Arm Workout with JUST Dumbbells (GET BIG ARMS!)





If you have been looking for an arm workout with just dumbbells to get big arms, look no further. Whether you have access to a full rack of dumbbells, a single pair, or even just one dumbbell by itself; this dumbbell workout can be performed by anyone. I designed this workout to effectively hit your biceps and triceps with nothing but dumbbells and no extra equipment.

For this arm workout, you are going to to want to grab dumbbells that will allow you to fail in the 8-10 rep range for each given exercise. If you are limited by the number of dumbbells you have, I’ve got you covered. If you find that the weight you are using is too light to fail in the given rep range, then you are going to perform reps to failure and decrease your rest time, creating a more metabolic training effect. If your dumbbells are too heavy, you will be doing the exercise swaps provided to allow you to fail in that 8-10 rep range.

With this dumbbell arm workout, the rest time, given that you fail in the 8-10 rep range, will be 90 seconds to 2 minutes. If you find that your dumbbell option doesn’t allow you to fail before 10 reps, you will perform the exercise to failure and then cut your rest time down to 45-60 seconds. This will equalize the workout for anyone that performs it, regardless what kind of access to dumbbells they might have.

The first exercise is the DB Drag Curl. If your dumbbells are too heavy or you only have access to a single dumbbell, you will performing the DB Waiter’s Curl. These exercises will emphasize the attention given to the long head of the biceps and the height of their appearance.

Next, you will be performing the Standing DB Curl. I prefer this done in alternating fashion due to less core stabilization required. The option you have, if the dumbbells are too heavy or your access is limited, is to perform the DB Kneeling Preacher Curl.

This arm workout with dumbbells continues with a focus on the brachialis muscle by performing Cross Body Hammer Curls. Your other option, given limitations, is to perform Shovel Curls. Remember to perform 8-10 reps in each direction or until you reach failure (if the weight is too light).

To get jacked arms, this dumbbell workout is going to have to hit the triceps, too!

The first triceps exercise up is the Lying Floor Extensions. In the event that you cannot perform this exercise because the dumbbells are too heavy or you are limited to a single dumbbell, you will perform the Single DB Lying Floor Extensions.

Next in this dumbbell arm workout is the DB Overhead Extensions. Your secondary option is the Single DB Overhead Extensions. In this case, make sure your elbows are pointed forward throughout the movement to protect your shoulders.

You would then finish this workout by performing DB Kickbacks. This movements allows you to reach the peak contracted state of the long head of the triceps. With access to a single dumbbell or if your dumbbells are too heavy for this exercise, you’ll be doing the Tricep Cheat Backs, but make sure to perform this with as much control as possible.

This is what this dumbbell only workout looks like if you want jacked arms:

1. DB Drag Curl / DB Waiter’s Curl – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

2. Standing (Alt.) DB Curl / DB Kneeling Preacher Curls – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

3. Cross Body Hammer Curls / Shovel Curls – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

4. Lying Floor Ext. / Single DB Lying Floor Ext. – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

5. DB Overhead Ext. / Single DB Overhead Ext. – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

6. DB Kickbacks / Tricep Cheat Backs – 3 x 10-12 (rest 90 sec – 2 min / 45-60 sec)

This dumbbell workout will effectively hit your arms without any extra equipment like a bench or cables, making it a great option to get jacked arms at home. Each exercise was selected carefully to make sure you are hitting all muscles / functions of the upper arm.

If you are looking for a complete workout program that uses just dumbbells, regardless of weight or how many you have access to, check out our JACKED training program.

If you are looking for more workouts that make use of minimal equipment, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on YouTube via the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so that you never miss a new video when we put one out.

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    You can build more than just your arms using only dumbbells. In fact, I can show you how to grow your shoulders in 14 days using a SINGLE dumbbell! –

  2. JoJo Isreallycool

    Hey guys one question but why doesn't Jeff just say to perform the exercises with each individual arm if you only have one dumbbell? Will it cause problems or something?

  3. Rodrigo Ele

    7:28, man, I thought you were going to say "pain," lol.

