Ultimate 30-day arms challenge: one month to build strength

Our 30-day arms challenge can sculpt and strengthen your arms in only six moves

Woman doing a 30-day arms challenge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many of us strive to get rid of wobbly underarms, and with our 30-day arms challenge, you can sculpt and strengthen that jiggle in just a month. 

The good news is that it isn’t as hard as you think to lose weight on your arms and develop a strong, toned look. Performing the six key moves outlined below every day for a month can help as you work towards your toned arm goals. 

Strong arms don’t just look good; research (opens in new tab) shows that the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn whenever you work out.

You’ll need a set of dumbbells for this 30-day arms challenge. Aim for a minimum of 5kg in weight per dumbbell if you can, although you can always reduce the weight if this is too challenging, 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. You'll also need to know how to do a push-up, or one of the move's easier variations like a kneeling push-up. 

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.

If you want to specifically work the biceps further, take a look at our guide to the best bicep workouts.

  • Standing shoulder press

Woman performing a shoulder press with dumbbells

(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. 

Liking the dumbbell moves? Then take a look at our complete dumbbell arms workout!

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


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


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 (opens in new tab).

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Natalia is a health and fitness journalist who has written for the likes of Woman & Home and Marie Claire, and likes to practice what she preaches when it comes to staying fit and well. She loves the outdoors and would happily swap the treadmill for the trail at any opportunity. As such, in her free time you'll likely find her up a mountain somewhere. She has hiked eight of the major mountain ranges across four continents, including the Appalachians, the Smokies, the Sierra Nevadas (where she hiked to the top of Half Dome during her honeymoon) and the Atlas Mountains, as well hitting the summits of Snowdon and Pen-Y-Fan (Brecon Beacons), Table Mountain in South Africa and the Blue Mountains in Australia. She was also a fencer for 13 years, wielding an epée for Team GB during her teenage years. Having recently welcomed a baby, Natalia is currently getting back into her fitness routine, and has her sights set on completing a triathlon, something she and her husband started out on before their bundle of joy arrived.