Arm Workouts & Exercises for Women

Are you struggling with stubborn arm fat? Are you looking to bulk up your arms? Take heart, you are not alone. Some of the most sought-after body adjustments for women include arm toning and muscle building.

Arm strength and growth need a regimen that includes both general compound exercises and isolation movements. These combinations work quickly and can keep you energised for a long time.

Arm exercises and routines can become tedious and dull for some quite quickly if they aren't varied enough though. So if your arm-strengthening exercises are starting to become boring, you should switch things up and try something else. 

It’s also worth mentioning that doing the same barbell exercises repeatedly won't guarantee strong arms either. Your trips to the gym don’t have to be monotonous. You can actually enjoy them and feel a sense of satisfaction for all of your hard work.

We will look at the best arm exercises for women, some additional tips as well as the actual benefits of following arm workouts.

But first…

What Are Your Arm Muscles?

Knowing what and where your arm muscles are can provide you with the information you need to choose the right exercises to carry out. Having knowledge of the arm's structure does help you to see results from your workouts. In most cases, arm exercises for women focus on the upper arm muscles that lie between the elbow and shoulder.

The deltoids, biceps, and triceps are your arms’ three largest muscular groups. Some other fancy names you may hear include the biceps brachii, brachialis, triceps brachii and coracobrachialis. Different workouts target muscle groups in the arms in various ways. Consider the size of your muscles and your strength levels before deciding on your weights and the intensity of your workouts. 

Whether you're working out at home or in the gym, here are some arm exercises you can try out to help you get toned arms fast.

Arm Toning Exercises for Women

Some of the most effective arm exercises for women are:

Triceps Dips

Intense and effective exercises like dips can take you a long way toward your goal of well-defined triceps. At the gym, you can use a machine to do dips or you can use the dips bars. The exercise itself involves using your body weight as resistance. A pulley system and leg rest platform are incorporated in some gym machines. At home you can do the easier version, where you place your hands on a chair or the side of a couch with your feet still on the floor. Both of these systems help keep you at a comfortable and safe height if your body weight is proving difficult to push.

Triceps dips also engage your shoulder, forearms and chest muscles. These muscles are put to work immediately upon positioning oneself on a dip machine since they are required to maintain stability and balance while holding onto the arm handles.

Bicep Curls

The simplest kind of arm exercise is the bicep curl. It's a great way to tone the upper arms, which are often seen in a flexed position. Put the dumbbells at your sides to begin. Squeeze your elbows close to your torso, squeeze the grip of the weights and lift them up to your shoulders. Don’t swing your upper arms. Try to keep them at your sides instead.


Press-ups can be classified as a compound upper body exercise, with the primary muscles that are worked during them being the triceps, chest and the shoulders. By engaging the abdominal muscles as well, they can also help strengthen the lower back and the midsection. The full press-up variation, which involves using the toes, is the most effective, but for beginners, you can start with the press-up variation done on the knees.

Overhead Press

Shoulder and trap training is also part of an effective arm exercise routine. This press is excellent for strength training and improving shoulder mobility since it engages the deltoids, triceps, trapezius, and pecs. When done standing rather than seated, this exercise engages the abdominal muscles, which not only helps them become strong, but it also helps you to burn more calories as you tense them to help try to keep your balance.

Fifteen Minute Arm Workout

There is pure bliss in knowing that even with fifteen minutes and some persistence, you can start the arm-toning journey to get actual results. The great thing about quick arm exercises for women is that you can incorporate them into your schedule no matter how busy you are.

One example fifteen-minute routine that you can do with dumbbells include:

  • Bicep curls to overhead press - Work out your shoulders, core and biceps. (4 x 10 reps)
  • Bent over kickbacks with palm rotation - Works the triceps and stomach muscles. (3 x 10 reps)
  • Lateral Raise followed by a Front Raise - Work out the different shoulder muscles (4 x 8 reps)

More information on these and many other exercises can be found in our Arms & Shoulders Exercise guide.

If you don’t have dumbbells, worry not, as you can still get some form of a workout in without them using these exercises;

  • Inchworm, which entails mimicking a worm's movement by starting in a standing position, walking your hands out on the ground and returning to the start point. (3 x 10 reps)
  • Planks are the ultimate arm workout because they give you a two-for-one win by toning your arms and core. This exercise is excellent because it does not require equipment and can be done anywhere. Holding the plank position for 1 minute tends to be a common goal for gym goers, however don’t be put off if you can’t manage this. Start with whatever time you can and look to build that up over time.

Fifteen minute workouts are great for those who are struggling for time. They are most certainly better than nothing. The consistency of getting in at least a 15 minute arm workout 2 or 3 times a week will set you up for better results in future when you have additional time for some more substantial workouts. Have a look at our exercise guide and see if you can come up with your own.

Arm Workouts Tips

By now you probably know that there’s no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to building the shape and strength of your arms. But it doesn’t take forever either to see some actual change. We’ve got some tips below that will help you gain better results when working out our arms:

  1. Always heed the rest days as per your routine. Especially when just starting out, for physical as well as mental benefits, make the most of your rest days to fully recuperate for the next workout.
  2. Ensure your technique is the best it possibly can be. Even if you have been going to the gym for a while. Look in the mirror when working out, record yourself on your phone or even ask some of the more experienced gym goers if they have any tips that may help improve your technique. This will not only improve the results of your lifts but it will also reduce the risk of injury. 
  3. Improving your diet. This of course is a huge topic on its own but one of our favourite tips is to replenish your body with a meal or protein supplements immediately after your workout to give you the best chance of recovering for the next workout. 
  4. Booking in some time with a personal trainer. Even if just at the start, it’s a huge help to get some advice on which exercises are the best for you, finding out how to do them, as well as what types of workouts to do. PT’s can help to draft up a plan / routine that balances both your lifestyle and goals. 

Benefits of Arm Workouts for Women

Exercising the muscles of the arms is often more popular than training any other muscle group, as building arm muscle and toning the arms (reducing fat) have several benefits beyond boosting your self-esteem. Injury prevention and better posture are just two of the many benefits of developing muscle in the arms and shoulders as well as helping to keep your joints stable and protecting your bones.

Strong arms also mean you'll likely have a firm grip, which is great for other exercises like deadlifts, pull-ups, and kettlebell swings.


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