Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home

Are you looking for the best dumbbell workout to build strong arms and muscular biceps and triceps? StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home has everything you need to build bigger arms in the comfort of your home and without expensive gym equipment.

This article outlines the workout, details the exercises, and provides a pro tip or two on how to get maximum results with minimal equipment.

This arm workout with dumbbells is one of many premium workouts in the StrengthLog app, which you can download for free using the buttons below.

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Arm Anatomy

Let’s kick things off with a bit of arm anatomy. Don’t worry: we’ll keep it short and sweet. I know you want to get to the workout.

Biceps

What most people think of as “the biceps” is actually two muscles: the biceps brachii and the brachialis.

The biceps brachii is the muscle that gets all the attention. It’s the peak you see when a bodybuilder flexes their arm. The biceps brachii is a two-headed muscle: the long head and the short head, which originate from different parts of your shoulder blades.

A well-developed brachialis lifts your biceps and adds to your upper arm size even though you can’t see much of it directly. The brachialis is about as large as your biceps but located below it. It helps you flex your elbow and contributes more force to a biceps curl than the biceps itself.

Read more:

>> How to Train Your Biceps: Exercises & Workout

Triceps

Your triceps at the back of your upper arm is one of the largest upper-body muscles, more significant in size than the latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major. It’s more than twice the size of the biceps and makes up roughly two-thirds of the upper arm. You can’t neglect your triceps if you want big, muscular arms.

The main function of the triceps is the extension of the elbow joint. As the name suggests, your triceps have three heads: the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. The long is the largest, making up around half of the triceps muscle volume.

To train all three heads of the triceps effectively, you need several different exercises. Fortunately, you don’t need anything but dumbbell exercises to do so.

Read more:

>> How to Train Your Triceps: Exercises & Workout

StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home: What Equipment Do You Need?

Do you need a fully equipped gym to build an impressive pair of upper arms? 

No, you don’t. You don’t even need a complete home gym with a barbell, plates, and an adjustable bench. All you need is a set of dumbbells.

The truth is that your muscles don’t know what training equipment you’re using. Regardless of your fitness level and goals, you can build the biceps and triceps you want with home workouts and nothing but a pair of dumbbells.

For a dumbbell arm workout at home to be effective, you need at least one pair of dumbbells.

So, how heavy should your set of dumbbells be? 

You don’t want to be stuck with only one pair of dumbbells that you can do endless reps with. To build muscle and get stronger, you need to challenge yourself by lifting weights that feel reasonably heavy.

Read more:

>> How to Build Muscle: Exercises, Programs & Diet

At the same time, you don’t want to find yourself with too heavy weights, unable to complete more than a couple of repetitions or abandon proper form to get the dumbbells up. Using more weight than you can handle with appropriate form transfers the work to other muscles than the ones you’re trying to train and increases the risk of injury.

Ideally, you have two pairs of dumbbells at hand, suitable for your strength levels.

  • Recommended beginner dumbbells for women: a pair of 5 and 10-pound dumbbells.
  • Recommended intermediate dumbbells for women: a pair of 10 and 15-pound dumbbells.
  • Recommended beginner dumbbells for men: a pair of 12 and 20-pound dumbbells.
  • Recommended intermediate dumbbells for men: a pair of 15 and 25-pound dumbbells.

Of course, everyone is different. What you consider a pair of light dumbbells might be heavy for someone else, and vice versa. That’s normal. However, those dumbbell weights are suitable for training arms for most people.

If you’re advanced enough to require even heavier dumbbells, this workout is still highly effective, but you probably already have the dumbbells you need if that’s the case.

Another option is to get a pair of adjustable dumbbells. They allow you to switch between a lighter weight and a heavier weight with the flip of a switch or a turn of a knob. Also, adjustable dumbbells grow with you. You don’t have to buy a new pair of dumbbells once you get strong enough to need heavier weights to challenge your biceps and triceps.

adjustable dumbbells for arm workout at home
Adjustable dumbbells.

You can also complement your equipment with a resistance band or two for when you’re on the go or traveling. Lugging around a pair of dumbbells isn’t very convenient. All exercises in this dumbbell arm workout are compatible with resistance band-training.

StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home: The Exercises

Time to show your arms that you mean business. The training session consists of six exercises, and you’ll combine them into one of the best arm workouts possible, all in the comfort of your home.

  1. Dumbbell Curl
  2. Hammer Curl
  3. Concentration Curl
  4. Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension
  5. Close-Grip Push-Up
  6. Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension

Let’s take a closer look at each exercise and how to perform them for the best results possible. You can see the exact number of sets and reps in StrengthLog.

