Two dumbbells, 20 minutes and this home workout for rock-hard abs and big arms

Want shredded abs and solid arms fast? This workout can help

Strong healthy toned woman training, holding dumbbells, preparing for workout in urban industrial gym.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You can overcome the anxiety of not using the expensive adjustable dumbbells you bought a year ago with one simple trick: start using them. It doesn't have to be a gruelling or long workout either; as long as you pick them and use them to exercise, it'll do. You might as well start with this 20-minute arm and abs workout – it's fast, effective and will help you get back on track with your workout routine.

Including arm exercises in your weekly routine can help you enjoy numerous benefits, such as increasing your running speed and endurance. Another advantage is making it easier to fulfil daily tasks without overstraining as your arms become stronger and more flexible. Finally, strength training your arms places stress on your bones but can increase their density, reducing your risk of developing a debilitating condition such as osteoporosis.

In this workout by Australian-based fitness influencer Kayla Itsines, we’re shown a series of circuits that will strengthen your biceps, triceps and abdominal muscles. Each exercise should last for 30 seconds with a 10-second rest after each completed circuit. All that is required to complete this exercise are a pair of light dumbbells and an exercise. 

  • Circuit 1 x 4 sets
  • Renegade row 
  • Bicep curl 
  • Straight-leg raise 
  • Rest
  • Circuit 2 x 4 sets
  • Double-pulse push-up 
  • Tricep extension
  • Reverse plank walkout 
  • Rest 
  • Circuit 3 x 4 sets
  • Alternating side raise 
  • Double-pulse push-ups (15 seconds per side) 
  • Side-to-side twist 
  • Lateral shoot through 
  • Rest 

If you enjoyed this workout, we recommend you try this challenging super-fast no-equipment core workout to develop those arms and abs even further. Unsure of where to begin with arm workouts? Then consider beginning with this 10-minute push-up routine. Lastly, for those who own a resistance band, we have a superb 10-exercise abdominal workout for you. 

Keen to try Kayla’s and other arm workouts but don’t own any dumbbells. Check out the best dumbbells we’ve expertly tested and reviewed this year. Want specialised equipment that focuses on developing your abs? Try one of the best ab rollers we’ve ranked this year. If you don’t have sufficient space for dumbbells or an ab roller, then may be one of the best resistance bands could be a more suitable alternative.

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.