Fit Tip: Arm Home Workout

Posted On May 27, 2020 By Lisa Traugott

A woman performing a biceps curl.

At some point, quarantine will be over and we will boldly walk into sunlight again in a tank top. A lot of my clients complain about having “bat wings”, where their arms are not as tight in the back. These exercises will help tighten up those muscles.

They are broken down into exercises for the front of your arms (biceps) and the back of your arms (triceps). You can do this work twice per week, making sure to rest this muscle group between days.

This workout requires an adjustable bench and some dumbbells. No dumbbells? No problem! Save two empty milk jugs and fill them with water or sand. For lighter weights you can use bags of rice or two cans of beans. Looking for something heavy? Try using cans of paint. If you have resistance bands, those work well too. The key to remember during quarantine time, is that it’s important to be flexible and recognize that where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Arm Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Cardio (warm-up) 1 2 minutes
Standing Hammer Curls 4 12-15
Concentration Curls 4 12-15
Incline Bench Curls 3 8-10
Overhead Triceps Extension 4 12-15
Triceps Kickback 3 8-10
Lying Triceps Extension 3 8-10
Cardio (cool down) 1 5 minutes

Here are directions for the exercises:

Standing Hammer Curls

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang down your sides, with palms facing each other.
  • Bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders.
  • Pause at the top, then slowly bring your arms back down to the start position.

Concentration Curls

  • Sit on a bench sideways and place your feet flat on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width.
  • Grab a dumbbell and rest the back of your upper arm against the inside of your leg just above the knee with a slight bend to keep tension on the bicep
  • Bend your right elbow and curl the dumbbell up keeping your upper arm and shoulder completely still.
  • Pause at the top, then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Tip: Remember to keep your chest lifted and stomach tight. Do not swing your arm for momentum, this is an isolation exercise.

Incline Bench Curls

  • Sit on a bench inclined to 45 degrees with your feet flat on the floor directly under your knees. Grab a pair of dumbbells and let them hang down your sides with a slight bend at the elbows.
  • Bend your elbows and curl both dumbbells up towards your shoulders, keeping your upper arm and shoulder blades still.
  • Pause at the top, then slowly bring your arms back down to the start position without relaxing the biceps.

Overhead Triceps Extension

  • Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder width apart.
  • Wrap both hands around the inside edge of one side of a dumbbell.
  • Bring your arms over your head and bend the elbows at a 90 degree angle, so the dumbbell is now behind your head.
  • Slowly straighten your elbows, moving your arms straight over your head, leaving your elbows slightly bent at the top.
  • Reverse the motion, slowly returning to the start position.
  • Tip: Remember to flex your triceps throughout the exercise.

Triceps Kickbacks

  • Kneel with your left leg on a flat bench and your left hand at the top of the bench
  • Your back should be parallel to the floor.
  • Hold a dumbbell with your upper arm parallel to the floor and your elbow bent.
  • Without moving your upper arm, raise your forearm until your arm is completely straight.
  • Pause, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Lying Triceps Extensions

  • Lie on a flat bench holding dumbbells straight above your shoulders. Raise your chest and pinch your shoulder blades together, keeping a very slight arch in the lower back.
  • Keeping the upper arms stationary, bend only at the elbows to lower the dumbbells on either side of your forehead.
  • Hold, return to start position.
  • Tip: Do not lock out the elbow! Keep your wrists straight and tighten your triceps throughout the exercise.

Remember, listen to your body. When choosing the dumbbell weight you don’t want it too heavy or too light. Choose a weight where you are able to maintain proper form while the last three reps become challenging. As your muscles become stronger you can add more weight in future workouts.