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.
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:
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.
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