  4. ALAS

    I have only 12 inch size biceps then i started doing alternate dumbbell curls everyday for 9 days, i've done 600 alternate biceps curls everyday, i start training at 10 A.M in the morning doing
    4 sets//50 reps alt biceps curls then after that i start again at 2 P.M in the afternoon doing 4 sets//50 reps and after that at 4 P.M in the afternoon i'm doing the same workout again 4 sets//50 reps alt. biceps dumbbell curls and i'm suprised of the result it gave me after 9 days of working out my biceps, my biceps size are now 13.5 inch and i'm planning to make it more bigger like around 15 to 16 inches big (i have only a pair of 5 kg dumbbells at home)💪❣️

  5. Dimitris

    so we rest 18 times during the entire workout?

  6. David Billingham

    Tired and tested, get a great pump when I follow this guide, I now do my arms at home instead of a packed gym.

  7. Wayne Murphy

    I am 63 and live in Melbourne Australia, add I brought loose weights and I have them for 7 weeks, and I went from just doing bicep curls, I did 5 reps of 8 nearly every week, and did 10 kilos each side and but did them half an hour apart, and now i am up to 14 reps at 5 sets apart, the biceps are growing and so is my breasts but that is par of t he course and my shoulders are building with it, and I am only doing the basic biceps, It seems to effect the rest, but I leave it there. But I am thinking your course, I have no driveway or weight gym, I only have my small weights and out side of my house, but its slowly working. I feel my muscle all working, not just my biceps, its shoulders chest muscles they are all getting the pump from just doing it. I am just doing bicep curls, is all. Thank you and I am slowly going to learn what you have show.


    Should we keep our arms close to chest while doing alt curls? or should we keep them apart?
    Because when keeping close it get more harder so more grind?

  9. kbnovid

    This workout has already given me noticeable gains in the bi's and tri's. For so many years I was doing the wrong exercises for arms, or doing the right ones incorrectly. Thanks Jeff!!

  10. Obey LSG

    Standing skull crushers are the worst possible exercise. I can’t feel any burn in my triceps, while standing up it only works shoulders

  11. Calvin Suu

    Havent seen the markers come out yet…..

  12. O28

    Great video man. Looking out for us guys with access to only 1 dumbbell and different weights.

  13. Zacharry Merricx

    Thank you for giving variations for the workout so that we can do it with only 1 dumbbell. Now I can do workout with less mental stress caused by me

  14. Sean Quinn

    Jeff, do you recommend a specific taregted bicep program be done once per week versus more often?

  15. Raizen21SS

    I just got 2 40lb dumbbells trying to master them before I buy heavier ones

  16. youssef essam

    Jeff is a strong version of de maria …yeah it's a stolen comment

  17. Brendan F Castillo

    What about frequency? Do we do it everyday? Or alternate one day yes one day no?

  18. hasif faizan

    Hey jeff! Can you make a video on number of abs exercises/core exercises for upper and lower abs/core which we can do….(*which is safe for people who has suffered from disc herniation in the past*) please it will be very helpfull 🙌❤️ love from india!

  19. Tish A

    What weight do you switch from dumbbells to barbell? 25% of bodyweight?

  20. Virosaa

    do you do all of these once a week?

  21. Antonio Guarnieri

    I just want to ask a question to clarify a concept that I didn't quite understand, and for that, I apologize. When you say in the "DB Waiter's Curl" to do 3 x 10-12 reps, do you mean a total of 30 reps ? Or a total of 90 repetitions ? I mean something like [3 x ( 10+10+10 – 10+10+10 – 10+10+10)]

  22. F. I. M.

    How many days should this workout be done? Beginner here.

  23. C J Devalcourt

    Just did this one for the first time and MAN 😳🥴 lol, what a workout. Loving it.

  24. gosho goshev

    Hello @ATHLEAN-X Love your vids!! I have a question tho. Wasn't there a video while back ago where you've said "This is why you lose ur gains" and you were pointing out that 3x sets of excersice is pretty bad and losing gains. Instead you said that it's better to be either 4 sets or 5. So why are you saying 3 sets here?


    Great exercises, but how should you train the arm if the long head of the bicep tendon is torn from the shoulder and surgery is not an option?
    Can gains still be made?

  26. Mark Olivier

    Good workout Jeff, definitely going to try it out.

  27. Justin Webb

    I have been doing p90x. I noticed that all the exercises are in their program. I didn't know is how they develop your muscles. Thanks Jeff

  28. andrea bakul

    Vorrei un super abbraccio super muscoloso potentissimo dato da té e essere protetto dai tuoi muscoli

  29. James Mcconville

    Thanks Jeff! Love your videos. No BS. Really helpful to me 👍👍👍


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