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12 Amazing Exercises For Strong, Toned Arms

Getting stronger, toned, and sleek arms is like math. You know why? Because most of us think that it is “not my cup of tea”! And so we use excuses to avoid exercising in the first place, because hey! What’s the point?! Well, things are about to change. The following 12 arm toning exercises will get your arms stronger and leaner in less than 3 months. We have divided them into two sections so you can opt for the one that is convenient for you, depending on the space and equipment available.

Pro tip: To boost up the calorie burn, which in turn, will show results faster, spot jog or jump in place for about a minute between the moves.

Suggested read: 12 effective exercises to get skinny arms in 3 months’ time

A. Arm toning exercises at home

1. T, U and V raises

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Our deltoids are around our shoulder. They have 3 muscles, namely, anterior, medial, and rear delt. To tone your arms, you need to hit these specific areas, and for that, you should try the T, U, V raises.

T raises (in picture): Raise your arms to the sides so that your body forms a ‘T’. Hold the last raise for at least 20 seconds. Perform 15 of these reps.

U raises: Begin with a forward push. Now extend your elbows over your head. Use light weights and perform 40 of these raises.

V raises: Lie down on your stomach. Extend your arms in front of you. Now raise them to make a V. Hold that wide posture for 30 seconds. Perform 10 of these reps.

2. Planks on paper

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Standard planks are good for skinnier arms, but to tone your arm muscles, you need arm exercises that up the challenge.

Get into a plank position. Place your left hand on a paper plate. Your feet should be planted firmly and be a little more than shoulder-width apart. Now keeping your arms straight, circle the plate 5 times clockwise and again anti-clockwise. Now revert to the original position. Perform 10 reps for each arm.

3. Triceps toner

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We have combined the usual triceps toners with some extended moves like a ball overhead reach to make it fun and more effective. Begin by placing your shoulders and head on the ball; you should be facing the ceiling. Now slowly lift your hips. Take your arms over your chest, and bending your elbows, take them over your head. Your arms should make a right angle. Hold the posture for 10 seconds. Perform 15 reps.

If you don’t want to use a ball, you can try the traditional overhead triceps curl only. For that, sit straight. Now take a five pound dumbbell and hold it with both your hands. Next extend your arms straight, towards the ceiling. Now bend at your elbows so that the dumbbells rest at the back of your neck. Revert to original position. Perform 20 of these reps.

4. Mini lift 

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We recommend you sit on a Swiss ball for these arm workouts since it improves the posture and strengthens the core.

First part of a mini lift: For the mini lift, sit on your Swiss ball and extend your arms overhead. Bend at your elbows and extend them overhead again. Now perform 15 of these reps.

Second part of mini lift: Now extend your arms at your sides, at chest height. Bend your elbows. Now lift the arms from chest height to the level of your eyes. Perform 20 reps with 5 pound dumbbells in each hand.

5. Seated external rotations

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Our rotator muscles are small and hence seem insignificant, but they are not. It is very essential to work them out to stabilize and shape your shoulders. In a seated external rotation, you need to rotate with tubing or free weight. Make sure you perform them just twice a week to avoid injuries.

Begin by sitting with the left arm bent at 90 degrees to your side. The upper arm should be parallel to the floor. Now, without unbending your arm or changing its bend, slowly swing the weight forward and then return to the top. We suggest you perform ten of these reps on both sides.

6. Side neck stretch

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Resistance training is vital to build strength in your arms, but there is something more essential to keep the joints flexible, and that’s the good old stretches!

To stretch the triceps, extend your left arm over your head. Now bend it to reach the middle of your back. Try to go as further down as possible. Now place the right hand on your left arm at the elbow and press to lock the position. Hold this posture for 12 seconds. Repeat it for the right arm. Now lean your left ear on your left shoulder. Place your left hand on your head. Keep right shoulder down. You can do that by reaching for the floor. Hold the pose for 15 secs and repeat for your right arm. Perform 10 such reps.

Suggested read: 10 awesome hip exercises that will help you tone up quickly

B Arm toning exercises at the gym

7. Kettlebell training

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The kettlebell training makes use of the principle of acceleration and deceleration to tone muscles faster. For safety and to build muscles better, make sure you regulate the swinging motion well. Perform a cross curtsy row that will work on your arms and your lower body. It is very simple to follow since it involves just one step. Hold your kettlebell in your right hand. Now step back with your right leg and reach across and extend your right hand towards the floor. This is called a curtsy move. Stand right up using your right foot, and pull the kettlebell up and across your body. This was one rep. Perform 20 such smooth reps on each side.

8. Horizontal chest press

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This machine targets not just the arms but also the chest and the shoulders. It simulates a bench press. However, make sure you use a close grip with your palms facing down for the chest and triceps while neutral grip to incorporate the shoulders.

Operating a horizontal chest press machine:

  • Sit on the bench with your back pressed against the back pad of the machine. Make sure you are sitting firmly.
  • Now place both your hands on the machine handles.
  • Take a deep breath and as you exhale, extend your elbows. However, do not lock them.
  • When you reach the top, hold the posture.
  • Now slowly lower the weight to the initial position.

Perform 15 such reps.

9. Seated high row

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These machines are designed to affect the back and the biceps at the same time. It also provides better balance to your upper body. The seated high row may not visually make sense, however, you just need to get comfortable with it once, and then there is no turning back!

Operating a seated high row machine:

  • With your chest pressed firmly against the pad, take your position.
  • Now get a good grip on the handles.
  • Take a deep breath and as you exhale, pull the weight in your direction.
  • Make sure your back is straight and the chest is always against the pad.
  • Revert to your initial position, slowly.

That was one rep. Perform 15 of these.

10. Seated shoulder press

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This machine will work wonders on your triceps and every single shoulder muscle. To decrease lower back ache too, this workout is advisable. The shoulder presses that you perform with free weights can cause lower back pain. Perform the seated version of it instead.

Operating a shoulder press machine:

  • Sit with your lower back firmly against the back pad. Make sure it stays in contact throughout.
  • Now grasp the handles and breathe in.
  • As you exhale, push the weights over your head.
  • Keep pushing until the arms are straight.
  • Do not lock the arms.
  • Now hold the pose for 5 seconds and then lower the weight to the initial position.

This was one complete rep. We suggest you perform 8 such reps.

11. Pec flye

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These machines are famously dubbed as the “pec decks” since they mimic dumbbell chest flyes, isolating chest muscles.

Operating a pec flye machine:

  • Position yourself with your back against the back pad.
  • Now hold the handles behind the arm pads.
  • Contract your chest muscles and move your arms toward your core.
  • When your hands meet, take a pause and then reverse the direction.
  • The hands should go beyond parallel with the shoulders.

This was one rep. Perform 10 such reps.

Suggested read: 10 belly busting ab workouts for women

12. Hamstring curls

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Image source: Pinterest

These should be performed along with leg extensions for more effective results.

Operating a hamstring curl machine:

  • Place your legs over the foot pad and get comfortably seated.
  • You may even lie down on the bench.
  • Now very slowly bend your knees to curl the weight towards your butt.
  • Curl as much as possible, pause and then revert to the initial posture.

This was one rep. Perform 14 of these.

These machines are the best in the business of strengthening the arms, and therefore, it is essential to master them.

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Article Name
12 Arm Toning Exercises For Strong, Toned Arms
If you're looking to tone up your arms, you've come to the right place. Check out these arm toning exercises that you can do at home or at the gym!
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.