Best dumbbells for arm workouts

7 Best Dumbbells For Arm Workouts: Ranked For Beginners To Advanced

With so many dumbbells on the market, it can be a frustrating job to choose the ideal pair. This post shares 7 of the best dumbbells for men and women to use in home arm workouts.

The Powerblock Elite is one of the best dumbbells for male and female arm workouts. They are affordable, have a 90lb maximum weight capacity, and 2.5-5lb weight increments for smooth progressive overload. This makes them good for beginners and advanced lifters alike to use in biceps and triceps exercises.

I’ve tested my share of home dumbbells.

My 10-year weight training experience has also seen me use a variety of commercial dumbbells (good and bad!).

This list has been compiled from my personal experience and research.

I hope it helps you choose the perfect dumbbell!

Find out why Powerblock Elites are my favourite dumbbells for bicep/tricep exercises and arm workouts.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

Overview: Best Dumbbells For Arm Workouts (Beg To Adv)

Here’s the quick lowdown on the 7 best home dumbbells for arm workouts:

DumbbellTraining LevelMax Weight# Weight SettingsWeight IncrementsPriceAmazon Reviews >4*
Amazon Basics 32lb Neoprene Hand Weight SetBeginner8lb32-3lbs$95%
Hola Hatha 60lb Hand Weight SetBeginner15lb35lbs$96%
Papababe 150lb Hex Dumbbell SetBeginner25lb55lbs$$83%
Flybird 25lb Adjustable DumbbellIntermediate25lb55lbs$$93%
Core Home Fitness 50lb Selectorized DumbbellIntermediate50lb105lbs$$$91%
Bowflex Selectech 52.5lb Adjustable DumbbellIntermediate52.5lb152.5-5lbs$$$96%
Powerblock Elite Selectorized DumbbellAdvanced90lb282.5lbs$$$93%
Review scores were accurate at the time of writing. Click on each dumbbell to find the cheapest price!

The dumbbells have been ranked from beginner to advanced.

Here are the arm workout results you can expect to achieve with each type of dumbbell:

  • Beginner dumbbells– light weights that are suitable for female beginners and men/women looking to tone their arms.
  • Intermediate dumbbells- moderate weights that suitable for men/women to tone arms as well as build nice amount of arm muscle.
  • Advanced dumbbells- heavy weights that are best used by men and elite women to build nice biceps and triceps. These dumbbells are adjustable, meaning they also have light weight settings that are suitable for toning the arms too.

Amazon basics hand weight dumbbells are one of the best dumbbells for women to do arm workouts to tone the arms.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

1) Amazon Basics 32lb Neoprene Hand Weight

The Amazon Basics neoprene hand weights are a good budget dumbbell for female beginners to tone their arms at home. They will last the average woman 1-3 months of strength progression in an arms program. After this point, they can be used to maintain bicep and tricep tone.

These are some of the best cheap and cheerful dumbbells for female arm workouts.

OK, the 8lb max weight capacity doesn’t make them the heaviest dumbells on the market.

But they are durable, will likely last you a lifetime (or until you resell), and also come with a small rack.

“My only complaint is that the stand is too small. It’s a bit awkward to reach for and put the dumbbells back.”

Allison, Amazon

The limited weight on the Amazon Basics dumbbells means they won’t build you sleeve-busting biceps or triceps, but they DO provide enough weight for the casual female lifter to tone their arms at home.

You can also use them for dumbbell HIIT workouts to burn fat and tone our flabby arms fast.

Girls- if you need a dumbbel with a bit more “oomph” so it will give you more than a few months of progression, then check out the Hola Hatha dumbbells (#2).

Guys- you’ll outgrow these in no time. I would skip to #3 if you’re serious about building arm size or tone.

You can find the cheapest Amazon hand weight price here.

