The best exercises to tone your arms

You don’t need a gym membership or hours of sweating it out to have toned arms even Serena Williams would be impressed by. A regular arm workout, using just a simple set of dumbbells and 15 minutes, is all you need to sculpt some stronger muscles. Don’t own dumbbells? A pair of full tin cans will do.

Toned Arms

Toned arms don’t just make you look good. Having stronger arms can reduce your risk of injury, help improve your posture, protect your bones and stabilise your joints.

Simply incorporate a variety of arm exercises at least twice a week. Look to complete 12 repetitions of each exercise, before moving on to the next one. When you finish all six moves, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat three times for a total of four rounds.

Bicep curl:

Start standing with feet hip-width apart holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Palms should be facing forwards with back straight and chest upright. Without moving upper arms, bend elbows and bring weights up toward shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to starting position with control.

Triceps Kickback

Start standing with feet two-fists-width apart with knees bent. Lean forward slightly, with a dumbbell in each hand and elbows at 90-degrees by sides. Press dumbbells back and up, and as you straighten arms, squeeze triceps. Return to start.

Bicep Curl

Plank with Biceps Curl

Start in plank position (position your elbows directly under your shoulders and rest your forearms on the ground. Pop up on your toes, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe), with dumbbells in hands on the ground, directly beneath your shoulders. Keep core and hips stable, slowly bringing the right dumbbell toward the right shoulder. Lower it back down with control. Repeat on the other side.

Overhead extension

An overhead extension requires only one dumbbell at a time. Sit or stand with your back straight. Hold one dumbbell with both hands around the handle. Lift the dumbbell straight up over your head to start. Slowly bend your elbows so that the dumbbell lowers behind your head. Then, slowly raise the dumbbell to its starting position.

Renegade row

Start in a plank position (can be done on your knees or your toes for extra core work). Pull the dumbbell up and back, bending your elbow and keeping the weight tight to your body. Think of brushing the inside of your bicep against your rib cage as you pull the dumbbell up. Keep your hips as still as possible to engage the core and isolate the back. Lower weight to starting position, and repeat on the other side.


Dumbbell Punch

Channel your inner Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson with this move. Plant your feet on your mat hip-width apart. In each hand, grip a dumbbell. Step forward with your left foot. Keep your right foot at a 45-degree angle. Slightly turn your body sideways. Raise your weights upwards—the palm side of your hands should face your ears. Carefully extend your right arm into a “punch” position. Repeat with the other side.

Push up – no dumbbells needed

Kneel on your mat with your feet together. Bend forwards, bringing your starting pose to a front plank. Place your palms flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Keep your back flat and your abs tight. Keeping your torso stiff and your head in line with your spine, gently lower your body towards the mat. (Keep your body straight—no sagging of your lower back). Bring your chin or chest to the ground—whatever lands first. Use your arms to press your body back into a plank position.