Tank-top season is on the horizon, and it’s time to get your arms ready for the big reveal. This workout will help strengthen and tone you from your shoulders down to your wrists, while upping your muscular endurance. What’s more, we’ve also snuck in a little bit of core and cardio work, just for fun. Now, let’s get armed and dangerous!
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Bicep Curls + Isometric Hold
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing forward. Without moving upper arms, bend elbows and, slowly and with control, curl weights toward shoulders. Pause and then slowly lower back down to start. On the last rep, pause when weights reach 90 degrees and hold for 10 seconds.
Triceps Pulses + Hold
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Bend knees slightly and hinge at waist to lower torso slightly. Reach arms straight back until they are slightly higher than your torso; squeeze shoulder blades. From this position, pulse arms back. (Each pulse is one rep.) On the last rep, hold arms back for 10 seconds.
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Dumbbell Overhead Press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, with arms bent slightly and hands slightly wider than shoulders, palms facing body. Press weights straight up, twisting weights so palms face forward at the top. Reverse motion to return back to start.
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands resting on dumbbells, palms facing in. Pushing left dumbbell into the floor, pull your right elbow up until it passes your torso. Lower and repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep. Too hard? Drop to knees.
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Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Simultaneously, bend elbows and curl the weight toward shoulders. Pause and then slowly lower back down to start.
Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Place palms next to thighs, fingers gripping edge. Keeping arms straight, scoot forward until hips and butt are off the bench or chair. Bend elbows and lower hips until upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back to start. Make it harder: Extend legs straight out.
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Single-Arm Press in Lunge
Start in a lunge with your right leg in front of your left and a dumbbell in your right hand just outside of shoulder, with your right arm bent slightly and hand slightly wider than your shoulder, palm facing body. Keeping abs tight, press weight overhead until arm is straight. Slowly lower back down to the start. Do one full set, then repeat on opposite side.
From a straight-arm plank, lower right elbow to the ground, followed by left, coming into a forearm plank. Place right hand on ground directly beneath right shoulder, and straighten right elbow, then left hand under left shoulder and straighten left elbow, pushing back up into a straight-arm plank. That’s one rep. Continue reps, alternating which arm goes first each time.
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Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Keeping elbows glued to your sides, raise the right dumbbell toward the left shoulder. Return to start and then raise the left dumbbell toward the right shoulder. That's one rep.
Dumbbell Triceps Overhead Extension
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and arms overhead, holding a dumbbell between hands. With shoulders down and back, core engaged, and elbows pointing forward, bend elbows and allow the dumbbell to lower down behind head. Extend arms up to bring weight back overhead.
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Sit-Up to Overhead Press
Lie face-up, holding dumbbell between both hands, arms extended out in front of chest. Bend knees and place feet firmly on the ground. Sit up, raising torso toward knees as you lift the weight up and press it overhead. Slowly reverse motion to return to start.
Plank Shoulder Taps
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands under shoulders. Keeping hips square, lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Return to start and repeat with the opposite side. That’s one rep.
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Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, left foot facing forward and right foot slightly turned out, with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold your right hand by your chin and left hand in front of your face. Punch with your left hand, twisting hand so that your knuckles are up, and palm is down. Bring arm back in to start and then pivot on the right foot as you punch with your right hand, twisting it so that knuckles are up, and palm is down. Bring arm back in. That’s one rep.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees, hinge at waist and lean torso forward slightly. Bend elbows, bringing dumbbells to sides so that your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Press dumbbells back to straighten arm as you squeeze triceps. Reverse motion back to start.
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Front Raises to Lateral Raises
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in knees and a dumbbell in each hand at sides. With control, lift dumbbells straight out in front of you until they reach shoulder height. Slowly lower back to start and then, with control, lift arms out to sides until they reach shoulder height. Slowly lower back to start; that’s one rep. On the last rep, hold out in front and then out to sides both for a count of 10.
Plank to Side Snatch
Get into a straight-arm plank with hands under shoulders, each hand gripping a dumbbell, with= feet wider than shoulders. Engage core and, in a single movement while keeping arms straight, twist at the waist and allow toes to pivot, lifting left hand out and up overhead. Lower arm back down to return to plank. Do one full set, then repeat on opposite side.
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Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in. Keeping core tight, swing your right arm up and left arm back, bending elbows. Then swing left arm up and right arm back. That’s one rep. Alternate rhythmically back and forth; arms should mimic running form.
Lie faceup with knees bent, feet on floor and arms extended straight up in line with shoulders, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Slowly bend forearms back from the elbow, lowering dumbbells to ears. Return to start by raising dumbbells back up, making sure to keep lower back pressed into the floor.
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Get into a straight-arm plank with hands under shoulders, feet hip-width apart, and core tight. Bend elbows to lower body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand in front of thighs, palms facing thighs. With control, bend arms to raise the dumbbells straight up, leading with your elbows, until dumbbells reach shoulder height. Pause briefly at the top and then slowly lower back to start.
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Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand in front of thighs, palms facing forward. Without moving upper arms, slowly and with control, curl dumbbells toward shoulders. At the top of the curl, rotate wrists inward until palms face forward. Maintaining this position, lower dumbbells back down slowly and with control. Rotate wrists and dumbbells back to the starting position. That's one rep.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in knees, and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Hinge at waist and lower torso slightly, allowing arms to hang down. Keeping a flat back, squeeze shoulder blades and bend elbows, pulling the dumbbells to the sides of your ribs. Slowly lower arms back to the start.
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Dumbbell Criss Cross
Stand with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, arms bent at 90 degrees. Keeping elbows close to your body, bring weighs in to midline of body and cross your right dumbbell over the left. Return to start and repeat, this time crossing the left dumbbell over the right. Return to start; that’s one rep.
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie faceup on a bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand a few inches over chest so that dumbbells are nearly touching, palms facing in. Press one dumbbell up until your arm is fully extended. Pause, and then slowly lower dumbbell back to start. Repeat on opposite side. That’s one rep.
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Military Press Jack
Stand with a dumbbell between hands, with forearms vertical and hands in front of chest,palms facing in. Jump feet out while pressing dumbbell straight up overhead. Bring dumbbell back down in front of chest as you jump feet back together, performing the move in one seamless motion. That’s one rep.
Weighted Arm Circles
Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand at sides. Raise arms up, extending them out to sides, palms facing down Keeping core tight, make small circles forward with arms. Each circle is a rep; halfway through each set, reverse the motion to make small circles backward.
Front Press Jack
Stand tall with a dumbbell between hands, with forearms vertical and hands in front of chest, palms facing in. Jump feet out while pressing dumbbell straight out in front of chest. Bring dumbbell back in toward chest as you jump feet back together, performing the move in one seamless motion. That’s one rep.
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