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20-Minute "Full Body" Dumbbell Arm Workout

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

It’s Friday night. You’re getting ready for a big night out with your friends at the...park...while keeping 6 feet apart...with masks on. You have an extra 20 minutes and want to get in a quick workout to look good before you go and show your friends you haven’t been victim to the #COVID15. Don’t know what to do? Below is a great, quick, full body arm workout you can do with only a pair of dumbbells.

While getting an arm pump may seem like more of a bro thing to do, this workout won’t instantly make you bulky ladies! Anyone can give this a try and feel like they got an effective, quick workout in. The issue with most “Arm” workouts is that they are so very isolated in nature, involving movement of literally one joint (the elbow), as you go through variations of different bicep curls and tricep extensions. While there is nothing wrong with those movements in and of themselves, grouped together as one large workout doesn’t provide much in the way of metabolic stress, integrated movement, or any kind of efficiency.

The goal with this workout is to provide you with the arm workout you’re looking for whilst providing some bang for your buck as you’ll be incorporating other muscle groups. Performing these movements can act as an active recovery to your other workouts throughout the week as they will force you to hone in on technique, placing stress throughout the entire body. Basically the goal with this is to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, being as efficient as possible while maintaining proper mechanics.

If exercises are listed under the same number (2A, 2B), then perform with no rest in between until you do all exercises under that number, then rest the designated amount. 1A-1C is a quick warm-up to get you going, should take maybe 5 minutes, and the rest of the workout should be around 20-ish minutes if you are strict with rest times.

Bird Dog

  • Focus on keeping your eyes looking at the floor, toes pointed in (flexed), and bracing your core the whole time.


  • Set up a good pushup position, with hands under shoulders, hips slightly taller than shoulders.

  • When you bring the foot up, keep the whole foot flush against the floor.

Prone Y Raises

  • Keep your eyes down, arms straight, thumbs up, and focus on pulling from the mid-back.

(skip to 1:50)

Close Grip Pushup

  • Hands in line with shoulders, but about 3-4 inches apart.

  • Focus on keeping your shoulders packed in, elbows tucked, and pausing when your elbows are at 90 degrees in the bottom position.

  • Maintain a good plank, not letting the hips drop and focus on pulling yourself to the floor as you descend, not just letting your body drop.

  • If this is too difficult, do it on an incline when your hands on the edge of a ledge, chair, couch, etc. and feet on the ground.

Lunge Hold DB Bicep Curl

  • The set-up here is everything so don’t rush it.

  • Set up a proper lunge, with knees at 90 degrees, and you should feel the glute of your front leg and no knee pain.

  • Hold this position while performing smooth bicep curls.

Renegade DB Bicep Curl

  • Again, the set-up here is paramount. You are essentially holding a single arm pushup plank while doing bicep curls.

  • Hand under shoulder, hips tall, core hollowed out, and tall on the toes.

Hip Bridge Hold DB Skull Crusher

  • Shocker, set-up is important again!!

  • Feet hip width apart, toes off the ground, get into a good hip bridge to the point where you feel your hamstrings/glutes and no lower back, hold this position strong.

  • During the skull crushers be mindful to not let the dumbbells sway overhead, putting your shoulders in an over-stretched position, keep the shoulders packed in nicely, only moving the elbows.

DB Hammer Curl

  • Now we get to the classic stuff, palms facing each other, keeping constant tension with no sway in your torso or elbows

  • Remember, the downward portion of a bicep curl is a tricep extension, so when you lower the weight think about your triceps doing the work

DB Tricep Kickbacks

  • Set into a good hinge before doing anything else, you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and nothing in the lower back

  • Keep elbows by the torso, not moving the upper arm at all

  • Keep eyes down at the floor

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