Skip to content

The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says

Sculpt long and lean arms with these bicep and tricep moves.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

If you want strong and toned arms, you need to be weight-training regularly, focusing on lifting heavier, or performing more reps on a weekly basis.

In terms of exercise selection, you want to be performing compound movements such as close-grip bench presses, chin-ups, and rows. However, you also want to throw in isolation exercises to maximize your arm development. This is because the arms are a smaller muscle group, so they need direct training in order to be strong and toned. They also respond to moderate weight and/or higher reps, and will grow when you train them for a longer time under tension.

Here are three exercises each for both your triceps and biceps to add to your normal workout routine. You can perform one or two of these after an upper-body session, or do all of them as a separate arm day in order to sculpt lean arms. Perform three sets of the following moves. And for more, don't miss The 5 Best Exercises to Build Better Glutes.

1

Incline Dumbbell Curl

incline dumbbell curl
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Lying flat on an incline bench, grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing up and arms fully extended. Keeping your elbows tucked against your sides, curl the weight up, flexing your biceps hard at the top. As you lower the weight, resist by using your biceps and get a good stretch at the bottom. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Related: Sign up for our newsletter for the latest health and fitness news!

2

Preacher Curl

preacher curl
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Set yourself up on a preacher bench with your arms resting against the pad. Grab the EZ bar with your palms facing up. Curl the weight up, flexing your biceps hard at the top, then lower under control until your arms are straight, getting a good stretch at the bottom before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Related: A 20-Minute Toning & Slimming Workout

3

Zottman Curl

Zottman curl
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The dumbbell Zottman curl is an awesome way to build the biceps and forearms at the same time. To perform the Zottman curl, curl the dumbbells up as you normally would. At the top of the movement, turn the palms down and lower the weight, keeping tension in your forearms. Flip the palms back up and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

4

Rope Triceps Extensions

rope tricep extensions
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by attaching a rope to the part of a cable pulley and grip it just above the knobs. Keeping your chest up and slightly leaning forward, pull the rope down with your elbows, tearing it apart at the very bottom while flexing your triceps. Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Related: Exercises You Should Never Skip As You Age

5

Dips

dips on machine
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

To perform a bodyweight dip, set yourself up on the dip bar with your arms fully extended and feet slightly forward. Keeping your core tight and shoulders pulled back, lower yourself slowly by breaking at the elbows with a forward torso lean. Go down as low as you can without putting stress on the front of your shoulders before pushing yourself back up, flexing your triceps to finish. Do 10 to 15 reps.

Related: These Are the 5 Highest-Paid Celeb Personal Trainers on Instagram

6

Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extensions

overhead tricep extension
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by grabbing a single or pair of dumbbells and pressing them over your head. Keeping the dumbbells together, bend from the elbows and lower the weight all the way down behind your head until your biceps touch your forearms. Get a good tricep stretch at the bottom, then extend your elbows back up, flexing them hard at the top before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

And there you have it, 6 moves that can help you achieve strong and toned arms in 2022! For more, check out my recommendations for The 5 Best Pieces of Gym Equipment You Need at Home.

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