The Best Arm Exercises With Hand Weights for Women

Woman flexing arm muscle
Toned arms includes working the biceps and triceps. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Now is the perfect time to tone those arms and give them that nice definition. Creating toned arms with hand weights allows for the wearing of those beloved sleeveless tops and dresses. Toning the arms includes creating a workout plan for the biceps (front arm muscles) and the triceps (back arm muscles).

The workouts

Young woman exercising with weight, smiling
Hand weights are good for performing biceps curls (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The workouts for the biceps and triceps can basically contain the same amount of repetitions, sets, and weights. The weight does not have to be heavy, they can be as light as two pounds and as heavy as eight, but there will need to be at least 15 repetitions and three to five sets per exercise. If the weight is heavier than 8 pounds such as, from 10 to 15 pounds, the repetitions will need to be as low as 6, but three sets can still be performed.

Exercises for the biceps

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Tricep extensions can be performed with one hand or two (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The biceps, which are the two-headed muscles in the front of the arms, can be worked with hand weights at least two times a week. Some of the best exercises with hand weights for the biceps include the biceps curls, alternating biceps curls, and the hammer curls. The bicep curls is holding the hand weights in front of the thighs, palms out. The hand weight is then raised slowly up to the shoulder and lowered back to the thigh. The alternating biceps curls can be performed the same way, except they are performed one arm at a time. The hammer curls are performed with the hand weights down by the side of the thighs, with the palms facing the thighs. The weights are raised slowly toward the shoulder, and then lowered back to the thigh area.

Exercises for the triceps

Woman stretching arms
Stretching the triceps before and after workouts are recommended (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

The triceps, which are the three-headed muscles in the back of the arms, can be worked on the same day that the biceps are worked on, or the days can be split, but two times a week are still ok to work them. Some of the best exercises for the triceps with hand weights include two arm triceps extensions, one arm triceps extensions, and kickbacks. Two are triceps extensions are performed with hand weights in each hand facing each other. The weights are lifted at a 90 degree angle, with the elbows pointed outward. The triceps/biceps part of the arm is stable and the only part that moves is the forearm section. It is raised up straight and lowered back into the 90 degree position. The one arm triceps extensions are performed the same way, except they are performed one arm at a time. The triceps kickbacks are performed by slightly bending over at the waist with a hand weight in each hand, palm in toward the thigh. The hand weight is then lifted backward, bending only at the elbow and keeping the triceps/biceps part of the arm stable.

Warm-up, Cool down and Safety

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Lady with toned arms is a result of consistent hand weights workouts (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

As with any exercise, it’s important to stretch, warm-up, and cool down, before and after working out. Warming up the muscles before working out will help get them ready for the weights whether they are heavy or light. Stretching after the workout will help the muscles prepare for recovery. The warm-up part of working out can consist of a 5-10 minute jog or walk in place, and performing biceps and triceps stretches. Another important safety issue is keeping the correct form throughout the workouts. Maintaining correct form will decrease the chances of injury and prolonged soreness. If the workouts are started with low weights, overtime, the arms will become stronger and the weights can be increased as high as can go, as long as the correct form can be maintained throughout the workout.

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