You only need two dumbbells and these four standing supersets to build bigger arms

Forget endless hours in the gym, you only 30 minutes for an effective arm workout

Man doing bicep curls with dumbbells in his living room
(Image credit: Getty)

If you’re worried that not spending hours bicep curling is going to ruin your chances of getting bigger arms fast, it won’t. According to Healthline, 20 to 30 minutes of workout time is plenty enough to build muscle and we’ve got the perfect workout that will help you do just that. All you need is a pair of the best dumbbells.

If you’ve never heard of a superset before, it’s basically where you perform two exercises back-to-back. It’s a simple hack to pack more into your workout in a short space of time as it stops you from taking extra long breaks in between sets (which, let's face it, we're all guilty of doing). According to Nuffield Health as supersets are a form of resistance training (also known as strength training) it’s an effective way to grow muscle. By doing two exercises back-to-back you’re also upping the intensity of your workout which can increase muscle activation, so if you like that ‘pumped’ look, supersets are great for this.   

This workout focuses on your biceps, triceps and shoulders. There’s eight exercises altogether but, remember, you’re doing two back-to-back, so it'll feel more like four. As muscle growth is the aim of the game here it’s all about hypertrophy training, so high reps. You’re aiming for 12 reps of each exercise and you’ll do each superset three times. Ready? Here’s your workout:

Superset 1

  • ISO hold lateral lower
  • Hammer curl slow lower

Superset 2

  • Cross body raise
  • Tricep extension triple puls

Superset 3

  • Arnold press
  • Tricep kickback

Superset 3

  • Side curl
  • Reverse fly

If you don't own any dumbbells, then any weights will do — whether it's using a pair of kettlebells or even two small weight plates. One single adjustable dumbbell would also be suitable, you'd just have to do all the exercises on each side though. Alternatively, you could fill up two heavy water bottles and make your own home weights (a keg water bottle is best like the one in our best gym water bottle guide). In need of more speedy workouts? Give this 12 minute upper body dumbbell workout a try for when you're really pushed for time.

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.