Dumbbell Curl

The dumbbell curl is the foundation of your biceps workout. It’s easy to do, gives you a great pump, and is one of the best exercises for building your biceps. Not just one of the best dumbbell arm exercises, but the best overall.

Form tips:

  • Avoid swinging the dumbbells up to ensure you get the maximum benefits.
  • Use controlled motion and the strength of your arms only. Good form is key to isolating your biceps.
Dumbbell Curl exercise technique for dumbbell arm workout at home

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Curls

Muscles worked in dumbbell curl exercise

How to Dumbbell Curl

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells in an underhand (supinated) grip, arms hanging by your sides.
  2. Lift the dumbbells with control to shoulder height by flexing your elbows.
  3. Don’t let your upper arms travel back during the curl. Keep them at your sides or move them slightly forward.
  4. Reverse the movement and lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Hammer Curl

At first glance, the hammer curl might look similar to the dumbbell curl. However, hammer curls offer several benefits, making them a great complement to regular bicep curls. 

Like the dumbbell curl, the hammer curl is an excellent exercise for the biceps, the long head in particular. However, it also works your forearms to a greater degree, especially the meaty brachioradialis muscle on the thumb side of your forearm. As if that wasn’t enough, hammer curls also target the brachialis muscle that lies deeper than your biceps and adds size to your arms.

Hammer Curl exercise technique for dumbbell arm workout at home

Muscles Worked in Hammer Curls

Muscles trained in the hammer curl exercise

How to Hammer Curl

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells in a neutral grip (palms facing each other), arms hanging by your sides.
  2. Lift the dumbbells with control, by flexing your elbows.
  3. Don’t let your upper arms travel back during the curl. Keep them at your sides or move them slightly forward.
  4. Reverse the movement and lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Concentration Curl

Concentration curls allow you to focus on one arm at a time and eliminate all chances of cheating when lifting the dumbbell, making them one of the most effective ways to isolate your biceps.

To save time, you can perform your sets back-to-back without resting. Once you’re done with the right side, move over to the left and back again. The bicep is not a large muscle; you recover fast and will find that you can do all sets in a row without your performance dropping.

Concentration Curl exercise technique for dumbbell arm workout at home

Muscles Worked in Concentration Curls

Muscles worked in concentration curl exercise

How to Do Concentration Curls

  1. Sit on a bench with a dumbbell in hand. Lean your elbow onto the inside of your leg.
  2. Lift the dumbbell with control by flexing your elbow.
  3. Reverse the movement and lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension

The dumbbell lying triceps extension is your basic mass-builder for the back of your arms. It’s also one of the overall best dumbbell arm exercises. It ticks all the boxes for a great triceps exercise and effectively works all three heads of the muscle.

You don’t need a flat bench to perform lying triceps extensions. Simply lie down on a carpet or an exercise mat instead and lower the dumbbells until they are about to touch the floor.

How to perform the dumbbell lying triceps extension for dumbbell arm workout at home

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extensions

Muscles worked in the dumbbell lying triceps extension exercise

How to Do Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extensions

  1. Lie down on a bench which your head close to the edge. Hold a pair of dumbbells with your arms pointing straight up.
  2. Lower the dumbbell down behind your head. Try to keep the same distance between your elbows throughout the movement.
  3. Reverse the motion and extend your arms again.

Close-Grip Push-Up

This one might be a bit of a cheat. Not a dumbbell to be seen here. However, the close-grip bench press is such a great exercise for your triceps that I’m sure you’ll forgive me when you see and experience the benefits.

The close-grip bench press is a staple exercise for building big, strong triceps. Regular push-ups are just as effective as bench presses, and this body weight variant of the close-grip bench is easily one of the best compound moves to train your triceps.

In addition to being an excellent triceps exercise, the close-grip push-up is also a chest press movement, building general upper body strength, especially in your pecs and shoulder muscles.

If you find regular close-grip push-ups too challenging, you can do them on your knees instead.

close-grip push-up exercise technique for dumbbell arm workout at home

Muscles Worked in Close-Grip Push-Ups

How to Do Close-Grip Push-Ups

  1. Assume the starting position, with hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Try to form a straight line from head to feet and brace your abdomen slightly.
  3. Lower yourself as deep as you can, while inhaling.
  4. Reverse the motion when you’ve touched the floor and push yourself up to straight arms again while exhaling.
  5. Repeat for reps.

Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension

Nothing beats the overhead extension to optimally work the sizeable long head of your triceps. You can perform this exercise in the standing position, as shown in the video below, or sit down on a chair if you prefer.

From the starting position at the top, lower the dumbbell behind your head as far as you comfortably can using a full range of motion. Be sure to use the right amount of weight to maintain proper form and feel the stretch in the back of the arm.

