8 Best Dumbbell Arm Exercises For Toned Biceps and Triceps

If you are looking to get toned arms just use dumbbells without any other equipment like a bench or a cable machine, so that you can build your biceps and triceps without spending your money on expensive stuff.

In this ultimate guide, we will show you the best dumbbell arm exercises to get a toned biceps and triceps, as well as how to perform each one, and some tips.

These exercises will help you build your arm mass and strength by targeting all three heads of the triceps along with two heads of the biceps.

So, let’s dive in.

But wait, if you have more than a pair of dumbbells, you can also add these arm workouts to your upper body routine:

Top 11 Dumbbell Bicep Exercises For Toned Arms (Without a Bench)

1. Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl

The standing dumbbell bicep curl is one of the most basic and effective exercises that anyone can do, whether you are a beginner or an advanced weightlifter.

However, this exercise can be done with just one dumbbell, by working one arm at a time, this is called one db bicep curl.

This will allow you to work each arm individually and boost your bicep strength and mass.

How to do:

  1. Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Pick a pair of dumbbells, keep them in your sides, with your palms facing up, then start by curling them up towards your shoulders.
  3. Squeeze at the top of the movement for 2 seconds
  4. Then return the dumbbells down and slowly to the starting position
  5. Repeat for 8-12 reps, 2-4 sets

2. Standing Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is just like the regular bicep dumbbell curl, the only difference is that instead of holding a dumbbell using a normal grip, you use a neutral grip instead.

By doing this you work your forearms as well, also, you pull more emphasis on the long head of the biceps.

How to do it:

  1. Assume a stance with your feet situated shoulder-width apart and slightly bend your knees.
  2. Grasp two dumbbells in your hands, ensuring that the palms of your hands face toward the body by using a neutral grip.
  3. Now, gradually curl the weight towards your shoulders while maintaining proximity between elbows and body.
  4. Upon reaching the top of the curl, take a pause for a second, then tighten your bicep muscles, and progressively lower the weights afterwards.
  5. Repeat for an optimal amount of repetitions.

3. Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curl

This is another exercise that can target your bicep muscles at a different angle just like the Zottman bicep curl.

By using an overhand grip, you are not just working your biceps, you also strengthening your brachialis and brachioradialis as well as your grip.

How to perform it:

  1. To perform a dumbbell bicep curl with an overhand grip, begin by holding the dumbbell in your hand.
  2. Ensure that you are standing upright with tense back muscles and let your arms rest freely at your sides.
  3. Gradually lift the weight up towards your shoulder until you feel your bicep contracting, then hold this position for a moment before lowering it back down.
  4. For one complete repetition of the exercise, fully extend your elbow once you curl to the top.
  5. You should aim to do at least 8 reps for 3 sets.

4. Standing Dumbbell Concentration Curl

ACE published a study disclosing that, of multiple exercises, the concentration curl generates more intense strain in your biceps muscles.

Graph Shows The Muscle Activation Of The Biceps Brachii During The Concentration Curl

So, Including this exercise in your arm workout routine would likely be so much more beneficial.


  1. Begin by grasping a dumbbell with an underhand grip in your right hand.
  2. Next, take a standing position both feet firmly on the ground.
  3. Lean slightly forward and then rest your elbow on the inner part of your right thigh, while placing your other hand on your left knee for support.
  4. This will be your starting position. Now it’s time to begin curling the dumbbell toward your upper chest while your elbows are fixed on your tights
  5. Hold the dumbbell at the top for a count, then slowly return it to the starting position.

5. Twisting Dumbbell Curl

The act of performing the twisting standing dumbbell biceps curl not only targets the bicep muscles but also engages your forearms.

This exercise efficiently creates some equilibrium within both parts of your arm, resulting in increased wrist mobility as well.


  1. To commence, hold a pair of dumbbells and allow them to hang straight down by your sides.
  2. Stan up straight with an engaged core, your palms should be oriented inward toward your body.
  3. Then gradually raise one arm up towards your shoulder while still rotating your wrist so it rests facing you at the peak of the curl.
  4. Pause for a moment before delicately returning the weight back down to its starting point while rotating it halfway through the movement.
  5. Follow this repetition by alternating arms in a regular way.

6. Standing Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension

If you’re looking to work on your triceps and arm strength using only one dumbbell, the overhead tricep extension is a go-to exercise.

This particular move is considered a primary exercise when it comes to building up those muscle groups all at one time.

How to do?

  1. Stand up with your back straight, this will be your starting position.
  2. Grip the top of the weight with your hands resting on your head’s rear side, while bending your elbows.
  3. Try to stretch out only your arms entirely over your head without moving your elbows to attain complete triceps contraction.
  4. Then bring back the dumbbell to its initial position and aim for more than 8 repetitions.

7. Dumbbell Standing Tricep Kickbacks

This exercise is performed while standing with your arms extended at the same moment.

The position of this workout will help you to improve your arm stability as well as overall upper body flexibility.

How to perform:

  1. Straighten your back then bend forward at your waist while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Keep your elbow closed to your sides and your upper arms parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend your arms by contracting your triceps, and always keep your elbows fixed and arms straight.
  4. Squeeze your triceps by pausing for 2 seconds.
  5. Finally, repeat the same steps for a desired amount of repetitions.

You can do this exercise using a cable machine as well so that you’ll not get bored by performing the same tricep workout over and over.

8. Floor Dumbbell Tricep Extension

If you prefer to complete your tricep workout at home, this variation of the lying tricep extension may suit your needs perfectly.

The beauty of this variation lies in the fact that a weight bench isn’t necessary, all you require are weights like dumbbells and if possible, an exercise mat.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on a mat while holding a dumbbell in both hands with your feet shoulder-width apart and pace on the ground.
  2. Using a pronated grip, contract your triceps to push the dumbbells upwards until your elbows are fully extended.
  3. Squeeze your tricep at the top for a while, then lower the weight to its starting position using a controlled movement.
  4. Repeat for a reasonable amount of reps and sets.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, incorporating dumbbell arm exercises into your fitness routine can give you numerous benefits.

Additionally, they help in improving overall upper body function by strengthening your grip and enhancing mobility.

As with any exercise regimen, it’s important to start with lighter weights and perfect proper form gradually.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

References & Sources:

  1. Krzysztofik, Wilk, Wojdała, & Gołaś. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(24), 4897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244897
  2. arrett CD, Weir DM, Stuffmann ES, Jain S, Miller MC, Schmidt CC. Anatomic and biomechanical analysis of the short and long head components of the distal biceps tendon. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2012;21(7):942-948. doi:10.1016/j.jse.2011.04.030
  3. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Wrist Extensor Muscles. (2020, September 17). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534805/
Hassane Sghir
Follow Us

Leave a Comment