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5-Minute Arm Workout with Dumbbells

Yes, You Have Time for This Arm Workout!

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Wondering for how to get skinny arms that are strong, too? Grab a set of dumbbells and get red carpet-worthy toned biceps, triceps, and shoulders with this easy yet effective arm workout for women. This routine was designed to help you reach your fitness goals by squeezing in short burst of exercise throughout your day. You can do it alone or combine it with other targeted toning plans to build your own complete strength session. (Related: 5 Minutes to Tighter Buns and Thighs)

How it works: Do 1 set of each exercise in this arm workout back to back, with little to no rest between moves. The complete arm workout for women should take about five minutes, but you can repeat 1 or 2 more times if your schedule allows.

You'll need: A set of dumbbells (3 to 15 pounds, depending on level) and a mat (optional).

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Overhead Press

overhead press arm exercise with weights

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This dumbbell arm workout for women will build muscle in your shoulders but, since you're standing, also recruit your core. Bonus: Try doing one arm at a time to challenge your abs even more. (See more tips here: How to Get Skinny Arms By Executing the Perfect Dumbell Overhead Press)

  • Stand with feet wide, knees soft, holding dumbbells with arms in a goal post position (elbows open to sides at shoulder level).
  • Brace core and extend arms straight overhead.
  • Slowly lower elbows to return to start. Do 20 reps.

Do 20 reps.

Photo: Peter Ardito

Triceps Chop

triceps chop arm exercises with dumbbells

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Core strength keeps this dumbbell arm exercise safe and more effective, so be sure to supplement this 5-minute arm workout with these top ab moves.

  • Stand with feet wide, knees soft, holding a dumbbell with both hands in front of the chest. Engage abs and bring arms overhead, biceps next to ears.
  • Bend elbows and lower the weight behind head all the way down to shoulders (avoid letting elbows open out to the side and relax neck).
  • Raise arms overhead to return to start (use abdominal muscles to keep torso steady as arms raise and lower, and don't let ribs flare out). 

Do 20 reps.

Photo: Peter Ardito

Inverted Curl to Front Press

inverted curl press dumbbell arm exercises

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Target your biceps and shoulders with this arm exercise for women that's a hybrid between a traditional biceps curl, front raise, and chest press. It might feel easy at first, but will be a challenge come rep 18. (Related: How to Perform the Perfect Biceps Curl, According to Jen Widerstrom)

  • Stand with feet hip width, holding dumbbells in front of thighs, palms facing body.
  • Bend elbows by sides and curl weights up. Extend arms straight out in front of shoulders, palms facing the floor, keeping core engaged.
  • Bend elbows back in by sides and lower to start.

Do 20 reps.

Photo: Peter Ardito

Rear Fly to Press Back

reverse fly press back arm exercise dumbbells

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Control is key with this weighted arm exercise for women. Focus on using muscle strength rather than momentum throughout the entire range of motion. (Here's how to get skinny arms even faster: Pair this routine with our super sweaty 30-day arm challenge!)

  • Begin in a split stance with right foot forward, right knee bent and left leg straight, holding dumbbells.
  • Keeping spine naturally straight, hinge forward from hips about 45 degrees, arms reaching down to the floor (palms should face thighs).
  • Raise arms to sides of shoulders, squeezing shoulder blades down and together during the movement (the ends of the weights should face up). Slowly lower arms.
  • Press arms back by hips, with palms still facing up. Lower arms. That’s one rep.

Do 10 reps per side.

Photo: Peter Ardito

Diamond-Leg Pushups

diamond leg push up arm workout exercise

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Pushups aren't just for pumping up your chest. With this upper body position, the total-body toner becomes an arm workout, too. (Related: 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Push-Up Game)

  • Start in a modified pushup position, with knees turned out to the sides, feet pressed together, and hands shoulder width.
  • Brace abs in tight and, keeping spine naturally straight, bend elbows in by sides and lower torso to the floor, stopping a few inches above the ground.
  • Quickly press back up.

Do 20 reps.

Photo: Peter Ardito


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