It’s a common misconception that it’s possible to lose arm fat through spot reduction – that a couple of curls and tricep exercises will tone up arms.
However, the best strategy is to follow a well-balanced workout that works all your major muscle groups – legs, core, upper body – and gets your heart rate up. This, along with a healthy diet, is key to reducing not just arm fat but toning your entire body.
While this arm attack workout will target strengthening your arms to help you build definition, you’ll also be using full body movements.
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Supersetting opposing muscle group exercises lets you continue moving, keeping your heart rate up and burning more fat.
For best results, incorporate this workout into your routine at least 3 times per week, making sure to include lower body workouts as well.
- 1 Swiss ball
- 1 pair of 10 lb dumbbells (Note: you may choose heavier on some exercises and/or lighter on others. Only select weights that you feel comfortable using based on your current strength.)
To complete this arm attack workout:
- Perform all the reps of each superset (pair of exercises) in a row without stopping. Go back and forth between the two for all of the sets listed.
- Rest 30 seconds between each superset.
- Rest 2 minutes after all 3 rounds of the superset are complete.
- Perform 20 reps of mountain climbers as a warm-up and finisher.
Note for beginners: If you’re new to exercising or weight lifting, you may want to do this arm attack workout without any weights or very light weights (2 to 5 lb). You can also perform fewer reps and sets than suggested.
Arm Attack Dumbbell Workout
Mountain Climbers | 20 reps
Start in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your toes.
Jog with your legs underneath you, driving your knees towards your chest. Minimize the bounce by keeping your core, shoulders and arms as tight as possible. Complete 20 reps, counting steps on both sides as one rep.
Narrow Grip Push-Ups | 10 reps +
Swiss Ball Dumbbell Rows | 15 reps
How to Do Narrow Grip Push-Ups:
Narrow Grip Push-Ups primarily work your triceps, but also do a good amount for your chest and core, making them a great exercise for overall fat burning power. If you cannot do proper reps in a full plank position, you can rest your knees on the floor for a modified version.
Start in a high plank position and place your hands directly under your armpit creases. Point your fingers forward and plant palms on the ground. Keep your neck in a neutral position looking straight towards the ground.
Slowly lower your body towards the floor until your elbows make a 90° bend. Press back up to the starting position and flex your arms. Continue reps, as many as you can, from the plank position.
How to Do Swiss Ball Dumbbell Rows:
Rows are a great exercise to work your arms as well as one of your biggest muscle groups: your back.
Place the dumbbells in front of the Swiss ball and lower your chest down onto the ball. Straighten your arms to reach for the dumbbells.
Now pull the dumbbells up towards your shoulders, with palms facing in. Flex back and then lower the weights with control.
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press | 10 reps +
Swiss Ball Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension | 15 reps
How to Do Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press:
A Standing Shoulder Dumbbell Press works your core and legs more than a seated shoulder press, perfect for when you want a maximum calorie burn.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells just above your shoulders.
Keep your core engaged and keep a slight bend in your knees. Press the dumbbells all the way up until your arms are straight above your head.
How to Do Swiss Ball Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension:
Strengthen and tone the back of your arms with this key move.
Lie down with your back on the Swiss ball, rolling out until your head and neck are supported and your knees are bent at a 90° angle. Raise the dumbbells just above your forehead. Your arms should be tilted slightly backward so you can feel the weight of the dumbbells.
Lower the dumbbells all the way down until they reach the ball, just on either side of your ears. Then keeping your elbows in the same position, straighten your arms fully, flexing and tensing your muscles at the top.
Continue to bend and extend, flexing the tricep muscles each time.
Dumbbell Swiss Ball Bench Press | 15 reps +
Ball Supported Single Arm Rows | 10 reps per side
How to Do Dumbbell Swiss Ball Bench Press:
This move targets your chest and also works your triceps and shoulders.
Lie your back and shoulders on the ball, making sure your head and neck are supported. Hold the dumbbells just above chest with elbows touching the ball. Press dumbbells up above the chest so that the arms are straight. Flex the chest and arm muscles, then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. Repeat, flexing your chest and arms each time.
How to Do Ball Supported Single Arm Rows:
Single arm rows are great for isolating one side at a time so you can really focus on the contraction of your back and arm muscles.
You’ll only use one of your dumbbells for this exercise, so set the other one aside.
Stand in a bent forward position holding the dumbbell in one hand and touching the ball with the other hand.
- Keep knees slightly bent in an athletic position.
- Make sure your spine is straight and neck is in line.
Row the dumbbell up towards your chest, flexing your back muscles at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower it down until your arm is all the way straight.
Repeat, focusing on your back muscles and exhaling each time you row the weight up. After 10 reps, switch the dumbbell to the other hand and repeat on the other side.
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises | 10 reps +
Swiss Ball Squat Hold with Dumbbell Bicep Curls | 10 reps
How to Do Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises:
Lateral Raises strengthen your shoulders and arms, and are great for straightening your posture.
Sit on top of the Swiss ball with the weights in your hands resting by your thighs.
Lift the weights straight out away from your body until your arms are parallel with the ground. Flex your arms and shoulders, then slowly lower the weights back down to the ball without resting them. Continue these reps, flexing your muscles at the top of each movement. Exhale as you lift the weights and inhale as you lower.
How to Do Swiss Ball Squat Hold with Dumbbell Bicep Curls:
These Bicep Curls work your biceps while isometrically working your legs, skyrocketing the calorie burn.
Hold the dumbbells in your hands and lean with your back against the ball (and the ball against a wall).
Lower your bottom towards the floor until your legs are forming a 90° bend at the knee. Straighten your arms all the way until you feel a stretch in your biceps.
Now curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders with palms facing in. Flex your arms, then lower the weights with control. Do not move your legs during the movement. Maintain that 90° squat position for the entire set of curls.
Wide Grip Decline Push-up with Feet on Ball | 8 reps +
Dumbbell Rear Laterals on Ball | 10 reps
How to Do Wide Grip Decline Push-up with Feet on Ball:
Decline push-ups are an advanced variation of regular push-ups. If you find these too challenging, feel free to modify with a standard wide grip push-up or even a modified (knees down) wide grip push-up.
Get into a plank position with ankles on top of the Swiss ball. Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart.
Slowly lower your chest towards the floor, keeping your chin up and looking straight ahead.
Press back up to the starting position and repeat, inhaling with each lowering and exhaling each time you press up.
Note: your core should be very tight throughout the movement. Do not move your hips, rib cage, neck or back; the only movement should be from your elbow joints.
How to Do Dumbbell Rear Laterals on Ball:
Rear Laterals target your rear deltoids as well as your triceps.
Start by lying belly down on the Swiss ball so that your arms hang straight in front of you. Place your feet on the base of a wall for added stability.
Lift the dumbbells out to the sides, until your arms are parallel with the ground. Flex back, arms, and shoulder muscles while exhaling, then slowly return weights back to the starting position.
Finish with Mountain Climbers | 20 reps
Congratulations on making it through this workout!
Include this in your weekly routine at least 3 times per week along with lower body training for best results.
(Your Next Workout: The Bosu Booty-Sculpting Workout)