Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

For a complete list of exercises with animated illustrations showing you how to do the correct form, download the free “Start Living Right” mobile app which can be found in your smart phone store.

Do you want to have beautifully toned arms? Then grab some dumbbells and get off the couch!! In this article, I’ll show you some quick and easy exercises you can do at home. For most of these exercises, all you will need is a pair of dumbbells and a soft mat or floor-like carpet. The last exercise is a bonus, not for the faint hearted.

Do these exercises with one day of rest in between as it is important to for your muscles to recover. It is in this rest period the muscles will repair themselves and develop. Do 3 sets for each arm with 15 reps.


1. Biceps curl
Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand and your palm facing frontwards. Place your elbows on your sides and lift your arms upwards to your chest really squeezing your biceps. Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your arms to the starting position. This exercise targets your biceps which are the top muscles of your arm. Make sure to maintain a straight back and avoid swinging during the exercise.

2. Triceps kickbacks

Many women complain about “flabby” arms. This exercise targets just that! Get down on one knee on a mat or carpet and pick up a dumbbell. Place the arm holding the dumbbell on your side and form a 90 degree angle. Slowly lift the dumbbell backwards while keeping your elbow pressed against your chest. Form a straight line and hold for one second before lowering back and repeating. Repeat for both arms.

3.  Overhead triceps extensions

For this exercise you can either stand or sit on a chair. Grab your dumbbells (or just one if it’s heavy enough) and hold above your head with your arms straightened. This is your starting position. Now slowly lower the dumbbells down behind your head (neck area) while bending your elbows. Hold a few seconds and slowly return back to starting position. With the right amount of weights, you’re guaranteed to feel this the next day!

4. Side fly extensions

This is another great exercise to target those upper arms. Stand feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Let your arms hang down on your sides and slowly lift your arms up sideways while keeping your arms as straight as possible. Form an imaginary straight line and stay put for a few seconds before lowering back to starting position. Remember it’s not about how fast you perform the exercises, but how well you do them! Make sure you perform the exercises with a slow and controlled movement.

5.  Front dumbbell raises

Stand feet hip width apart and grab a pair of dumbbells. Standing upright, hold the dumbbells in front of you and place them on the front of your thighs with your knees slightly bent. Keeping a straight back, lift the dumbbells upwards until you are at face level and your arms are parallel to the ground. Hold for one second before lowering and repeating.

6. Dips

You will need a chair or bench for this exercise. Place your feet on the ground and position your hands at the end of a chair/bench. Lower your body to the ground with a slow and controlled movement while bending your elbows. Lift yourself back to the starting position and repeat.

7. Bonus exercise!

For this exercise you will need a stick and a piece of rope measuring half a meter. Tie the stick to the middle of the rope. At the end of the rope, tie one of your dumbbells. Keep your arms straight the entire time and with two hands, you “roll up” the rope till the weight reaches the stick. Do this for 45 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. This one…you’ll REALLY feel.

For more advice on how to train at home, download the home exercise guide here.

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