30 minutes, nine moves, and a set of dumbbells for stronger, leaner arms

Build upper-body muscle, improve your posture, and make everyday tasks easier with this quick dumbbell workout

Woman doing biceps curls
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As summer approaches, many people hit the gym to work on their arms to build visible muscle. This is a worthy goal in its own right, but there are plenty of other benefits to this 30-minute dumbbell arm workout. 

Alongside the aesthetic benefits, stronger arms will assist you in array of daily activities from carrying shopping bags, lifting boxes and playing sports. And you only need a set of weights like a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells to get started. 

This routine comes from NASM-certified personal trainer Sydney Cummings Houdyshell and is a perfect workout to target your biceps and triceps in just 30 minutes, so it's ideal when you're short on time or have minimal equipment. 

You'll train for 45 seconds, take a 15-second rest, then start on the next move. Complete three rounds of this nine-move circuit for an effective upper-body routine that also loops in your core and legs. 

When working out with weights, form is vitally important to avoid injury and get the most from your training. This is a guided routine, so you can follow along with Houdyshell's demonstrations as you go to perfect your technique. 

Watch Sydney Cummings Houdyshell's workout

This exercise style is known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), where you work your muscles hard in short bursts, raise your heart rate, burn energy, and boost your metabolism for a muscle-building, fat-burning session. 

While you can't spot target fat on your body (try some HIIT workouts for fat loss for that), area specific workouts like this are ideal if you're looking to develop lean muscle, especially if your aim is to get visible abs. 

These intense resistance sessions can leave you with a little pain the following day, especially if you're not used to the exercises. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is totally normal. 

To help those muscles recovery, why not try some of the best protein powders for weight loss? Protein helps  your body to repair the tiny tears in your muscle fibers to strengthen and grow your muscles. 

You can mix powers into meals like porridge or mashed potato (if you choose an unflavored variety), but they also a great addition to post-workout smoothies if you want to hydrate and boost your recovery after an intense session. 

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.