Scroll down any social media feed and you’re guaranteed to see at least one or two gossip magazine style posts with big, bold headlines that read some variation of “Check Out This Celeb’s Secret to Toned Arms”.
Want the truth? It’s no secret. The key to set of sexy, toned arms is some solid resistance training.
By definition, resistance training is a form of physical activity where the targeted body part contracts against an outside force to help build strength, muscle tone, and stamina. The following exercises are super simple, super effective, and slightly different from your basic arm exercises that are more commonly used by gym-goers.
The best part? ALL of these exercises can be performed in the comfort of your own home – all you need are (2) 5lb, 10lb or 15lb dumbbells (depending on your current level of fitness).
1. Cuban Press (Targets Shoulders)
- Start by standing upright with dumbbells in each hand.
- Bring your elbows up to be almost parallel with your shoulders, lower arms hanging down, exactly like a scarecrow!
- Rotate lower arms upward, and push dumbbells up while straightening your arms. Dumbbells should almost meet at the top.
- Bend elbows and lower arms back down, then rotate lower arms down back to scarecrow position.
- Repeat to complete 4 sets of 12 repetitions.
2. Lying One-Arm Lateral Raise (Targets Shoulders)
- Lay down on the ground or on a bench on the right side of your body.
- Your left hand should be holding the dumbbell, starting with your palm facing down towards the floor.
- Keeping your arm straight (but don’t lock your elbows!), rotate your shoulder and raise the dumbbell towards the ceiling slow and controlled.
- Bring the dumbbell back down to your starting position, and repeat to complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Then switch sides.
3. Twisting Standing Dumbbell Curls (Targets Biceps and Forearms)
- Start by standing upright, dumbbells in each hand.
- Rotate your palms inward and curl the dumbbell up, slow and controlled.
- Rotate your palms outward, and slowly lower the dumbbells back down.
- Repeat to complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
4. Dumbbell Skull Crushers (Targets Triceps – the name sounds scarier than it is!)
- Lay down on a flat bench, OR, create a bridge by placing your upper back on the seat of a chair (bonus points for this approach, as your glutes will be targeted too!) .
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and put both arms straight up pointing towards the ceiling (palms facing each other), this is your starting position.
- Slowly bend at the elbow and move JUST your forearms down towards the ground.
- Bring arms back up to your starting position and repeat for 4 sets of 10 repetitions.
5. Around the Worlds (Targets Shoulders)
- Start by standing upright, feet shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- With your palms facing outward, away from your body, and keeping your arms relatively straight with an ever-so-slight bend at the elbow, bring your arms up to where the dumbbells almost meet at the top. Each arm should have made a half circle in its range of motion to the top.
- Slowly lower arms back down while keeping your palms facing outward the entire time.
- Perform this exercise at the very end of your arm workout for a nice burn. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
Conclusion: Bringing It All Together
Add any of these arm exercises to your existing workout regimen or combine all of the above exercises into a complete arm workout. As an added bonus, keep the dumbbells in your hands throughout the entirety of each exercise (don’t put them down between sets!) for increased fat burning.
By reading this post, you’re already one step closer to the sculpted, boulder shoulder, lean, attention grabbing, toned arms you’re after. Now, grab some dumbbells and get after it!