The 8 Best dumbbell exercises for arms and shoulders

Do you want to show off toned and strong arms? With these eight (very effective) exercises you can tone your arms at home, using dumbbells!

Training with dumbbells or weights is one of the most effective and simple ways to tone and shape your arms at the gym or from the comfort of your home. To do this, you just need to follow a table of key exercises to strengthen the upper body and, especially, to tone the arms and avoid the dreaded ‘bat wings’ effect .

Thus, if you train three times a week, you can dedicate one day exclusively to toning the upper body: biceps, triceps, back and abdomen.

Now, we show you eight easy exercises to tone your arms with dumbbells at home:

1. Biceps curl

The biceps curl with dumbbells is one of the best-known exercises for toning arms, since it works both the forearms and the biceps.

How to do it? Standing, with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, grab a 2 or 3 kilo dumbbell in each hand and bend your elbows, lifting the weight. Lower the weight gently and without swinging your arm. Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions each.

There are several variants of the biceps curl. The best known are unison biceps curls (both arms rise simultaneously) and alternating biceps curls (first one arm and then the other).

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2. Horizontal shoulder press

Lying on the floor or on an abdominal bench and with your legs bent at a 45º degree, take both dumbbells and bend both elbows horizontally at shoulder height. Then raise them and lower them gently.

Breathing is very important: We inhale from the shoulders and raise the dumbbells until our arms are completely stretched vertically; and, we exhale at the end of the movement while we begin the descent to the initial position. Perform three sets of 10-12 repetitions.

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3. One-hand dumbbell row

With one knee resting on an abdominal bench, rest the hand on the same side on the bench and, with the opposite hand, grab a dumbbell. With his back fixed, he lifts the dumbbell until he brings it towards his back, bringing his elbow back. Meanwhile, the other arm remains perpendicular to the back.

In this case, we inhale and pull the dumbbell to lift it towards our back, when we lower it we exhale. Perform 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

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4. Open Bent Over Row

Although this fifth exercise is also a row, just like the previous one, but it is performed in a different way than the previous one.

Standing with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart, place your hands under your shoulders. Lean your upper body forward and fully extend your arms and shoulder blades. Move your arms up with your elbows as close to your body as possible and actively bring your shoulder blades together. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

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5. Dumbbell core twists

With the feet placed parallel to shoulder height, legs semi-flexed, we hold, with our arms extended forward at shoulder height, a dumbbell with both hands. Starting from that position, we turn the trunk to the sides. In this exercise, it is very important that we move, only and exclusively, the torso. We will not move our hips or legs.

A rotation movement of the spine with which we will not only work the arms, but also the abdomen. Perform 4 sets of 15 repetitions.

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6. Triceps kickbacks

To perform this exercise, we start from an initial position very similar to the one we took to do the one-hand rowing exercise with a dumbbell.

With one knee and the hand on the same side resting on a flat bench, we hold a dumbbell with the other hand, whose leg will be placed diagonally to the position of the back. The arm holding the dumbbell starts from a position of 90 degrees to the shoulder. The movement we will perform will be to stretch the arm backwards until the arm is straight. Perform 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions.

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7. Vertical press or thruster squat

Squats with vertical press or thruster are an exercise with which we will not only tone our arms, we will strengthen our glutes and abdomen.

With your feet placed hip-width apart, taking the same position as if you were going to do a traditional squat. With our arms bent, holding a dumbbell with each hand and keeping them at shoulder height, we go down to do the squat, without moving our arms, and when we go up, we stretch our arms up until they are straight. Perform 5 sets of 6 repetitions.

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8. Renegade row

The last exercise we are going to talk about is the renegade row , this exercise is a combination between a front plank and a dumbbell row. With this exercise, we work all the muscles of our midsection: transverse muscles, rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, as well as the muscles that support our spine. Secondary we also work the shoulders, triceps, chest and back.

With the body as if we were going to do some push-ups but with the feet a little more open, the hands, instead of being resting on the floor, hold a dumbbell each. The most important thing is that there is a straight line from your head to your feet, and that that line never dips downward or arches upward. Once placed in the starting position, one hand performs a dumbbell row and the other pushes hard on the ground to provide stability. Perform 4 sets of 15 repetitions.

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READ MORE: Upper Body Workout with Dumbbells for Women to Tone Arms

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