8 Best Moves to Sculpt Your Arms

Tank top season is here (though, really, is there ever a season when tank tops AREN’T acceptable?) If you want to tighten and tone those guns before summer hits, we’ve got 8 moves to sculpt your arms and shoulders. And don’t worry: this workout isn’t going to take all afternoon. Just a few minutes a day can have you ready to rock that sleeveless tee.

What You’ll Need:

  • A pair of medium-weight and light-weight dumbbells
  • A yoga mat or other padding
  • 10-15 minutes
  • A little grit and determination
  • Some cute new WodBottom goodies to get you motivated!

1. Bicep Curls

A go-to classic, the bicep curl engages and isolates the bicep muscles, giving you that optimal “bicep bump.”

3 sets; 15 reps each set

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet hip-width apart.
  • Start with arms hanging by your sides with palms facing out.
  • Keep your abs engaged, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Curl both arms upward, bringing the dumbbell to your shoulder.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back down.

For a greater challenge, increase the weight. To scale down, decrease weights or alternate arms.

2. Hammer Curls

Very similar to the bicep curl, the hammer curl engages different muscle groups within the bicep. Specifically, hammer curls work the “long head” of the bicep, toning the entire length of the muscle.

3 sets; 15 reps each set

  • Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet hip-width apart.
  • Start with arms hanging by your sides with your hands facing your body.
  • Keep your abs engaged, and your knees slightly bent.
  • Curl both arms upward, bringing the head of the dumbbell to your shoulder.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back down.

Just like a bicep curl, you can scale up or down depending on your ability level.

3. Tricep Kickbacks

It’s time to work those triceps – the muscles in the back of your upper arm. If you’re looking to eliminate “arm jiggle,” this is the muscle group you’ll want to isolate.

3 sets; 15 reps each set

    • Start with dumbbells slightly lighter than you used with bicep curls.
    • Stand with legs about shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend at the waist at a 45–90-degree angle (however you are most comfortable). Maintain a flat back and engage your core.
    • With a dumbbell in each hand, begin by bending your arms, dumbbells to shoulders, with your triceps aligned with your back.
    • Tuck your elbows close to your body, maintaining your posture at all times.
    • From the elbow, straighten your arms up back and up, trying to straighten your arms behind you.
    • Pause at the extension, then slowly lower back to starting position.
  • Note: you should not swing your arms or disrupt your posture. The entire movement comes from the elbow.

4. Overhead dumbbell press

The overhead dumbbell press is a multi-task genius. This movement works your deltoids, triceps, trapezius muscles, and the muscles in your upper chest. Add a squat to this movement for a total body workout.

3 sets; 15 reps each set

  • Stand with hips slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Load dumbbells at the shoulders, with elbows out and palms facing forward. Note: do not overextend your shoulders. This will put undue stress on the rotator cuff.
  • Bend knees slightly, maintaining a straight back and tightened core.
  • Slowly push the dumbbells upward, meeting them together above your head.
  • In a controlled movement, lower back down to starting position.

5. Upright Row with Sumo Squat

Keeping in this wide-stance position, we’re going to add a sumo squat to this movement to burn more calories! Engage your inner thighs, quads, shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

3 sets; 15 reps each set

  • Start in a wide stance, feet turned outward at least 45 degrees.
  • Begin with dumbbells hanging in the front, palms facing inward.
  • Slowly lower down into a sumo squat, knees and toes facing outward.
  • As you squat, pull the dumbbells up towards your chin, elbows pushed outward, engaging your deltoid and trapezius muscles.
  • Pause, then slowly return to starting position.

To modify this exercise, use a kettlebell or barbell.

6. Lateral and Front Arm Raises

The last of the standing exercises. We’re combining two movements to isolate and tone those shoulders!

3 sets each, 10 lateral and 10 front raises each set.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Begin with a lateral front raise. Dumbbells should be hanging by your sides, palms facing your body.
  • Maintain a straight back and a tightened core. Elbows should remain slightly bent throughout.
  • For lateral raise, slowly raise weights directly out to the sides until arms are parallel with the ground. Palms should be facing downward at the top of the lift.
  • Slowly lower to start. Complete 10 reps.
  • For the front raise, shift the weights to the front of your body, palms facing each other.
  • Slowly raise both dumbbells straight up in front of you until your arms are parallel with the ground.
  • Slowly lower to start. Complete 10 reps.

7. Classic Push-Ups

The old classic that you love to hate – or hate to love.

3 sets, 15 reps each set.

  • Begin on a yoga mat or other soft surface in a push-up position, back flat, toes under, and abs fully engaged.
  • Modify your hand width to isolate different muscle groups. We’re starting with a traditional push-up, arms about shoulder-width apart.
  • Maintaining a straight back, slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body until your chest is an inch or two off the ground. Slowly push back up to starting position, careful not to lock your elbows.
  • Keep your focus about a foot in front of your body, maintaining a straight line through your neck and back.

To modify this movement, you may lower to your knees. For a greater challenge, try resting one leg on top of the other. Switch halfway through.

8. Lateral Plank Walk

It’s time to walk the plank and finish our arm workout. But don’t worry; there’s no pirate involved unless you’re wearing our Beetle Juice shorties!

3 sets, 10 walks in each direction per set

  • Begin in a push-up / raised plank position with hands on one side of a yoga mat.
  • Move left foot and left hand simultaneously, taking a “step” to the side. Follow with right foot and right hand to return to push-up position.
  • Alternate directions as needed, completing 10 “steps” in each direction. Complete three sets.
  • Note: maintain a straight back and fully-engaged core throughout this exercise. Stop immediately if you feel pain in your lower back.

Congrats – you’ve completed the WodBottom Arm-Sculpting workout! Share your flexes with us on Instagram or Facebook, and let us see those fierce shoulders!

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