2 dumbbells and this 12-minute standing arm workout to build biceps and triceps muscles

Improve muscle definition not just in your upper arm but also in your shoulders and upper back with this workout

Young Woman Weightraining at the Gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wouldn't it be great if there was an arm workout that also helped build muscle in your shoulders and upper back? Wait, this is one of those! 12 minutes and a trusty pair of dumbbells are all you need to achieve this; oh, and you'll need the below exercises, of course. Give it a few weeks, and you'll be walking around the beach with arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger (well, maybe not).

Having strong arms looks cool, but it can also help you perform daily activities better, according to research. Training can even decrease dyspnea (shortness of breath) and arm fatigue perception during supported arm exercises and dyspnea perception during everyday activities in people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Now imagine the results you'll see as a healthy individual!

This 12-minute standing arm workout features 12 workouts; you'll perform them for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second break before moving on to the next move. The movements are slightly unusual (this is what we like about this arm workout!). For example, you'll do a stiff-arm shoulder press with the palms facing up, followed by a forward reach. The exercises in this workout are as follows:

  • Alternating biceps curls
  • Half hammer curls with rotation
  • Overhead triceps extension and standing crunch
  • Alternating triple triceps extension
  • Rolling press into forward reach
  • Alternating shoulder press (single-single-double)
  • Wide biceps curl (half into full)
  • Hammer curls with pause
  • Single arm triceps extensions (right)
  • Single arm triceps extensions (left)
  • Wide rear fly into bent-over rows
  • Alternating half shoulder press

You're all done! Interested in growing bigger arms? These are the best biceps and triceps home exercises you should try first. How about the best arm exercises for beginners – that might be more accessible for novice exercisers? For something quicker, try this 5-exercise biceps and triceps workout instead. Check out T3's best dumbbell guide if you need new home weights.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.