10 Arm Workouts With Dumbbells For Strength In 2024

If you’re planning for an exciting and efficient arm day, try arm workouts with dumbbells. Understanding how to use dumbbells for arms and incorporating this into your routine will help you lose any unwanted fat on your arms and tone them up! While you’re toning your arms, consider making the most of a fat burner to complete your sculpting.

10 Best Arm Exercises With Dumbbells In 2024

Here are ten dumbbell exercises that can strengthen your arms:

  1. Chest Press.
  2. Chest Flies.
  3. Dumbbell Rows.
  4. Reverse Flies.
  5. Overhead Press.
  6. Lateral Raises.
  7. Overhead Tricep Extensions.
  8. Tricep Kickbacks.
  9. Bicep Curls.
  10. Hammer Curls.

Best Arm Workouts With Dumbbells For You To Try

Unlock your potential for stronger and more defined arms with our Dumbbell Arm Workout. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just starting your journey, this workout routine will help you achieve your goals, from building muscle to toning and shaping your arms.

Chest Press

This exercise will build your chest muscles and provide a foundation for arm day, resulting in enhanced upper-body strength.

Dumbbell Chest Press
Dumbbell Chest Press Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Lie on a bench with your arms bent as your dumbbells are in line with your shoulders.
  2. Press your upper back onto the bench as you push the weights upward.
  3. As you bend your elbows to bring the weights down toward your shoulders, your feet should remain steady on the floor with a slight arch in your back.

Tips

  • Keep your feet flat on the ground to provide a stable base and enhance overall balance.
  • Focus on a controlled tempo, both during the lowering and pressing phases, to maximize muscle engagement.
  • Maintain a balanced grip and equal distribution of effort between both arms to avoid muscle imbalances.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-54-6
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training4-53-5

Chest Flies

The chest fly is a dumbbell arm workout men should engage in to broaden and strengthen the chest and improve lifting abilities.

Dumbbell Chest Flies
Dumbbell Chest Flies Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Lie down flat on a bench with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbells in both hands, and your palms facing each other. Start by holding the dumbbells together and above your chest with your arms straight.
  2. Bend your elbows slightly as you slowly bring the weights out and down so they’re even with your chest. Avoid overstretching or dropping below your chest.
  3. Flex your pectoral muscles and bring the dumbbells back to the starting position like you’re hugging someone.

Tips

  • Keep your shoulders down and avoid shrugging them to maintain proper form and prevent neck strain.
  • Focus on squeezing your chest muscles at the peak of the movement for maximum muscle activation.
  • Ensure your back and head remain in contact with the bench throughout the exercise to provide stability.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-46-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-44-6

Dumbbell Rows

This vital dumbbell arm workout routine targets your back and rear deltoid muscles.

Weighted Renegade Rows
Weighted Renegade Rows Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Place your left hand and knee atop the bench. Grasp a dumbbell in your right hand with the arm extended and hanging towards the floor.
  2. Keep your back straight as you bend your right elbow to bring the dumbbell up and by your chest. 
  3. Pause here for a moment before slowly lowering the dumbbell back toward the floor.
  4. Proceed for 15 reps on the right arm before switching sides. Do two sets total.

Tips 

  • Maintain a flat back and neutral spine to avoid strain on your lower back.
  • Keep your core engaged to stabilize your body and prevent excessive twisting or swaying.
  • Initiate the movement by pulling with your back muscles, not your biceps, for proper muscle engagement.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-55-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training4-53-5

Reverse Flies

One of the great arm workouts with dumbbells is the Reverse Flye. This is an extensive workout on the upper body, as the back muscles are targeted. 

Reverse Flies
Reverse Flies Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and hinge your hips forward with your knees slightly bent.
  2. When you pick up your weights in both hands, let your palms face inward.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you raise the dumbbells out to the side and up in line with each other, sustaining slightly bent elbows throughout.
  4. Slowly release the weights back down to the starting position.  

Tips

  • Keep your chest and head up, maintaining a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid excessive swinging or using momentum by using a controlled motion.
  • Focus on breathing rhythmically throughout the movement to maintain stability and control.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-10
Hypertrophy3-410-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Overhead Press

This dumbbell workout primarily targets the shoulders.

Overhead Press
Overhead Press Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Either sitting or standing, grab two dumbbells and hold them in an overhand grip with your palms facing forward and your elbows by your sides.
  2. Press upward, bringing the weights above your head, keeping your arms straight until fully extended, and then slowly bringing them downward into the starting position.

Tips

  • Maintain a stable core and avoid arching your lower back to protect your spine.
  • Press the weight directly overhead in a straight line, avoiding excessive leaning or tilting.
  • Avoid locking out your elbows completely at the top of the movement to maintain tension on your shoulder muscles.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-54-6
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training4-53-5

Lateral Raises

Try lateral raises for a great dumbbell arm and shoulder workout. As you strengthen the arm muscles, you’ll also be targeting the shoulder muscles, like the lateral delts, that support the upper body’s movements.

