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30-Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout For Women

Strength train your way to strong, sculpted arms with this DUMBBELL ARM WORKOUT! It’s just 30 minutes, but it will burn out your biceps, triceps, chest, back and shoulder muscles. Grab a set of medium-to-heavy dumbbells and follow along with this guided home workout video!

Jump To Dumbbell Arm Workout Instructions

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STRONG, SCULPTED ARMS. That’s the goal of this dumbbell arm workout.

We’ll work every major upper body muscle to fatigue through strength training exercises like:

  • Dumbbell Overhead Press
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Row (pictured below)
  • Dumbbell Chest Fly
  • Tricep Extension with Dumbbells
  • Bicep Curls with Dumbbells

Single Arm Dumbbell Row | part of the best arm workouts for women roundup post

Why is it important to ‘fatigue the muscle’ during strength training workouts?

Muscle fatigue may sound like a negative thing, but it’s actually essential for achieving muscle growth. That’s why I’m always encouraging you to reach for heavier weights!

I’m frequently asked, ‘how many repetitions of an exercise should I do?’

My response, how many repetitions would it take to get you to the point of muscle fatigue or failure with the dumbbells you have?  

Muscle fatigue means that you are not physically capable of performing one more rep with proper form.

How to get toned arms?

If your goal is to improve definition in your arms, and you reach the end of a set and feel that you’re capable of performing a few more reps, that’s a sign you can (and should) reach for heavier weights next time. (The American Council on Exercise).

Back exercises for pregnancy

To reach muscle fatigue you can:

  1. Perform more repetitions with a lighter set of weights, or bodyweight. This format is common for barre workouts.
  2. Perform fewer repetitions with a heavier pair of dumbbells or free weights. This format is more common for dumbbell strength training workouts.

So grab a pair of medium-to-heavy dumbbells and do this 30-Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout with me!

The Workout: 30-Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout

The goal of this 30-Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout is to strength train at home to get strong, sculpted and toned arms.

This arm workout consists of 12 dumbbell arm exercises broken into four strength training circuits. Each circuit focuses on specific upper body muscle groups — chest and shoulders, back and triceps, and biceps.

You’ll perform between 10 and 12 reps of each arm exercise; repeating each circuit x 2 sets. 

Dumbbell Arm Workout at Home

Workout Equipment

Medium-to-heavy set of dumbbells or multiple sets of dumbbells. 

I suggest between 8-20 lbs dumbbells. If you don’t have access to dumbbells, you can always sub soup cans or filled water bottles. 

Dumbbell Arm Workout Instructions

Let me be your certified personal trainer for the day. Follow along with the 30-Minute Dumbbell Arm Workout Video at the top of this post.

I’ll be sweating with you through each upper body exercise, providing form cues and motivation.

Alternatively, you can work off the dumbbell arm exercises outlined below (watch the video at the top of this post if you need a demonstration of these exercises).

DYNAMIC WARM UP (similar to this 5-Minute Warm Up for At Home Workouts)


Specifically targets the chest muscles and shoulder muscles to build upper body strength. Also great for maintaining good posture. 

  1. 2 Count Push Ups 
  2. 2 Push Ups + 4 Kneeling Neutral Shoulder Press
  3. Goal Post Chest + Shoulder Press
    X 2 Sets


Specifically targets the back muscles and tricep muscle to sculpt toned arms. The back is the largest muscle group in the upper body and essential to a strong upper body. 

  1. Bent Over Row + Tricep Kick 
  2. Single Arm Row
  3. Lying Overhead Pull + Tricep Extension
    X 2 Sets


Specifically targets the bicep muscles to build definition in the arms. 

  1. 2 Count Bicep Curls  
  2. Alternating Half Bicep Curls 
  3. Bicep Hammer Curl + Neutral Shoulder Press + Overhead Tricep Extension
    X 2 Sets


Specifically targets the back muscles, chest muscles and upper arms to build a strong upper body.

  1. Gorilla Pulls
  2. Chest Fly
  3. Man Maker (push up + plank row + squat hold bicep curl + overhead shoulder press)
    X 2 Sets

Shoulder Press Arm Exercise

How Many Times A Week Should I Strength Train Arms?

This varies depending on your personal fitness and training goals.

I recommend allowing 48 hours of rest time after strength training a specific muscle group. So if you train arms on Monday, take at least 1 day to rest or train a different muscle group (lower body) before training arms again.

It’s important to allow your body rest time to recover and repair the muscles you broke down during strength training (that’s how you build muscle).

Is This Dumbbell Arm Workout Pregnancy-Friendly?

Yes! I filmed this arm workout video in my second trimester of pregnancy, so most of the arm exercises are pregnancy-friendly.

Of course, every body and every pregnancy is different. I always recommend checking with your doctor or midwife about what kind of exercise is appropriate for you and your pregnancy. As always, listen to your body and only do what feels good to you.

That said, it’s important to maintain strength during pregnancy. Weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy and if you don’t continue to strength train; ultimately you’ll be at your weakest when your body is the heaviest.

Strength training during pregnancy can help avoid common pregnancy pains like low back pain, joint pain and fatigue. You can find more pregnancy-friendly workouts on the blog here.

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