Here are 17 arm workouts for all the muscle groups in your arms and shoulders. We’ll also hit the areas of your back and chest for that strong, confident upper body look.
Best Arm Workouts for Biceps – Curls
Hammer and Bicep curls are classic arm workouts that still pack a punch. These curls will help anyone develop strength and great looking biceps.
1. Hammer Curl
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your sides. Extend your arms straight down. Keep your upper arms back against your sides. Raise both weights at the same time to shoulder height. Keep weights under control, and during each curl, focus on your biceps. Complete ten reps for 2-3 sets.
2. Bicep Curl
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, with your arm extended and the palm of your hand facing forward. Slowly raise the dumbbell towards your shoulder. Keep your elbow pinned to your side. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the curl for a few seconds, then lower to the starting position. During each curl, focus on your biceps. Complete your repetitions and then repeat with the opposite arm. Complete 2-3 sets of ten reps.
Push-Up Arm Workout
Push-ups are some of the best arm exercises. The best arm exercise is one you will do. These moves work a variety of muscles and are workouts you can do at home – no equipment needed.
Lie face down on a mat, with your hands on the floor at your shoulders. Keep your elbows close to your sides. Your fingers should be splayed wide. Exhale and keeping your core tight, legs straight, and your lower back flat, push against the floor and extend your arms straight. You will be in the plank position. Do not lift your chin or bend your neck. Inhale, then bend your elbows and lower to your starting position. Complete five reps per set for 4-5 sets.
4. Diamond Push-up
This is a push-up progression. In addition to the chest, shoulders, and abs, the Diamond push-up is an excellent arm workout for your triceps.
Complete a standard push-up, except instead of having your hands shoulder-width apart, place them together so your index fingers and thumbs touch, forming a “diamond.” Exhale and push against the floor, keeping your spine and legs straight. At the top of your push-up, inhale, and lower your chest to your hands. Complete each rep as quickly as possible, while keeping good form. Complete five reps for 4-5 sets.
Triceps – Workout for Arms
Here’s a motivation for you – triceps are your secret to looking great in a tank top! Biceps are the muscles between your shoulders and elbows that you see when you bend elbows. Triceps are the muscles on the other side of your arm.
These are the best arm workouts to help you develop sexy triceps.
5. Tricep Extension
You need one dumbbell. Brace your core, and raise the dumbbell overhead to the ceiling, arm wholly extended, with your elbow locked. Your palm should be facing inward.
Bend your elbow and moving only your forearm, bring the dumbbell slowly behind your head. Focus on your triceps. Pause and slowly and under control, return the to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete four to six reps for 4-5 sets on each side.
6. Tricep Kickback
Stand with a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand. Bend your knees slightly, and slightly lower your torso forward. Bend your arms at a 45-degree angle, keeping your elbows pinned to your ribs. Engage your core and straighten your arms, so your triceps are in line with your back. Hold for a second, then bend your elbows and return to the starting position. Complete five reps for 4-5 sets.
7. Tricep Dip
For these dips, you need a chair or even a park bench. Sit on the edge of the seat, legs straight in front with your heels on the floor. Keep your chest up and your gaze neutral. Place your hands on the edge of the bench on either side of your hips.
Press with your hands and lift your butt off the bench. Slide forward slightly, so your glutes will be able to slip past the seat as your lower yourself. Bend your elbows, keep your arms close, and lower below the edge of the chair until your arms are at a 45-degree angle. Pause and slowly push yourself back up to the starting position. This is one rep. Complete 2-3 sets of 5 reps.
Workouts for Arms with Weights
If you want the best arm workouts, you will need some weights. Add an arm workout from the list below the next time you hit the gym. Increase the weight as your training volume increases.
8. Front Raise
The front raise is not only an arms workout, but it is also excellent for working your shoulders. Take a tall stance and hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of each leg. Palms face your legs. Engage your core, and keeping your arms extended to raise the dumbbells to shoulder level, so your arms are parallel to the floor. Pause and lower the dumbbells to the original position. That’s one. Complete five reps for 4-5 sets.
