Take a 1-min quiz to get a personalized workout plan Male Female

Dumbbell Arm Workout: Adding Some Weights Might Just Be The Game-Changer You Need!

Muscular Arms

Summer is around the corner and your arms are not as toned and muscular as you want them to be. Gyms are not yet fully open and you probably still want to stay away from people due to the pandemic. Well, no need to worry. You can get your arms toned right in the comfort of your home with the dumbbell arm workout we have for you in this read.


Why Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are very common exercise equipment. Although bodyweight exercises might also help you tone your arm muscles and build strength, dumbbells are more effective for a shorter period of time. With that said, here is why you should grab your dumbbells:

Dumbbells Are Cheap

During these times, everyone is trying to save up as much money as they possibly can, due to the uncertainties. This is not the time to be blowing your money on expensive workout equipment and that is where dumbbells come in. Compared to most gym equipment, dumbbells are quite cheap and at the same time they are effective in helping you achieve the expected results, if you use them as they are supposed to be used and not just as decorations in your house. Think of them as ticking off both categories; being cheap and being effective.

Read More: Leg Workouts With Dumbbells: Shred Your Leg Muscles Through A Mix Of Dynamic Moves

Dumbbells Are Not Too Bulk

One of the major disadvantages of gym equipment is that you cannot move them as much as you want as they are too heavy. Maybe you want to go and workout with your friend at their place because being totally honest, working out alone is sometimes boring as heck and there are chances you may give up working out since you don’t have anyone to keep you accountable. In such a case you may not be able to carry an arm curl, or a seated leg curl to your friend’s house. With dumbbells this is not something you have to worry about, you can easily put them in your bag or your car trunk, and you are good to go and enjoy your training session with your gym buddy.

Dumbbells Take Up Less Space

Many people live in cities because that is where most jobs are, schools, hospitals, hotels and all other things. Most of the apartments in major cities are usually small and hence you have to be careful with the things you buy before your house starts splitting at the seams. To add to that, nobody wants a house that is so full that you can not walk comfortably without knocking things over. This should still not discourage you from working out at home and that is where dumbbells come in. Dumbbells don’t take up too much space. You can put a pair of dumbbells under your bed, in your balcony if you have one, or just in any small space you have around. 

Dumbbells Give Room For Progression

For an exercise to be effective it has to be progressive. Take sit-ups for example, when you start doing them, nobody expects you to do 30 sit-ups at a go, on your first try and also you should not do so. After 3 months or so of constantly grinding, you should be able to do way more sit-ups that you could when you started doing them. This is from the fact that your body gets used to the 5 sit-ups everyday that you started with since then it became stronger and for you to get even stronger you had to increase the number of sit-ups or their intensity. Like they say, if you are comfortable in the gym, then you are doing nothing. 

The same can be said for dumbbells, when you are a beginner, nobody expects you to pick up a 50 pound dumbbell and go at it. That would be overestimating yourself and there are high chances of you getting injured. You need to start small and move your way up and the good thing about dumbbells is that they come in different weights. You can start with a 5 pound dumbbell, when you are used to that you can move to a 10 pound dumbbell and so on.

Dumbbells Are Easy To Use

To be totally honest, some gym equipment is too complicated to use and requires a person to have a gym instructor for them to use the equipment. This may be the reason some people don’t use certain machines in the gym. The same cannot be said for dumbbells. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to use them and just from the way they look, you can already have an idea on how to use them.

Dumbbells Work Different Muscles Simultaneously

Dumbbells offer you a variety when it comes to exercising. With dumbbells you can choose which muscles you want to engage from the many different types of workouts you can do with dumbbells. What even makes the deal sweeter is that you can choose to work more than one muscle group at a time and at the same time you can choose to isolate the different muscles and work them individually. If you go for working multiple muscles at the same time, you are able to promote equal gains, and also spend less time working out. If you choose to isolate the muscle groups, you are able to concentrate on individual muscles and you are able to work different muscle groups while giving other muscle groups the opportunity to rest and recover.

