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30-Minute Strong Arms Workout At Home

Build strong arms at home with this effective upper body workout. Each circuit pairs two isolated exercises with a compound exercise to build strength and definition in the arms, chest and back. This workout for defined, strong arms requires just a set of dumbbells and can be done entirely at home in around 30 minutes.

This post is brought to you in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board.

Build strong arms and shoulders with these simple but effective upper body exercises.

Our community loved this format in the Strong Legs Workout we filmed with our friends at the Minnesota Pork Board, so we knew we had to bring it back for arm day.

This circuit-style workout is designed to push every muscle in the upper body to fatigue in just 30 minutes. Each arm circuit includes three exercises: two isolation exercises and one compound movement.

I love this style of training because it allows us to target both the larger, more dominant upper body muscles (such as the back, chest and biceps) and the smaller arm muscles (such as the shoulders and triceps).

This is a strength training workout, with a power burnout move at the end of each circuit to raise your heart rate, increase calorie burn, and improve endurance.

three women performing a bicep curl as part of strong arms workout

30-Minute Strong Arms Workout

Build upper body strength and muscle definition with this Strong Arms workout.

A complete workout targeting every muscle group in the upper body: the back, chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and core.

Add upper body workouts like this one to your home workout plan one to two times a week to build strength and increase muscle definition.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Strong Arms Workout Routine on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 4 Upper Body Circuits (3 exercises for strong arms per circuit)
  • Timed Intervals (30 seconds of work, 15 seconds rest; complete as many repetitions as you can in the timed interval)
  • Repeat Each Circuit x2 Sets
  • 30 Second Power Burnout Between Circuits

Workout Equipment:

Medium Pair of Dumbbells. I recommend between 5-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout.

three women flexing biceps as part of strong arms workout

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Strong Arms Workout

Workout Outline


  1. Back Fly
  2. Upright Row
  3. Two Back Flys and Two Upright Rows

Power Move: Four Bus Drivers and Four Press Jacks


  1. Back Row
  2. Bicep Curl
  3. Two Back Rows and Two Bicep Curls

Power Move: Plank, Renegade Row, Burpee and Bicep Curl


  1. Chest Fly
  2. Skull Crusher
  3. Two Chest Flys and Two Skull Crushers

Power Move: One Push Up and Four Mountain Climbers


  1. Sprinter Sit Up and Shoulder Press
  2. Dead Bug and Seated Twist

Power Move: Heisman Runs

5 Best Exercises For Strong Arms

Back Fly

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

three women performing a back fly exercise as part of strong arms workout

How To Do Dumbbell Back Flys

  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. Hinge forward at the hips.
  2. Open your arms, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you raise the dumbbells. Aim to bring dumbbells just to shoulder height.
  3. With control, slowly lower the dumbbells back down, returning to starting position.

Upright Row

Targets: Upper arm, shoulders and upper back; specifically the front and middle heads of the deltoids (shoulders), as well as the trapezius and rhomboids (back).

three women performing upright rows as example of strong arms exercises

How To Do Upright Rows

  1. Start with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in your knees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your hips, palms facing in towards your body.
  2. Leading with your elbows, pull the dumbbells up until your elbows reach shoulder height. As you pull the dumbbells up, think of pulling your shoulder blades down. Be sure to keep the dumbbells close to your body as you pull them upwards.
  3. With control, lower the dumbbells back down the front of your body, returning to starting position.

Bicep Curl

Targets: Biceps brachii (the front of your arms). This move hits both heads of the biceps muscle.

three women performing bicep curls as example of way to get strong arms

How To Do Dumbbell Bicep Curls

  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing outward (underhand grip or supinated grip).
  2. Exhale as you squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height. Think about keeping elbows tucked into your sides and shoulder blades pulled down.
  3. With control, slowly lower the dumbbells down to your sides. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Chest Fly

Targets: Chest muscles, both the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor.

three women performing a chest fly exercise as example of strong arms exercises

How To Do Chest Flys

  1. Lay flat on your back (on the ground, on a bench, or on a stability ball) with one dumbbell in each hand, arms extended above your shoulders, palms facing in towards each other. Press your feet firmly into the floor.
  2. 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 over-extended (slight bend in the elbows).
  3. Exhale as you pull the dumbbells back to starting position, squeeze your chest muscles together. Keeping your chest puffed out and your elbows slightly bent.

Skull Crusher

Targets: All three heads of the tricep muscle (the back of the arms).

three women performing a tricep exercise

How To Do Skull Crushers

  1. Lie flat on the ground or on a bench or stability ball; legs bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms so the dumbbells are directly overhead (palms facing one another).
  3. Bending at the elbows, slowly lower the dumbbells towards your head (just bending at the elbows, lowering the dumbbells towards your temples).
  4. Then squeeze through the back of your arms to lift the dumbbells back overhead to return to the starting position.

Strong Arms FAQs

What Exercise Makes Your Arms Stronger?

The best way to increase upper body strength is progressive overload. Progressive overload is a method of increasing the intensity of your workouts over time. This can be accomplished by increasing load (or picking up heavier weights), increasing volume (performing more repetitions during each set), or increasing range of motion.

What Makes Your Arms Strong?

Strong, defined arms are built through a combination of upper isolation exercises (such as chest exercises, bicep exercises, tricep exercises, shoulder exercises and back exercises) and compound arm exercises. This combination of multi-muscle exercises and more focused exercises allows us to build muscle in all the major muscle groups of the upper body.

How Often Should I Train Arms?

In general, beginners should train arms one to two times a week. A well-rounded workout plan will also include lower body workouts and full body workouts.

Pin This Workout: Strong Arms Upper Body Workout

woman performing dumbbell press out exercise to strengthen arms

Pork: Lean Protein For Muscle Recovery

After losing some muscle during my pregnancies and postpartum recovery periods, I knew I had to be intentional about increasing my protein intake if I wanted to build back strength and muscle tone.

Especially after heavy strength training workouts like this one, I find that I feel best when I focus on getting high-quality protein throughout the day. I personally aim for 30 grams of protein at each meal (one of my favorite parts of our 4-30-10 Method Challenge!).

Pork is an excellent source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce serving of pork is an excellent source of:

  • Selenium: supports thyroid health.
  • Vitamin B-6: supports mood and brain health.
  • Zinc: supports tissue repair and maintenance of a healthy immune system.
  • Beta-alanine: form of amino acid found in pork and a crucial element in muscle development.

How To Shop for Pork:

  • Both pork tenderloin and pork sirloin roast meet the criteria for the American Heart Association Heart-Check Mark.
  • Dr. Taylor’s personal favorite cut is pork tenderloin – it is considered “extra lean” and has the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast.
  • Ground pork is also affordable and really versatile – we love using it for meatballs and lettuce wraps!

For a wide variety of heart-healthy and family-friendly pork recipes, visit mnpork.com.

Minnesota Pork Board

The Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) administers checkoff programs relating to pork promotion, consumer and producer education and research on behalf of more than 3,000 family pig farms in Minnesota.

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Minnesota Pork Board. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love, making the content you see on this blog possible.

This post includes affiliate links. I do earn a commission for products purchased using these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love, making the content you see on this blog possible.

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