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11 Exercises For Sculpting Your Arms

Summer's sweltering heat will have you baring your arms in no time. Are you ready?

Summer is quickly approaching and with it comes skin-baring tank tops and swimsuits. Worried about how your arms will look in summer’s more revealing clothing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these ten amazing arm exercises that’ll make everyone envious of your toned physique.


This classic calisthenic exercise targets your shoulders, triceps, abdomen, back, and chest. Get down on your arms and legs, placing your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders, keeping your back straight. In a steady motion (keeping your arms tucked into your sides), lower your body until your chest almost touches the ground. Pause and then push yourself back up to your original position as fast as you can. Do 8-10 reps.

Triangle (Diamond) Push-Ups

Research proves that triangle push-ups are supremely effective at isolating your tricep muscles to build and sculpt them. You perform these push-ups in the same way as traditional push-ups, except when you place your hands on the floor, bring your forefingers and thumbs together so that they create a triangle (or diamond) shape.

The Plank

Sometimes the simplest exercises provide the most powerful results. The plank engages multiple groups of muscles simultaneously, including your transversus abdominis, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus muscles (abductors), your hip adductor muscles, both your external and internal obliques, gluteus maximus (glutes), rectus abdominis, quadriceps (quads), and hamstrings. Skip the crunches and opt for the plank instead — the Journal of Strength and Conditioning published a study revealing the plank activates 100 percent of your abdominal muscles while crunches only engage 64 percent. To do a plank, simply get into the push-up position and lower yourself onto your forearms, keeping your back straight. Hold for one minute and build up the duration as you advance.

Barbell Bench Press

This go-to gym move does a fantastic job of really targeting your tricep and shoulder muscles as well as your chest. To execute, lie with your back flat on a bench. Hold a barbell above your chest (arms fully extended) using an overhand grip slightly wider than your shoulders. In a controlled, fluid motion, lower the bar straight down. Be certain to keep your elbows tucked in adjacent to your torso so the upper part of your arms form a 45-degree angle in the lowered position. Pause and press the bar up in a straight motion back to your starting position.

Dumbbell Bicep Curls (Standing)

This move will tone your biceps, really making them pop. For proper form, focus on clenching your biceps at the top of this move--pretend you are crushing a nut between your bicep and the top of your forearm.

Tricep Dips

This move is practical because you can do it almost anywhere and it requires no equipment. Tricep dips can easily be done from your couch during TV commercial breaks. Stand in front of a stable chair or the seat of your couch. Place your hands on the seat with your fingers pointed forward. Keep your back straight and walk your legs out in front of your body. Bend your arms, lower your booty toward the ground, (keep your elbows directly behind your body), and then straighten your arms. This is one rep — do three sets of 10 reps.


Burpees are perfect for everyone from elite athletes to exercise beginners. This intense, full-body workout scorches calories and revs your metabolism. In fact, research proves that high-intensity exercises — such as burpees — burn nearly 50 percent more fat than exercises of moderate intensity. Not only do burpees build your arms and chest, they also strengthen your glutes, quads, abs, and hamstrings.

Start by standing up straight and squat down until your hands touch the floor in front of you. Next, kick your feet back into a push-up (plank) position. Drop your chest to the ground, then bow your chest up and put your feet back into the squat position as fast as you can. Next, jump up as high as possible and move to the next rep immediately. Feel free to give yourself a little clap after each rep for motivation. Do as many of these reps as you can for one minute, aiming for at least 15 reps.


Boxing is both a cardiovascular and strength-building exercise in one. Your upper arm muscles are all engaged and strengthened with boxing. You use your biceps to stabilize your arms with hook-type punches, and your tricep brachii muscles help stabilize your deltoids when you throw jab or cross punches. Boxing also improves your coordination, agility, balance, and reactivity through engaging your deltoids, abdominals, traps, rhomboids, rear deltoids, pectoralis major muscles, quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

Close-Grip Chin Ups

This move seriously sculpts your biceps. Placing your hands about six to eight inches apart, grab the chin-up bar and hang at arm’s length. Pull your chest up to the bar, touch the top of your chest to it, pause, and then slowly lower yourself into the original dead-hang position.

Reverse Fly

This total arm workout is especially helpful for getting toned biceps, lats, and shoulders. This move can be done standing or kneeling down. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, roll your shoulders back and crunch your abs in while you bring your arms into a softly-bent circle directly in front of your chest (just below your shoulders). The palms of your hands should be facing inward. Gradually open your arms apart, with only your shoulder joints propelling the movement. One rep is completed when your elbows are just a little behind your back. Then, bring your hands and arms back together. Do four to five sets of eight reps.

Don’t Forget

You will need to incorporate some cardiovascular exercise into any exercise routine. Lastly, keep in mind that no amount of arm-sculpting exercises can overcome an unhealthy diet. Be sure to center your diet on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and water.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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