9. Lateral Raise
The lateral raise work out your arm muscles and targets your deltoids. Stand tall, feet hip-width apart, with a pair of dumbbells. Your arms should be at your sides with palms facing in, dumbbells by your thighs. Keep your arms extended and raise the dumbbells until your arms are parallel to the floor. Do not allow your wrists to bend. Exhale and lower. That’s one—complete five reps for 4-5 sets.
10. Dumbbell Fly
Lie on your back and hold two dumbells overhead, arms extended but not locked. Your palms should be facing each other. Slowly lower both arms out to your sides at the same time until your arms are parallel to the floor, and you feel a slight stretch across your chest. Pause for two seconds at the bottom and return to the starting position. Complete 8-10 reps for three sets.
11. Bench Press
Lie on your back on a flat weight bench. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it straight above you, over your chest with your arms extended and elbows locked. Inhale and lower the bar to your chest in a slow and controlled manner. Let the bar touch your chest briefly, then exhale, raise the bar to its original position.
Complete five reps for 4-5 sets. (Tip: This is an exercise that can be dangerous with a lot of weight. To prevent injury, beginners should engage a trainer when they are first learning this arm workout.)
12. Inverted Row
You will need a bar at hip-width or lower. (Racked barbells work well for this.) Lie under the bar, grasping it with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your back flat and core tight. Your heels should be on the ground, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten your shoulder blades and pull your chest to the bar. Keep your elbows close to the side of your body. Pause and slowly return to the starting position. Complete 8-10 reps for 4-5 sets.
13. Renegade Row
Place two dumbbells on the floor, shoulder-width apart. With a hand on either dumbbell, get into the push-up position. Keep your core tight and your back flat. Your weight will be on your hands and the toes of each foot. Keep your left arm straight. With your right arm, pull back with your shoulder, bending your elbow and bring the dumbbell to your side. Slowly lower. That’s one rep. Repeat on the opposite side. Complete six reps on each side for 2-3 sets.
14. Bent-Over Row
Stand, feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or EZ bar with an overhand grip, arms extended. Hinge at the waist, bending at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor. Keep a slight bend in your knees. While keeping your upper body stationary, pull the barbell to your chest. Keep your core tight and elbows close to your sides. Pause for a few seconds, then lower the barbell. Complete five reps for 4-5 sets.
15. Dumbbell Woodchop
Woodchops work your shoulders and your core, so they are the best arm exercise that is a full-body movement. Start standing, holding a single dumbbell with both hands. Bend your knees and hips into a slight squat.
Keep your back tight. With both hands, move the dumbbell to the outside of your right thigh above your knee. Using your core, twist, and lift the dumbbell up and across over your left shoulder. As you move, straighten your legs to stand and twist, so you are looking at the dumbbell.
Slowly lower the weight across, back to your right thigh, as if you were chopping wood. (Tip: These can also be done with a resistance band.) Complete three sets of 10-15 reps per side.
Best Arm Workout at the Gym
To workout arm muscles, you should also hit the machines. Add these arm workouts these your training routine.
16. Face Pull
On a cable machine, attach a rope with two handholds to the pulley, just over head height. Grab a handle in each hand, palms facing in. Step back and extend your arms. Lean back slightly, keeping your core engaged and back flat. Engage your shoulders – do not allow them to roll. Pull the rope towards your forehead and ears, your palms facing in. Your elbows will flare out to the sides. Pause for two seconds. Slowly reextend your arms completely, keeping the weight under control. Complete two sets of 20 reps.
17. Lat Pull-Down
Pull-Downs are a great way to promote arm growth, including your forearms. On a lat-pull down machine, position the pads on your thighs so you cannot lift off the bench. Grasp the bar with hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core and slowly pull the bar to your upper chest. Focus on your lat muscles. Pause for two to three seconds and slowly reverse the movement. Complete five reps for 4-5 sets.
The thing is, regardless of your fitness goals, having strong arms with muscle mass in your triceps, biceps, and shoulders are essential for functional fitness. These are the best arm exercises to promote hypertrophy, which gives your arms that great look. Plus, the combination of being in shape and have excellent health is the key to self-confidence.