Fitness

Amazing Arms in 4 Moves

Swimsuits! Racerbacks! Spaghetti-strap tops! Get ready to wear them all with this workout.

Bring on sleeveless season! This doable workout is all about your arms. Strengthening these muscles will give you the confidence to rock everything from strapless maxis to tiny tanks. Plus, strong arms make it easier to haul heavy bags, carry your kid, and (it is summer, after all) swim and paddle.

“When it comes to toning the arms, most people don’t perform exercises to target all the muscles in the area,” says trainer Massy Arias. Her routine works the biceps (the muscles on the front of your upper arms) and triceps (the group on the back), while getting the deltoids (shoulder muscles) in on the action, too. The result is buff, toned arms with all the coveted curves that scream, “I’m fit.”

 

Amazing Arms Workout


You’ll need a pair of 3- to 5-pound dumbbells and a chair or bench. Perform 4 sets of each exercise in the order below, 2 or 3 times a week.

Exercise Sets Reps
Curl to press 4 10, 15, 20, 25
Dip 4 10, 10, 12, 15
Concentration curl 4 20 each arm
Triceps kickbacks 4 20 each arm


Trainer trick: Don’t have dumbbells? Raid your pan try, says trainer Massy Arias. Many cans of soup weigh more than a pound. Just increase your number of reps per set to make up for the lighter resistance.

 

1. Curl to press

 

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, and hold a weight in each hand with arms extended at sides and palms facing to the front.
  • Bend elbows, curling weights toward your shoulders, then extend arms overhead. Reverse motion to return to starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then increase reps by 5 every set. (Rest up to 20 seconds between sets.)


 

2. Dip

 

  • Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with knees bent and heels on the floor. Grasp the seat, palms shoulder-width apart.
  • Push your hips forward slightly so you’re suspended just in front of the seat.
  • Bend elbows straight back, keeping shoulders aligned over hips as you lower body toward the floor. Push up to the start position and repeat.
  • Do 10 reps on the first two sets, 12 on the third, and 15 on the last.
  • Make it harder: Extend your legs.


 

3. Concentration curl

 

  • Hold a weight in your left hand and sit on the edge of a chair or bench.
  • Bend forward from hips and place right hand on right thigh; extend left arm toward the floor, pressing back of left arm against left thigh, with palm facing right.
  • Bend left elbow, curling weight toward left shoulder. Extend arm and repeat.
  • Do 20 reps, then repeat on opposite side to complete 1 set.

4. Triceps kickback

 

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a weight in each hand.
  • Bend over from hips 45 degrees and bend elbows straight back so weights are close to the sides of your ribs.
  • Extend arms straight back, then return to start position and repeat.
  • Do 20 reps.

Expert: Massy Arias is a Los Angeles–based trainer and the creator of the MA30DAY workout program. Follow her on Instagram: @massy.arias

*Before starting any new exercise routine, make sure to check in with your doctor.

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