Pilates routines include arm workouts that effectively target the rear of the arm. (Image via Pexels/Koolshooters)

How To Do Back of The Arm Pilates Workout for Tone and Stability?


Pilates is a fabulous exercise for strengthening the core. It also focusses on building muscle endurance, which means the movements are carried out smoothly and one after the other. It works all the minor muscles and muscle groups, giving you a sculpted, toned and lean appearance.

Both mat and equipment Pilates routines include arm workouts that effectively target the rear of the arm. There are some Pilates exercises, though, that don't involve arm work.


You can receive an arm workout from movements you never even considered doing as arm exercises if you learn to activate your arms during most of them, especially at the back of the arm. Additionally, you can increase the stability of your upper body during exercises.

Pilates don't utilise weights; instead, the movements are performed with an elastic band or string to provide gradual resistance.

Engaging your Arm in Pilates


Use your arms when performing an exercise on a mat or piece of equipment that requires you to lie flat with your arms by your sides. Don't let them lie there motionless. Proceed as follows:

  • On the mat, feel the weight of your rib cage, shoulders and arms.
  • Your shoulders should be down and away from your ears when you open up your chest.
  • Get your arms moving and energised. Project that energy from your finger tips so it flies past your feet and into space.
  • Put pressure on the mat with your palms, the backs of your upper arms and the inside of your forearms.
  • Put a small tack in the backs of your armpits.
  • Take a note of the connection between your core, shoulders, arms and back with your core during the activity.

How to do Back of the Arm Pilates

To know how to incorporate the arms into exercises that don't 'look' like arm exercises, let's look at these Pilates mat exercises:


1) Arm Circles

These little movements pack a punch. While training the upper body muscles, you're ensuring the engagement of your core in addition to stretching and strengthening the arms.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Let your arms dangle loosely in front of you while you stand with your legs close together and toes pointed out.
  • Raise your arms up to the ceiling, and with your fists, make small, controlled clockwise circles.
  • As you slowly drop your arms back to the starting position for one rep, reverse the orientation of the circles.
  • Do five to eight repetitions.

2) Serving Tray exercise

Serving Tray is one of the best Pilates exercises that tones the triceps, shoulders, back and abs.

Here’s how to do it:

  • In a Pilates 'V' stance, assume a tall posture with your heels close together and your toes slightly pointed out.
  • Put your hands forward with the palms facing up while keeping your upper arms at your sides.
  • Draw your shoulders back and down while engaging your core.
  • Take a deep breath in, and raise your arms straight in front of you as if you were going to serve someone.
  • As you feel energy flowing through your extending arms, pull your ribcage back.
  • As you exhale, pull your elbows back towards your waist using your back and the backs of your shoulders.

3) The Bug

The Bug in Pilates is a great exercise, as it tones the triceps, shoulders, back, butt, thighs and abs.


Here’s how to do it:

  • Standing with your feet hip-width apart and parallel to the ground, arms by your sides and hands in loose fists, with the backs of your hands facing front.
  • With your arms outstretched and dangling towards the floor, crouch forward while bending your knees.
  • Keep your shoulders down and your core tight. Strain your shoulders to draw your elbows high, and activate your triceps.
  • Return your arms to the floor after releasing them.
  • Do 15 to 20 repetitions.

4) Triceps Dip

Triceps Dip is an excellent bodyweight exercise for developing arm and shoulder strength. There are numerous variants of this straightforward workout that may be done to suit your level of fitness practically anywhere. Include it in your upper body strength routine.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you.
  • With your fingers pointing forward, place your hands on the floor 10 to 12 inches behind you.
  • Press firmly on your feet, and raise yourself to inclined plank position by engaging your hamstrings and core.
  • Inhale. Keep your body as straight as you can while bending your elbows to lower yourself towards the ground, and exhale to rise back up.
  • Do 10 to 12 repetitions.

If the incline plank is too difficult for you, you may always stand with your feet in tabletop posture hip-width apart, and keep your knees bent.

We would love to know your views in the comments below..

Edited by Bhargav
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