Inspired to develop strong arms a la Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson? Well, you clicked on the right article. Arm exercises can get super repetitive (and *yawn* boring) if you’ve been doing the same ones for a while. Or, if you haven’t been noticing the results you want, it’s definitely time to switch up your arm strengthening routine. Your arms deserve the best burn for your time spent.
For the most effective arm workout, you need to know a little anatomy to work all the angles. There are three key muscle groups in your arms: your deltoids (shoulders), biceps (the insides of your upper arms), and triceps (the backs of your upper arms). And when it comes to arm exercises, certain moves are best to target certain muscle groups. Plus, you’ll likely need to adjust the weight you’re using depending on the muscle and exercise you’re attempting.
Meet the expert: Tatiana Lampa, CPT, is an ACSM-certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist who offers her signature workouts through her Training With T App.
Wondering which moves to do to tone your arms fast? Look no further. The following are the 25 best arm exercises you can do using simple equipment like dumbbells, a kitchen chair, a textbook or, yes, even your own body weight. (So easy!) Use this list of go-to moves to make sure your full- or upper-body strength workouts show your arms some love *or* pull out a handful of them to make your own arms workout. Remember to select a variety that’ll hit your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
If you are grabbing dumbbells and aren’t sure how heavy, or light, you should go with your weights for arm exercises, there’s a relatively easy answer. “Find a weight that you feel comfortable [with] but still challenging to complete the full range of motion. I like to use the 1-10 RPE [rate of perceived exertion] scale and grab something that feels like a seven to eight,” says corrective exercise specialist Tatiana Lampa, CPT. And when the moves start to feel like a six out of 10, Lampa says it’s time to increase your weight.
For truly amazing arm results, crank out a full arms-focused workout two or three times a week.
Time: 20 minutes
Equipment: Dumbbells, chair, heavy book
Good for: Arms, total body
Instructions: Choose five moves below. Complete three to four sets of 12 reps of each, resting for 30 seconds between sets. Then, rest as needed and continue to the next move.