10 moves and 30 minutes to build stronger, leaner arms

This high-intensity routine blends cardio with dumbbell moves to strengthen your muscles and boost your metabolism

Woman doing a dumbbell workout
(Image credit: Getty Images/ Luis Alvarez)

If you're on the lookout for a time-efficient training session offering something a bit different to your average home workout, you're in luck. 

This routine from a NASM-certified personal trainer combines cardio moves with weight training exercises, making it a great way to raise your heart rate and strengthen your arms at the same time. All you need is a pair of dumbbells. 

A pair of the best adjustable dumbbells are ideal for home workouts as they allow you to adjust the weight for each movement and increase the weight as you get stronger—a concept known as progressive overload. However, a fixed weight set or even a pair of filled water bottles will work for this workout too. 

You can follow Sydney Cummings Houdyshell's guided routine to practice the technique for each of the 10 exercises and perfect your form to get the most from your training and strengthen your muscles in just 30 minutes. 

Watch Sydney Cummings Houdyshell's 30-minute workout

This workout solves the common fitness conundrum of cardio vs weights by bridging the gap between the two. As a result, you'll enjoy the benefits of both training styles. 

Cardio is short for cardiovascular, which is a term used to describe anything related to the heart and blood vessels. It figures, then, that this type of training can improve your heart health.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise each week, with positive impacts of this including lower risk of heart disease, improved sleep and less weight gain.

Weight training, on the other hand, can increase the size and strength of the targeted muscles—in this case, the arms and shoulders—and boost your metabolism as a result. It can also strengthen your bones and joints. 

As this workout has a strength training element, you'll probably feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the following day. This is normal and is the result of factors such as tiny tears in your muscles that have happened during your workout.

Your body uses protein to help repair, strengthen and grow your muscles, so it's important to eat enough to support your exercise routine. A post-workout shake, using one of the best protein powders for weight loss, can be a good way to keep yourself topped up. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.