Build solid arm strength with this six-move seated dumbbell workout

Perfect if you're still aching from leg day

Man doing seated dumbbell exercises
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re not convinced you can do a decent workout seated, then you need to give this upper body one a go. Not only is it ideal for people who suffer from mobility issues or injuries in their lower body, but it’s also perfect if you've gone in a little too hard on leg day and you just need to rest those pins. All you need is 30 spare minutes, a pair of dumbbells and a chair (or weight bench if you’re at the gym). 

Seated exercises are a great way to develop strength and muscle, as they actually isolate the working muscles more. When performing a standing upper body exercise,  many people will use their lower body for extra momentum to help them complete the movement (for example, bending at the knees). While you can still make strength and muscle gains doing this, by taking your lower body out of the equation will put more emphasis on the muscles you're actually using, leading to better results.

For this workout you've got six exercises to work through and you're going to do each exercise for eight repetitions, three times. Take a 30 second rest between your sets then, once you've completed all three sets of one exercise, rest for 60 to 120 seconds, then move onto the next one. Opt for a pair of medium to heavy dumbbells, where the last couple of reps are challenging, but you're still able to complete them. Here's your exercises: 

  • Lateral raises
  • Bicep curls
  • Arnold press
  • Tricep extensions
  • Concentration curls
  • Neutral grip shoulder press (palms facing inwards)

For similar workouts like this one, why not give this floor-based upper body workout a try? It's has four different exercises to get through and they're all performed from either your knees or lying down (another great way to isolate the upper body muscles!). If lying down is a little too much though, here's a full kneeling five-move arm workout, that will only take you 25 minutes.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.