Lateral Arm Lifts
Lateral Arm Lifts Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. With your dumbbells in hand, stand with your feet apart at a feet hip-width distance. Your palms should face inward towards the body.
  2. With your elbows slightly bent, raise your weights upward and out to the side.
  3. When your arms are even with your shoulders and parallel to the floor, you’ll slowly lower the dumbbells.

Tips

  • Use controlled movements and avoid using momentum to lift the weights to shoulder height.
  • Keep a slight bend in your elbows and maintain a soft grip on the dumbbells to reduce strain on your joints.
  • Start with a manageable weight and focus on the mind-muscle connection for optimal shoulder engagement.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12
Hypertrophy3-412-15
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Overhead Tricep Extension

This one dumbbell arm workout will have your triceps ready to support your shoulder and elbow movements in no time. 

Overhead Tricep Extension
Overhead Tricep Extension Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Proper posture is essential here, with one foot slightly in front in a narrow split. Take one dumbbell in both hands with your palms toward the ceiling.
  2. Keep your shoulders relaxed with your head and chest aligned, and raise the dumbbell overhead.
  3. With arms extended, bend your elbows to lower your dumbbell without arching your back. Pause when your elbows form a 90-degree angle.
  4. Push the dumbbell back up to straighten your arms and return to the initial position.

Tips

  • Keep your elbows close to your head and avoid flaring them out to maintain proper form.
  • Use a controlled motion when lowering and raising the weight to avoid straining your elbows.
  • Breathe rhythmically and avoid holding your breath to ensure proper oxygen supply to your muscles.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-46-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-44-6

Tricep Kickbacks

You can do this classic dumbbell arm workout at home or the gym. It’s great for building your triceps up to maintain the functionality and stability of the arm. 

Triceps Kickbacks
Triceps Kickbacks Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. As you start with a dumbbell in each hand, make sure your palms face toward your thighs. This exercise requires bent knees and a straight spine as you bend forward at the waist.
  2. When you straighten out your elbows to extend your arms, your upper arms should be tucked in closely near the body and stationary.
  3. After pausing momentarily, bend your elbows to return to the starting position.

Tips

  • Keep your upper arm stationary and close to your torso to isolate the triceps effectively.
  • Use a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise.
  • Focus on the full extension of your arm at the top of the movement, squeezing your triceps.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12 per side
Hypertrophy3-412-15 per side
Endurance Training2-320-25+ per side
Power Training3-46-8 per side

Bicep Curls

An easy at-home dumbbell arm workout is the bicep curl. This is an efficient addition to your arm day workout that will keep your arm muscles functional and enhance the ability to push and pull. 

Bicep Curls
Bicep Curls Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, begin with your hands at your side with your palms facing upwards.
  2. With your elbows slightly bent and close to your side, slowly perform a dumbbell curl while exhaling. When your arms reach your shoulders, pause and maintain this position.
  3. Steadily bring the dumbbells back down to your sides.

Tips

  • Use a full range of motion, allowing your arms to fully extend at the bottom and curl the weights to shoulder level at the top.
  • Avoid using momentum by lifting the weight with a controlled tempo.
  • Maintain a strong grip on the weights to prevent them from slipping during the exercise.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-46-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-44-6

Hammer Curls

Another dumbbell-only arm workout is the hammer curl! This workout is very similar to the biceps curl. Many dumbbell workouts target multiple muscles, yet this is a great workout for your arm day ambitions. The main difference between the hammer curl and the biceps curl is how you hold your hand.

Hammer Curls
Hammer Curls Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Hold the two dumbbells by your side with your palms facing inward in a neutral position as if holding a hammer.
  2. Your upper arms are stationary, and your wrists are lined up with your forearms.
  3. Curl the dumbbells up slowly and steadily, keeping your elbows tucked into your sides throughout the movement and lifting with your forearms with little movement in the upper arms.
  4. When the dumbbells reach your shoulders, pause briefly before slowly releasing them back to the starting position.

Tips

  • Use a controlled motion throughout the exercise, avoiding swinging or jerking movements.
  • Maintain proper posture with a straight back and avoid excessive leaning or tilting.
  • Gradually increase the weight as you progress to continue challenging your biceps and forearms effectively.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-46-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-44-6

Benefits Of Dumbbell Arm Workout

Benefits Of Dumbbell Arm Workout
Exercises with dumbbells help target your biceps, triceps, and shoulders. Photo: senivpetro/Freepik

Functionality And Stability

Training with dumbbells allows you to overcome the common muscular imbalances[1] accompanying barbell exercises. When the imbalance persists, you are likely to experience fatigue and plateau with your stronger side, and overcompensating increases the risk of getting injured. Arm workouts with dumbbells can be performed unilaterally, enabling you to focus on one side at a time, isolate the muscles, and prevent one side from carrying all the weight.

