Build strong upper body muscles with this efficient CHEST and ARM workout at home! Combining nine dumbbell arm and chest exercises that hit every muscle in the upper body; with an extra emphasis on the chest muscles.
This workout is brought to you in partnership with lululemon.
If you search ‘Chest and Arm Workout’ on Google the first four results are from popular men’s publications using gym equipment like the bench press, barbells, and cables.
Since the chest is my second favorite upper body muscle group to train (behind the back muscles), I wanted to share an arm and chest workout for the ladies.
Can I Work Out Arms and Chest At Home?
YES! This nine-move upper body workout targets all your major upper-body muscle groups, using just a set of dumbbells.
The variety of push exercises in this workout recruit and fatigue as many muscle fibres as possible; so you can build bigger and stronger chest, upper back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and core muscles at home.
What Are The Chest Muscles?
The chest is one of the largest muscle groups in the upper body and is actually made up of four different muscles:
Pectoralis Major Muscle — fan-shaped muscle directly beneath the breast tissue in the upper chest.
Pectoralis Minor Muscle — smaller chest muscle located in the upper part of the chest, beneath the pec major.
Serratus Anterior Muscle — located on the side of the chest along the ribs.
Subclavius Muscle — a small triangular muscle, located between the clavicle and the first rib.
Today’s workout hits all four major chest muscles from every angle!
Chest and Arm Workout FAQs
Can You Do Chest and Arms on the Same Day?
YES. This is an extremely efficient method of training. A complete upper body workout with an extra emphasis on one large muscle group – the chest muscles. Training chest and arms on the same day can help you maximize training efficiency.
What is the Best Exercise for the Chest and Arms?
If you have access to dumbbells, the chest press and chest fly are two of the best chest exercises. A classic push up is another exercise that is extremely effective at strengthening the chest and arms — no equipment needed.
Should Women Train Their Chests?
YES. The chest muscles are some of the most overlooked (and undertrained) muscles in women. There’s a misconception that because women have breasts they don’t need to train the underlying chest muscles, which simply isn’t true.
Chest training is part of any well-rounded fitness routine for men AND women. For a chest day workout at home that isolates just the chest muscles try these 5 Best Chest Exercises For Women.
25-Minute Chest and Arm Workout
Build strong chest and arm muscles with this guided CHEST DAY WORKOUT! All you need is a set of dumbbells and less than 30-minutes.
This is a timed interval workout – meaning you do as many reps as possible in the ‘work’ period. Your pace, your tempo (rep ranges will vary from person to person).
Remember the chest is a big, powerful muscle. Challenge yourself with heavy weights for these chest exercises.
Medium to heavy set of dumbbells and an optional bench or stability ball.
We’re using 10, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in the arm and chest workout for women.
Targets: Chest (pectorals), shoulders (deltoids) and triceps.
How To Do A Chest Press
Lay flat on your back with legs bent at 90 degrees. You can perform this as a dumbbell bench press, lying flat on your back on the ground, or on a stability ball. Hold one dumbbell in each hand (palms facing knees), elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.
Exhale as you push both dumbbells overhead at the same time; dumbbells stacked over shoulders at the top of the press. Make sure your wrists are strong and in line with your shoulders.
Lower the dumbbells back towards your chest with control. Repeat this chest press movement.
Push Up, Burpee and 2 Single Arm Rows
Targets: Arms, chest, shoulders, triceps, back, biceps, abs and core.
How To Do A Push Up, Burpee and 2 Single Arm Rows
Start in a high plank position, dumbbell in your right hand (or planted on the mat outside your dumbbell) and left hand planted on your mat. Body in a straight line from head to heels.
Lower down into the bottom of a push up, lead with your chest and let your elbows fall back towards your body. Then push back up to high plank.
Then hop (or step) your feet up to the the top of your mat; feet landing outside of your hands in a low squat stance, toes facing forward or slightly out.
Stand up slightly, maintaining a bent over position with torso parallel to the floor.
Perform two single arm back rows by pulling the dumbbell in your right hand back towards your right hip.
Return the dumbbell to the mat with control as you step or jump back into a high plank to return to the starting position.
Modification: Follow Lindsey on the right and add an incline to this complex exercise by placing your hands on chair or bench.
Targets: The chest muscles; specifically, the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor.
How To Do A Chest Fly
Lay flat on your back (on the ground, on a bench, incline bench, or on a stability ball) with knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor.
Hold one dumbbell in each hand palms facing in towards each other, and arms extended above your shoulders.