If you’re looking for dumbbells to use in home HIIT workouts, you may be interested in my other post which details the best dumbbell weight (lbs and kg) for fat-burning HIIT workouts

Hola hatha hand weight dumbbells are a good for male and female beginners to do arm workouts at home and tone the arms.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

2) Hola Hatha 60lb Hand Weight Set

The Hola Hatha hand weights are some of the best dumbbells for female beginners to do arm workouts at home. They are affordable and will last the average woman 6-12 months of strength progression in isolation-type arm exercises like the bicep curl, tricep extension, and lateral raise.

Maxing out at 15lbs, these neoprene-coated dumbbells are beefier versions of the Amazon Basics hand weights (see above).

Just like the Amazon Basics, the Hola Hatha dumbbells offer an affordable way for women to tone their flabby arms fast at home.

But the extra weight provided by the Hola Hathas also gives the average girl around 1 year of strength progression in small isolation exercises (compared to Amazon Basics 6 months of progression).

This is enough to build a good amount of muscle in the arms.

“I use these every day to tone my arms.”

Larry, Amazon

All in all, if you’re looking for a well-priced dumbbell that’s durable, good for toning the arm, and also allows you to build some size in the biceps/triceps, then the Hola Hatha’s are some of the best dumbbells you can buy right now!

Girls- if you need something that packs a heavier punch, then check out the Papababe dumbbells below (#3).

Guys- these dumbbells will provide you with around 3 months of strength progression in your bicep/tricep exercises. That’s not much, but enough for a casual lifter. Check out the Papababe dumbbells for a weight that will last you longer.

You can find the cheapest Hola Hatha price here.

Papababe hex dumbbells are one of the best hex dumbbells for men to train the arm with bicep and tricep exercises.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

3) Papababe 150lb Hex Dumbbell Set

The Papababe 150lb hex dumbbell set is good for male and female beginners to build arm muscle and tone. They will provide the average man with 1-2 years, and the average woman with 2 years, of strength gains in isolation-type exercises like the bicep curl, tricep extension, and lateral raise.

These dumbbells max out at 25lbs and are one of the best hex dumbbells for both men and women to do arm workouts at home.

The handle is 100% steel and the hex heads are pure cast iron, giving the Papababes great durability.

The lighter dumbbells in this set are ideal for both male AND female beginners to start doing isolation exercises to build toned biceps, triceps, and deltoids.

Good arm exercises include:

  • Standard bicep curls.
  • Overhand bicep curls.
  • Reverse flyes.
  • Overhead tricep extension.
  • Tricep kickbacks.
  • Lateral raises.

You can also use the lighter weights for fat-burning HIIT workouts to tone the arms.

The heavier dumbbells in the set are there for when you have developed a foundation of strength and need heavier weights to continue challenging the biceps/triceps to build big arms.

Although the Papababe set comes with a rack, the rack still takes up a considerable amount of space.

If you have limited floor space at home, then you may want to consider the Flybird adjustable dumbbell instead (see #4 next).

You can find the cheapest Papababe price here.

Or you can check out my other post to find out the 11 best dumbbells for men!

Flybird adjustable dumbbell is a good dumbbell for both male and female beginners to build nice biceps and triceps.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

4) Flybird 25lb Adjustable Dumbbell

The Flybird adjustable dumbbell is a good entry-level selectorized dumbbell for male and female beginners to perform arm workouts. The average male can expect 1-2 years, and the average female can expect 2 years, of strength gains in arm exercises that target the biceps, triceps, and shoulders.

These adjustable dumbbells by Flybird offer the same max weight and weight increments as the Papababes. Therefore they can be used for biceps and triceps exercises.

But they cost slightly more.

Are the Flybirds worth the extra premium?

If you value your floor space, then yes.

“I’ve been looking for dumbbells to start working out my arms and I’ve been super happy with this purchase.” 

Jared, Amazon

The Flybird dumbbells pack 5 weight settings into a single compact unit. Each setting can then be selected with the twist of a handle.

