11 Best Exercises to Get Strong, Toned Arms



Amazing arms exercises

by Amy O’Connor

How is getting a stronger, sleeker upper body like math? It’s something otherwise smart women think they just can’t accomplish. Or they use the excuse of getting too “bulked up.” The moves here definitely won’t turn you into the Incredible Hulk, but they will get your arms longer, leaner, and ready to bare when the weather warms up. Best of all, most can be done at home using your own body weight—no need to invest in pricey gadgets or gear! Trainer tip: To boost your calorie burn and see results faster, march or jump in place for 2 minutes after completing each move.

Watch the video: Fast No-Bulk Arm Exercises  


Roll-the-Ball with Uneven Push-Up

Best for: Those who need an upper-body-strength challenge. (Tip: you can use a soccer ball, stack of books, or a medicine ball to create the uneven surface.)

How to do it: Get into plank and put right hand on the ball, left hand on the floor. Squeeze your abs and shoulders as you lower towards the floor, keeping elbows in. Push back up and pass the ball to the other side. Do at least 5 on each side.



Pilates Boxing

Best for: Pilates and yoga fans who want to burn fat.

How to do it: Standing with feet a hips-width apart, bend your knees and hinge forward from your waist, maintaining a neutral spine. Raise fists to your shoulders and, keeping elbows up, box your right hand forward, clenching your abs. Bring hands to center and switch. Box on each side 20 times.

Watch the video: Pilates Boxing 



Clean and Press Windmill

Best for: Those who want to work their legs and glutes too.

How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a free weight between them. Push hips back to lower into squat and grab weight with left hand. Push through feet and rise to standing, lifting weight toward left shoulder and up overhead. Bend at waist to right, allowing right foot to turn out; right hand is on inside of right leg. Continue to bend sideways, sliding right hand down to foot, keeping left hand overhead. Reverse movement to return to squat. Switch sides and repeat.



Hip Heist Push-Up

Best for: Those who want arms like Jillian Michaels.

How to do it: Get into “up” part of a push-up; lower chest and bend elbows to 90 degrees. Lift right hand and left foot, rotating upper body to the right while bringing left knee across body toward right armpit. Pivot on right foot and continue rotating torso until you’re face up. Lift hips until torso is in tabletop position. Lift left hand and right foot, rotating upper body to right, pivoting on left foot until you are back in the “up” part of a push-up.



Biceps and Arm Circles

Best for: Exercisers who want a full-body strength workout.

How to do it: Stand with legs slightly wider than hip-width, a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent and palms up. Keeping spine straight, squat and circle left hand up and in toward your shoulder in a circular motion (as if beckoning someone toward you); reverse to lower hand. Do 16 reps, then switch sides and repeat.



Triceps Swing

Best for: Eliminating “bat wings”

How to do it: Lie faceup with feet on floor, knees bent, a 5-lb dumbbell in each hand. Keep them a few inches off floor. Keeping arms straight, raise left arm over chest while right arm stays over head. Lower to start and repeat. Do 15 reps with left arm, then switch sides. Do 2-3 sets.



Kickback with a Twist

Best for: Firm, sleek triceps

How to do it: Holding a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend your legs slightly and lean forward from the waist until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. Raise your elbows until your upper arms are even with your back. Your elbows should be bent to 45-degree angles with your palms facing each other. Keeping your upper arms still, extend both hands behind you, then rotate your wrists so that your palms are up. Turn your palms back to face each other and bend your elbows to bring weights back toward your body to complete the rep. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.


Get-Up Plank

Best for: Getting a strong back and shoulders

How to do it: Begin in a modified side-plank position with legs stacked and knees bent. Hold a kettlebell (or a water bottle) in your right hand, with your right elbow bent and weight resting against your forearm. Lift your hips so your body is straight from knees to shoulders, pressing kettlebell up to the ceiling. Do 3 sets on each side.


Split Squat Rotation

Best for: Leg, glute, and arm strengthening

Stand with feet together, holding a 5- to 10-lb medicine ball (you can also use a soccer ball or a stack of books) at chest. Step left foot back and lower into squat with right knee bent. Push into right leg, straightening both legs while twisting torso to push medicine ball over right shoulder; return to previous position. Continue for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.


Opposite Arm & Leg Lift

Best for: Arm and leg strengthening that stretches your back

How to do it: From all fours, reach your right arm forward; at the same time, stretch your left leg back and flex your foot. Hold for 5 seconds, then release and repeat using the left arm and right leg; that’s one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps.



Bicep Curl with Alternating Lunge

Best for: A firmer lower body and long and lean arms

How to do it: Stand with knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell or water bottle in each hand. Step forward with your right leg, and lower into lunge position (don’t let front knee go past toes). Simultaneously tighten left bicep and curl left hand toward chest. Repeat on each side.

Get a FREE workout emailed to you every day. Sign up here!