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25-Minute Arm and Back Workout At Home (Dumbbells)

Build strong, sculpted arms and back muscles with this at-home ARM and BACK workout with weights! Nine of the best dumbbell back and arm exercises designed to burn out EVERY arm muscle; with extra emphasis on the largest upper body muscle — the back muscles.



 

The back is the largest muscle group in the upper body. And the larger the muscle group, the more calories you burn.

This 25-minute arm and back workout at home is designed to burn calories while strengthening and toning your back, shoulders, chest, triceps and biceps. 

Each circuit in today’s arm workout contains one back exercise AND one exercise that targets the back plus an additional muscle group — chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps.

Two women performing a Single Arm Back Row in a Dumbbell Back and Arms Workout

Arm and Back Workouts FAQs

What Are The Benefits Of Upper Body Strength Training?

A strong upper body helps improve posture, makes everyday tasks easier, and can give your other workouts a boost. The chest and back are some of your largest muscle groups. HIIT workouts and circuit training often involve these large muscle groups, so keeping them strong will make your other workouts better, too.

Can I Train Arms And Back Together?

The back is the largest muscle group in the upper body, but you often use other arm muscles, like the biceps and shoulders, to assist with back exercises. Training these muscle groups together is an effective way to build muscle in the upper body as a whole.

Can You Workout The Back At Home?

Yes. Although many traditional back workouts rely on gym equipment such as a lat pulldown machine, pull up bar or assisted pull up machine, or cables, you can target all the muscles in your back using just a set of dumbbells. For more of the best back workouts at home try our: Chest and Back Workout, Upper Body Pull Workout (Back and Biceps) or Legs and Back Workout.

Two women performing a Dumbbell Pullover. One using a exercise ball for more back support and one laying on the ground | Arm and Back Workout

This strength-focused upper body workout is designed to challenge every arm muscle — with extra emphasis on your back muscles.

You can do this workout at home or in the gym. All you need is a set of dumbbells for these nine back and arm exercises.

Add upper body workouts like this one to your home training program 1-2 times a week to build muscle mass and increase endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to heavy set of dumbbells. I suggest anywhere from 8-25 lbs. I used 10-20 lb dumbbells for this workout. Option to add a bench or stability ball (a great addition during pregnancy).

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woman in blue workout set performing a standing single arm back fly exercise

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Back and Arm Video on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 4 Circuits (2 Upper Body Strength Exercises Per Circuit)
  • Timed Intervals (40 Seconds of Work, 20 Seconds of Rest)
  • Repeat Each Circuit x2

Workout Outline

CIRCUIT ONE: Back and Chest
1. Sumo Squat Dead Start Rows
2. 2 Push Ups and 2 Single Arm Rows

CIRCUIT TWO: Back and Shoulders
1. Split Stance Back Flys
2. Warrior 2 Single Arm Row and Shoulder Press

CIRCUIT THREE: Back and Triceps
1. Dumbbell Pullover
2. Straight Arm Momentum Pull Backs

CIRCUIT FOUR: Back and Biceps
1. Single Arm Reverse Grip Rows
2. 2 Bent Over Rows and 2 Standing Bicep Curls

BURNOUT: Overhead March

arms and back pullover

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Back and Arm Workout

9 Best Arm and Back Exercises with Weights

Sumo Squat Dead Start Rows

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, lats, abs and core.

two women performing sumo squat dead start rows | best back exercises

How To Do Sumo Squat Dead Start Rows

  1. Start in a wide squat stance or sumo squat. Feet wider than hips and shoulders, knees bent, toes slightly pointed out.
  2. Place a set of dumbbells on the ground between your legs. Drop your hips to lower into the bottom of a wide squat and hinge forward bringing your torso parallel to the ground.
  3. Hold this low squat, bent over row position, as you alternate pulling the weights back toward your hip. Right arm first.
  4. Control the dumbbell back down to the mat. Then, perform a single arm back row on the left arm; pulling the weight back toward your left hip.
  5. Continue to alternate the back rows while holding the wide squat the entire time.

Modification: If holding the wide squat stance becomes uncomfortable you can perform single arm bent over back row. Option to place your opposite hand on a chair or bench for additional support.

2 Push Ups And 2 Single Arm Rows

Targets: Back, chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, obliques and core muscles.

two women performing two push ups and two single arm rows in an arms and back workout for women

How To Do 2 Push Ups And 2 Single Arm Rows

  1. Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Place your left hand flat on the mat and your right hand on a stable dumbbell. Pull your kneecaps up towards your belly, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold this plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
  3. Slowly lower your chest down towards the ground as your elbows fall back towards your hips (not out to the sides).
  4. Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position. Repeat for a total of 2 push ups.
  5. Once you’re in the push-up position after completing your second push up, perform a single arm dumbbell row on the right by pulling your right elbow up to meet your right rib cage; squeezing your back and keeping your shoulder down and back.
  6. Control the dumbbell back down to the starting position. Repeat for a total of 2 single arm dumbbell rows.
  7. Repeat this sequence of 2 push ups and 2 single arm rows for 40 seconds. Switch sides, performing for the single arm row on the left for the second set.

Modification: Option to take the push ups and rows from your knees or add an incline by placing your hands on a chair or bench.

