Fitness, Your Dream Body

5 Essential Dumbbell Exercises for Sculpted Arms

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Why lift weights?

Sure, it's now officially sweater season, but that doesn't mean you should neglect lifting weights. Adding more lean muscle is the best way to keep your metabolism humming and shape your figure. Old school free weight exercises and their endless variations make it easy to keep challenging your body, indoors and out. All you need for sexy shoulders and arms is a pair of affordable dumbbells--no gym membership required.

For best results, choose weights that are challenging enough--5 lbs if you are beginning, and 8-10 lbs if you are more experienced. Doing 2 sets of 10-15 reps is a good place to start. Add lunges or squats to your lifts will make them a total body workout.
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Bicep Curl (biceps)

Variation 1. Start with your hands by your side, palms up. Bend at the elbow to lift the dumbbell up in front of your shoulder. Slowly lower down. Alternately, you can lift both dumbbells at the same time.

Variation 2. Start with both arms directly out in front of you, parallel to the floor, palms up. Bend at the elbow up to 90 degrees, then slowly lower to starting position.
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Triceps Extension (triceps)

Start with elbows up, both hands behind your head. Lift the dumbbells above your head, keeping your elbows as closely together as possible. Lower to the starting position.
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Lateral Raise (deltoids)

Variation 1. Start with your hands at your sides, palms down. Slowly lift both dumbbells straight out to the side, until your arms are parallel to the floor. Lower down to the starting position.

Variation 2. Bend slightly forward at the hips, keeping your spine straight. Tilt the dumbbells slightly forward so that your pinky is raised a little bit to the ceiling. Lift the dumbbells to the side, like in Variation 1.
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Bent Rear Delt Raise (deltoids, core, arms)

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width, knees bent lightly to protect your back. Keeping your spine straight, bend forward at the hips. Bring both dumbbells together, then lift them to the sides, keeping the elbows slightly bent. Lower slowly back down.
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Dumbbell Punches (core, arms)

Stand with your hips squared and knees slightly bent. Your feet should be about 2 feet apart and slightly open to the sides. Your elbows should be tucked by your sides, palms facing up. Engaging your core muscles, twist and extend your left hand to the right diagonal. Return to the neutral position, twist and extend on the other side. Note: Focus on form rather than speed or power to prevent overexertion and get the best sculpting results.
Juhea Kim
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.

 

 

Juhea Kim
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.
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