Jan 26, 2021
The Best Dumbbells Arm Workouts

Working out with dumbbells can be the ideal external resistance when doing isolation exercises for specific muscle groups — like the biceps in your arms, and they’re just as useful for multi-planar movements — such as walking lunges — to work several muscle groups simultaneously.

And when it comes to the best arm workouts, ones that build strength, add muscle, and spark your metabolism, there may be no better tool to achieve that with than the dumbbell. According to a study presented in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants who trained using free weights like dumbbells greatly improved their overall balance compared to those who trained using only fixed weight machines.

Photo: PTPioneer / Creative Commons

In a recent article on TomsGuide.com, they highlighted the best workouts to build your arms with dumbbells. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Workout 1

  • Chest Press — To perform the chest press, take a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on a bench. Make sure both feet stay firmly planted on the floor. Keep your spine neutral and your core engaged. Bring both your arms out to the side, elbows bent and aligned slightly below the shoulder line, with your forearms perpendicular to your torso and your palms facing in front of you. Lift both dumbbells above your chest, aiming them for right above your breastbone. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly return both weights to the starting position.
  • Skull Crusher —  For this exercise, start by lying on a bench, an exercise mat, or the floor. Your spine should be neutral, and both feet should be planted firmly on the ground. With a dumbbell in each hand, lift your arms so that the weight is directly above your shoulders. Both palms should face inward. Keeping the elbow still and in line with your shoulder, slowly lower the dumbbells down towards your earlobes. Squeezing the triceps, lower the dumbbells back to their original position.

Workout 2

  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row — Place your left knee and your left hand on a bench, with your knee aligned under your hip and your hand aligned under your shoulder. Keep your right foot on the floor, in line with your left knee. Ensure that your hips are square. Flatten your back and brace your core. Take one dumbbell in your right hand, and line it up directly below the right shoulder. Squeezing your right shoulder blade in towards the center of your spine, bend your right elbow keeping it close to the rib cage, and bring the weight in line with your torso. With control, slowly lower the dumbbell back to its starting position. Finish 8-12 repetitions, then repeat on the other side.
  • Dumbbell Concentration Curl — Begin in a seated position, either on a bench or chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Bend forward at the hip, picking up a dumbbell from the floor in your right hand. Your right arm should be extended, with your right elbow pressed into your right thigh. Squeeze your bicep and bring the dumbbell up towards your shoulder, keeping your arm braced against your thigh. Lower the dumbbell slowly to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps, and then switch to your left arm.

Workout 3

  • Dumbbell Overhead Press — Start the dumbbell overhead press in a standing position, with your feet placed about hip-width apart. Keep your spine neutral and your core braced. With a dumbbell in each hand, bring your arms up to shoulder level, bend your elbows at a right angle, and face your palms to the wall in front of you.

    Your arms should be in a “goal post” position. Slightly tuck the chin and press both dumbbells above you, aiming them directly above the crown of your head. Keep the core engaged and don’t excessively arch your back. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.

  • Dumbbell Reverse FlyPerform the fly by taking a dumbbell in each hand and hinging your hips back, aiming your tailbone to the wall behind you. Brace your core and bring your torso nearly parallel with the floor. Keep your back flat – be sure to not round your spine. Let the dumbbells fall directly below the shoulder joint, but don’t allow the weight to pull the shoulders forward. With a slight bend in each elbow, squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift both of your arms to shoulder level. Lower the dumbbells back towards the floor with a controlled tempo. Avoid “swinging” or using momentum to complete the range of motion.

To read the full story from Tom’s Guide on the best dumbbell arm workouts, click here

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