Beyond Bicep Curls: The Best Exercises for Toned Arms

These moves will get your arms in awesome shape.

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No matter what your fitness goals or motivators are, one thing everyone can pretty much agree on is a lack of time to achieve them. Having “too much time” is a rare luxury these days, and most of us are scrounging for more ways to maximize every waking minute. Now, you can even order your latte in advance to spare you six minutes of waiting in line. Thanks, technology.

That ever-fleeting time might be urging you to skip the gym, too. An hour on an elliptical might burn lots of calories, but it also burns minutes. Why not knock out that work in just a fraction of the time?

In this episode of Kickstart Workouts, personal trainer Holly Rilinger gives you an upper-body workout that takes just 12 minutes. FYI, that’s a third of the time of your weekly candlelit bubble bath. (Just us? Okay.)

The secret to this high-intensity workout is the intervals. Interval training keeps you moving with quick bursts of energy, so you’ll tackle cardio and strength-training in one go. Because it’s more demanding, you’ll burn more calories in less time. The only catch is that you have to keep moving, no matter how badly you want to stop and check Facebook instead (but you knew that already).

This upper-body HIIT workout is comprised of three challenging rounds that work all muscles above the belt. Each move is done for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds of active recovery between exercises. For this arm-strengthening workout, you will need a medium set of dumbbells (or skip ‘em and just use your body weight).

This upper-body arms workout includes the following moves:

  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows

  • Push Ups

  • Overhead Shoulder Presses

  • Renegade Rows

  • Bicep Curls

  • Push Ups into Mountain Climbers

Remember—it’s just 12 minutes. Push yourself, and those will be 12 minutes well spent.

With that extra time afterward, you could skip the protein bar and try making this post-workout smoothie bowl instead. Finally, go ahead and check your Facebook (a lot can happen in 20 minutes!).