If you’re not the type of exerciser who’s willing to spend an entire gym session doing curls and dips, but you do like the idea of sculpted arms and athletic shoulders, this workout is for you. With just five exercises that isolate the biceps, triceps, and shoulders, this quick circuit is an excellent supplement to your multi-muscle routine. Try it at the end of your bigger knockouts like back and chest, as a part of your upper body day, or when you’re just pressed for time.

How to: Perform the following workout as a circuit with 12-15 reps of each exercise. Move from one exercise to the next with little to no rest. After completing each exercise once, rest 2 minutes, then repeat the entire thing from the top. Complete 3-4 rounds.


Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand down at your sides. Simultaneously raise both arms, one out to your side (lateral raise) and one straight out in front (front raise), to shoulder height. Lower back down, then repeat, switching arms. Continue alternating for all reps.


Sit on the end of a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your elbows bent and palms facing in (A). Rotate your wrists and bring your elbows out to your sides (B), then press the dumbbells straight overhead (C). Reverse the motion to come back to the starting position. Repeat for all reps.


From standing, bend forward from the hips keeping a flat back, and extend the dumbbells toward the ground. Hold the dumbbells end to end with palms facing you (A). This is the starting position. Retract your shoulder blades and raise the weights out to your sides, leading with the elbows, to shoulder height (B). Lower back down and repeat for all reps.


Stand holding dumbbells down in front of your legs, palms facing forward (A). Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, pull your elbows back as far as you can and raise the dumbbells up towards your chest (B). Lower back down and repeat for all reps.


Lie flat on a bench holding dumbbells above you with straight arms, palms facing each other (A). Bend your elbows and lower the weights to either side of your head (B). Extend arms to return to the starting position, and repeat for all reps.

Tip: Arms should be at a slight angle in the starting position, not perpendicular to the floor.

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