Ultimate Arm Workouts for Women: How to Build Shape and Strengthen Arms

Ultimate Arm Workouts for Women

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Women have to work just as hard – if not more so – to maintain a muscular physique when compared to men. While weight training is the best way to achieve this, the right approach can help too. We are here to help with our Ultimate Arm Workouts for Women guide.

Our ultimate arm workout guide provides you with everything you need to know about becoming strong and toned in just a few hours per week: where, when and how best perform them, essential exercises and body-shaping techniques designed for women’s bodies.

The result is a range of eight simple but effective workouts which will target your arms from all angles, helping you sculpt stronger and more defined arms that are truly your own.

We edited our guide to make it as effective with women, who suffer from very different muscle imbalances in the arms to men. You’ll be working out the same muscles, but you’ll be aiming to achieve a different outcome.

Understanding why you should work out your arms might help you feel more confident in your body. You can then use this guide to get started with our ultimate arm workouts today!

Core Arm Muscles Focused


Biceps are split into two major muscles: the biceps brachii (the “long head”, which is found in the upper and lower arm) and biceps brachialis (the “short head”, which is located in upper arm only):


Triceps are split into three main heads, depending on the location of their insertion: The Anterior (or “Long Head”) Tricep is located in front of the elbow, between the biceps and brachialis. The Posterior (or “Short Head”) Tricep is found in back of the elbow.

What is a muscle contraction?

The term ‘muscle contraction’ can be used to describe how muscles function, or it can be used to explain what happens when you perform a particular exercise.

There are two main types of muscle contractions: isotonic and isometric. Isometric contractions take place without any movement in the joint between the muscle and bones of the body. An example of this is the shoulder joint, where the rotators and the scapulae do not move but the shoulder muscles contract.

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Isotonic contractions move a joint between muscles and bones. An example is an exercise like push-ups: Push-ups are performed by moving joints forward and backward, which causes contraction of several different muscles in your upper or lower body.

A muscle contraction can be either a concentric (concentric) movement where the muscle shortens and lengthens, or an eccentric (eccentric) movement where the muscle lengthens and shortens without changing the length of the muscle.

Arm Shaping Exercises

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

EZ Bar

The EZ-Bar Preacher Curl is an excellent way to begin working the biceps, especially for those women who have never been weight training before. This pose will include many different arm exercises, all of which train specific muscles in different ways. You may find this progression helps you to increase your strength in the following weeks.

Chin-Up Progression

Chinup bar

This exercise trains your biceps and supporting muscles in a full range of motion. The Chin-Up Progression will help beginners to become familiar with exercises in a safe way without hurting yourself.

Dumbbell Preacher Curl

Dumbbell Preacher Curl

This exercise is used to target the biceps brachii, which is the ‘long head’ of the biceps. This exercise can also be included as part of a workout routine for women who struggle to get their arms and shoulders bigger. The Dumbbell Preacher Curl will also help you develop strength in your forearms and grip, which are often weak in women.

Low cable overhead triceps extension

This exercise can work the triceps, or ‘middle head’ of your biceps. It also works your shoulders, forearms, and back in a full range of motion.

Reverse Wrist Curl

This exercise is unique because it works the flexor muscles at the back of the hands – which can be helpful for women who have wrist problems. This exercise will also develop the muscles in your forearms and hands, which is essential for building a strong, healthy looking body.

Alternatively, you can try this great EZ-Bar Curl Progression with a resistance band if you don’t have access to weight equipment. The progressions above show you how to perform this complex exercise in small steps so you can safely build up your strength over time.

Putting It All Together

Below is a simple routine using the workouts above to build a quick 20 minute arm workout that will have you toning up in no time at all.

Warm up: Five minutes on the treadmill with a 2 minute warm up jog, Walk down the stairs and drink water to cleanse your system, or do five minutes of abs exercises.

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Cardio: Ten minutes on the treadmill or running outside, with a 2 minute cool down jog. Drink water afterwards and walk around at least fifteen minutes.

Arm Shaping Exercises: 15 minutes building up tension. Complete the EZ-Bar Curl Progression first, then build up by working your way through the other exercises. For each exercise aim for 3 sets each with declining number of reps (15, 10, 8 reps).

Cool Down: Five minutes on the treadmill with a 2 minute warm down jog, walk down the stairs and drink water to cleanse your system, or do five minutes of abs exercises.


Your arms are probably one of the first things people notice when they look at you. If you want to make them stronger and more defined, you can turn to our women’s arm workout for a great way to get strong and fit arms.