7 Best Arm Toning Exercises for Women

Woman Holding Dumbbell

Want Toned Arms? Try These 7 Exercises

If you are struggling with flabby arms, you don’t have to anymore. In this article,  I will share with you the 7 best arm toning exercises for women.

No, you won’t have to join a gym, in fact, all the exercises mentioned below can be done with a basic set of dumbbells.

These exercises will target the different muscles in your arms to give them a more toned look and increase strength.

There is nothing worse for a woman than to have fat and flabby arms, I see a lot of women both young and old who suffer from this.

While It is true that there is no such thing as spot fat reduction, you can make those arms much firmer.

As a side, If you can lose some extra body fat you will eventually begin to see some muscle definition.

To do these exercises you don’t need to join a gym and you will not need to buy any complex equipment.

A sturdy chair and an inexpensive pair of dumbbells are all you’ll need.

Choosing your dumbbells.

If you have never worked out before or done any kind of strength training, you’ll probably want to start out with a light set of dumbbells in the 2lb-4lb range.

Light dumbbells are not expensive, however, if you want to spend a little more you may want to consider buying a set of adjustable dumbbells, these are convenient but more costly.

The benefit of adjustable weights is that you can keep increasing the weight as you get better at doing these exercises.

Woman with Dumbbells flexing

There are two muscle groups in the arms, I am not going to go into the anatomy in order to keep things simple, the back of the arm is where your tricep muscles are.

The upper side or the front of the arm is where your biceps muscles are.

Both muscles are important, unfortunately, women who are overweight begin to see an accumulation of fat around the arms.

Doing arm exercises can help strengthen and tone the arms making them look firmer and more toned.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as spot fat reduction.

Tricep arm exercises

Working out the triceps will give your firmer arms and this muscle also strengthens the shoulder and elbow movement.

1. One arm behind the head tricep extension

This exercise is a straightforward exercise to do and hits the back of the arm (triceps muscle) this exercise is done working out one arm at a time.

In order to do the movement grab a light dumbbell lift it over the head with palm facing forward lower the dumbbell behind the head, then return to the starting position.

2. Two hand dumbbell tricep extension

Similar to the one hand tricep extension this exercise can be done either sitting on a flat bench, a chair, or standing.

Grab a light dumbbell and make a triangle with your hand so that your palm is on the top of the dumbbell (see video below).

Raise the dumbbell straight up over your head, slowly lower the dumbbell down behind your head, then raise the dumbbell straight up and squeeze the tricep muscle at the top, repeat this exercise for 8-12 reps for a total of 3-4 sets.

3. Tricep kickback

This is a versatile exercise that can be done kneeling on a bench one arm at a time or standing using both arms. The video below shows using both arms.

To do this exercise you want to grab a pair of dumbbells, one in each hand, slightly bend forward, bring your elbows slightly above your waist, slowly kick back your arms and slowly extending them towards the back squeezing the tricep muscle (back of your arms) then return to the starting position. repeat this movement for 8-12 reps 3-4 sets.

4. Tricep push up

This is an exercise that does not require dumbbells, you can do it on the carpet or an exercise mat.

This exercise not only will help develop your triceps muscle you will also feel it to some degree in your chest.

You can perform two different versions of this exercise, one for beginners and one for those of you who are more advanced.

The beginner version of these exercises you are going to stay on your knees, place your hands on the floor in a triangle position almost like you are going to do a push-up but hands close together.

Keeping your hands tucked close to your sides lower your hands down and squeeze the triceps muscle.

The advanced version is similar, the difference is you are going to start on your toes as if you were going to do a push-up.

Place your hands flat on the floor to form a triangle, slowly lower your body down towards the floor squeezing your triceps, push back up then repeat for 8-14 reps 3-4 sets.

See the video below with instructions on how to perform this exercise.

5. Skull crushers with dumbbells

Skull crushers using dumbbells hit the tricep muscle and are one of my all-time favorite exercises for building the tricep muscles.

To do skull crushers you need to lay down flat on your back using a mat on the floor or a flat bench.

The starting position begins with holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other. Hold the dumbbells over your head with a slight bend in the elbows, bring the dumbbells down by the outside of your head near ear level then raise your arms back up and squeeze when contraction.

You should do 8-12 reps for 4-6 sets.

The video below explains how to do them with detail.

Bicep exercises

The biceps muscles are not as big as the triceps it is an important muscle group to workout. this can help firm up the front part of the muscles and help increase arm strength.

6. Standing dumbbell curls

Standing dumbbell curls target the bicep muscles not only does it help tone up your arms the bicep mainly controls the elbow movement to the shoulder and to some degree the forearm.

Bicep curls are a staple exercise and a great arm toning exercise.

Standing biceps curls are a simple exercise to do but many times improper form gets in the way and women tend to use throw their shoulders into the movement which defeats the purpose, you need to focus mainly on the bice itself which is why proper form is important.

To do a standing bicep curl hold a dumbbell in each hand and with your arms down and palms facing forward then raise the dumbbells upward towards your shoulders squeezing at the top.

Your rep ranges should be between 6-12 reps for 3-4 sets.

You can target a different area of the biceps by rotating the dumbbells down, this is called a hammer curl.

See the video below for detailed instruction.

7. Dumbbell concentration curls

Concentration curls are helpful for toning the arms and also add peak to the biceps. This arm toning exercise is done one arm at a time.

To perform this exercise sit on a sturdy chair or flat bench, holding a dumbbell on the inside of your thigh with your elbow sitting slightly below your thigh raise the dumbbell upwards and squeeze at the top.

For detailed instructions please see the informative video below.


The above arm toning exercises are just recommendations, you can add these to your weekly workout routine, you can combine at least two exercises together to target both the triceps and biceps muscles.

If you have never done any sort of strength training you should always consult your healthcare professional before you start a fitness regimen.

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