Now that it’s time to wear tank tops again, it’s time to look into the best workouts for toning arms. Sleek, toned arms are a sure sign of fitness, and one of the first things you probably notice about someone when you meet them. It can be hard to tear your eyes away from the appealing look of muscle, definition, and tone that comes from a solid arm routine.
You, too, can have that healthy look by adding a good resistance program to your workout routine.
What Muscles Make Up the Arms?
Generally, when you hear people talk about toning their arms, they’re talking about the biceps and triceps. However, a good arm program should also include your shoulders, which will help give your arms that elusive definition everyone is seeking.
When designing the best workouts for toning arms, it’s important to cover all three areas with your exercise selection. You’ll want to include exercises for the biceps, which are two muscles that run the length of the front of your upper arm, from your shoulder to your elbow. You’ll also want to ensure you include plenty of triceps work. Your triceps are comprised of three muscles, which run along the back of your arm from your shoulder area to your elbow.
Your biceps and triceps work in opposition of each other and help you bend and extend your forearm while also stabilizing the shoulder joint. Lastly, attacking the shoulders, which have a front, side, and back, will help you round out your program.
Try These 7 Best Workouts for Toning Arms
1. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Not to be neglected, the shoulder press movement is essential when it comes to adding some sexy shape to your arms. Since the dumbbell shoulder press is a compound movement (i.e., it uses multiple muscles to complete the exercise), it’s a fantastic exercise to include in a “best exercises” workout.
Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and bring them up to approximately parallel with your ears with your palms facing forward. Press upward as you straighten your elbows until the dumbbells are overhead. Then slowly and in control, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
2. Lateral Dumbbell Raises
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms straight down at your sides. With a slight bend in your elbows (just so you don’t lock out your arms), raise your arms out to your sides until they are parallel to the ground. Pause at the top of the movement, and then return to the start position. This is one repetition. Repeat 10 times.
This great exercise is also a compound exercise as it works your entire upper body, your core, and gives special focus to your shoulder girdle. Pushups are so much more than just one of the best workouts for toning arms. Pushups work most of the muscles in the upper body and really help add shape and definition to your arms without the need for doing individual exercises for biceps and triceps.
Begin by getting on your hands and knees. Place your hands shoulder-width apart with your palms flat on the floor, directly beneath your shoulders, with your arms straight. Kick your feet back so your legs are straight and your feet are about 12 inches apart. Get up onto your toes while keeping your entire body in a straight line with your core tight. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your upper body until you are close to the ground. Push yourself back up to a straight-arm position. Pause and repeat 10 times.
If this exercise is a little too difficult, you can always put your knees down onto the floor. Try to do at least one pushup with your legs straight, and then lower your knees down during the exercise to keep going to hit the 10 reps. The more you practice, the more reps you’ll be able to do with your legs straight.
4. Biceps Concentration Curls
This biceps exercise helps develop the biceps brachii (the part you see when you “make a muscle”). Begin by sitting on a bench with your feet placed relatively wide apart. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing upward and your elbow on your knee. Unbend your elbow and slowly lower the weight down toward the floor until your arm is straight. Next, bring the dumbbell back up to the start by squeezing your biceps muscles to complete one rep. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
5. Hammer Curls
Begin by standing with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms straight down by your sides. Your palms should be facing your body throughout the exercise. Lift the weight by squeezing your biceps muscles. Pause and squeeze when you get to the top of the movement. Slowly lower the weight back to your starting position. Alternate back and forth between arms until you have completed 10 reps on each side.
6. Triceps Kickbacks
This exercise is phenomenal for your triceps and easy to perform. Use a small amount of weight (like 3 – 5 pounds) to start. It’s easiest to begin by kneeling with your right knee on a bench or chair. Your opposite leg will remain straight with a slight bend in the knee and your foot flat on the floor. While bending forward at the waist, grip the weight with your hand with your palm facing your body. Lock your upper arm against your torso and straighten your arm by lifting the weight up and back. Your arm should be parallel to the floor at the top of the movement. Pause at the top, and slowly lower the weight by bending your elbow until your arm forms a 45-degree angle at the elbow. Repeat 10 times on each side.
7. Triceps Bench Dips
Begin by sitting on the edge of a bench or chair. Place your hands, palms down, at your sides, gripping the edge of the bench. Your feet should be out straight in front of you. Next, slide your booty off the edge of the bench until you’re holding your body up with your arms. Slowly bend at your elbows to lower your hips toward the ground. Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your triceps to return to start and repeat 10 times.