17 Ways To Tone Your Arms Super Fast


Last Updated: 4th October 2016

It’s a well-known fact: women have a higher body fat percentage than men!

The average “healthy” body fat percentage for women is 18 to 20% of bodyweight while “healthy” for men is between 10 and 15%. This is because the female body is designed to store fat in case of pregnancy when they need to tap into stored fat for energy to function and nourish the baby.

But do you know where most of that body fat ends up?

The majority is on the buttocks and breasts (a fact for which we, as men, are MOST grateful), but unfortunately for you, those aren’t the only areas where you’ll find more body fat than your average man. Aside from your thighs and gluteal fold, the most common place to find excess body fat is in your arms.

Excess arm fat–often called “bingo wings”–can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. Many women spend years trying in vain to get rid of their arm fat. But here’s a nifty secret: cardio isn’t going to slim down your arms, only resistance training will!

If you’re serious about getting rid of arm fat, strength, toning arms and endurance training will do the trick. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the 17 best exercises to help you tone your arms. Mix these exercises into your weekly workouts, and you’ll burn fat and build muscle–slimming down those arms and getting them in great shape!

The Importance of Full-Body Training

Image Source: Hufftington Post

The list of exercises below may focus on toning arms, but the truth is that JUST working your arms is a mistake!

Your arms are “glamor muscles”, muscles that look good but aren’t as important as your chest, back, core, and leg muscles. The biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles are actually fairly small in comparison to these larger muscles, so you’ll never see as much progress as you will with chest, back, or leg training.

But the real reason to train your whole body has to do with body fat. As disappointing as it may be, there is no way to “spot tone”. You can’t get rid of fat on just one part of your body, but you’ll only see real results as you decrease your overall body fat significantly.

If you just trained your arms, you wouldn’t lose body fat, meaning the arm muscles would remain invisible beneath the layer of arm fat. To see the results and tone your arms, toning arms you have to train your WHOLE body to burn fat evenly from everywhere.

How to Tone Your Arms the Right Way

There are three muscles in your arms:

  • The triceps are located on the back of your arms. They are designed for “pushing”, so you need to perform pushing exercises to train the triceps.
  • The biceps are located on the front of your arms. They are designed for “pulling”, so you need to perform pulling exercises to train the biceps.
  • The forearm muscles are located on your forearm. They enable you to curl your fingers and grip/hold objects.

To have toned arms, you have to train all three of these muscles.

Building big triceps is fairly easy, as they are far larger muscles than biceps. The forearms are the hardest to expand, but it’s vital that you pay attention to the forearms to enhance grip strength.

Bonus: If you want strong, toned arms, you need to pay attention to your deltoids (shoulders). Working your shoulders help to burn arm fat and strengthen not just your arm muscles, but also the connection between arms and torso.

Tone Your Arms With Pulling Exercises

As mentioned above, the biceps are the “pulling” muscles. To strengthen them, you will need to perform exercises that involve pulling toward your body. Many of these exercises also engage the anterior (front) deltoid muscles, helping you to tone your shoulders at the same time.

Here are the best “pulling” exercises:


Image Source: Workout Labs

Chin-Ups use your body weight for the exercise, meaning they will help you to develop functional strength. But while Pull-Ups focus on your upper back and shoulder muscles, the reverse grip of Chin-Ups placed more emphasis on the biceps. Your upper back and shoulders still work, but your biceps get a better workout–leading to toned, strong arms.

Here’s how to do it right

Barbell Curls

Image Source: WourkoutLabs

Barbell curls engage both biceps at the same time, and the whole is stronger than the sum of the parts. What does that mean? Simple: you may perform dumbbell curls with 25 pounds per arm, but you’ll usually be able to curl 60 to 70 pounds when using both arms. Barbell curls are the basic biceps exercise, and one of the most effective movements to tone and strengthen your arms.

Here’s how to do it right

Incline Dumbbell Curls

Image Source: Workout Labs

Using an incline bench (set at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees) places maximum stress on the upper biceps, near the shoulder. The angle helps to isolate the biceps, with only the shoulder muscles adding power to ensure you can complete the curl. It’s one of the most effective biceps exercises around.

Here’s how to do it right

Hammer Curl

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

The Hammer Curl engages both the biceps and the forearms, leading to a more effective arm workout overall. By simply twisting the weight to a “hammer” position, you force your forearm muscles to work harder as you curl the dumbbell to your shoulder. It gives you broad biceps and forearms, strengthening your grip as it shreds arm muscle.

Here’s how to do it right

Suspension Trainer Bicep Curl

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

This exercise uses your body weight, forcing your shoulders, biceps, and forearms to engage as you curl your body up to the TRX suspension ropes. It’s not an easy exercise, but it works wonders for your arms!

Here’s how to do it right

Behind the Back Cable Curl

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

You’ll need a cable machine (at the gym) for this movement, which engages the long head (near the shoulders) of your biceps. The position of your hands (behind your back) isolates your biceps for a more effective workout.

