  3. Use slow, controlled lifts lasting around 10 seconds,
  4. Lower your hands and repeat.

Modified Concentration Curls

Bicep curls remain effective as a pull calisthenics exercise (3). Try this variation of concentration curls:

  1. Sit in a chair and wrap your right arm under your left inner thigh,
  2. Swing your right shoulder until it sits in line with your right inner thigh,
  3. Lift your right arm up while pulling your left leg down for resistance,
  4. Hold the pulling motion for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Isometric Bicep Curls

Another bicep curl modification to make is to use the resistance of a stationary surface to work the biceps (3). 

  1. Find a sturdy surface such as a wall, table or countertop,
  2. Place your hands against the surface; when using a countertop or table place your hands against the underside,
  3. Engage your biceps by curling against the force of the countertop,
  4. Hold the contraction for 20-30 seconds,
  5. Release and repeat.

Inverted Table Rows

Inverted rows are a favorite suspension calisthenics exercise you can do at home to activate upper body muscles, including biceps (4). All you need is a stable table. 

  1. Lie flat length-wise under a solid and stable table,
  2. Grab the table on the longer sides while your head is just out from under it,
  3. Keep your body as straight as possible while pulling yourself toward the table,
  4. Hold the pull for 10 seconds before releasing and repeating.

Bonus: Tricep Exercise No Equipment to Support Bicep Workouts

The triceps are the back muscle of your upper arms (1). Some exercises will work the biceps and triceps with pull and push motions (13). Define your entire upper arm with these exercises for biceps and triceps, without equipment. 

Wide Push-Ups

Wide push-ups activate and  target your triceps to tone the inner and outer arms (8).

  1. Get into a regular push-up position,
  2. Brace your feet as you spread your palms beyond shoulder-width,
  3. Keep your back straight as you go down,
  4. Rise back up with your palms still wide apart and repeat.

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Bicep and Tricep Calisthenics No Equipment at Home Workouts

Our biceps and triceps workout at home without equipment female editions will have your flab turn to fab, sleek, strong, and toned upper arms in no time. 

Biceps and Triceps Workout at Home Without Equipment for Beginners

Our first biceps and triceps calisthenics no equipment workout at home is for beginners. Complete two sets of five push and pull exercises two days weekly with 15 reps per exercise per set to match the recommendations of the Norwegian review (13):

  • Plank ups and downs
  • Diamond push-ups
  • Modified concentration curls
  • Bodyweight curls
  • Wall handstand (20-second stand equals one set)

Read more: Calisthenics Shoulder Exercises: Techniques and Workouts

Biceps and Triceps Workout at Home Without Equipment

The next workout increases the reps, sets, and exercises to suit ladies who’ve trained their arms for a while. Complete two sets of six push and pull exercises twice weekly with 18 reps per exercise per set (13). Otherwise, hold any exercise for 10-30 seconds. 

  • Diamond push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Reverse push-ups
  • Side planks
  • Bodyweight curls
  • One-handed push-ups


Biceps and Triceps Workout at Home With Dumbbells (or Whatever You Have)

Let’s focus on push and pull arm workouts with makeshift weights at home to complete the progressive goals of muscle toning resistance exercises (13). Complete two sets of six exercises twice weekly with 18-20 reps for a greater challenge. 

  • Inverted table rows
  • Wide push-ups
  • Modified standing curls
  • Reverse push-ups
  • Modified bicep curls
  • One-handed push-ups

For more bicep calisthenics information:


  • How Much Can Biceps Grow in 3 Months?

Measuring the precise amount that biceps can grow in three months is tricky. However, a small Brazilian study of 130 military recruits showed the centimeter circumference difference of recruits arms after 12 weeks of physical training (9). On average, arm circumference increased by three centimeters. 

  • Do Planks Build Biceps?

No, planks do not directly work the biceps.

  • Do Diamond Push-Ups Build Triceps?

Yes, diamond push-ups activate the triceps. A small Korean study compared the diamond, regular, and wide push-ups to examine muscle activations (8). Diamond push-ups activated the triceps more than regular versions. It’s a small study and more research would confirm the muscle activations further. 

  • How Many Push-Ups a Day?

A Norwegian narrative review recommends four weekly sets of calisthenics per muscle group and 15-40 reps per exercise to cause muscular fatigue (13). Start with 15 push-ups on days you use the exercise and progressively work towards 40 over a few weeks. 

  • How Do You Target Biceps With Calisthenics?

Target your pull movements to tone your biceps with calisthenics (13). For example, pull-ups, rows, and bicep curls activate the biceps beautifully (8). Train your biceps with equal amounts of pull calisthenics for even tone and definition. Various forms of pull-ups significantly cause eccentric and concentric bicep activation (11).

The Bottom Line

Our bicep and tricep calisthenics no equipment exercises are simple for home workouts with little to no traditional weights and equipment. Pick a workout plan suitable for your fitness level, and start toning your arms for summer. Alternatively, follow our set and rep guidelines while choosing a few push and pull workouts. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  2. Biceps Brachii (n.d., physio-pedia.com)
  3. Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis Excitation in Biceps Curl Exercise: Different Handgrips, Different Synergy (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4. Can Different Variations of Suspension Exercises Provide Adequate Loads and Muscle Activations for Upper Body Training? (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  5. Changes in the Muscle Activity of Gymnasts During a Handstand on Various Apparatus (2019, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. Comparison of Weightlifting, Traditional Resistance Training and Plyometrics on Strength, Power and Speed: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis (2022, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  7. Effect of Progressive Calisthenic Push-up Training on Muscle Strength and Thickness (2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  8. Effect of the Push-Up Exercise at Different Palmar Widths on Muscle Activities (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  9. Effects of 12 Weeks of Physical Training on Body Composition and Physical Fitness in Military Recruits (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  10. Effects of Aerobic and/or Resistance Training on Body Mass and Fat Mass in Overweight or Obese Adults (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  11. Electromyographic Analysis of Muscle Activation During Pull-Up Variations (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  12. Motivational Factors and Barriers Towards Initiating and Maintaining Strength Training in Women: a Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis (2021, link.springer.com)
  13. No Time to Lift? Designing Time-Efficient Training Programs for Strength and Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review (2021, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  14. Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  15. Selective Activation of Shoulder, Trunk, and Arm Muscles: A Comparative Analysis of Different Push-Up Variants (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  16. Sex Differences in Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  17. The Effect of 12-Week Calisthenics Exercise on Physical Fitness among Obese Female Students (2022, researchgate.net)
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