For this routine, all you need is a set of dumbbells that are three to 10 pounds. Choose a weight that is challenging for you, but start at a lighter weight if you're a beginner. Adding weight to your workout helps to tone and create leaner muscles, boost your metabolism and you’ll burn calories all day long. I’ve put together six simple moves you can do as a routine or add in before or after a cardio session.
Perform 10-15 repetitions of each move, take a short break, then repeat the entire sequence a few more times for an effective workout. Always warm-up for at least five minutes, stretch when needed, stay hydrated and most importantly, listen to your body.
1. Squat With Overhead Press
1. Assume a squat position holding the weights at shoulder height, palms facing out. Make sure to keep shoulders down and back as you lower into a squat. If you can, try to touch your elbows to your knees in the lowered position.
2. As you rise back up, take the weights into an overhead press, keeping abs engaged, shoulders down and back, and make sure you don’t “pop” out the knees at the top of the move.
2. Row With Tricep Extension
1. With one weight in your left hand, assume a warrior/lunge position with right leg in front and left leg back, toes at about 11 o’clock. Extend your left arm out in front of you toward the ground. Rest your right arm on your right thigh for support and keep back flat, abs engaged.
2. Row weight up alongside your rib cage, resisting as you go and maintaining solid form, shoulders squared to the ground.
3. At the top of the row, extend from elbow for triceps extension. Bend elbow back to top of row position, then lower arm back toward the ground. Repeat the sequence with focus and an engaged core. Finish your reps on that side, then switch to the other side.
3. Lunge With Twist
1. Holding a weight in both hands, come into lunge position with left leg in front, left knee over left ankle. Extend your arms in front of you, slightly below shoulder height. Make sure to keep shoulders down and back.
2. As you lower into a lunge, twist your upper body with arms extended over the left thigh. Perform your reps then repeat on other side.
4. Bicep Curl With Alternating Knee Drive
1. Hold a weight in each hand, palms facing forward, feet hip-width apart. Keep shoulders down and back and core engaged.
2. As you raise both arms into bicep curl, alternate driving one knee towars chest. Lower leg as you lower arms. Repeat the curl with the opposite knee, so you are alternating each time. This move helps improve balance and coordination as well as tone those bicep and core muscles.
5. Dead Lift With Row
1. Hold a weight in each hand with palms on the front of your thighs. Hinge from the top of the legs and lower into a flat back, letting arms extended down toward the ground, thumbs facing each other. Keep knees slightly bent if needed.
2. Row arms up and out to the side slowly as you engage upper back muscles, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower arms back toward the ground and repeat move. Keep your neck and spine aligned and feel the stretch in the back of the legs.
6. Ax Chop
1. Hold one weight in both hands, arms lowered in front of your body. Open legs wider than hip-width apart. Swing weight up and overhead, making sure not to crunch your shoulders up around your neck.
2. Imagine there is a piece of wood on the ground right in front of you and lower your “ax” to chop the wood, coming to just above the ground, then follow through legs. Bend the knees as you chop and keep abs engaged. Raise the weight back overhead as you lengthen through torso, and repeat.
This move will get your heart rate up, work the core, shoulders, and back muscles.
Don’t rush through the moves, and make sure you are maintaining good form and connecting to your breath. You can do this workout at home, at the gym, or even on the beach! Go for it, and have fun while you work that body. If you're looking for more arm moves, check out this workout:
Cover Photo Credit: Getty Images