Arm Exercises With Hand Weights

Karen Frazier
Toned arms

Performing arm exercises with hand weights can be a great way to give you gorgeous, toned arms. If you have a small set of dumbbells, or an adjustable dumbbell system at home and you are seeking a way to get your arms toned and fit, then read on for a great list of arm exercises with hand weights.

Toning Your Arms

There are a few factors that come into play when you are seeking toned arms. While arm exercises with hand weights can increase your muscle tone, body fat also plays a role in the appearance of your arms. Performing arm exercises can improve the muscle tone, but they will not spot reduce the fat on your arms. The only way to completely tone up your arms is with a combination of weight management and toning exercises.

The Muscle Groups of the Arm

When training your arms, it is important that you do a workout that balances all of the muscle groups in your arms. If you train one muscle group but not another, then you may just wind up with muscular imbalances that can lead to injuries. The following muscle groups should be considered when training your arms.

  • Deltoids - Your deltoids are actually your shoulder muscles; however, the head of the deltoid extends down into your upper arm and is partially responsible for giving the arm its shape. The deltoid muscles are responsible for raising your arms in all directions.
  • Triceps - This is the muscle group on the back of your upper arm. When the triceps muscle group is fit, it takes on a "horseshoe" appearance. The triceps muscles are used to extend (straighten) your arm at the elbow. They are also used when you perform both pushing and pulling motion.
  • Biceps - This is the muscle group at the front of your arms. The biceps are responsible for flexing (bending) your arm and for pushing and pulling.
  • Brachialis - This muscle is between your biceps and the bon of your upper arm. When you turn your hand sideways and flex your arm, you are using your brachialis.
  • Forearms - Your forearms have a number of smaller muscles that allow wrist flexion, extension and lateral movement.

Arm Exercises with Hand Weights

There are a number of exercises you can do with hand weights to train each of the above muscle groups.

Training Your Deltoids

  • Seated shoulder press - Sit with your feet planted on the ground. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward. Slowly press the dumbbells up above your head in a straight line until just before your elbow is fully extended. In a smooth motion, lower the weight back to your shoulders and then repeat. Do not pause or rest between repetitions, and don't lock your elbows at the end of your extension phase.
  • Side lateral raises - Stand with dumbbells in both hands with your elbows bent at a 45 degree angle. Using your shoulders, slowly raise the weights out to your side, rotating your upper arms so that your hands appear to be "pouring" coffee. Lift arms to shoulder height maintaining the bend of your arms and then lower the weights. Repeat without resting between repetitions.

Training Your Triceps

  • Triceps kickbacks - Using a bench, place your right knee and right hand on the bench so that you are in a bent over position with your left foot on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with your palm facing inward. Hold your arm slightly away from your body. Now slowly extend the weight behind you in a controlled motion until your elbow is nearly straight. Return the weight slowly to its starting position. Don't lock out your elbow or fully bend it. Do repetitions in a slow, controlled motion without resting in between repetitions. Repeat on the left arm.

Training Your Biceps

  • Biceps curls - Sit on a bench with your feet on the floor. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward. In a slow and controlled motion, curl your arms up to slightly higher than 90 degrees and then lower them. Use a controlled motion with no resting between repetitions and never fully bend your arms or lock your elbows on the extensions.

Training Your Brachialis

  • Hammer curls - This exercise is exactly the same as the biceps curl exercise above, except that you want each of your palms facing in towards your body instead of two the front of you.

Training Your Forearms

  • Wrist flexion and extension - Sit on a bench with your feet on the floor. Place your right forearm on your right knee and grasp a dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing upward. Use a light weight so that you don't injure yourself. Very slowly flex your wrist up as far as it will go. Then equally slowly, extend it back as far as it will go. Don't rest between repetitions and use a careful and controlled motion. Repeat the exercise with your left hand.

On Your Way to Beautiful Arms

By using the exercises outlined above and combining it with a program of healthy weight management, you will be well on your way to having beautiful toned arms.

Arm Exercises With Hand Weights