Skip to content

5 Dumbbell Workouts To Banish Flabby Arms

Get rid of arm flab for good by adding these dumbbell workouts to your routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

One of the most challenging parts of the body to tighten and firm is the arms. Having just the right game plan on deck is key, and we're here to help. Along with establishing a calorie deficit to lose fat all over your body, you need to follow a strength training regimen with exercises that fire up your arms. Get your free weights ready, because we have five of the best dumbbell workouts for flabby arms to tone this pesky area.

Your main focus should be on the triceps, the portion of your arm where excess flab tends to accumulate. In order to tighten things up, pressing movements and isolated tricep exercises are essential. In addition, don't forget about showing your biceps some love. After your main exercises are complete, you'll wrap up with curl variations.

Don't think that you need any fancy equipment or a pricey gym membership to improve your arms. We have five of the best dumbbell workouts for flabby arms that you can do right at home. Keep reading to learn all about them.

Workout #1

1. Dumbbell Floor Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 8 to 10)

dumbbell floor press
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab a pair of dumbbells, and lie flat on a mat with your feet fully extended. Flare your elbows out about 45 degrees. With your abs tight, press the weight up toward the ceiling, flexing your triceps and pecs to finish. Lower the weights until your elbows and arms touch the ground.

2. Dumbbell Pushups (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 15)

Place a pair of dumbbells on the ground just outside shoulder-width with them turned slightly inward to form a "V" shape. Get into a pushup position where your shoulders are in line with your wrists. Pull yourself toward the ground, and get a good chest stretch at the bottom. Push yourself up, flexing your triceps and chest to finish.

3. Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Lie flat on your back on a workout bench. With the dumbbells in hand and your palms facing each other, press the dumbbells over your chest. Bend your elbows to lower the weights. As soon as your forearm touches your bicep, reverse the motion, flexing your triceps.

7 Balance Exercises a 60-Year-Old Yoga Instructor Does For Peak Mobility

Workout #2

1. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Lie down on an incline bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting them on your thighs. Keep your feet on the floor. Press the weights over your body as you extend both arms. Squeeze your upper pecs and triceps at the top of the press. Bring your shoulders back and down to the bench as you lower the weights.

2. Dumbbell Arnold Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10)

Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your body with your palms facing you. Begin rotating your elbows back and pressing the dumbbell up in a straight line, as you would in a traditional shoulder press. Lower the dumbbells, and rotate them back into the original position.

3. Bent Arm Pullovers (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Lie on a flat bench, and hold a single dumbbell above your chest. With your elbows bent, pull the weight behind your head until you get a lat and triceps stretch at the bottom. Then, lift the weight back up while extending your elbow. Flex your triceps hard to finish before the next rep.

4. Dumbbell Drag Curls (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Stand tall and keep your core tight with a pair of dumbbells in hand. Start by "dragging" the weight up your torso while bringing your elbows back until your hands are about chest level. Flex your biceps, then lower the weights with control until your arms are completely straight.

People Are 'Retro Walking' & Swear by the Benefits: 'My Posture Is Now Nearly Perfect'

Workout #3

1. Bridge Dumbbell Floor Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10)

trainer doing bridge dumbbell floor press
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Grab a pair of dumbbells, and lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Press your hips up to form a glute bridge. Keep a tight core and squeezed glutes as you press the weights over your body. Flex your triceps at the top, and then lower.

2. Dumbbell Squeeze Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Lie flat on a bench and hold a pair of dumbbells together on your chest. Press the weights up, and as you do so, continue to squeeze the dumbbells together. When you reach the top, flex your chest and triceps as hard as you can before lowering the weights with control.

3. Plank Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 8 to 10 per arm)

plank dumbbell triceps extension
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start in a high plank/pushup position, but with one arm holding a dumbbell. Pull the weight up by your side, and keep your arm locked in that spot. Begin to perform a triceps extension by straightening your arm. Flex your tricep hard at the end of the movement, then bend it back until your bicep touches your forearm. Complete all reps on one side before switching over to the other.

RELATED: 5 Best Strength Workouts To Shrink Your 'Apron Belly'

Workout #4

1. Neutral Grip Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Sets 3 to 4, Reps: 10)

Hold both dumbbells by your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Keep your core tight, and squeeze your glutes while pressing the dumbbells up, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top. Lower the dumbbells with control.

2. Incline Neutral Grip Bench Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10)

incline dumbbell bench press
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Lie down on an incline bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Press your shoulder blades into the bench, then lower the dumbbells with control. Get a solid chest stretch at the bottom, then drive the dumbbells back up, flexing your triceps and upper pecs.

3. Single-Arm Overhead Triceps Extensions Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12 per arm)

single-arm tricep extension
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Hold a single dumbbell, and raise it overhead. Bend from your elbow, bringing the weight down across your body and behind your head. Get a solid triceps stretch at the bottom, then fully extend your arm back to the starting position, flexing your triceps to finish.

4. Dumbbell Hammer Curls (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip with your palms facing each other. Keeping your shoulders pulled back, curl the weight up, flexing your forearms and biceps the entire time. Squeeze hard at the top, then resist on the way down.

10 Strength Training Exercises for Beginners to Sculpt a Toned Body

Workout #5

1. Dumbbell Twist Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10)

Lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Have your hands positioned as you normally would for a regular bench press. Begin pressing the weight up, but twist your hands in as you reach toward the top. Flex your pecs and triceps hard, then reverse the motion.

2. Incline Dumbbell Squeeze Press (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10)

Lying flat on an incline bench, hold a pair of dumbbells together on your chest. Push the dumbbells up, and as you do so, keep the weights together, maintaining tension on your pecs. At the top of the movement, flex your triceps and chest as hard as you can before lowering.

3. Incline Dumbbell Triceps Extensions (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

incline dumbbell triceps extensions
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Set your bench to an incline of at least 30 degrees. Grab a pair of dumbbells, and, with your palms facing each other, press them up. Pull your elbows back, and then bend from your elbows, and lower the weights until they touch your shoulders. Get a solid triceps stretch at the bottom, then reverse the motion, extending your elbows and flexing your triceps to finish.

4. Incline Dumbbell Curls (Sets: 3 to 4, Reps: 10 to 12)

Lie down on an incline bench, and grab a pair of dumbbells. Your palms should face up and your arms should be fully extended. Keeping your elbows tucked against your sides, curl the weights up, flexing your biceps hard at the top. Resist as you lower.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim