Dumbbell Arm Workout for Beginners


This simple 4 exercise arm circuit is great for building the bicep and tricep muscles! The exercises are meant to be performed circuit style 4x12, meaning one after the other (12 reps each) without rest in between them. Take 60 seconds rest after completing one set of all 4 exercises. Then perform them all again. 

This circuit style of training is a huge time saver and keeps the intensity high for some major fat burning. 


All you need for this workout is a single pair of dumbbells. Keep in mind that the weight you select should be challenging enough but not so challenging that you cannot perform all prescribed reps with good form. I advise my clients to pick a weight that they could pump out 2 additional reps if they had to (but no more) with good form. 

It's helpful to do a warm up set with lighter weight to get a feel for how much weight feels right for you. 

Additionally, because these exercises are being performed without rest in between, you will likely need a lower weight than you would to perform one of these exercises alone. That's okay! As long as you maintain good form and still feel challenged, you're doing it right. 

The Workout (4 Rounds - 12 Reps of Each Exercise)

Static Bicep Curls

1. Hold a pair of dumbbells while standing up straight. Curl one dumbbell up, pausing halfway to your shoulder and hold this position. This will be your static arm.

2. Curl the other dumbbell all the way to the top of the movement for the prescribed number of reps. 

3. Switch arms and repeat. That's one set. 

Overhead Tricep Extension

1. Stand up straight and hold a dumbbell in one hand with an overhand grip. Push the dumbbell overhead with your palm facing forward. 

2. Lower the weight behind your head.

3. Push the dumbbell back up over your head. Complete all reps for one side then switch arms for the same number of reps. That's one set.

Hammer Curl

1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip. Arms should be fully extended with palms facing inward.

2. With upper arms stationary, curl the dumbbells upward until your biceps are fully contracted. 

3. Hold the contraction and then slowly return to the starting position.

Bent Over Tricep Kickbacks

1. Hold a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip. Bend at the hips while keeping your back flat.
2. Bring your upper body parallel to the floor and your arms to your sides.
3. Push the dumbbells back behind you.
4. Pause when your arms are fully extended behind you, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

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