Exercises for thin and toned arms


Oh the arms… A particularly sensitive subject that gives a lot of women a hard time! Some are considered too flaccid, too coated… Sometimes even too developed! Results? The complexes take place and we prefer to abandon this area, or even hide it! Do you see that little short-sleeved top that you don’t even dare to put on anymore? Or those pretty strapless dresses that have been catching your eye for years?

By practicing a few very simple exercises, and on a regular basis, you can act quickly against the relaxation of these muscles!

We are going to take a look at the anatomy of the arms and then I will suggest some exercises to get thinner arms in this article ! If you want to see the exercises directly, go to the sections: Arm exercises with dumbbells.

Thin arms tips and tricks

Understand your arms to refine them

If you want improve the look of your arms, the first thing to do is to know the anatomy of his upper limbs. The goal ? Understand how they are articulated and which muscles to target. You will thus be able to become aware of them, feel them better and contract them voluntarily!

To sum up roughly, we all know that an arm is made up of:

  • Biceps (upper arm);
  • Triceps (back of arm).

One ensures the flexion of the arm, the other its extension. But that’s not all ! The arms are also all the muscles of the shoulder!

In other words :

  • The trapezius (upper, middle and lower);
  • The serratus anterior;
  • The muscles of the rotator cuff.

All of these muscles play a role in stability of the scapularesponsible for increasing the mobility and degree of freedom of the arm.

Muscle strengthening exercises to refine your arms…

Slender arms are muscular arms.

This sentence I have been saying and repeating for years!! And I know your reluctance about it. You are afraid of gaining too much muscle, of having arms that are too bulky, not “feminine” enough…. And that’s also why you leave aside exercises based on the arms and more generally the upper body.

The body works holistically – so it is necessary to take this holistically into account when exercising.

Jérôme Auger, sports physiotherapist

But it’s time to deconstruct this myth of arms that are “too” muscular if you work them. NO, you are not going to bulk up and necessarily get a bodybuilder’s body!!

The secret ? Vary the exercises, so as to work the whole arm muscle group in a harmonious way (biceps, triceps, forearms, etc.).

Prefer light loads heavy loads, favoring long series with many repetitions.

In this way, you work on your endurance and your strength… Without gaining weight!

Arm exercises with dumbbells

Muscle strengthening exercises to refine your arms

If you don’t have any sports equipment or dumbbells, don’t panic! You can replace them with 1.5 L water bottles, it will be just as effective 😉

slim arms program

biceps curl

As its name suggests, this exercise is used to work the biceps. Be sure to complete the movement to the end (your hands should touch your shoulders and thighs each time), in order to work the full range of the biceps.

The position :

  1. Start standing up, feet slightly hip-width apart;
  2. Take a 2 kg dumbbell in each hand and stretch your arms towards the ground (palms facing the sky);
  3. As you exhale, bend your elbows to bring both arms towards your shoulders (dumbbells towards your collarbones);
  4. While inhaling, lower the arms to the level of the thighs;
  5. Repeat the movement 50 times.

The neck extension

This movement will allow it to mainly target the triceps. Stay straight like an “i” throughout the exercise and don’t arch your backto avoid injury!

The position :

  1. Standing or sitting on a chair: start with your arms stretched upwards, along your ears with a dumbbell in each hand;
  2. Bend both elbows while exhaling, and bring the dumbbells behind the neck;
  3. Return to the initial position, arms stretched above your head while inhaling;
  4. Do 30 to 40 repetitions at a slow pace.

The tense circles

For this exercise I advise you to start using your maximum load. And if it gets too hard, drop them off to finish the sequence.

  1. Standing, arms outstretched on each side, at shoulder height, dumbbell in each hand;
  2. With the arms, make small circles forwards, then backwards, contracting the abdominal strap;
  3. Exhale and inhale deeply;
  4. Make 20 circles in one direction, 20 in the other.

Core and arm exercises

Floor exercises are also very interesting because you will be carrying your own body weight. Which will unsurprisingly be more difficult, more intense, but holding the positions will also be shorter!


This movement, as basic as it is, makes the arms work effectively and helps to tone the entire upper body in general. Here I offer you a variation.

The position :

  1. Stand on your hands and tiptoes in a plank position;
  2. Shift the weight of the body forward by advancing your feet a few steps;
  3. Take a few steps back to get back to your original plank position;
  4. Keep the pelvis well retroverted (the pubis facing forward);
  5. Repeat the entire movement ten times.

Half push-ups

The great classic! I know that you are not a big fan of this movement, and that you find it particularly difficult… But hang in there, you’ll get there! And once comfortable with half push-ups, lift your knees off the ground for normal, more difficult push-ups!

The position :

  1. Kneel in front of a chair;
  2. Lay your hands flat, on either side of the seat;
  3. While inhaling, lower the chest towards the seat by bending the elbows;
  4. Then, go up exhaling;
  5. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your chest;
  6. Do fifteen repetitions.

The dips

The position :

  1. Get a chair (you can also use a sofa edge) and place your back to it;
  2. Position both palms of your hands firmly on the edge of the chair;
  3. Extend your legs in front of you, heels touching the floor and toes pointing to the ceiling (you should find yourself resting on your hands, buttocks in a vacuum);
  4. Inhale, bend your elbows and lower your body as low as possible;
  5. Exhale and return to the starting position;
  6. Keep your legs straight;
  7. Do 10 to 20 reps.

And if you want to have more ideas you can follow my special slim arms session video! To do and redo without moderation 😉

Why is it essential to train your arms?

Whether you have the famous “bat arms”, chubby, hanging down or even with cellulite on your arms, there is a good reason to work on them.

But beyond the aesthetic aspect, they also play a major role in our daily well-being!

They allow us to carry out the simplest gestures: carrying boxes, bags, lifting the baby’s cozy, or quite simply swimming, rowing, pulling the pedal boat towards the shore… But you can’t do all this alone or without difficulty if your arms are not strong enough.

In addition, your body will systematically seek strength from other muscles, thus creating muscle compensations and any pain and/or injuries (tendinitis/sprains, etc.).

Strengthening your arms allows you to harmonize your silhouette, prevent possible imbalances between upper and lower limbs, while improving the acts of daily life and sports!

Jérôme Auger, sports physiotherapist

What I like most about arm muscle training? It is accessible to EVERYONE! There are multiple ultra easy movements that you can do at home or at the gym to strengthen your arms with little or no equipment!

In short, you have muscles in your arms and it’s not for nothing, so bring them to life! Especially if you want to lose weight on your arms, you have to take care of them and work on them to give them a slimmer appearance.

Combined with cardio sessions

I think you have it well in mind now: bodybuilding is the basis for pretty arms, thin and toned. But do not neglect the cardio sessions despite everything! Why ? And good for burn fat simply !

I therefore advise you to add long cardio sessions (at least 45 min) to your routine. It can be running, swimming, rowing, dancing… In short, any sport you like!

First we give a shape, a curve with the renfo and then, thanks to regular sport and a balanced diet, we refine 😉

The role of diet for slim arms

You know the song… Sport is good, but with a healthy and balanced diet through food rebalancing, for example, it’s better! We can never repeat it enough, but even if you give 100% during your sessions and the plate does not follow, you have a good chance of not obtaining the expected results…

Questions about “thin arms” that I see regularly

3 videos for thin arms and muscles

Anti-cellulite routine – 9 min

Toning upper body session – 7 min

Fine arm exercises with dumbbells – 5 min


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