You only need these four basic moves to build muscular arms

These four simple moves only require a set of dumbbells and a little patience to master

Woman using dumbbells for arm workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Toned arms obviously look great, but upper body strength is also important for supporting you in daily activities like carrying groceries or your baby’s car seat. 

Pumping some dumbbells can help you build the functional strength you need for these kind of chores – plus, according to the American Council of Sports Medicine (opens in new tab), regularly lifting weights can lower the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. And lots of research shows that it can boost bone density too, which declines with age. 

So if you’re new to the gym and want to know how to tone arms fast (opens in new tab), certified personal trainer Noel Arevalo is here to help. The power lifter has created this four-move arm sculpting workout.

Before any workout make sure you spend at least five minutes warming up, and the same amount of time cooling down afterwards. The only kit you’ll need for this is a set of dumbbells and a bench or chair if you’re doing it at home. If you're looking for some new home gym gear, we'd recommend browsing our round-up of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab)

The workout involves four moves, starting with an overhead press, an Arnold press, lateral raises then bicep curls. Watch the video below to perfect your form.

Noel Averalo’s four move workout for toned arms

A post shared by Noel Arevalo (@noelarevaloworkouts) (opens in new tab)

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To tone the arms, there isn’t a magic pill or one single exercise you need to prioritize – the key is working the two main arm muscles: the biceps and triceps. 

And if your goal is to build muscle mass and definition, you need to introduce something called progressive overload into your training routine. This is a fitness principle whereby you challenge the body and muscles by continuously increasing the weight, frequency or number of reps over a period of time. 

We’ve got lots of workouts here at Fit&Well you can try to get started, like this 15 minute biceps workout or this one to lose arm fat. You may also want to supplement your diet with one of the best protein powders to lose weight, too. 

Protein is essential for building muscle, as it helps repair and strengthen muscles after a strenuous workout. You can get a lot of protein from food sources (like chicken or tofu) but if you have particularly high requirements, you may want to use powders or bars to up your intake.

Maddy is a freelance journalist and Level 3 personal trainer specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. She has been a writer and editor for 22 years, and has worked for some of the UK's bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Closer. She also manages Fit&Well's Instagram account.


Maddy loves HIIT training and can often be found running on her treadmill or working out while her two young daughters do matching burpees or star jumps. As a massive foodie, she loves cooking and trying out new healthy recipes (especially ones with hidden vegetables so the kids eat them). She makes a mean margarita and has twice won awards in previous staff jobs as the “office feeder”.