You only need these seven moves to build stronger arms and develop your chest

Strengthen your upper body and build bigger arms with this weighted seven-move routine

Man exercising with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking to build upper body muscle, some training plans can be lengthy and complex, which makes it hard to keep motivated and get through your workout. Fortunately, this chest and triceps routine builds muscle in just seven moves instead.

You'll only need two pieces of equipment for this routine; a set of dumbbells and a cable machine. You can find these at most gyms, but if you're training at home, you can adapt the exercises, so you just need a set of the best adjustable dumbbells instead.

Bradley Simmonds (opens in new tab), the personal trainer behind this routine, says it is a "great workout to build a stronger chest" and develop your triceps. There are just seven moves in total, and you'll be aiming for specific repetitions for each exercise. 

There are six single-move exercises, including chest presses, hex presses, and cable flyes. If you don't have access to a cable machine, you can do the same motion but with your dumbbells in hand instead.

As you're not working against the clock, focusing on perfecting your form and getting the most from each rep is essential. If you're new to these moves or want a refresher, use Simmonds' demonstrations to practice your technique before starting.

Watch Bradley Simmonds' chest and triceps routine

A post shared by bradleysimmonds (@bradleysimmonds) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Initially, it might not look like you can do kneeling crossovers with weights alone, but you only need to pick up the dumbbells and let them hang next to your sides. Then, curl one dumbbell at a time up towards your chest and across to the opposite arm.

The final exercise is a triset, a set of three activities performed back-to-back without rest. Simmonds uses dips, diamond push-ups, and tricep extensions in this triset, and the aim is to start with 10 reps of each, dropping down one rep until you reach five reps per round. 

For the weighted exercises, finding a load that'll challenge you but isn't so heavy that it'll affect your technique is crucial. If you're unsure where to start, use these beginner strength training tips to find the right weight. 

If you're after a bit of variety, this tricep and chest workout helps strengthen your upper body with more bodyweight exercises, a set of dumbbells, and a few moves using a set of the best resistance bands in place of a cable machine. 

Working your muscles in this way causes tiny tears for your body to repair, which is where the post-workout pain delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) originates. Use the best protein powders for weight loss to build lean muscle to aid your recovery. 

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.


In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.