These unilateral exercises focus on core muscles and can enhance the functional movements required for day-to-day activities. As you work out your muscles, you can improve your balance[2] which benefits your quality of life. Additionally, you maximize the stability and support for your muscles, promoting better mobility.

Not only will you strengthen your core, but you will achieve proper posture and maintain spinal support, which is necessary for the adequate function of the body. 

Muscular Support

Stability lays the foundation for muscle building and muscular endurance, and a consistent regimen will promote strong bones and protect against injuries and fractures. The versatility of dumbbells allows you to engage in a total body workout or target specific muscle groups, like engaging in the best dumbbell arm exercises. This is crucial because our upper arm and shoulder muscles[3] are often overloaded, increasing the susceptibility to disorders and physical damage.

As you carry out exercises for muscle growth, consider some supplements that may help with muscle building. Using supplement stacks for your regimen can keep muscle fatigue at bay while stimulating muscle growth. 

Metabolic Improvements

The results of some research studies showed that dumbbell arm workouts for women and other forms of strength training reduced the risk[4] of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These types of workouts can be effective in alleviating chronic conditions and metabolic parameters. The metabolism boost allows you to burn fat, benefitting weight loss and weight management.

Activities that involve lifting weights, like dumbbells, can positively impact health by way of reducing blood pressure and ushering in hormonal balance. You may also see changes in metabolic rate and waist circumference. This is essential to your overall fitness and wellness.

Upper body workouts strengthen your back, as well as the shoulders, and work the abdomen. While developing your ab muscles, you can use fat burner supplements to achieve weight loss. 

Dumbbell Exercises For Arms: Tips To Remember 

Dumbbell Exercises For Arms Tips To Remember 
You should maintain proper form to exercise accurately and safely. Photo: tonodiaz/Freepik

You can gradually increase your dumbbell load as you gain strength. Some tips to encourage safe and adequate exercise include the following:

  • Steady breathing consists of exhaling as you lift and inhaling at your initial rest point.
  • Avoid overloading and injury by varying the workouts. Fluctuate among the muscle groups.
  • Maintain proper form to exercise accurately and safely.
  • Rest during injuries, and stop a workout if it begins to cause pain.
  • Inform trainers of any chronic health conditions so modifications can be made if needed.

Conclusion

Maintaining diligence as you do your core exercises will give you the foundation to develop muscle tissue and strength safely. In addition to managing weight, and improving overall heart health and blood pressure, you’ll also see your focus and mental clarity increase. Stamina will be improved, as well as your response to life stresses.

Upgrading your health and wellness includes adequate sleep, meditation, and eating healthy foods. Supplements can be a helpful part of your regimen to support fat burning and also to provide any missing nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I build arms with dumbbells?

Dumbbells are an excellent inclusion for your arm day regimen and can be used to tone your biceps and triceps.

What is the best weight for arms?

Unilateral capabilities make dumbbells superior to barbells. Use adjustable weights to accommodate your progression and start on the lower side, like less than ten pounds.  

Can you train with a dumbbell every day?

Weightlifting for general fitness, such as dumbbell training, can be done four to five days weekly. Serious strength training can be done for six days.

Can you build muscle with dumbbells only?

It’s possible, as dumbbells can be used for various muscle groups and full-body workouts. 

Resources

  1. Cheng, A.J., Jude, B. and Lanner, J.T. (2020). Intramuscular mechanisms of overtraining. [online] 35, pp.101480–101480. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2020.101480.
  2. Ester Lea Awoitauw and Andriani, H. (2021). Determinants on Malaria Incidence in Endemic Area in Jayapura Regency, Papua Province. [online] ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/359857005_Determinants_on_Malaria_Incidence_in_Endemic_Area_in_Jayapura_Regency_Papua_Province?enrichId=rgreq-e8e4e38fbdf3a4630492e1e2ef9927f8-XXX&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzM1OTg1NzAwNTtBUzoxMTQzMjQ2ODQzNTg0NTEzQDE2NDk1ODI2OTY2NTI%3D&el=1_x_2&_esc=publicationCoverPdf
  3. João Carlos Comel, Rosane Maria Nery, Elvio Bueno Garcia, Bueno, S., de, E., Mariéle Marchezan Zarantonello and Marco Antonio Stefani (2018). A comparative study on the recruitment of shoulder stabilizing muscles and types of exercises. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.12965/jer.1835198.599.
  4. Shiroma, E.J., Cook, N.R., Manson, J.E., M. Vinayaga Moorthy, Buring, J.E., Rimm, E.B. and Lee, I-Min. (2017). Strength Training and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. [online] 49(1), pp.40–46. doi:https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0000000000001063.