These 5 exercises are all you need to build biceps and triceps muscles

Skip the gym and build big guns with this 5-move dumbbell arm workout

Low Section Of Woman Exercising With Dumbbells At Home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you know the difference between isolating and compound exercises? The former (e.g. bicep curls) focuses on one muscle, helping them grow faster, while the latter (e.g. deadlifts) uses multiple muscle groups to execute the movement, which is beneficial for calorie burn and muscle coordination. With this 5-move biceps and triceps arm workout, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: quick arm gains and increased energy expenditure.

Compound exercises are movements that exercise multiple muscle groups at the same time. The sweet spot for a beginner (or even an experienced trainee looking to get stronger and pack on muscle) is a compound movement that uses multiple muscle groups, isn’t too complex and has significant loading potential. Just like the moves featured in this workout!

You'll need a pair of medium-sized dumbbells for this workout, and if you haven't got any, we recommend visiting our best dumbbells and best adjustable dumbbell guides first. There are five exercises in total, and you should aim to complete 8-10 reps of each (each side, where applicable) for three rounds. Allow 60 seconds of rest between exercises and 90-120 seconds between sets. Focus on clean reps, following a full range of motion. The exercises are as follows:

  • Overhead tricep extension with bicep curl
  • Hinged bicep curl with opposite arm tricep kickback
  • Tricep kickback to side serve
  • Straight arm pull back to hammer curl
  • Extended bicep curl press to overhead extension

Easy-peasy! If you prefer not to use weights for your workout, try this 10-minute push-up workout and grow your arms, chest and shoulder muscles faster. Another option is this 5-minute pull-up bar workout that can help you sculpt a strong back. This 10-minute bicep and forearm dumbbell workout focuses on the front of your arm, while this 20-minute dumbbell home session can help you build rock-solid abs and big arms.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for 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.