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8 Arm Exercises for Strength and Definition

arm exercises

Are you part of the 15% of American adults who don’t get any physical activity in their leisure time? Getting fit can seem like a challenge, but it’s much more manageable once you know the correct exercises to do. 

Toned arms are attractive for both men and women and more achievable than you may think. Building upper body strength is essential for your overall well-being and preventing injury as you age. 

Let’s dive into some of the best arm exercises for people of all ages and abilities. 

1. Push-Ups

No arm workout list would be complete without push-ups. They are one of the easiest ways to build arm strength without needing any equipment. 

This bodyweight exercise is challenging and, when executed correctly, is highly exhausting. Push-ups tone your arms and your chest, back, and core. 

Here’s how to do them correctly: 

  • Get into a plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders
  • Engage your core and lower yourself down towards the floor
  • Push yourself back up 
  • Repeat at least 20 times
  • Do 3-4 sets

If it’s too difficult for you to push yourself back up, put your knees on the floor. You can try many push-up variations, such as wide arm push-ups, elevated push-ups, and one-handed push-ups. 

2. Bicep Curls 

This exercise is an excellent simple way to achieve toned arms. There are tons of bicep workouts, but the most effective exercise is the bicep curl. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Hold the weights at your side
  • Tighten your core
  • Lift one weight to shoulder height
  • Return to neutral 
  • Repeat on the other side 
  • Repeat for 15 reps on each side for 3-5 sets

You can also lift both weights up at once if you prefer. Remember to activate your biceps when you lift the weights.

3. Tricep Extensions

Your triceps are the largest muscle on the back of your arm and are what you use to straighten your arm. It’s pretty easy to build strength in the tricep. Try some extensions: 

  • Hold a dumbbell overhead with both hands
  • Slowly lower it behind your head while keeping your elbows close to your ears
  • Activate your triceps to lift the weight back up overhead
  • Repeat 15-20 times for 3-4 sets

4. Tricep Dips

Another great exercise to target the triceps is dips. You need a chair, stool, or dip bars to perform this exercise. Here’s how to do it:

  • Put your hands on your chair or block or whatever you’re using
  • Point the fingers towards you
  • Slowly lower yourself down towards the floor by bending your elbows to around 90 degrees
  • You should keep your arms close to your body
  • Push yourself back up until your arms are straight

You will feel your triceps working as you lower yourself down. Don’t dip too low down, as doing so will put a strain on your shoulders. Try not to lock your elbows either.

5. Hammer Curls

This is another great exercise for bicep workouts. The difference between this and bicep curls is the part of the muscle it encourages to grow. Bicep curls activate the short head of the bicep, whereas hammer curls activate the long head. 

Here’s how to do hammer curls: 

  • Stand up straight with the dumbbells in your hands by your side, with your wrists facing your body
  • Lift the weights up towards your shoulders, keeping the wrists facing in towards your body
  • Keep your shoulders retracted while performing this movement
  • Slowly return the weights to neutral and repeat
  • Do 15-20 reps for 3-4 sets

6. One Arm Row

A dumbbell row isn’t only great for your upper arms but also helps you to build muscle in your shoulders, upper back, and core. Here’s how it’s done: 

  • Stand with one leg forward, one leg back
  • Take the dumbbell in the hand opposite the front leg 
  • Use your free hand to support yourself on a bench or table
  • Lean forwards slightly and engage your core
  • Pull the arm with the dumbbell in it up towards the ceiling, so your hand is next to the ribcage
  • Slowly lower it back down and then repeat for 15-20 reps
  • Do 3-5 sets

7. Tricep Pull Down 

This is another great one for tricep workouts if you have a long workout band. It’s a simple exercise to tone your arms and help increase strength in the upper body.

Tricep pull-downs can also help build strong, stable shoulders, which are a great foundation for the rest of your workout. Follow these steps:

  • Start by standing close to the band with your hands holding the handles of the band or machine
  • Gently pull down the band until your elbows are straight
  • Always keep your elbows close to your body
  • Don’t bend forwards, and slightly bend your knees as you pull down the band
  • Return to the starting position in a controlled way
  • Do 50-100 reps

8. Shoulder Press

This exercise is not only great for your shoulders but also overall arm toning. The shoulder press is a simple movement to perform. Here’s how to do it:

  • Hold dumbbells in both hands 
  • Make a 90-degree angle with both arms
  • Keep your elbows in line with your shoulder
  • Slowly push the weights up overhead but don’t fully straighten your arms
  • Hold for a couple of seconds at the top
  • Gently release them down to the starting position and repeat 
  • Do 20-30 reps 2-4 times

Tips For Starting With Arm Exercises

When you start training your arms, start slow to avoid injury. Don’t start with weights that are too heavy. Start with lighter weights and slowly build up the weights as you build strength. 

If you’re not sure what you’re doing when you start out, ask a professional fitness trainer to give you some advice. 

Toned Arm Muscles in No Time

Are you feeling exhausted just from reading that? Well, it’s time to put your newfound arm exercises knowledge into action. Head to your nearest gym to get your hands on some dumbbells, and you’ll have beautiful, toned arms in no time. 

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