person on weight bench doing arm exercises for newbies

Arm Exercises with Dumbbells for Beginners

If there were a magic potion that could make my arms appear shredded as hell in every t-shirt I own, I’d trade it for anything at all!

Unfortunately, having ripped arms isn’t as easy in reality, and it calls for utmost dedication, discipline, and commitment. However, all of it goes in vain if you’re not doing the best exercises that could trigger the arm muscles properly and help you get in shape.

Back when I was starting out as a newbie in a professional gym, I found it hard to know what’s best for me. But that was a long time ago! 

And since I’ve come very far from the days of chaos and confusion , today, I’ve decided to enlist some of the best arm exercises with dumbbells you can perform as a beginner.

Mind you, these exercises are relatively easy to perform, require only a set of dumbbells, and do not call for expert assistance, which gives you total control of the workout routine. If you are still looking for a great set of dumbbells, check out this article on adjustable dumbbells that are perfect for those that live in an apartment or in a home with limited space.

So, without any further ado, let’s check out these exercises.

Dumbbell Curl and Press

Dumbbell Curl and Press are inarguably the most popular dumbbell exercises, and targets your bicep area primarily. It targets the triceps and shoulder area too, making it an ideal compound exercise to pursue as a beginner.

It’s a common push exercise which can be performed in numerous variations. However, if you’re reasonably new to muscle training, it’s best that you only perform it with either a neutral or a hammer grip. For starters, our ideal recommendation would be 4 sets of 8-10 reps.

To perform this exercise, you need to stand in a straight posture while grabbing a set of dumbbells, and also be sure to keep your shoulders back. Try to curl the weights up to your shoulders, and then move your palms in an outward rotation motion. Follow this by pressing the weights upwards overhead until your arms are entirely straight to finish the rep. Furthermore, you can also perform these curls while being seated on a bench for better core support.

Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks

The secret to huge arms is having properly toned triceps, and DB kickbacks are one of the most effective exercises that can help you get that. It also helps in strengthening your auxiliary muscles, so it proves to be a total win-win situation.

Now, coming to the steps, you need to stand while leaning towards the ground a little, while bending your knees. Make sure to keep your spine straight, and grab the dumbbells with both arms. Now, slowly bend your arms at a 90-degree angle in such a way that your biceps are perpendicular to the ground. 

Using your core strength and your elbow hinges, try to lift the weights back and forth to complete one rep. Continue to do at least 10-15 reps to complete a set, and you’re good to go! Check out some more effective triceps exercises here.

Decline Hammer Curl for Biceps

Being one of the most basic dumbbell exercises for biceps, decline hammer curls are relatively easy to perform, and target your bicep muscles primarily. Nonetheless, you’ll need a bench to perform this exercise. If you need an affordable weight bench or if you don’t have much space in your home, our guide to the best weight benches is sure worth a read!

To perform decline hammer curl, you need to sit on the 45-degree inclined bench in a way that your chest is supported against the padding. Your arms should be holding the weights, hanging towards the floor. To complete a rep successfully, you need to curl the weights as high as you can towards your shoulders, and slowly bring it down. 

Complete 8-10 reps to finish a set, and continue to perform 4 sets for best results.

Skull Crushers

Don’t worry – your skull won’t be crushed literally, but your triceps will be ripped after finishing this set. Skull crushers, being a vital tricep extension exercise, is something you cannot afford to skip on your arm days. As a bonus, this intense exercise also makes your elbow joints more resistant to injuries while improving its extension capabilities.

To perform this exercise, lie down on a yoga mat or bench while holding a set of dumbbells in each hand. Slowly raise your arms upwards above your chest level, while ensuring that your elbows are absolutely straight.

To finish the rep, lower the dumbbells towards your head. If your elbows are bent at a right angle by the time the weights reach the mat, you’ve completed a rep correctly. Now get back to the starting position, and try to finish at least 10 reps to end a set.

Wide Grip Biceps Curl

Ask any fitness expert – continuing to perform bicep curls regularly can intensify your bicep conditioning process faster than any other exercise one can recommend. So, why wide grip? Because having a wider grip helps in targeting the inner portion of your biceps, giving it a beefy Arnold-like cut.

Okay, Arnold-like may be an exaggeration – but you get my point.

That being said, the easiest way to perform this exercise is by standing with your knees bent and shoulders wide apart. Remember to keep your abdominal area tense and shoulder muscles relaxed. Your arms should be holding the dumbbells at a slightly wider distance than your shoulders.

To begin the exercise, slowly curl your arms until you can feel the maximum contraction, and then squeeze the bicep muscles for a brief second. Finish the rep by going back to the initial position, and continue to perform at least 10 repetitions for best results.

Final words

I understand that most people try to rush everything to get into a better shape within an unrealistically minimal time. This can lead to severe injuries, which is worse than not being in shape. Every active gym member should know that muscle building isn’t an overnight phenomenon. So, don’t have impractical expectations, and most importantly – take your time.

On that note, I hope that my list of arm exercises with dumbbells for beginners has been of some help to you. I’ll be back soon with more informative guides on beginners’ exercises, so stay connected!

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