Sports Workout: I Want Strong Arms

Just doing push-ups is a great way to increase the strength of your arms.

Your arms are the part of your body that everyone sees, so naturally you want them to look as good as possible. If you are looking to build muscle, you should cut back on cardio and increase strength training.

Find A Strength Training Workout

To strengthen your arms, you need to work the biceps and triceps. You can find any number of high-intensity workout videos. Women’s Health magazine offers three distinct levels of arm workouts; designed for two nonconsecutive days a week, moving up in level every eight weeks. And Shape lets you build your own workout using their database of demonstration videos.

Short of a full, upper-body workout routine, there are plenty of other ways to re-focus your regular workout to target the arms.


Dumbbells can easily become the cornerstone of your upper body routine. Most trainers advocate using three-to-eight pound dumbbells to shape your biceps, triceps and shoulders. To get firm faster, increase weight every four to six weeks.

If you are focused more on strength and less on tone, consider getting yourself some heavier dumbbells. New research suggests that women who lifted heavier 20 pound dumbbells six-to-eight times instead of lighter weights 10-12 times, built more strength over 10 weeks.

Key dumbbell exercises: bicep curls, shoulder presses and triceps extensions. Or branch out further with chest flies, lateral raises and more.

A Basic Workout

On a given day, pick four exercises, ideally to focus on a balance between bicep and triceps. If you are using lighter dumbbells, shoot for 10-12 reps in each set. Go through each one twice, and you’re set. This brief workout should have you noticing results in as soon as a week.

Go Without Weights

Never underestimate the power of push-ups and pull-ups: even if you do the down-only variations, you’ll be working out all the key arm muscles (and your core!) simultaneously. Ease into push-ups by doing them on an incline—the steeper, the easier. Work your way up to pull-ups with a resistance machine, or by increasing the intensity over time.

Dips require only a workout bench or chair, and exercise the triceps and shoulders. Sit with your hands at your side on the seat, and scoot yourself forward so you are held up by your arms. Then, dip as low as you can go, lift yourself back up and repeat.

A Basic Workout

Do 10 down-only push-ups, 10 down-only pull-ups, 10 dips, then repeat. Or combine these with your dumbbell exercises!


Yoga is another great way to strengthen your arms. Find a yoga regimen that focuses on arm strength, or add poses like this downward dog variation to your regular workout. Many standard poses like upward dog and plank pose work the arms already; check out the seven best yoga poses for arm strength.

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