“Better call a plumber. These pipes are gonna burst!”
As it turns out, you can get buff pipes with this simple exercise that uses nothing other than your own body weight and a stable chair. Dips tone the muscles that run along the backs of your upper arms (triceps), and if you do enough of them you can start asking your buddies — or your significant other — for a needle and thread. Why? ‘Cause you’re ripped!
If you’re wondering how to get stronger arms without equipment, here’s the scoop:
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a stable chair or bench.
Slide your butt off the front of the seat with your legs extended in front of you.
Straighten your arms, but keep a slight bend in your elbows to work your triceps and ease-up on your elbow joints.
Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to your seat.
Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the seat to straighten your elbows and return to the starting position. This completes one rep.
The beauty of this move is that you can do it just about anywhere: In front of the TV, at the park, at work, in a bus shelter, at the kids’ ball game…just make sure your seat won’t slip out from under you.
If you want a simple guide to keep you on track with tricep dips, try using this one:
Did you know everything you need to build strength is in your living room, office, and even at that airport lounge you’ve been stuck in for the past six hours during a weather delay? Getting fit doesn’t require an expensive gym, or any equipment, for that matter. So pump yourself up and get motivated about feeling better with these 5 exercises for muscle growth, no matter where you are:
1. The Plank
Let’s start off with something that doesn’t actually involve moving. That’s right – you can literally hold yourself in one position and get fitter. Where’s your excuse now, pal?
2. The Lunge
Your colleagues may think you’ve gone mad, but lunges give you that oh-so-good burn in your legs while ramping up your metabolism. Hold for 3-6 seconds, and alternate legs as you move across the room.
3. The Crunch
We may not all have the abs of Rocky Balboa, but crunches will get you closer to fighter status faster than you think.
4. The Push-Up
Ah, the staple of every man’s workout diet, and for good reason. A few sets of push-ups in the morning do wonders for your arms, back and chest. With so many benefits from one move, how are you not doing these already?!
5. The Wall Squat
Do you want to lift lift heavier objects without throwing out your back? Increase your stamina in bed (and we don’t mean sleeping!). The Wall Squat will get you there, one ridiculously simple dip at a time.
Weekly Fitness Challenge: When work or family life take priority over personal fitness goals, it’s time to get creative with simple exercises that slide seamlessly into your day.
It’s not clear how guys’ biceps got their nicknames — guns, pipes, pythons, take your pick — but it’s abundantly clear that the upper arm muscles between your shoulder and elbow get a lot of attention.
A common symbol of physical strength, biceps are indispensable for any task that involves lifting or pulling: Picking up heavy grocery bags, tug-of-wars, mowing and raking the lawn, romantic rowboat rides, saving damsels in distress…you get the idea.
If you want to fulfill your daily duties with ease, impress your significant other, and amuse your buddies with lines like, “Better call a plumber, ’cause these pipes are gonna burst,” then these two exercises will pump up your pythons in no time:
1. Concentration Curl
These moves can be done while seated just about anywhere: In front of the TV, in the rec room, even at the kitchen table…
The easy 3-step method:
Sit down on a sturdy, comfortable chair. Put your feet flat on the floor and spread your knees to form a “V”. Pull your shoulders back and push your chest out.
Grasp a weight in your right hand. Small dumbbells are ideal, but you can also use a jug of milk or a bottle of liquid laundry detergent (get creative!), use anything that can be gripped securely with your clenched fist facing toward you with the weight a few inches from your face.
Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee. Slowly lower the weight towards the floor, and then slowly bring it back up toward your face. Alternate between sets, by placing your left elbow on the inside of your left knee.
Tip: Use 3 counts in your movement up, hold for 1 count, and use 3 counts in your movement back down. The longer the movement takes, the more intense the exercise. Go for three sets of 10 or 12 a couple times a week and you’ll soon see results. The more you do, the firmer your bicep will get.
2. Standing Dumbbell Curl
Better for waiting in line at the grocery store, this bicep-builder typically involves heavier weights owing to the standing position.
The easy 3-step method:
Standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, let your arms hang by your sides with your fists facing inwards. Try not to let the weights touch your legs.
Slowly curl the weights up toward your shoulders, to the point where they are nearly touching them.
Hold the curl at its highest point for a few seconds, and then slowly lower the weights back down to your sides.
Tip: Again, three sets twice a week will work wonders, especially with a couple sets of the seated curl thrown in.
If you’ve been searching high and low for the silver bullet of workout moves, look no further: The burpee is the ‘El Capitan’ of keeping fit. Cardio? Rock hard abs? Guns of steel? Check, check, and check. The burpee has you covered — so get your blood pumping by doing this full-body, single sequence workout.
It might look easy, but don’t be deceived. Despite the goofy name, burpees have a reputation for being especially unforgiving, but don’t be scared off either. You can start out with a modified burpee before ramping up to the full-blown jump-and-dives (you’ll thank us later).
Stand upright with arms at your side. Bend over and squat down.
Place your hands on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder width and pop back into a push-up position.
Hold in a planking position, then pull your legs forward back into a squatting position.
Rise up to original standing posture.
Check out this graphic for easy reference:
For a greater challenge:
Think you’re a tough guy? Then level up the burpee with some extra effort. Just don’t underestimate the energy needed for added jumping.
Repeat 1-3 of the beginner’s routine, but when you pop back up from a squat, jump before returning to your original standing posture. Sounds easy enough – but it’s going to burn baby burn!
If you don’t want to spew all over your gym mate, give yourself a break after chugging water or wait at least an hour after eating a meal before trying this – it’s called a burpee for a reason.