Here’s how to do it right

Seated Dumbbell Clean

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

This movement hits both your shoulders and biceps beautifully! It’s actually more shoulder-oriented, but your biceps do the work of raising the weight to shoulder level. It even works your forearms, helping to tone along the entire length of your arm.

Here’s how to do it right

Note: Be VERY careful with this one! If not performed correctly, it can lead to shoulder injuries.

Tone Your Arms With Pushing Exercises

To tone your triceps muscles, you have to perform “pushing” exercises. Most chest exercises (Bench Press, Push-Ups, etc.) will engage your triceps, so you’ll usually see better progress than you will in your biceps. However, the majority of your arm fat is located around your triceps, so it’s in your best interest to pay extra attention to these muscles. As a bonus, all pushing exercises engage your shoulders, leading to a stronger, sleeker upper body.

Here are the best “pushing” exercises for your triceps:

Military Press

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

This exercise places emphasis on your shoulders (and core, if you perform them standing), but your triceps bear a lot of the load as you push the weight overhead. Definitely, one of the best movements to target your arms!

Using a barbell is better for strength, but dumbbell training can help to increase endurance and tone the muscles more effectively.

Here’s how to do it right

Diamond Push-Ups

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

All Push-Ups engage your triceps and shoulder muscles along with your chest, but Diamond Push-Ups focus more on the arms. The close positioning of your hands forces your triceps to engage as you push up, leading to a better triceps workout.

Here’s how to do it right

Note: These can be difficult on the wrists. If you feel wrist pain, consider using wrist braces or widening your hand positioning slightly.


Image Source: WorkoutLabs

The beauty of Dips is that they rely only on your bodyweight, enhancing your functional fitness. Your shoulders and triceps do most of the work, but your chest muscles engage as you push back up from the dip. It’s by far one of the best functional strength movements to build arm strength and tone your triceps.

Note: Depending on your form, the exercise will target either the triceps or the chest.

Here’s how to do it right

Chair Dips

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

Chair Dips are similar to regular dips, but they isolate the triceps much more efficiently. They’re also much easier, as there is less weight on your arms. You can do more reps per set, making it a highly effective endurance/toning movement.

Here’s how to do it right

Cable Pushdowns with Rope

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

Cable Pushdowns are highly effective for building strong triceps, but adding the rope attachment allows you to spread your hands as you push down. This places the emphasis on the outer head of the triceps muscle, the one that is most visible. With the right posture, you can isolate the triceps VERY effectively, leading to better toning and fat burning for your arms.

Here’s how to do it right

Skull Crushers

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

Despite their terrifying-sounding name, Skull Crushers are actually fairly safe. The name comes from the movement, which involves lowering a weight toward your skull. It’s another excellent triceps isolation exercise, but your shoulders and forearms have to work as well. Once you master the form, it makes an excellent addition to your workout.

Here’s how to do it right

Close Grip Bench Press to Abs

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

As previously stated, ALL chest exercises engage your triceps. Bench Presses are one of the best of solid muscle mass, but bringing your hands closer together changes the focus from chest to triceps. By bringing the weight to your abs instead of your chest, it works your core, shoulders, forearms, and triceps beautifully.

Here’s how to do it right

Tone Your Arms With Grip Exercises

Many people spend hours working their biceps and triceps each week but neglect their forearms. This can have disastrous consequences! As your arms and upper body grow stronger, you’ll want to lift more weight. But if your wrists and forearms can’t support the added strain, you won’t be able to make progress.

It’s of the UTMOST importance to spend time training your forearms and improving your grip. It’s essential to ensure that you can continue to lift heavy weights, and it protects your wrists from damage.

Here are three of the best exercises for your forearms:

Farmer’s Walk

Image Source: Men’s Health

This is a simple exercise that anyone can do, as there is almost no movement involved. You simply grip the weights and walk around. However, you’ll feel the burn in your forearms in no time, as the muscles remain contracted throughout the entire movement. It’s excellent for developing grip strength and enhancing the endurance of your forearm muscles.

Here’s how to do it right

Pull-Up Bar Hang

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

One of the main reasons people fail to perform Pull-Ups is due to a lack of grip strength. This simple exercise is excellent for building a stronger grip, as your muscles have to work to grip the bar and support your bodyweight. It’s an isolation exercise that works ONLY your forearms very efficiently!

Here’s how to do it right

Wrist Curl/Extension

Image Source: WorkoutLabs

These two movements recruit both the upper and lower forearm muscles. The curl focuses on the underside of the forearms, the part that contracts to “pull” items. The extension focuses on the top of the forearms, the part that contracts when you “push” items away. By combining the two, you develop serious forearm and grip strength!

Here’s how to do it right

With these 17 exercises, you can tone your arms, build muscle, and increase your strength. You’ll see a visible difference in your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and forearms in no time!

The results would not only make you look good physically, it would also make you feel great and inspire you to become healthier and keep yourself fit.

17 Ways To Tone Your Arms Super Fast

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