Looking for a way to break the vicious cycle of weight loss and tone up all the jiggly parts? Watch the extra pounds fly off and your muscles firm up with the BetterMe app!

Dumbbells Come With A Reduced Chance Of Causing Injury

If you start by lifting heavy weights while you are still an amateur, you increase your chances of getting injured which is not something you want. Dumbbells are quite light and this prevents you from exerting so much pressure on different muscles and injuring yourself. 

Dumbbells Can Be Used By Anyone

This is yet another advantage as to why dumbbells are the way to go. Unless you are instructed by a health practitioner not to use them, or you are injured, then it would not be advisable for you to use them, Other than that, anyone else can use dumbbells. This is yet again made possible by them coming in different weights.  Children can use the very small dumbbells that almost look like toys, women can also choose the one they want to use, the same can be said for you and me, even old people are not left out. With dumbbells, you are never too old to workout. 

How To Use Dumbbells To Achieve Toned Arms?

Most people believe that the only way to get strong muscular arms is by using heavy, weight machines in the gym and this is not true. You can get ripped right at home just by using dumbbells. What really matters when it comes to getting ripped while using this simple equipment is how you use them and here are some tips on that:

  • Increase your repetitions (2). When you increase your reps, you are increasing the intensity of the workout and this results in the muscle fibers getting stronger and also builds muscle endurance.
  • Pulsing (2). This is where you shorten the range of motion of the workout through small, repetitive motions. This makes the exercise more challenging since when you shorten the range of motion, your muscles stay contracted throughout the entire workout.

Read More: Gaining Muscle After 50: Proof You Can Still Bulk Up Even In Your Fifties

Best Dumbbell Arm Workouts

In this section, we have some of the best dumbbell only arm workouts that will help get you those muscular arms you want. While attempting the workouts highlighted, make sure you do them correctly for them to be effective and for you to reduce the chances of getting injured. These arm exercises will help tone your muscles, build more muscles of course and increase your metabolism. They will be able to work your shoulders (delts), your biceps (these are the muscles found at the front parts of your upper arm) and your triceps (these are the muscles found at the back parts of your upper arm). Some of the exercise will also be able to work other muscles that are not found in the arms, like the pecs. If you are able to do the exercises highlighted at least twice a week and you are consistent in doing them, you will be able to see the results after some time. With that out of the way, here are some of the most effective at home dumbbell arm workouts

Bicep Curl To Overhead Press

The bicep curl to overhead press exercise helps you to train your shoulders and your biceps.

How to do it (3):

  1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Then grab your pair of dumbbells. The dumbbells should be held with your palms facing out. Let the dumbbells rest on the side of your body.
  2. While engaging your core, bend your elbows as you bring the weights towards your shoulders. While doing this, make sure your elbows stay at the sides of your body. Do not let them slide outwards or backwards.
  3. Then keep moving your arms upwards towards the sky while at the same time turning your hands so that your palms face outside. Try as much as possible to lift the weights straight up so that they can be directly above your shoulder. While at this, you should also be careful not to arch your back.
  4. Then bend your now stretched elbow as you lower back the weights back to the front of your shoulders. While lowering the weights, you should be turning your hands so that your palms face your body as they initially were.
  5. The last step is to straighten your elbows as you lower the weights back down to the sides of your body which is the original starting position.

Biceps Curl To Tap

Just from the name you can already tell which muscles this exercise works. It works the biceps.

How to do it (2):

  1. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart and grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. With your elbows glued to your sides, turn your arms out to 45 degrees.
  3. Then raise the dumbbells up to hip height.
  4. With your elbows still glued to your sides, bring the ends of the dumbbells together to touch.
  5. Bring the dumbbells back out, and then lower them back down to the starting position.

Triceps Kickback

This exercise helps workout the triceps:

How to do it (2):

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hinge your hips back, creating a flat back. Your upper body should be just about parallel to the ground.
  3. Bring your arms to your sides and glue your elbows to your rib cage, forming a 90-degree angle with your arms.
  4. Without moving your shoulders, extend your arms back until they are straight, squeezing your triceps at the top.
  5. Return to the starting position.