Like with the concentration curl for your biceps, you can perform your sets back-to-back without resting if you want. Once you’re done with the dumbbell in the right hand, move over to the left and back again.

Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension exercise technique for dumbbell arm workout at home

Muscles Worked in Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extensions

Muscles worked in Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extension

How to Do Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extensions

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width and lift a dumbbell up to a straight arm over your head.
  2. Lower the dumbbell down behind your head, while keeping your upper arm still and vertical.
  3. Reverse the motion and extend your arm again.

That’s the workout! A complete package for your arm muscles, sure to make them stronger and more muscular.

How Many Times Per Week Should You Do StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home?

Depending on your fitness level and training experience, I suggest you train your arms once or twice weekly.

  • For beginners and intermediates, one weekly dumbbell arm workout is enough to build muscle mass at an optimal rate.
  • Advanced lifters, bodybuilders, and athletes benefit from two sessions per week.

According to scientific research, you need at least ten weekly sets per muscle group to optimize your results. That’s a perfect training volume for advanced beginners and intermediates. It’s no coincidence that StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home contains ten sets for your biceps and ten for your triceps. Do it once weekly, and you’re golden.

Advanced lifters need a higher training volume, though. If you’ve been working out regularly for more than a year, you’ll likely benefit from up to 20 weekly sets per muscle. Perform StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells twice per week to take advantage of your greater training experience.

Muscles don’t grow bigger and stronger while you’re working out. They do so in the days following the training sessions when you give them the rest they need in addition to nutrients from a healthy diet. Be sure to separate your arm workout by at least 48 hours to give your muscles time to recover and grow.

Also, keep in mind that you work your biceps and triceps if you train any other upper body muscle group during the week. You activate your biceps a lot when you do rows and pull-up style exercises for your back, and the triceps are heavily involved in all kinds of presses for your chest and shoulders. It’s a good idea to train your entire body anyway, not just your arms, for a balanced physique.

Can I Superset This Dumbbell Arm Workout?

Indeed you can! 

A biceps and triceps workout is ideal for supersetting. Unlike, for example, a superset session consisting of chest and back, going back and forth between biceps and triceps exercises with little to no rest isn’t that exhausting and won’t leave you drained towards the end of the workout. Your triceps get to rest while you’re working your biceps, and vice versa.

In addition, because your biceps and triceps are so close together, you get a great, sleeve-busting pump in your entire arm from supersetting them.

While supersets don’t offer any particular benefits for building muscle, they can be a lifesaver if you don’t have much time to lift but still want to get a great workout done.

An excellent way to superset the home dumbbell arm workout can look like this:

  1. Dumbbell Curls + Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extensions
  2. Hammer Curls + Close-Grip Push-Ups
  3. Concentration Curls + Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extensions

If you’re feeling adventurous (or just really short on time), you could try giant-setting this workout. A giant set is when you perform four or more different exercises back-to-back without any rest between individual sets.

A giant set of the dumbbell arm workout would look like this:

  • Dumbbell Curls + Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extensions + Hammer Curls + Close-Grip Push-Ups + Concentration Curls + Dumbbell Standing Triceps Extensions

Rest a couple of minutes, then do it over again for a total of three rounds. Your biceps and triceps will cry for mercy, and you’ll be done with your arm workout in no time. It won’t quite fit the bill if you’re looking for a 15-minute dumbbell arm workout, but it’s pretty close and more effective than a regular arm session squeezed into 15 minutes.

Track StrengthLog’s Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home in the StrengthLog App

There you go! This dumbell arm routine hits your biceps and triceps from all different angles to help you gain lean muscle mass.

If you want to grow bigger and stronger, the key to fast and consistent gains in strength and muscle is progressive overload: you increase the weight you use in your training or do more reps over time.

It’s almost impossible to keep track of your progress without a workout log. Our app StrengthLog is 100% free to download and use as a workout tracker and general strength training app. All the basic functionality is free – forever.

You’ll also find a bunch of training programs and workouts in the app. Many are free, but our more advanced programs and workouts (such as this one) are for premium users only.

Want to give premium a shot? We offer all new users a free 14-day trial of premium, which you can activate in the app.

Download StrengthLog for free with the buttons below:

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Good luck with your training!

>> Click here to return to our list of training programs and workouts.

If you enjoyed this workout, check out our other home dumbbell routines:

>> Leg Workout With Dumbbells at Home

>> Shoulder Workout With Dumbbells at Home

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Andreas Abelsson

Andreas has over 30 years of training experience and is a highly appreciated writer and educator on exercise, fitness, and nutrition. Few people stay more up to date and have a better grasp of the field of exercise science than Andreas.