During those whirlwind weeks, it’s hard to make time for an effective workout. Here’s a secret: You don’t need a full hour or even 30 minutes to get a good arm workout in. If you have 10 minutes, you can strengthen your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
This 10-minute dumbbell arm day workout proves it. It all comes down to smart moves and equipment. Dumbbells are a great option because the shape allows the weight to be distributed evenly on both sides of the handles. “In the context of this arm workout, you’re going to be able to isolate your muscles a little bit easier” than you would with a kettlebell, says Colette Nguyen, CPT, an ACE-certified personal trainer and trainer at Soho Strength Lab. Plus, dumbbells are easy to hold securely with the balanced weight distribution, so you don’t have unwanted movement or energy expended. “Your stable and secure grip will help maximize tension in the arms and shoulders and increase the intensity for this workout,” says Nguyen.
What’s more, you maximize your time with the order of the moves. This dumbbell arm workout features compound sets, which are “two exercises performed back to back and targeting the same muscle,” Nguyen says. Working in this style minimizes rest breaks and ups the burn on the muscles—biceps, triceps, rear delts, and shoulders.
Finally, you’re probably wondering…how heavy should my dumbbells be? Start with a lighter set of weights, and you’ll know within the first 30 seconds of the workout whether they’re too heavy or not, she says. “If you feel like you can do all 30 seconds with a moderate amount of fatigue, that would be appropriate,” she says.
Ready to get into it? Time to tone and strengthen your arms fast.
10-Minute Dumbbell Arm Day Workout
Time: 10 minutes | Equipment: light to medium dumbbells | Good for: biceps, triceps, shoulders
Instructions: This workout includes three supersets (pairs of exercises) and one finisher. Do as many reps as possible (AMRAP) for 30 seconds, then take 15 seconds of rest, alternating the two moves. Repeat that two times, then move on to the next superset. For the finisher, do AMRAP for 60 seconds.
Grab a set of dumbbells and press play on the 10-minute arm workout video. Can’t stream right now? Keep scrolling for demonstrations of each move and easy-to-follow workout instructions.
2 Zottman Curl
Muscle targeted: biceps and forearms
Why it’s effective: “This bicep curl variation helps develop forearm and grip strength, which is great for those who work with their hands regularly,” she says. For example, those who work desk jobs, cook, do mountain climbers, or work as nail techs all benefit.
- Start by standing upright with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells with arms are down by sides with palms facing thighs.
- Curl both dumbbells up toward the shoulders, with palms up.
- At the top, rotate the dumbbells until palms face forward.
- Then, lower arms back down to thighs and with palms facing down.
- At the bottom, rotate dumbbells until palms face forward again. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: “Keep a firm grip and neutral wrists as you perform this exercise,” Nguyen says.
3 Hammer Curl
Muscles targeted: biceps
Why it’s effective: This is an easier grip, Nguyen says, so you can increase the reps and strengthen the biceps.
- Start by standing upright with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells with arms at sides and palms facing the midline.
- Curl arms up toward the shoulders, keeping palms facing the midline and upper arms still.
- Lower arms back down to sides to return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: “Keep the elbows slightly forward of the torso for the entire duration of the exercise,” Nguyen says.
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4 Bent-Over Swimmer Row
Muscles worked: rear delts, upper back, and triceps
Why it’s effective: This move is a good ways to practice the bent-over position, prepping for the triceps exercise on deck.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and a gentle bend in knees, holding dumbbells with palms facing in.
- Fold over at hips so that torso is nearly parallel to the floor, letting arms hang naturally toward the floor with palms facing toward the midline.
- Keeping elbows extended, raise dumbbells up above torso without using any momentum and keeping arms a comfortable distance from sides of body (not too narrow and not too wide).
- With straight arms, lower dumbbells back down toward the floor to return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: “It’s important to perform this exercise with no momentum,” Nguyen says. “Pause at the top for an extra push.”
5 Bent-Over Triceps Kickback
Muscles worked: triceps
Why it’s effective: “This is a functional training move that targets the triceps while also challenging your postural endurance and stability in a bent over position,” she says.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and a gentle bend in knees, holding dumbbells. Fold over at hips so that torso is nearly parallel to the floor.
- Row upper arms up in line with torso with palms facing toward the midline.
- Maintaining the position, extended elbows until fully locked out.
- Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: Locking out the elbows at the top ensures you hit the full range of motion and contract the triceps.
6 Eccentric Triceps Pushup
Muscles worked: triceps, abs, and pecs
Why it’s effective: “Focusing on the eccentric portion of the movement (the lowering phase) helps develop control, stability, and strength of the triceps,” Nguyen says. It’s also a great way to improve your pushups.
- Start in a high plank (option to start on knees) with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart holding dumbbells on the ground and the legs hip-width apart.
- Slowly lower body to the mat in a straight line. Ideally, elbows will be behind/above torso.
- Casually reset in the high plank starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: “This is all about lowering, so there’s no actual push up,” says Nguyen. You want to focus on lowering the torso down slowly and with control.
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7 Skull Crusher
Muscles worked: triceps
Why it’s effective: “This exercise stabilizes the body and isolates the triceps so you can focus on a high volume of reps,” Nguyen says.
- Start by laying on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Hold dumbbells in hands and extend arms straight and lengthened toward the ceiling, shoulder-width apart, and slightly deviated overhead (the crease of the elbows will be in direct line of sight) with palms facing toward the midline.
- Keeping upper arms still, bend elbows and lower dumbbells until they hover close to the top of head.
- Straighten the elbows to return back to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: Imagine you’re putting sunglasses on top of your head when lowering the dumbbells.
8 Lateral Raise
Muscles worked: delts, mid/upper trap, and triceps
Why it’s effective: “This lateral raise variation challenges shoulder mobility and stability through a full range of motion, including overhead,” Nguyen says.
- Start kneeling with knees under hips and arms down by sides with palms facing forward holding dumbbells. (Option to stand upright with feet hip-width apart.)
- Allowing a gentle bend in elbows, lift arms out to sides and up overhead (as if you are tracing a big circle from thighs to above head). Keep palms facing forward throughout.
- Slowly reverse the motion to lower arms to sides. That’s 1 rep.
Trainer tip: It’s okay to use speed to help launch the dumbbells overhead. Focus more on controlling the lowering back down.
Article originally posted on: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/g44630166/dumbbell-arm-day-workout-video/