Having the strength to pick up groceries, open cabinets, carry boxes, and generally move easily throughout the world is a great reason to exercise. There’s even a name for it: functional fitness. While it applies to all types of movements, a big component of this sort of competency is arm strength.
André Crews, a coach for the fitness app Ladder, previously told Well+Good that your hands and forearms are “the gatekeepers to functional fitness.” That’s because they’re responsible for your grip strength, or “the physical ability to hold onto and maintain control of an external object in your hands for an extended period of time,” Crews says.
High grip strength is associated with overall fitness, and even longevity. “Unsurprisingly, individuals with better strength tend to also have better balance, bone density, and overall physical functioning,” Rami Hashish, PhD, DPT, a body performance and injury expert, previously told Well+Good.
So how do you get in on training this important metric? Arm strength. Putting your forearms, biceps, and triceps under pressure will train your grip strength and keep you prepared for lifting, carrying, and catching whatever life throws at you.
So how to make the most of an arm workout? Before you get to it, you may want to brush up on proper form for some common arm exercises, including how to do a bicep curl, a tricep dip, and a push-up.
Arm workout videos to perfect your form
Now you’re ready to get after it! Here are 7 arm workout videos under 20 minutes.
7 arm workout videos under 20 minutes
1. 7-minute quick and effective arm series
This dumbbell arm workout is not messing around. It hits classics like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and more, but plays with tempo in a fresh way that keeps every move interesting. Plus, you’ll get to finish off your seven-minute workout with a round of powerful punches that add in some cardio, and some stress relief (depending on who you’re picturing during this exercise).
2. 9-minute yoga flow for arm strength
Dumbbells often get the spotlight in upper-body strength training, but a challenging yoga flow like this one will help build strength too. Plus, you’ll get some great stretches while you’re at it.
3. 10-minute dancer arm workout
If long and lean arm muscles are your upper-body north star, this short workout is for you. Grab a pair of light dumbbells, since this series focuses on repeating motions for many reps to build muscular endurance. Plus, the trainer incorporates choreography to keep your brain as engaged as your body.
4. 10-minute arm sculpt workout with towel
If you don’t have dumbbells or resistance bands handy, but want to add some tension and assistance to your arms workout, all you need is a towel. Pulling it apart adds some resistance, and keeping the towel taut will help turn your muscles on to get the most out of every move.
5. 14-minute resistance band arms workout
Using a resistance loop band, you’ll achieve the same muscle challenge as you would with a dumbbell, with the added benefit of the extra muscle activation the instability of the band creates.
6. 15-minute, barre-inspired arms workout
If you ever wished you could get the shaking and quaking workout of a barre class in your home, this bite sized version will get you there. Incorporating moves like heel raises ratchets up the intensity for this 15-minute workout with light hand weights.
7. 18-minute biceps and triceps workout with long resistance band
This workout uses a long resistance band, which are the bands that typically come with handles on either end. You’ll use it to get those biceps and triceps poppin’ in under 20 minutes.