Arm Workouts: 17 Exercises For Women

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Gym time for most women is not a priority. This can affect not only your health but your appearance. Especially the appearance of your arms. Arm Workouts for Women are Critical. Arms need exercises to become toned and strong. They will lack both strength and appeal if they’re not worked enough.

woman doing arm exercises

How To Schedule Arm Workouts

Today, it can be difficult for a modern woman just to balance all her responsibilities. Raising children, traveling, and excelling professionally. Not to mention maintaining a home and relationships. Who has time to stop everything and get to the gym for a good workout?

Gyms tend to offer a large variety of machines and equipment that targets the arms. They isolate and work only that muscle group. But with how busy daily life can be, how do you get arm workouts at home, while traveling, or even during a break at the office?

Body Weight and Small Weights

Utilizing your own body weight is an easy and quick way to sculpt the arms of your dreams. Arm workouts using your own body allows you to exercise whenever and wherever it is convenient for you. 15 minutes at a time will have you feeling the evidence of your efforts within days. All without the burn of arm-isolating exercises. And the results will speak for themselves.

Many no-equipment bodyweight exercises are a form or variation of a push-up or plank. Most of these equipment-free arm workouts also engage your core. A busy woman can get the most out of a short workout and look twice as fabulous.

Muscle Groups Used In Arm Workouts

The main muscle groups of the arm are the triceps, the deltoid, and the biceps. The bicep is also the muscle that people tend to flex to show their strength.

While the triceps and deltoids benefit the most from using body weight exercises. Biceps usually need more outside resistance to develop. The use of weights is beneficial to developing all the muscles in your arm workouts. But they aren’t necessary to achieve healthy and fantastic looking arms.woman lifting dumbbells

Best Arm Exercises for Women

1. Back Fly

  • With a medium dumbbell in each hand, step your right foot forward about two feet. (Next time you do this workout, step forward with your left foot.)
  • Bend your front leg into a semi-lunge and hinge forward slightly from the waist.
  • Keep back straight, abs tight and body weight slightly forward.
  • Roll your shoulders back and down.
  • Straighten your arms down toward the floor, hands, and dumbbells aligned under shoulders.
  • Slowly raise your arms to the sides, palms down and elbows slightly bent.
  • Go until hands are under shoulder height.
  • Lower arms back to starting position.
  • Do 8 to 12 reps in your arm workouts.

2. Bench Press

  • Lay on your back, on a weight-lifting bench, and plant both feet firmly on the floor.
  • Reach up and grab the barbell with both hands.
  • Pull the barbell down toward your chest, then push it away from you.
  • Do 8 to 12 repetitions using as much weight as you can in your arm workouts.

3. Biceps Curl

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, grasping a dumbbell in your hand.
  • With palm facing forward, bend your elbow and pull the weight up towards your shoulders.
  • Lower your arm.
  • Complete 8 to 12 reps (and do the same on the other arm).

4. Dumbbell Curl and Press

  • Stand holding both dumbbells next to your hips with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • With palms facing toward your body, curl arms up to your shoulders.
  • Continue to push both arms up toward the ceiling.
  • Pause for a second when your arms are fully extended.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Do 8-12 reps in your arm workouts.

5. Dumbbell Kickback

  • Start by holding dumbbells in both hands.
  • Bend forward from your hips, maintaining a straight spine and keeping your chest up.
  • Keep neck aligned with your back so you are gazing at the floor slightly ahead of you.
  • Bend elbows, keeping your upper arms alongside your body.
  • Extend your arms one at a time behind you.
  • Squeeze your triceps muscle for a moment before returning to starting position.
  • Do 8-12 reps on each side. woman lifting dumbbells

6. Dumbbell Punch

  • Hold dumbbells while standing with feet shoulder-width apart and knees soft (slightly bent).
  • Punch your arms out in front of you one at a time for one minute.
  • As you alternate back and forth, keep dumbbells at shoulder level.
  • Avoid jerking your body, but do allow your hips to move naturally as you punch.

7. Dumbbell Row

  • Hold a dumbbell in your hand and get on one hand and knee on a bench.
  • Keep your back straight; the elbow should be slightly bent and your palm facing inward.
  • Make sure to align bent knee under hips and hand under the right shoulder.
  • Tighten the abdominal muscles.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together.
  • Lift the weight upwards until the upper arm is parallel to the floor and elbow is slightly behind you.
  • Return to start and finish the set.
  • Do 8 to 12 reps, and switch sides.

