Arm Workout with JUST Dumbbells (GET BIG ARMS!)

If you have been looking for an arm workout with just dumbbells to get big arms, look no further. Whether you have access to a full rack of dumbbells, a single pair, or even just one dumbbell by itself; this dumbbell workout can be performed by anyone. I designed this workout to effectively hit your biceps and triceps with nothing but dumbbells and no extra equipment.

For this arm workout, you are going to to want to grab dumbbells that will allow you to fail in the 8-10 rep range for each given exercise. If you are limited by the number of dumbbells you have, I’ve got you covered. If you find that the weight you are using is too light to fail in the given rep range, then you are going to perform reps to failure and decrease your rest time, creating a more metabolic training effect. If your dumbbells are too heavy, you will be doing the exercise swaps provided to allow you to fail in that 8-10 rep range.

With this dumbbell arm workout, the rest time, given that you fail in the 8-10 rep range, will be 90 seconds to 2 minutes. If you find that your dumbbell option doesn’t allow you to fail before 10 reps, you will perform the exercise to failure and then cut your rest time down to 45-60 seconds. This will equalize the workout for anyone that performs it, regardless what kind of access to dumbbells they might have.

The first exercise is the DB Drag Curl. If your dumbbells are too heavy or you only have access to a single dumbbell, you will performing the DB Waiter’s Curl. These exercises will emphasize the attention given to the long head of the biceps and the height of their appearance.

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Next, you will be performing the Standing DB Curl. I prefer this done in alternating fashion due to less core stabilization required. The option you have, if the dumbbells are too heavy or your access is limited, is to perform the DB Kneeling Preacher Curl.

This arm workout with dumbbells continues with a focus on the brachialis muscle by performing Cross Body Hammer Curls. Your other option, given limitations, is to perform Shovel Curls. Remember to perform 8-10 reps in each direction or until you reach failure (if the weight is too light).

To get jacked arms, this dumbbell workout is going to have to hit the triceps, too!

The first triceps exercise up is the Lying Floor Extensions. In the event that you cannot perform this exercise because the dumbbells are too heavy or you are limited to a single dumbbell, you will perform the Single DB Lying Floor Extensions.

Next in this dumbbell arm workout is the DB Overhead Extensions. Your secondary option is the Single DB Overhead Extensions. In this case, make sure your elbows are pointed forward throughout the movement to protect your shoulders.

You would then finish this workout by performing DB Kickbacks. This movements allows you to reach the peak contracted state of the long head of the triceps. With access to a single dumbbell or if your dumbbells are too heavy for this exercise, you’ll be doing the Tricep Cheat Backs, but make sure to perform this with as much control as possible.

This is what this dumbbell only workout looks like if you want jacked arms:

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1. DB Drag Curl / DB Waiter’s Curl – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

2. Standing (Alt.) DB Curl / DB Kneeling Preacher Curls – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

3. Cross Body Hammer Curls / Shovel Curls – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

4. Lying Floor Ext. / Single DB Lying Floor Ext. – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

5. DB Overhead Ext. / Single DB Overhead Ext. – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

6. DB Kickbacks / Tricep Cheat Backs – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

This dumbbell workout will effectively hit your arms without any extra equipment like a bench or cables, making it a great option to get jacked arms at home. Each exercise was selected carefully to make sure you are hitting all muscles / functions of the upper arm.

If you are looking for a complete workout program that uses just dumbbells, regardless of weight or how many you have access to, check out our JACKED training program.

If you are looking for more workouts that make use of minimal equipment, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on YouTube via the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so that you never miss a new video when we put one out.

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38 thoughts on “Arm Workout with JUST Dumbbells (GET BIG ARMS!)

  1. ATHLEAN-X™ says:

    *NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY* – Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected within the first hour the video is published. Click the link to see if you’ve won. No strings attached!

    If you don’t win, no worries, you’re not going away empty handed. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. mofosoto says:

    I would love to see a video on an AC Shoulder Separation. Maybe talk about the different degrees of injury and what kind of strength we can get back. I have this on my left shoulder and am just worried that it’s going to snap if I’m lifting too heavy. I’ve seen some people look like they basically get back to full strength but it just doesn’t make sense to me. How can you be back to that level when your shoulder is permanently weaker and deformed and damaged? I don’t want to make it worse. I’ve seen all your awesome shoulder videos and they’ve been great but I know there are tons of us athletes out there with this injury that would love a little light on this. You’re the man!

