The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Arms


I’ve always had a thing for working my arms. For some reason, they’ve always just been the most responsive to strength training. My friend Sam jokes that she never sees in me in sleeves. She’s not wrong — I do love to show off my arms. Everybody’s got their thing, right?

With so much equipment out there, and new stuff being added all the time, dumbbells (here are our fave ones to use) are still the perfect tool to build your bi’s and tri’s. So here we go again, finding new purpose for an old favorite — this time we’re using them to boost them guns.

The Best Dumbbell Exercises for Your Arms

If you, like me, prefer working with a barbell on your heavy strength days, you may be limiting yourself without knowing it. When both of your arms share the load by holding one barbell, your stronger arm (and we all have one) will do more of the work. However, when you force them to do an equal amount of weight by evenly distributing the load among your two arms — well, that’s where the real magic happens.

Additionally, we use our arms to do a lot. And rarely are those tasks done from the same fixed arm/wrist position. And that’s where dumbbells really excel — multiple hand position and angle options hit the muscle fibers from all angles. It’s functional strength at its finest.

Dumbbells also provide the extra credit of working your grip and forearm strength — and being able to open jars that other people can’t budge is a real bonus!

Here are my picks for how to get the best bang for your buck outta those dumbbells when working your arms.

Implement an arm day into your weekly rotation with this dumbbell circuit:

And check out this video to see each move in action:

Did someone say tank top season? —Alison



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