Incredible arms are your sexiest accessory and the surprising secret to epic abs. Few things are more empowering than having strong arms. (Busting out real push-ups; lifting your carry-on into the overhead compartment in one fell swoop.) That type of confidence never goes out of season.
We’ll even throw in a set of shoulders. (They’re considered among the easiest muscles to define, since they’re less likely to store fat than the lower body.) This workout is designed to tax the large muscle groups first to build serious strength, then shape with higher-volume reps using lighter weights.
When they’re not pumping up your tris and bis, these moves are firing up your core and improving your posture (which can make you look instantly slimmer.)
The workout: Perform this routine two or three times a week: Do the following moves in order, completing as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes, resting briefly only when your form starts to falter. You’ll want a lighter pair of weights (three to five pounds) for the alternating front-side raise and dumbbell biceps curl, and a heavier pair (eight to 15 pounds) for the bent-over dumbbell row.
1. Pike Handstand Hold:
- Place hands flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, two feet in front of a bench.
- Look between your arms and step onto the bench, pushing through your arms and shifting onto your toes, so your tailbone points to the ceiling and legs are straight (A).
- Brace your core and slowly raise one leg as high as you can, keeping your back flat (B).
- Hold for 10 seconds, lower, and repeat on the other side.
2. Alternating Front-side Raise:
- Stand holding dumbbells at your sides (A).
- Keeping your arms straight and core tight, raise one weight in front of you and the other out to the side at shoulder height, so arms form an L (B).
- Pause, lower, and repeat on the other side.
- That’s one rep; alternate for 20.
Related article: 5 Dumbbell Moves You Haven’t Tried Before To Tone Your Whole Body
3. Bent-over Dumbbell Row:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, dumbbells at your sides.
- Hinge at your hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor, keeping your back flat and arms under shoulders (A).
- Bracing your core, bend your elbows to pull the weights toward your waist (B).
- Pause, then slowly lower.
- That’s one rep.
- Do 15.
4. Dumbbell Biceps Curl:
- Hold a pair of light dumbbells at your sides, arms fully extended and palms facing forward (A).
- Keeping your chest lifted and shoulders back, brace your core and bend your elbows to pull the weights in front of your chest, squeezing your biceps at the top of the move (B).
- Pause, then slowly lower back to start.
- That’s one rep.
- Do 15.