As a result, you save around 80% storage space compared to the Papababe dumbbell set where each weight is handled by an individual dumbbell.

So if you’re looking to build nice biceps and triceps, but don’t have the room to store a complete set of hex dumbbells, then a good pair of selectorized dumbbells like this will do you well!

Ultimately, the Flybird dumbbells are one of the best entry-level selectorized dumbbells for home arm workouts.

They also offer a 55lb model for those who need more dumbbell weight to build huge arms.

But if that’s what you’re interested in, your money is better spent on the Core Home Fitness (see #5) or Bowflex 552 (see #6) instead.

You can find the cheapest Flybird price here.

Core home fitness dumbbells are one of the best mid-range dumbbells for arm workouts.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

5) Core Home Fitness 50lb Selectorized Dumbbell

The Core Home Fitness dumbbell is a great dumbbel for both men and women to work their arms at home. Beginners can expect to make around 5 years of strength gains in arm isolation exercises and around 1-3 years of gains in compound movements like the row and bench press.

If you’re in the market for the best adjustable dumbells for your arms, then the Core Home Fitness is a solid contender.

Each dumbbell contains 10 different weight settings that are adjusted with a click of the handle.

This takes each dumbbell from 5-50lbs in no time.

“These are just the best to keep my arms from getting too flabby.”

Crew Chief, Amazon

The light settings are ideal for beginners to begin toning flabby arms, whilst the heavier settings are great for intermediates to do bicep curls with.

The 50lb capacity is also suitable for compound movements like the bench press and row.

Although these two exercises are most popularly done to target the chest and back (respectively), they will also work your triceps and biceps effectively.

So these dumbbells are not only great for building big arms but your upper body in general!

Girls- look after these and they will last you for years of strength gains.

Guys- they are enough to build big arms but consider the Powerblock Elites if you want to get huge arms!

You can find the cheapest Core Home Fitness price here.

You can also check out my other post to find out the 7 best dumbbells for the chest!

Bowflex selectech 552 dumbbells are a versatile and good all round dumbbell for building nice arms.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

6) Bowflex Selectech 552 Adjustable Dumbbell

The Bowflex Selectech 552 dumbbells are one of the best dumbbells on the current market for those looking to build arm muscle and tone. They will give the average beginner at least 5 years of muscle gains from isolation arm movements and at least 2 years for compound arm movements.

I’ve owned these for over 2 years now and they’ve helped me to build nice biceps and triceps along the way.

Bowflex 552 arm training results on my toned and big biceps and triceps.

As with the other selectorized dumbbells, the 15 settings are great for both heavy compound lifting (building arm size) as well as lighter isolation-type lifts (increasing arm tone).

Some of my favorite dumbbell arm exercises to do with the Bowflex 552s include:

Compound Bowflex Dumbbell Arm ExercisesIsolation Bowflex Dumbbell Arm Exercises
Bench pressBicep curl variations
Narrow grip bench pressOverhead tricep extension
One-arm dumbbell rowTricep kickback
Dumbbell pendlay rowLateral raise

The dial-a-weight mechanism is slick and rapid.

I love to superset the compound-isolation movements above by doing one exercise immediately after the other to give my arms a huge pump.

Overall, these are some of the best dumbbells for male AND female arm workouts in my opinion.

But if you want an advanced dumbbell that blows the others out of the water, then check out the Powerblock Elites (see #7).

You can find the cheapest Bowflex price here.

If you like, you can also check out my other article for my favorite dumbbell exercises for skinny guys to build arms and shoulders

Powerblock elite dumbbells are the best for arm workouts, and building big and toned arms.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

7) Powerblock Elite Selectorized Dumbbell (My Recommendation)

The Powerblock Elites are the best and most versatile dumbbells for arms training. They are suitable for both beginner and advanced lifters. The 90lb maximum weight capacity will provide most people 5+ years of strength gains on isolation movement and around 3 years of progression on compound lifts.

