This 5-Minute Arm Workout with Dumbbells Fits Into Any Schedule
You Have Time for This Dumbbell Arm Workout
Wondering how to get strong, sculpted arms? Grab a set of dumbbells and boost those biceps, triceps, and shoulders with this easy arm workout for women. (And by "easy" we mean simple, not effortless, trust.) This dumbbell arm workout was designed to help you reach your fitness goals by squeezing in a short burst of exercise throughout your day. You can do it alone or combine it with other specific strength training plans to build your own complete workout. (Bookmark this 5-minute arm workout as well as this quick core routine and this speedy Tabata so you can easily squeeze in a sweat next time the clock is ticking.)
How it works: Do 1 set of each exercise in this arm workout back to back, with little to no rest between moves. The complete arm workout for women should take about five minutes, but you can repeat 1 or 2 more times if your schedule allows.
You'll need: A set of dumbbells (3 to 15 pounds, depending on level) and a mat (optional).
This 5-minute arm workout for women will build muscle in your shoulders but, since you're standing, also recruit your core. Bonus: Try doing one arm at a time to challenge your abs even more. (Related: How to Execute the Perfect Dumbbell Overhead Press)
A. Stand with feet wide, knees soft, holding dumbbells with arms in a goal post position (elbows open to sides at shoulder level).
B. Brace core and extend arms straight overhead.
C. Slowly lower elbows to return to start. That's one rep.
Do 20 reps.
Core strength helps ensure hand weight exercises are safe and effective, so be sure to supplement this 5-minute arm workout with these top ab moves as well.
A. Stand with feet wide, knees soft, holding a dumbbell with both hands in front of the chest. Engage abs and bring arms overhead, biceps next to ears.
B. Bend elbows and lower the weight behind head all the way down to shoulders (avoid letting elbows open out to the side and relax neck).
C. Raise arms overhead to return to start (use abdominal muscles to keep torso steady as arms raise and lower, and don't let ribs flare out).
Do 20 reps.
Inverted Curl to Front Press
Target your biceps and shoulders with this arm exercise for women that's a hybrid between a traditional bicep curl, front raise, and chest press. It might feel easy at first, but will be a challenge come rep 18. (Related: How to Perform the Perfect Biceps Curl, According to Jen Widerstrom)
A. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart, holding dumbbells in front of thighs, palms facing body.
B. Bend elbows by sides and curl weights up. Extend arms straight out in front of shoulders, palms facing the floor, keeping core engaged.
C. Bend elbows back in by sides and lower to start.
Do 20 reps.
Rear Fly to Press Back
Control is key with this weighted arm exercise for women. Focus on using muscle strength rather than momentum throughout the entire range of motion. (Pro tip: Take your upper body strength to the next level by pairing this 5-minute arm workout with this 30-day arm challenge.)
A. Begin in a split stance with right foot forward, right knee bent, and left leg straight, holding dumbbells.
B. Keeping spine naturally straight, hinge forward from hips about 45 degrees, arms reaching down to the floor (palms should face thighs).
C. Raise arms to sides of shoulders, squeezing shoulder blades down and together during the movement (the ends of the weights should face up). Slowly lower arms.
D. Press arms back by hips, with palms still facing up. Lower arms. That’s one rep.
Do 10 reps per side.
Finish off this 5-minute arm workout with not just any old pushup but the diamond-leg pushup, which really targets those triceps. But don't be fooled, this is in fact a quick arm workout — it just might feel like a slow burn being that you're at the end of the routine. (Related: 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Push-Up Game)
A. Start in a modified pushup position, with knees turned out to the sides, feet pressed together, and hands shoulder-width apart.
B. Brace abs in tight and, keeping spine naturally straight, bend elbows in by sides and lower torso to the floor, stopping a few inches above the ground.
C. Quickly press back up.
Do 20 reps. (Then, if time allows, follow this 5-minute arm workout with some back exercises for a serious upper body burn.)