Split Stance Back Flys

Targets: Upper arms including the posterior deltoids (rear shoulders), and major upper back muscles including the rhomboids and trapezius.

two women performing split stance back fly or reverse fly in an upper body dumbbell workout

How To Do Split Stance Reverse Flys

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Step your left foot back behind you, finding a split stance (like a staggered stance though your feet will be farther apart).
  2. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing in towards each other.
  3. Hinge forward at the hips until your body is in a straight line.
  4. Open your arms, raising the dumbbells until they come in line with your shoulders as you squeeze your shoulder blades together (maintain a soft bend in the elbows).
  5. Control the dumbbells back down. Return to the starting position, trying not to let the dumbbells touch at the bottom.

Warrior 2 Single Arm Row And Shoulder Press

Targets: The lower back, mid-back and lats, shoulders, abs and obliques.

two women performing a single arm row and shoulder press in an arm workout with weights

How To Do Warrior 2 Single Arm Row And Shoulder Press

  1. Find Warrior 2 stance by standing with feet parallel and wider than shoulder-width apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, then bend your left knee. Be sure to keep your knee above your ankle and pointing over your toes.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
  3. Hinge forward at the hips into a bent over row position, neutral spine, flat back from head to tailbone.
  4. Perform a single arm row by pulling the dumbbell back toward your left hip.
  5. Hold at the top of the row, and stand up to perform a single arm overhead press. Pressing the dumbbell in the left hand straight overhead.
  6. With control, lower the dumbbell back down to shoulder height. Then, hinge forward again and repeat the row to press movement.
  7. Repeat this row and press sequence for 40 seconds.

Dumbbell Pullover

Targets: Mainly the lats (latissimus dorsi) and pecs (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor) while also targeting the core and abs for stability.

two women performing a dumbbell pullover as part of dumbbell back exercises

How To Do A Dumbbell Pullover

  1. Start lying on your back, with legs bent at 90 degrees, hold one or two dumbbells in your hands with arms extended overhead.
  2. Maintaining straight arms, with a slight bend in the elbows, slowly lower the dumbbell(s) overhead towards the ground. Fully extending while trying to keep your low back pressed into the mat/ground.
  3. Then pull the dumbbell(s) back overhead, engaging the lats, to return back to the starting position.

Modification: Option to lay on a bench or stability ball which will also allow you a greater range of motion.

Straight Arm Momentum Pull Backs

Targets: The back of the arms including the triceps, lats, rear deltoids (shoulders), rhomboids and traps.

This compound exercise also strengthens the biceps as they are also engaged in the “pull” motion.

two women performing straight arm pullbacks as part of dumbbell arm exercises at home

How To Do Straight Arm Momentum Pull Backs Or Kickbacks

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing in towards each other.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips until your body is in a straight line (torso parallel to the mat).
  3. Keep your arms straight as you pull both dumbbells back to your hips (just past your hips).
  4. Control the dumbbells back down. Return to the starting position, trying not to let the dumbbells touch at the bottom.
  5. Repeat these pullbacks for 40 seconds.

Single Arm Reverse Grip Row

Targets: Mainly the latissimus dorsi (or lats; the largest back muscle known for its large, flat “V” shape) and biceps.

two women performing single arm reverse grip rows as part of a back and bicep workout at home

How To Do Single Arm Reverse Grip Row

  1. Take a staggered-stance — left foot forward, right foot back.
  2. Start with the dumbbell in your right hand, palm facing out away from the body (underhand grip).
  3. Hinge at the hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  4. Hold this staggered position while performing a single arm row on the right side. Pull your elbow up to meet your right hip, squeezing your back.
  5. Control the dumbbell back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on the left side of the body.

Modification: Option to place your left elbow on your left knee for additional support.

2 Bent Over Rows And 2 Standing Bicep Curls

Targets: Both the lower back and upper back, specifically the lats and rhomboids as well as the bicep muscles.

two women performing back rows and bicep curls in an arms and back workout at home

How To Do 2 Bent Over Rows And 2 Standing Bicep Curls

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing out away from the body.
  3. Hinge at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor.
  4. Pull the weights back towards your hips, performing two bent over back rows. Feel your shoulder blades squeeze together with each row.
  5. Then, stand tall and perform two standing bicep curls. Squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height as you exhale.
  6. Repeat this sequence of 2 bent over back rows and 2 standing curls for 40 seconds.

Dumbbell Overhead March 

Targets: Back, shoulders, stabilizing shoulder muscles and core.

two women performing an overhead march in a back and arm workout

How To Do An Overhead Carry Or March

  1. Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, slight bend in your knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, elbows in line with your shoulders, palms facing in towards each other (neutral grip).
  2. Extend your arms straight overhead, pressing the weights overhead. Keeping elbows tight (bicep by ear, palms in). Core engaged.
  3. With control, lift your right knee up to find a 90-degree angle. Hold for a second, then slowly lower it back down to the ground.
  4. Alternate the march by then pulling your left knee up to find a 90-degree angle.
  5. Repeat this marching sequence for 60 seconds, holding the dumbbells overhead the entire time.

Pin this Workout: 25-Minute Arm and Back Workout with Weights

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4 comments
  1. Lindsey,
    This month marks a year since I started working out because of NML!!! I’ve moved up in weights TWICE, been able to establish a consistent workout routine, have seen significant muscle gains, and overall feel so much stronger and healthier! I just wanted to say thank you for all you do to make this content free and available. I’ve had so much fun on this journey this past year, and can’t wait for 2022!!
    God Bless!!
    -Ashes

    • Hi Ashes! One year, wow that’s amazing and look at those strength gains (we love to hear it)! I hope you are so proud of ALL your hard work! Thank you for sticking with our workouts and we hope you keep coming back for more! Lots of FUN new workouts and programs coming in 2022!! Keep up the great work! -Lindsey