  3. Jason Schlegel says:

    As always you keep delivering the best workouts and best information. Thanks for all you do on this channel

  4. Ethan Byrne says:

    Nice, solid workout. The exercises you picked are simple but in no way ineffective. Keep up the good work, Jeff!

  5. Jeffrey says:

    I finally won. After all these years and trying 5 programs. In gonne try it right away. Thank you Jeff

  6. David Aureliano Salazar Malaver says:

    For biceps:
    1:41 – Exercise 1. DB Drag Curl / DB Waiter’s Curl
    2:24 – Exercise 2. Standing (Alt.) DB Curl / DB Kneeling Preacher Curls
    3:19 – Exercise 3. Cross Body Hammer Curls / Shovel Curls
    For triceps:
    4:24 – Exercise 4. Lying Floor Ext. / Single DB Lying Floor Ext.
    5:29 – Exercise 5. DB Overhead Ext. / Single DB Overhead Ext.
    6:39 – Exercise 6. DB Kickbacks / Tricep Cheat Backs

  7. Flanörün Seyir Defteri says:

    1. 1:37 DB Drag Curl / 1:54 DB Waiter’s Curl – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

    2. 2:19 Standing (Alt.) DB Curl / 2:40 DB Kneeling Preacher Curls – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

    3. 3:12 Cross Body Hammer Curls / 3:43 Shovel Curls – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

    4. 4:08 Lying Floor Ext. / 4:48 Single DB Lying Floor Ext. – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

    5. 5:25 DB Overhead Ext. / 6:08 Single DB Overhead Ext. – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

    6. 6:34 DB Kickbacks / 6:55 Tricep Cheat Backs – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

  8. D. HARMS says:

    Jeff my man! You saved me from so many injuries and helped me fix so many of them! Thank you brother!

  9. charles hudnall says:

    I’m in my 4th week of the Jacked program, and am loving every second of it. I am definitely seeing some results, and I’m 57. Great stuff. Thanks Jeff!

    • cajcas says:

      I’m turning 57 in a few days. Been working out a year and AX has been a major part of that. I’m definitely seeing results…slower than when I was 17 but then…now I have more money and can pay for a gym membership.

      Keep it up. My PT said that resistance training is the fountain of youth!

  10. Crypt0lamb says:

    Can’t believe you are still doing these high quality videos after so long! And still looking great…middle age does not define you. Thanks again for sharing. Its been years, I’m back to Try getting fit again after years of slacking, and again depending on your excellent instructions. Cheers!

  11. Danny Spitzer says:

    Jeff’s advice has made my workouts WAY more interesting, all the while avoiding things that would get me injured otherwise

  12. Sal Panettieri says:

    Thanks for Another great video Jeff and team!! I would add one more variation, super-setting the bic with the tri exercises. Making it take less time. Do bic #1 exercise with tri #1 exercise and so on. I would also – add doing the tri first then bic, (as you would say “Why?”) because the tri is a larger muscle.
    Never the less. Please, please do a video for older guys!! 50 – 60 – 70 years old! Please include sets, reps, rest periods, MRT, stretches, and corrective exercises. We would really learn a great deal and appreciate it. Thanks.

  13. Nicky Wee says:

    Hey Jeff, I’ve been trying out the Cross body hammer curls based on your previous bicep videos, but the angle of the forearm seems awkward and am currently experiencing pain at the side of my elbow joint. Not sure what I’m doing wrong as the movement in your video seems to be similar to what I’m doing

  14. Isak Abisua Oliva says:

    I really like dumbbells because you can get a lot out of them, they are versatile, thanks Jeff for continuing to see our gains and very good exercises.

  15. Cormac R Quinn says:

    exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thanks so much for making my single dumbbell useful!

  16. SanderP3 says:

    Great video as always. One question though: at 6:10 the single DB overhead extensions, I thought you said in your ”Best/Worst Tricep Exercises-Video” that you don’t like this one. It hits your head on the way up etc. If I recall correctly, it got a big red X in that video.

  17. Nasif Farhan says:

    Hey jeff. As someone with limited money and who only works out at home. Your training techniques have helped me get the defent physique that i have today. Thank you❤

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