This 10x10 Arm Workout Tones Your Entire Upper Body in Just Minutes

Burn out your arms with this 10-exercise arm workout. All you need is a pair of dumbbells.
Image Credit: Inti St Clair/Tetra images/GettyImages

Say goodbye to boring biceps curls with this 10x10 arm workout from Josh Honore, NASM-CPT, and Row House coach. The premise behind this fast-paced arm workout is to perform 10 reps of each exercise with very little rest between each move.

What we typically call our "arms" is actually two distinct muscle groups — the biceps and triceps. Training these two groups is quite simple, especially since they assist with most upper-body movements.

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For this workout, Honore chose exercises that target not only the biceps and triceps but also your shoulders, quads, glutes and core muscles. These exercises also require balance and stability, so you get the bonus of increasing coordination and improving posture.

Try This 10x10 Arm Workout for Yourself

For this workout, you may want to use a yoga mat to perform a few of these moves safely. Don't forget to warm-up with a few minutes of light cardio and dynamic exercises, such as high knees, jogging in place and arm circles.

Do:​ 10 reps of each exercise, moving from one exercise to the next as quickly as you can with good form.

Move 1: Quadruped Shoulder Tap

Move 1: Quadruped Shoulder Tap
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Region Full Body
  1. Begin on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
  2. Engage your core, push your weight into the toes and raise your knees a few inches off the floor. Your hands and toes will remain in contact with the ground.
  3. Look down between your hands and keep your back flat.
  4. Lift your left hand off the floor and touch the right shoulder without shifting your weight. You'll feel tension in the right triceps and shoulders.
  5. Replace the left hand on the floor and repeat on the right side. That's one rep.

Tip

To support the lower back, keep your core tight throughout the exercise. If maintaining lifted knees is too difficult, rest them on the floor but maintain tension in the triceps.

Move 2: Seated Shoulder Press

Move 2: Seated Shoulder Press
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Region [ "Upper Body", "Core" ]
  1. Begin seated with a flat back, feet rooted in the ground, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Lift the weights above your shoulders with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  3. On an exhale, brace your core and press both dumbbells overhead.
  4. Lower the weights back to the starting position with control.

Tip

Keep your core muscles engaged during the entire movement and your back straight. Look forward, not up toward the ceiling.

Move 3: Triceps Kickback

Move 3: Triceps Kickback
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Body Part Arms
  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hinge your hips back, maintaining a straight spine. Your upper body should be at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  2. Bring your arms to your sides, pretending your elbows are glued to your body. This is the starting position.
  3. Extend your arms straight back with control and squeeze your triceps at the top.
  4. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.

Tip

Keep your knees bent, core muscles engaged and back flat during the entire movement.

Move 4: Thruster

Move 4: Thruster
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Region Full Body
  1. Start standing with your feet just wider than hip-distance apart, core engaged, with a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, palms facing in.
  2. Keeping your chest tall and core tight, hinge your hips back and down to sink into a squat. Lower until your thighs are parallel with the ground — or as low as you can comfortably squat while maintaining good form.
  3. Press through all four corners of your feet to return to standing.
  4. As you straighten your legs, press the dumbbells up over your head. Your upper arms should stay close to your ears.
  5. Slowly bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells back down to your shoulders with control.

Tip

Keep your core contracted throughout the movement. Choose a weight that's light enough to push overhead without losing your form but heavy enough to create resistance for your legs.

Move 5: Lateral Raise With Static Lunge

Move 5: Lateral Raise With Static Lunge
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Body Part [ "Shoulders", "Legs" ]
  1. Stand tall and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Choose a light enough to perform a lateral raise but heavy enough to create resistance for your legs.
  2. Step forward with the left leg into a lunge. The right knee will bend and move toward the floor. Lower yourself until the left/forward knee is about 90 degrees.
  3. Raise the weights laterally to shoulder height. Keep a slight bend in the elbows, palms facing down. Pause for a second.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells and drive through the left heel to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the right side. That's one rep.

Tip

When the lead leg is in the forward or lunge position, make sure the shin is perpendicular to the floor. Your front knee should not go over the toes. The weight should be light enough to maintain form throughout the movement.

Move 6: Triceps Overhead Extension

Move 6: Triceps Overhead Extension
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Body Part Arms
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and bellybutton pulled in toward your spine.
  2. Hold the dumbbell in both hands over your head, keeping elbows straight and close to your ears.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows lowering the dumbbell behind your head.
  4. Raise them back to the starting position.

Tip

Performing this move while standing requires a lot of core strength. Make sure to keep the abdominal muscles engaged. This helps take pressure off the lower back.

Move 7: Wall Sit With Front Raise

Move 7: Wall Sit With Front Raise
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Body Part [ "Legs", "Shoulders" ]
  1. Place your back against the wall with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Slowly slide down the wall, keeping your back in contact with the wall. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Hold this position as you raise your arms directly in front of you.
  4. Lower your arms back down and repeat the lift-and-lower portion for 10 total reps.

Tip

For the wall sit, try to lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground. But if this is too deep, it’s okay to shorten the distance. Also, choose a weight that is heavy enough to provide resistance for your legs but light enough that you don’t feel pain in your shoulders.

Move 8: Skull Crusher With Glute Bridge

Move 8: Skull Crusher With Glute Bridge
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Region Full Body
  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and a light dumbbell in each hand. Feet should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Engage the core muscles, push your heels into the floor and lift your hips to come into a bridge position. Hold this position.
  3. Bend the elbows and bring the dumbbells next to your head. With palms facing each other, straighten your arms to raise the dumbbells above your shoulders.
  4. Lower the dumbbells toward your forehead until elbows bend to 90-degrees. This completes the skull crusher portion of the move.
  5. Remain in a glute bridge and repeat the skull crusher.

Tip

Keep your core and glutes tight. Maintain pressure on the upper back rather than the neck.

Move 9: Triceps Press-Up

Move 9: Triceps Press-Up
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Region Full Body
  1. Get on the floor in a plank with forearms resting on the floor. Your body will be in a straight line from shoulders to heels.
  2. Press up from the ground with both arms at the time, until both arms are extended and you're at the top of a push-up. Your hands will be slightly in front of your shoulders.
  3. Lower down to a forearm plank again, both arms at the same time, until you're back in the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Tip

If the full press-up is too difficult, perform the move with your knees on the floor.

Move 10: Plank Walk

Move 10: Plank Walk
Image Credit: Josh Honore/LIVESTRONG.com
Reps 10
Region Full Body
  1. Get on the floor in a plank with forearms resting on the floor. Your body will be in a straight line from shoulders to heels.
  2. Press up from the ground, one arm at a time, until both arms are extended and you're at the top of a push-up.
  3. Lower down to a forearm plank again, one arm at a time, until you're back in the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Tip

Keep your core engaged throughout the entire movement. If you can't hold a rigid plank, drop down to your knees and complete the move.

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