Lateral Raise To Front Raise

This is yet another dumbbell exercise you can do at home. It engages your biceps and pecs.

How to do it (2):

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Lift your arms out to the side, stopping at shoulder height.
  3. Then, bring your arms together in front of your chest and lower them back down. This is 1 rep.
  4. Next, lift your arms back up in front of you to shoulder height, and open your arms back out to the sides.
  5. Lower them back down and repeat.

Hammer Curl To Overhead Press To Triceps Extension

This exercise works all the major muscles of the arms; triceps, biceps and the delts.

How to do it (1):

  1. Begin by holding the dumbbells in front of your body. The palms of your hands should be facing each other.
  2. Then take the dumbbells and lift them to your shoulders.
  3. Then press the weights overhead.
  4. With your arms over your head, press the weights together.
  5. With your elbows locked in place, bend at the elbows to lower the dumbbells behind your head.
  6. Raise your arms back up, straightening them completely at the top.
  7. Keep your upper arms pressed close to your ears.
  8. Slowly reverse the motion to return to the original starting position.

Hammer Biceps Curl In Plank

This is yet another exercise that is effective when it comes to working the biceps.

How to do it (1):

  1. Slowly walk your hands out to a high plank position while holding the dumbbells.
  2. Without moving your torso, lift the dumbbell in your right hand up towards your ear. Keep your thumb facing up and your palms facing each other.
  3. Repeat on the left, and continue alternating sides.
  4. Keep your core tight and hips stable.
  5. Make sure your feet are at least shoulder-width apart or wider to help stabilize your hips. You can also lower your knees to the ground for a modified plank.

If you tend to let yourself off the hook, raise the white flag when things get tougher than you expected, send yourself on an unconscious binge-eating trip – BetterMe app is here to help you leave all of these sabotaging habits in the past!

Skull Crushers

This workout is used to train the triceps.

How to do it (1):

  1. Start by lying on a yoga mat on your back with your legs bent and your feet on the floor.
  2. Then take your pair of dumbbells and hold them straight up and over your shoulders. Your palms should be facing in and your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  3. Bend your elbows to bring the weights down by the sides of your head, keeping your elbows in the same spot.
  4. Straighten arms back out to original starting position.

Bent-Over Triceps Kickbacks With Palm Rotation

This exercise engages the triceps.

How to do it (1):

  1. Bend your knees forward and hinge forward at the hips, keeping the core tight and back flat.
  2. Hold your arms at your sides, with a dumbbell in each hand, thumbs up, and palms facing each other.
  3. Bend at the elbows until your forearms are parallel to the ground, keeping your elbows in roughly the same spot.
  4. Keeping your elbows tight by your rib cage, kick the weights back to completely straighten your arms.
  5. Rotate your palms upward at the top of the move.
  6. Bend the arms to return to start.


The Bottom Line

Those are some of the most effective dumbbell arm workouts. While doing the exercises highlighted make sure to follow the correct form. To experience the results you need to be consistent.


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. A 15-Minute Dumbbell Arms Workout You Can Do Anywhere (2019,self.com)
  2. This 20-Minute Light Dumbbell Arm Workout Will Make Your Arms Burn (2021, livestrong.com)
  3. Want Strong, Chiseled Arms? Here Are 11 Dumbbell Exercises Trainers Want You to Do (2021, popsugar.com)
150 million people
have chosen BetterMe

I love this app!

I love this app! I love that it has so many different workouts that I can choose from with all different durations that I can choose from in order to achieve my goals. I recommend this app to everyone and anyone.

The app is easy to use but effective…

Saira H.
The app is easy to use but effective and the workouts are great! You will feel it and see results, the goal is to get 1% better everyday!!!

Exercises are simple but effective

Oudeen H.
All the exercises were manageable and were effective. It's amazing how stretching is key way to exercise.