Grow big arms using lightweight dumbbells only with this 10-minute bicep and forearm workout

A speedy bicep and forearm workout to get you pumped for the weekend (and beyond)

lifting slow vs lifting fast
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I love full-body workouts as they burn a ton of fat and help you lose belly fat fast but I also like a good pump when my muscle look big, which is exactly what happened after I finished with this bicep and forearm workout the other day. It only takes 10 minutes! Grab those dumbbells and get pumping iron!

Using battle ropes might be a good way to improve grip strength but if you want to make those muscles look big, you need a good pump. The pump is a shorter – and more pronounceable – way to describe hypertrophy which refers to an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise. To get a good pump, you don't need to use the heaviest weights in the gym; as long as focus on the muscles you want to grow, you can achieve phenomenal results using lighter weights.

What is a light weight for you depends on your fitness level. If you're unsure how heavy is heavy enough, I recommend investing in an adjustable dumbbell: these versatile home weights replace a bunch of individual weights (i.e. saves space) and allow you to add or lose weight quickly throughout the workout (i.e. less hassle). You can also use resistance bands for this workout or a couple of water bottles or tin cans or whatever else you have at home.

MiDASMVMT's 10-minute lightweight dumbbell bicep and forearm workout: How to do it

When you're ready, grab those dumbbells and click play on the video above. You'll perform each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second break. 30 seconds might not sound like a long time, but you can easily squeeze in 10-12 quality reps of each exercise in that timeframe.

Focus on slow contractions (lifting the weights) and even slower negatives (lowering the weights) to increase time under tension. Instead of thinking, "I only have 25 seconds left of this exercise!", try flipping the script by convincing yourself that you only spent 30 seconds doing this exercise for the whole week, so you must make the most of it by doing quality reps until the time's up.

There are 10 exercises altogether, as listed below:

  • Double Bicep Curl: Lift both arms at the same time
  • Wrist x Hammer Curl: Start with flexing the forearm, then bend the elbow with a neutral grip
  • Bicep Curl Negatives: Lift the weights quickly and slowly lower them back to the starting position 
  • Double Reverse Curl: Use a pronating ("overhand") grip to maximise forearm activation
  • Double Wide Curl: Lift both weights outward
  • Alt. Hammer x Bicep Curl: Swap between hammer curls (neutral grip) and bicep curls (pronating/underhand grip)
  • Alt. Inward Curl: The opposite of wide curls – move the weights towards the chest using a neutral grip
  • Double Half Curl: Only lift the dumbbells until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then slowly lower them
  • Alt. Hammer Curl: Use a neutral grip and focus on slow negatives
  • Wrist x Bicep Curl: Same as the Wrist x Hammer Curl exercise but with pronating grip

Dumbbells can be used for other things than just bicep curls. For instance, here is an easy full-body workout with these six single-dumbbell exercises or the best tricep exercises with dumbbells recommended by a PT. As it turns out, three exercises and one dumbbell is all you need to build chest and arm muscles at home – who would've thought!

Haven't got a dumbbell yet? Check out the best dumbbell deals below and get one for cheap today. Or visit our best Bowflex deals guide for the best offers on the most sought-after adjustable dumbbells on the planet. Don't forget your protein powder or mass gainer either, especially if you're planning on building muscle.

Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym reviews.