Tone your arms with these 12 easy exercises

Contrary to what you see on many workout blogs, getting toned arms doesn’t mean spending hours upon hours at the gym sculpting your muscles to perfection. We have outlined 12 arm exercises that are simple and effective in getting you envious sculpted arms in no time. Say goodbye to arm fat and hello to defined arms. Check out our helpful exercises below that not only target biceps and triceps but the shoulders, back and core as well.


Side Tri-Lift

Targets: Triceps

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your right so your palm faces your shoulder.
  2. Straighten your arm out to the side so it is at shoulder height and rotate so your palm faces back.
  3. Lift up 2 inches and then return to start.
  4. Do 20 reps; switch arms and repeat.


Standing V Raise

Targets: Shoulders

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep arms at your sides, making sure your palms are faced inwards.
  2. With arms straight, raise the weights diagonally in front of you, so that your arms form a V shape. Stop when your arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Hold for one second, then return to the starting position. Complete 12 to 15 reps.


Shoulder Press

Targets: Deltoids

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells just above your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Raise the weights until your arms are straight overhead.
  3. Hold for one second, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders. Complete six to eight reps.


Rotating Triceps Kickback

Targets: Triceps

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your knees bent.
  2. Lean forward slightly and bend your right elbow to bring the dumbbell to your side, making sure your upper arm becomes parallel with the floor.
  3. Lift the dumbbell back as you straighten your arm and rotate it so that your palm faces the ceiling.
  4. Rotate it back so that your palm faces in and return your arm to the (bent) starting position.
  5. Perform 12 to 15 reps with each arm.


Lateral Arm Raises

Man doing shoulder lateral raises in the gym
Man doing shoulder lateral raises in the gym

Works: Deltoids

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Holding a dumbbell inward in each hand, place your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Keep your arm straight but relaxed as you raise it toward the ceiling. Make sure your palm is face down and your arm is parallel to the floor.
  3. Steadily lower your arm back to your body. Repeat the same move with your opposite arm.
  4. Perform this move on both your right and left arm (back and forth) for 10 to 12 reps. Perform 1-2 sets.


Back Touch

Targets: Back, shoulders, biceps

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended out to sides, a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bring arms about one foot behind you (diagonal to shoulders).
  3. Bend left elbow and touch back with dumbbell; return.
  4. Do 30 reps, alternating sides.


Overhead Triceps Extensions

Works: Triceps

  1. With your feet hip-distance apart, hold one dumbbell between both hands.
  2. Bend your elbows behind your head and then straighten your arms. Hold for one second then steadily bend your elbows to lower your arms again. 
  3. Do 12 reps.


Skull Crushers

Works: Triceps

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms straight above you.
  3. Slowly and steadily lower your arms toward the floor on a 90 degree angle until they touch the floor on either side of your head.
  4. Lift your arms back to starting position.
  5. Repeat two sets 10 to 12  reps.


Elbow Plank

Works: Chest, shoulders, biceps, core

  1. Start by placing your forearms and knees on the floor.
  2. Place each foot one step backwards to get into plank position.
  3. To ensure you work the correct muscle group, contract your abs in order to keep your body level. Your spine should be parallel to the floor.
  4. Aim to hold position for 30 seconds but work your way up to a minute as your fitness level progresses.
  5. Repeat two-three times.



Step by step instructions: Lie face down on the floor, with your arms and legs extended, so your body forms a straight line. (A) Keeping your head and neck in a neutral position, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body. (B)
Woman doing Superman pose.

Works: Spinal muscles, back of shoulders

  1. Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended.
  2. Keeping your arms and legs straight as you lift your arms and legs upwards toward the ceiling.
  3. With your body arched and your arms and legs off the floor, hold for five seconds.
  4. Lower your arms and legs back down to the floor.
  5. Perform 12 reps three two-three times.


Side Plank

Works: Arms, shoulders, back

  1. Sit on your right side with your legs slightly bent and your feet stacked on top of each other.
  2. Place your right hand about a foot from your pelvis.
  3. Push your hand into the floor and straighten your legs as you lift your pelvis off the ground.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. Bend your elbow and return to starting position. Repeat on other side. This equals one rep.
  5. Do 12 reps.


Triceps Dips

Works: Triceps

  1. With your back facing a chair or bench, place your hands shoulder-width apart on said chair/bench.
  2. Bend your legs and place your feet hip-width apart on the floor.
  3. Steadily bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down toward the floor.
  4. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly push your body back up to the starting position.
  5. Complete 12 to 15 reps.