Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home

Arm Workout With Dumbbell at Home

If you’re looking for a simple, quick, and incredibly effective arm workout with dumbbells at home, then look no further.

Today, we’ll go over everything you’ll need, how to go about it safely, and what exercises you should do for excellent arm growth and angular, lean arms.

Let’s dive in!

First, Warm-Up Properly

Home Workout Warm-upWarming up is incredibly important because it: 

  • Prepares the body for the workout
  • Gets us in the mood for exercise
  • Boosts your motivation
  • Improves our performance
  • Decreases the risk of getting injured

To warm-up properly, you should do some light cardio to get the blood flowing, raise your core body temperature, and get your muscles warm. And keep in mind when your muscles get warm, they shed extra fat from your body in the form of sweat. That is why it is necessary to balance your fat loss. A special thanks to which has developed a free body fat percentage calculator that helps you in estimating the fat loss during any workout kind of activity.

Some simple 2-minute warm-up includes: 

  • Jogging in place
  • Hopping in place
  • Jumping rope
  • Dynamic movements like shoulder, elbow, and wrist rotations

The Dumbbells You Will Need

Home Arm WorkoutsPrevailing wisdom suggests that we need a fully-stocked gym and a full dumbbell rack that takes up an entire room. But, as you’ll see in a moment, you can have an arm workout with dumbbells at home with the most basic of equipment, and just a few dumbbells that won’t clutter your home.

It’s best to have two pairs of dumbbells, based on your current fitness and strength level. (1)

One light set of dumbbells, one heavy set of dumbbells – based on your fitness level and strength:

Dumbbells Setup for a Home Workout

To achieve a very effective home dumbbell workout, you really only need two sets of dumbbells (4 dumbbells total):

  • One light set of dumbbells for smaller muscles (biceps, triceps, shoulders)
  • One heavy set of dumbbells for larger muscles (back, chest, legs) 

That way, with only two sets of dumbbells, you don’t have a full room packed with a rack of 20 dumbbells (unless of course you want that). And more importantly, it’s not necessary to achieve a really great workout.

The dumbbells you purchase are based on your experience and fitness level, as well as your general strength. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Beginner
    Light: 5 or 8# Dumbbells
    Heavy: 15 or 20# Dumbbells
  • Intermediate
    Light: 10 or 15# Dumbbells
    Heavy: 20 or 25# Dumbbells
  • Advanced
    Light: 15 or 20# Dumbbells
    Heavy: 30 or 40# Dumbbells

If you’re not sure about the weights, take a visit to your local Walmart, Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or similar store and test them out.

A good test to check your light and heavy dumbbell, is to do some dumbbell side raises to gauge your light dumbbell, and bicep curls to gauge your heavy dumbbells. You want to have mild resistance for each one, but not overloaded.

Two pairs are all you need – you can store them in your closet or under your bed.

We recommend dumbbells from Rogue Fitness. They are top quality, and are rubber so they will protect your floors and furnishings. And Rogue is top of the line quality, so they’ll last forever.

Arm Dumbbell Workout at Home

These are among the simplest to learn and the most effective exercises you should incorporate into your home arm workout with dumbbells. 

Do all 3 dumbbell exercises below, with 2-3 minutes rest between each exercise.

Arm Workout With Dumbbells

Concentration Curls2-36-15
Dumbbell Curls2-36-15
Hammer Curls26-12
Seated Curls26-12
Tricep Extension26-12
Tricep Kickbacks26-12

Concentration Curls

Two to Three sets (one or two sets with each dumbbell – heavy and light) – 6 to 15 reps per set

a) Take a seated position on a low table or chair.

b) Brace one arm with your elbow on your inner thigh.

c) Perform curls in a very controlled sequence.

d) Repeat with the other arm.

Arm Workout With Dumbbells at Home

Standing Dumbbell Curls

Two to Three sets (one or two sets with each dumbbell – heavy and light) – 6 to 15 reps per set

a) Start by grabbing both dumbbells and position them to point forward at the start of the exercise from the standing position. Your arms will be extended with the dumbbells at your side.

b) Begin by curling on dumbbell by bending your elbows and simultaneously rotate them to a horizontal position at the top.

c) From the top position, hold for a moment and lower the dumbbell as you rotate it to the initial position.

d) Now alternate and curl the other arm.

Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Standing Hammer Curls

Two sets (one or two sets with each dumbbell – heavy and light) – 6 to 12 reps per set

a) Grab both dumbbells to your sides and position them to point forward, from the standing position.

b) From there, curl one dumbbell up without changing the direction in which they point. So you will not rotate your wrist and forearm.

c) Hold the top position and lower the dumbbell to the starting position.

d) Now curl the other arm in the same way.

NOTE: The main difference with Hammer Curls is that you do not rotate your forearm/wrist. During the curl movement your palms remain facing each other.

Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls

One set with the light dumbbells – aim for 6 to 12 repetitions

a) Sit in a slightly declined chair with a dumbbell in each hand, positioned to point forward.

b) Curl one dumbbell up and don’t rotate the dumbbell. 

c) At the top position, the dumbbell should be facing the same way as they did at the start, and pointed up to the ceiling.

d) Lower to the starting position and repeat with the other arm.

Bicep Curls at Home With Dumbbells

Triceps Extensions

One set with the heavy dumbbells – aim for 6 to 12 repetitions. It’s a good idea to practice this first with the lighter dumbbell to ensure you have the motion correct.

a) From a seated or standing position, raise the dumbbell over your head with a V-grip with your hands around one end of the dumbbell. Make sure you have the dumbbell fully in control.

b) Lower the dumbbell behind your head in a controlled motion. Make sure the dumbbell remains a safe distance from your body, as it’s easy to hit your head or neck.

c) Extend the dumbbell back to the start position directly over your head.

Tricep Dumbbell Extensions

Triceps Kickbacks

One set with the light dumbbells – aim for 6 to 12 repetitions

a) Bend over at the waist, with your upper body parallel to the floor, and your back firm and straight.

b) Hold the dumbbells at your side, with your arms at a 90 degree angle.

c) Extend your arms behind you in a controlled movement, until your arms are straight and parallel to the ground.

d) Return the dumbbells to the start position.

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback

Some Safety Rules

  1. The most important safety tip is to avoid lifting dumbbells that are too heavy. That only increases your risk of getting injured and decreases muscle activation.
  2. Never jerk the weights or slouch forward to perform a curl. Maintain full control of the weight and maintain good posture. Your knees should be bent slightly for balance.
  3. Make sure to lift the heavy dumbbells while your muscles are fresh (i.e., at the start of the workout). You should feel solid resistance when lifting the heavy dumbbells, but not too much that you can barely do a few curls. You should still be able to do at least 6 to 12 curls.
  4. Finally, and this is mostly for the equipment, be careful when placing the dumbbells on the floor as they can scratch or damage delicate surfaces. It’s best to use a workout mat.

Each of the six exercises work the biceps and triceps at slightly different angles, and each is important for their optimal development. For example, the hammer curl also involves the forearm, while the seated curl works the bicep from a different angle.

These are all you need for an effective arm workout with dumbbells at home. If you do these exercises correctly and with ample resistance, then your arms will definitely be sore the next day, and that’s always a good sign. (2)

Click to see some other home workout routines.

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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020). Measure your fitness level with these simple tests. Mayo Clinic.
  2. Resistance training – health benefits. Resistance training – health benefits – Better Health Channel. (n.d.).

Click to see our medical disclosure.