Arm workout

To get stronger in your arms, just add these simple exercises to your exercise routine.
Published 16 November 2015

Arm workout


Warm up
It’s important to warm up before you start. Get your blood pumping with a brisk walk before the exercises.

Stretch out
Loosen up your arms and shoulders with a stretch before you get into your reps. Do some shoulder shrugs and circles – backwards and forwards. Follow with some arm circles and some wrist circles. Clasp your hands behind your back and lean forward, letting them drop towards the ground. Breathe and hang for a moment, relaxing your shoulders, before you roll back up.

Start out gently with eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise, and gradually increase to 12. If the exercises become easy, add some weights. Create a circuit of all six exercises by doing them one after another in single sets for up to one minute a set. Repeat the circuit up to three times and do it two to four times a week for best results.


1. Single triceps extensions

Works: The back of your upper arm

Equipment: A dumbbell

How-to: Take a big step forward with your left leg and bend that knee. Lean forward onto your thigh, keeping your back straight. If necessary, shift your foot out to the side to stabilise. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, with your elbow tucked in. Extend the weight out behind you so the right arm is straight, but don’t lock the elbow joint. Pause, then slowly lower the dumbbell to the start position. Make sure your hips and shoulders remain level.

Single triceps extensions

2. Push ups

Works: Your arms and chest

Equipment: A mat

How-to: Start on your knees and support yourself on your hands. Keeping your core tight, bend your elbows and breathe in as you lower your chest towards the floor. Keep your neck straight and eyes down. Breathe out as you push back up again, straightening, but not locking your elbows. Keep your hips low and your stomach pulled in. For a harder version, position yourself on the balls of your feet.

Push ups

3. Bicep curls

Works: The front of your upper arm

Equipment: A fit strip

How-to: With your arms by your sides, step onto the centre of your fit strip and wind the ends around your hands until you feel some resistance. Keeping your back straight and your elbows pinned to your sides, slowly bring your fists up to shoulder height. Slowly straighten your arms to return to the starting position. For maximum effect, keep your core tight and avoid moving your body.

Bicep curls

4. Shoulder presses

Works: Your arms and shoulders

Equipment: Hand weights

How-to: Sit or stand and look straight ahead. Hold your arms out at shoulder height and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Straighten your arms, then raise your weights up to the ceiling. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat. If this starts to feel too easy, add heavier weights.

Shoulder presses

5. Alternating bicep curls

Works: The front of your upper arm

Equipment: Hand weights

How-to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold your weights straight down. Keeping your upper arms by your sides, bend your elbow and slowly raise a fist to shoulder height, then slowly lower it again. With your back straight and your core tight, alternate your forearms. You can also perform this exercise sitting down.

Alternating bicep curls

6. Triceps dips

Works: The back of your upper arm

Equipment: A chair

How-to: With your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent, support your body weight with both hands behind you. Bend at the elbows as you lower your bottom to just above the floor. Keep your back straight and close to your hands at all times. Straighten your elbows in between each dip to return back to the starting position. To step it up, extend your legs straight out in front of you.

Triceps dips