How to tone your arms
Banish the bingo wings.
Easy dumbbell exercises
Not sure where to start? Try these arm exercises for beginners to get you going.
Exercise 1 - lateral raises
- Hold a dumbbell firmly in each hand and raise your arms out to the sides until your elbows are shoulder height, keeping them straight.
- Lower both dumbbells, still maintaining a straight arm.
- Raise back to the starting position and repeat the process.
Exercise 2 - alternate bicep curls
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, lift the dumbbell in your right hand towards your shoulder, bending at the elbow and squeezing your bicep as you do so.
- Lower back to the starting position and do the same with your left arm.
- Repeat the process.
Exercise 3 - tricep extension
- Hold the dumbbell in your right hand straight above your head, lower it behind your head, bending at the elbow.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Switch arms and repeat.
Step it up...
Overhead tricep extensions
As well as targeting the back of the arms (and those pesky bingo wings), this exercise helps to increase stability in the shoulders and elbows. It can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell or even a barbell - but be careful about the weight you choose so you don't overload your joints.
Kneel with your knees shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in your hands. Raise the weight over your head until both arms are fully extended.
Keeping your upper arms close to your head with your elbows in, lower the kettlebell behind you until your forearms touch your biceps. Keep your upper arms stationary, only engaging your biceps.
Use your triceps to straighten your arms and raise the kettlebell while breathing out.
Kettlebell upright row
Working the biceps, shoulders and back, it's a great all-round upper body workout. Using different equipment and adjusting your grip width will target slightly different muscle areas. So to get the most out of the exercise, test out all the different variations.
Stand tall, back straight, holding the kettlebell in front of you in an overhand grip.
Slowly raise the kettlebell up, keeping your core engaged and elbows out to your sides.
Once the kettlebell reaches chin height, lower back down and repeat.
Advanced dumbbell exercises
Feeling up for a challenge? Try these intense arm exercises for a harder workout.
Exercise 1 - renegade row
- Start in a pushup position while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Lower your body towards the floor before pushing back up and pulling the dumbbell up towards your shoulder.
- Return the dumbbell to the floor and repeat the process, switching the arm you pull up each time.
Exercise 2 - tricep kickbacks
- Stand with your feet hip width apart with a slight bend in the knee, lean your torso forward bending at the hip. Pull your elbows back so that your upper arm is parallel with the floor.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, at a 90 degree angle to your shoulder. Keeping your upper arm stationary, lift the dumbbells back so that your arm is straight.
- Lower them back to their starting position without dropping your elbow and repeat.
Exercise 3 - bent over tricep extension
- Stand with your feet hip width apart and anchor a resistance band under your feet, holding an end in each hand.
- Pull your hands towards your shoulders, bending at the elbow and squeezing your biceps as you do so.
- Lower back to the starting position and repeat the process.
Exercise 4 - arnold press seated on a gym ball
- Sit on the gym ball with your legs at 90 degrees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms inwards towards your shoulder.
- As you lift the dumbbells up, twist your arms so that your palms face outwards.
- Pull down and return to original position before repeating the movement.