Ultimate 30-day arms challenge: how to tone up in just one month

Sculpt and strengthen your arms in just six moves with our 30-day arms challenge

Woman doing a 30-day arms workout with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Get ready to say so long to wobbly underarms with our ultimate 30-day arms challenge!

Sculpted arms don’t just look good – they’re key for a healthy, happy body too. ‘You need strong, toned arms for everyday tasks such as carrying shopping or picking up the kids as much as for lifting a set of dumbbells,’ says Fit&Well’s personal trainer Lucy Gornall. 

'Good muscle strength
 will also stand you in good stead when you get older,' she adds, with research from the University of Michigan finding that people with low muscle strength are more likely to die prematurely than their stronger peers.

What's more, the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn whenever you work out.

The good news is that it isn’t as hard as you might think to lose weight on your arms and develop a strong, toned look – all it takes is three moves a day performed over the course of a month, as outlined below. 

You’ll need a set of dumbbells for this 30-day challenge. Aim for a minimum 5kg dumbbell if you can, although if this is too challenging you can always reduce the weight - especially if you have adjustable dumbbells. If you don’t already own some, check out our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells you can buy right now. 

Ready to get going? Here are the moves you need to master…

30-day arms challenge: key moves

The exercises in our 30-day arms challenge use your own body weight for the first half of the month, and then up the intensity by incorporating dumbbells for the second half. 

All six moves below will target your biceps (the front of your upper arms), triceps (back of the upper arms) and deltoids (shoulders). 

  • Push-up on knees 

30-day arms challenge: Push-up on knees

(Image credit: Future)

Start on all fours. Lean forward so your hands are under your shoulders and your weight is over your top half. With your elbows facing outwards, lower your body to the floor, keeping a straight back. Then lift your torso, pushing through your arms. Want to really challenge yourself? Add a clap between reps. 

To ensure correct for and avoid injury, see our guide on how to do a push-up properly.

  • Tricep dip

Tricep dip

(Image credit: Future)

Sit on a chair or sofa and place your hands either side of you. Slide your bottom off the chair, bending your knees at right angles. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and lower your hips to the floor. Press up until your elbows are straight but not locked.

  • Walking plank

Walking plank

(Image credit: Future)

Get into a press-up position. Lower yourself on to your right forearm, then bring your left arm down too, so they’re both flat on the floor. Place your right hand on the ground and push up, allowing your left hand to follow. Alternate your leading arm and keep your hips as still as possible throughout.

  • Tricep extension

Tricep extension

(Image credit: Future)

Standing feet hip-width apart, hold a dumbbell in one hand. Extend your arm up to the ceiling, then bend your elbow and slowly lower the dumbbell so it hangs behind your head. Keep your arm close to the ear. Repeat on the other side. Make sure you don’t arch your back, and maintain soft knees. 

  • Bicep curl

Bicep curl

(Image credit: Future)

Hold two dumbbells by your thighs, with your palms facing away from you. Engage your biceps to lift the dumbbells in towards you, until they are at shoulder height. Slowly lower. And repeat.

  • Standing shoulder press

Standing shoulder press

(Image credit: Future)

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and raise them to head height, with your palms facing out. Lift the weights up together above your head. Slowly lower back to shoulder height. 

30-day arms workout plan

Ready to put those moves into action? Get going with your 30-day arms workout plan below! Either save the image to your device for easy reference, or follow the day-by-day guidelines listed underneath.

Bear in mind that to see muscle tone you need to burn fat, so add try to complete two to three cardio workouts a week as well. 

30-day arms challenge workout plan

(Image credit: Future)

Day 1

3 x Push-up on knees


3 x Tricep dip


3 x Walking plank 

Day 2

4 x Push-up on knees


4 x Tricep dip


4 x Walking plank 

Day 3

5 x Push-up on knees


5 x Tricep dip


5 x Walking plank 

Day 4

6 x Push-up on knees



6 x Tricep dip


6 x Walking plank 

Day 5

7 x Push-up on knees



7 x Tricep dip


7 x Walking plank 

Day 6

8 x Push-up on knees


8 x Tricep dip

8 x Walking plank 

Day 7

9 x Push-up on knees


9 x Tricep dip


9 x Walking plank 

Day 8

REST DAY! Grab one of the best foam rollers and do some recovery exercises.

Day 9

10 x Push-up on knees


10 x Tricep dip


10 x Walking plank 

Day 10

11 x Push-up on knees



11 x Tricep dip


11 x Walking plank 

Day 11

12 x Push-up on knees



12 x Tricep dip


12 x Walking plank 

Day 12

13 x Push-up on knees



13 x Tricep dip


13 x Walking plank 

Day 13

14 x Push-up on knees


14 x Tricep dip


14 x Walking plank 

Day 14

15 x Push-up on knees



15 x Tricep dip


15 x Walking plank 

Day 15

16 x Push-up on knees



16 x Tricep dip


16 x Walking plank 

Day 16

REST DAY

Day 17

3 x Tricep extension


3 x Bicep curl


3 x Standing shoulder press

Day 18

4 x Tricep extension


4 x Bicep curl


4 x Standing shoulder press

Day 19

5 x Tricep extension


5 x Bicep curl


5 x Standing shoulder press

Day 20

6 x Tricep extension


6 x Bicep curl


6 x Standing shoulder press

Day 21

7 x Tricep extension


7 x Bicep curl


7 x Standing shoulder press

Day 22

8 x Tricep extension


8 x Bicep curl


8 x Standing shoulder press

Day 23

9 x Tricep extension


9 x Bicep curl


9 x Standing shoulder press

Day 24

REST DAY

Day 25

10 x Tricep extension


10 x Bicep curl


10 x Standing shoulder press 

Day 26

11 x Tricep extension


11 x Bicep curl


11 x Standing shoulder press

Day 27

12 x Tricep extension


12 x Bicep curl


12 x Standing shoulder press 

Day 28

13 x Tricep extension


13 x Bicep curl


13 x Standing shoulder press 

Day 29

14 x Tricep extension


14 x Bicep curl


14 x Standing shoulder press 

Day 30

15 x Tricep extension


15 x Bicep curl


15 x Standing shoulder press 

Congratulations! You’ve completed our 30-day arms challenge. We'd love to see your results - share a snap on Instagram and tag @wearefitandwell.

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