Look.

Whether your goal is to tone your arms fast, build big arms, huge arms, or just a nice set of biceps/triceps, these dumbbells will do the job very well.

How I use the Powerblock Elites to build bigger biceps/triceps and tone my arms.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

Why are they such good dumbbells for your arms?

First of all, the 90lb max capacity is more than enough to take take a beginner to the advanced stages of bench pressing, rows, bicep curls, and tricep extensions.

Note- you’ll need the stage 2 and stage 3 addon kits to take the 50lb base model to 90lbs.

Secondly, they are one of few dumbbells on the market to feature 2.5lb increments all the way to 90lbs.

These small weight increments are ideal for applying progressive overload (adding weight over time to stimulate strength gains).

Think about it- it’s much easier to add 2.5lbs to your bicep curl than it is to add 10lbs right?

This will help you break through plateaus more effectively on your journey to build huge arms.

“I’ve done shoulder press’s, bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions and plank rows and they worked great.”

Craig, Amazon.

I’ve actually replaced my Bowflex’s with the Powerblocks.

The Bowflex 552s were great, but the Powerblock Elites are simply more versatile and better in my opinion.

You can find the cheapest Powerblock price here.

You may also be interested in my other post to find out how heavy adjustable dumbbells go.

What Makes A Good Dumbbell For Building Big Arms?

  • Max weight- a good dumbbell weight for building big arms should challenge you for 8-15 reps in the exercise you’re doing. The best dumbbells will also have redundant weight to accomodate for your future strength gains. 50lb (25kg) dumbbells are perfect for the average man and 25lb (12.5kg) dumbbells for the average woman.
  • Weight Increments- a good dumbbell for building bigger arms should provide a range of increments for you to work through. The idea is to increase weight (i.e. progressive overload) as you become stronger. The best dumbbells have small 2.5-5lb increments for smooth progression.
  • Handle grip- you can’t lift heavy if the grip is terrible! The best dumbbells have etched knurling or a synthetic coating on the handle to provide grip. The handle shouldn’t be too thin or thick either.
Why the Powerblock elites are great dumbbelsl for arm training.
Click on the picture to find the cheapest price!

In my opinion, the Powerblock Elites (link for the cheapest price) fulfill all 3 criteria!

You may also be interested in my other article to find out what dumbbell weight you need (lbs and kg) to build muscle.

What Makes A Good Dumbbell For Toning Arms?

  • Max weight- a good dumbbell weight for toning the arms should challenge you for 12-15 reps on isolation -type exercises like the curl and tricep extension. It should also provide redundant weight for future progression. 25lb dumbbells are ideal for the average man and 15lbs are ideal for the average woman.
  • Weight Increments- you won’t need as heavy a weight or as many increments if your sole aim is to tone up the arms. But smaller weight increments are generally better than large increments.
  • Handle grip- a comfortable handle allows you to train longer and reduces the risk of discomfort!

All the dumbbells mentioned in this list are great for women to build toned arms.

Dumbbell #3 (Papababe) onwards is great for men to build toned arms.

Struggling to decide what dumbbell weight to get? You can check out my other article to find out what dumbbell weight (in kg and lbs) you need to tone arms.

Conclusion

I’ve shared 7 of the best dumbbells for a home arm workout.

Based on personal experience and research, all of these dumbbells will do a good job at toning your arms or building nice biceps/triceps.

But you should choose one according to your current fitness levels and future aspirations.

Generally speaking, women and people who only want to gain a bit of tone in their arms can settle with lighter weights (i.e. the beginner dumbbells on my list).

But if you’re a man or someone who wants to build significantly bigger arms, then I’d recommend going for a dumbbell that packs more weight (i.e. the intermediate and advanced dumbbells).

Which dumbbell will you be using for your arm training?

Let me know in the comments!

You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,

Kal

(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

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