Woman completing an upper body workout with dumbbells

Strength training: try this 3 move, 10 minute upper body workout for stronger arms

Posted by for Strength

These three moves target your biceps, triceps and shoulders for a strong upper body. Add this simple, 10 minute routine to your next strength training workout. 

Upper body strength is key to nailing your workouts, whether you’re back in the gym, taking your press-ups to the park or practising handstands against your bedroom door. 

Because the benefits of a strong upper body go way beyond aesthetics. For starters, increasing muscle mass anywhere on the body comes with benefits like boosted metabolism, stronger bones and a healthier heart. 

A strong upper body can even help you become a better runner. An April 2018 study from the Strength and Conditioning Journal suggested that strong arms help sprinters generate the force they need to move forward quickly.

Use this workout, led by fitness trainer Emma Obayuvana, to help build arms so strong that you can set new PBs wherever, and whatever, you’re training.

Bent Over Row

Strength training: during bent over rows, squeeze the shoulder blades together as you bring the weight up, then lower them back down.
  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand (you could also use two 1L bottles of water) and stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2.  Keeping a slight bend in the knees, hinge forward from the hips with your arms hanging straight down at your sides. 
  3. Bend your arms to bring the weights up to your waist, making sure to keep your back straight, neck long and elbows tucked in to your sides. 
  4. With every rep, squeeze the shoulder blades together as you bring the weight up, then lower them back down.

Do 10 reps

Hammer Curl

Strength training: try to keep the rest of your upper body completely still during hammer curls.
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping a slight bend in the knees. 
  2. Holding a dumbbell in each hand (or those 1L bottles of water), place your elbows slightly in front of your hips (this keeps your biceps engaged throughout the entire set). 
  3. Bend the elbows to lift your weights up in front of you to just over 90 degrees and then lower them back down. Try to keep the rest of your upper body completely still – you want to contain the movement as much as possible to your forearms. You should feel this in your biceps. 

Do 10 reps

Power Clean

Strength training: power cleans can be done with dumbbells or makeshift weights, like 1L water bottles.
  1. Standing with feet hip-width apart, hold dumbbells (or makeshift weights) in both hands (with palms facing inward toward your body). 
  2. To begin the movement, squat low keeping your butt down and chest up. 
  3. Pull your shoulder blades down and back, and tighten your core. 
  4. Powerfully extend your legs, making sure to keep your back flat and chest up. 
  5. While you extend the hips, brush the dumbbells up the thighs (the dumbbells should travel vertically in a straight line). 
  6. As full hip extension occurs, start shrugging the shoulders and pulling the elbows high. 
  7. Place your body under the dumbbells into a quarter squat position (with hips back and knees bent). 
  8. Catch the weight with elbows forwards and stand tall to reset.

Do 10 reps. Complete 3 rounds of entire set.

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Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

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