8. Lateral Raise (aka Side Raise)

  • Stand tall with knees slightly bent.
  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, let your arms hang by your sides, palms facing in.
  • Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you raise your arms out to the sides.
  • The dumbbells should be level with shoulders
  • Make sure your palms are facing the floor.
  • Lower your arms; complete 8 to 12 reps in your arm workouts.

9. Overhead Extension

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Grip the dumbbell with both of your hands.
  • Reach your arms overhead, holding the dumbbell vertically.
  • Keep wrists straight.
  • Bend your elbows, lowering the dumbbell behind your head.
  • Keep your upper arms close to your head and elbows pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Straighten your arms upward
  • Repeat to complete 8 to 12 reps.

10. Plank to Push-Up

  • Start in a high plank position with your arms directly underneath your shoulders and your core muscles engaged.
  • Lift one arm up and place your elbow down, followed by the other arm so you are on your elbows (traditional plank).
  • Return to starting position by lifting one elbow up at a time.
  • Place your hands back in the original position, until you are back to a high plank position.
  • Do as many as you can in two minutes.

11. Pullovers

  • Lie face up, holding one dumbbell securely in both hands, arms reaching toward the ceiling.
  • Align the dumbbell over your chest.
  • Bend your legs, feet on the floor and knees pointing up.
  • With abs tight and a firm grip on the dumbbell, extend your arms over your head and behind you.
  • Keep your elbows slightly bent and upper arms close to your ears.
  • When your arms are about parallel to the floor, return to starting position.
  • Do eight to 12 repetitions in your arm workouts.

12. Push-Ups

  • Lay belly down on the floor, with your feet roughly 15-20 centimeters apart.
  • Place your palms flat on the ground and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your body straight and long.
  • Come up onto your toes and lift your body off the floor with your arms until they are fully extended.
  • Slowly bend your arms at the elbows and lower your chest towards the floor.
  • Stop roughly 10-15 centimeters before touching the ground with your belly.
  • Try to keep your back and legs straight and in a single plane.
  • Push back up into the original position. That’s one push-up.
  • Aim for doing three sets of 8-12 reps.

If this is too hard, do the exercise with your knees on the floor. Or do the exercise standing, using a wall. Start with your feet roughly 50 centimeters from the wall.

13. Single-Arm Push-Press

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold a kettlebell in your right hand with fist close to the chest, elbow bent and tucked into the body.
  • Allow the kettlebell to rest on your forearm throughout this movement.
  • Lower body into a full squat, keeping abs tight.
  • Quickly drive through heels out of the squat.
  • Push the kettlebell up in the air by straightening the arm (at the top, your palm will face forward).
  • Do for 30 seconds, then switch to left hand for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence once more.

14. Triceps Push-Up

  • Get into a push-up position with your arms straight but with knees on the floor and feet in the air.
  • Hands should be under your chest and closer together than in a regular push-up.
  • Tighten abs and bend arms, bringing chest toward the floor.
  • Keep upper arms close to your sides and back straight.
  • Elbows should point behind, not out.
  • Straighten arms to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 8 to 12 reps or as many as you can do in your arm workouts.

15. Two-Arm Kettlebell Swing

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging relaxed in front of you.
  • Hold the kettlebell with both hands.
  • Bend your knees and lower the kettlebell down between your legs.
  • In one quick movement, come out of the squat by straightening legs. While swinging arms forward to eye level.
  • The kettlebell should feel weightless at the top of this movement.
  • Repeat for one minute. (Or do 8-12 reps of this arm exercise.)

16. Triceps Dips

  • Sit on the edge of a bench, knees bent at a 90-degree angle and feet planted on the floor.
  • Grip the bench, hands on either side of your hips.
  • Push glutes off the bench and lower body two or three inches down.
  • Bend your elbows and keep elbows close together.
  • Then raise the body back to starting position.
  • Do 8-12 reps. (To increase the challenge, hold one weight between knees or extend legs out further.)

17. Tricep Dips with Single Leg Extension

  • Sit on the edge of a box, park bench or a set of stairs with feet planted on the ground.
  • Grip the edge of the box, knuckles facing forward, a place hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend one leg and lift off the box.
  • Lower your body in a controlled motion bending your elbows at 90-degrees.
  • Keeping hips level and elbow close to your torso, push back up and repeat.
  • Do 8-12 reps in your arm workouts.

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