Inhale as you slowly open your arms, lowering the dumbbells in a wide arc until they reach shoulder level (or the ground). Your elbows should remain soft and not overextended; slight bend in the elbows.
Exhale as you pull the dumbbells back to the starting position, squeezing your chest muscles together. Chest is puffed out and elbows are slightly bent.
Reverse Grip Front Raise and Alternating Lateral Raises
Targets: The shoulder muscles (the anterior and posterior deltoids), traps, chest, biceps, abs and core.
How To Do A Reverse Grip Front Raise and Alternating Lateral Raises
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, slight bend in your knees, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your hips. Palms facing in towards each other.
With a slight bend in the elbow, perform a lateral raise lifting your right arm up in line with your right shoulder. Lower the dumbbell in the right hand with control.
Repeat a lateral raise on the left hand.
Then, rotate your palms to face away from you (underhand grip). And raise both dumbbells up in front of you for a front raise. Again bringing dumbbells to shoulder height. With control lower the weights back to starting position.
Narrow Press (Close Grip Dumbbell Press or Diamond Press)
Targets: Chest (pectorals), shoulders and triceps.
How To Do A Narrow Press
Lay flat on your back (on the ground, on a flat bench, or on a stability ball) with one dumbbell in each hand, elbows at your sides, dumbbells at mid-chest point. Legs bent at 90 degrees with feet firmly on the floor.
Activate your chest by pressing the dumbbells together.
Exhale as you press the dumbbells up in a straight line overhead, ending with your wrists stacked over shoulders.
Lower the dumbbells back towards your chest with control. Repeat this narrow chest press movement.
Narrow Press + 3 Skull Crushers
Targets: Chest (pectorals), shoulders and triceps (back of the arms).
How To Do 1 Narrow Press and 3 Skull Crushers
Start with a narrow press (description above). Activate your chest by pressing the dumbbells together.
Then, separate the dumbbells to a shoulder-width grip to set up for skull crushers.
With control, hinge at the elbow to lower the dumbbells down towards your forehead. Repeat x3.
After repeating 3 reps of skull crushers, bring the dumbbells back together and perform a narrow press.
Standing Chest Fly
Targets: Upper arms, chest, shoulders, abs and core.
How To Do A Standing Chest Fly
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides; palms face out away from the body (underhand grip). Shoulder blades pulled down towards your hips.
Squeeze your chest as you lift your right hand across your body bringing the dumbbell in the right hand parallel to your left shoulder. Think “right pinky finger to left shoulder”. Palm faces up towards the ceiling.
Keep a soft bend in your elbow as you lower the dumbbell back to starting position with control.
Repeat on the left arm, alternating arms with each rep.
Standing Chest Fly and 2 Bicep Curls
Targets: Arms, chest, shoulders, biceps, abs and core.
How To Do A Standing Chest Fly and 2 Bicep Curls
Perform a standing chest fly (description above) on each arm. Think about keeping your spine straight and long to stand tall.
Then perform two biceps curls. Curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders, and with control lower back down to the front of your thighs.
Continue this pattern, alternating 2 chest flys with 2 bicep curls.
Push Up and Wide Knee Drive
Targets: Arms, chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs, obliques and core.
How To Do A Push Up + Wide Knee Drive
Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged.
Lower your chest down into the bottom of a pushup, letting your elbows fall back towards your body and leading with your chest.
Then, press back into high plank position.
Hold a high plank as you pull your right knee towards your right elbow, then your left knee towards your left elbow.
Modification: Follow Lindsey on the right and add an incline to this compound exercise by placing your hands on chair or bench.
Not only do I love the comfort and fit of lululemon workout apparel, but it’s quality apparel that’s made to last (several of these items have been staples in my closet for years).
lululemon Size and Fit Notes:
Lindsey (On Right):
lululemon Wunder Train Leggings. Wearing a size 6 (her typical lululemon legging and pant size). These are our favorite lululemon leggings for strength and HIIT workouts — they have the perfect compression and stay put during high intensity workouts.
lululemon Ebb to Street Tank. Wearing a size 8 (her typical lululemon shirt and tank size is a size 6, but wearing one size up for pregnancy). This tank is perfect for dressing up with a cardigan and jeans or pairing with a sports bra for workouts.
lululemon Energy Bra.Wearing a size 8 (her typical lululemon bra size). Our favorite lululemon bra that can take you from everyday wear right into a high impact workout.
lululemon Wunder Train Longline Bra. Wearing a size 8 (her typical lululemon bra size). This is a high-neck, medium-support bra perfect for strength training. We also love the longline that hits just below the rib cage making it the perfect crop to pair with high-waisted leggings.
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