Only Have Light Weights? This Mini Workout Can Still Totally Tone Your Arms

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While gyms have been closed for the last few months, I've made do with the few at-home workout products I've had lying around. It wasn't until recently that I wondered if I needed to upgrade my lighter dumbbell set to a heavier one.

As of now, I've been operating with a two-, three-, and five-pound set — although I find myself gravitating toward the five pounders most frequently. You see, I just am not quite sure how to best make use of my lighter weights. So rather than ditch the weights I have for yet another online purchase, I decided to ask ACE-certified personal trainer, founder, and head trainer of MF Strong Miriam Fried for a powerful workout that will put my lighter weights to good use.

"If you only have light weights at home, you can focus on targeting and isolating some of the smaller muscles that won't require as much weight to be challenged," Fried said. "You can also use it as an opportunity to slow down your movements, practice form and tempo, and really pay attention to your mind-muscle connection!"

With that in mind, this past week, I tossed on my workout-ready UA RUSH™ Low Sports Bra ($40), reached for my three pounders, and got to work with the below toning arm workout.

Isometric front raise

  • Start with a dumbbell in each hand and arms extended out front.
  • Lift your arms to shoulder height.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and release.
  • With no rest, complete 10 reps. Repeat for a total of three times.

Zottman bicep curls

  • Start with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms extended, palms facing away from you.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked, curl upward.
  • At the top of your curl, rotate your forearms so your palms are facing away from you.
  • Lower the dumbbells slowly.
  • At the bottom, rotate your palms back toward you.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps for a total of three rounds.

Reverse flies

  • Grab two dumbbells, and hinge at your hips, keeping your black flat, shoulders back, and neck in line with your spine.
  • Open your arms wide for the "fly." Make sure you're squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Control both arms back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps for a total of three rounds.

Skull crushers

  • Lie flat on your back with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms extended.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells toward your forehead, bending your elbows away from you.
  • Exhale as you extend your arms back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps for a total of three rounds.

Note: What counts as a light weight to you may be different to someone else! For me, I stick with three pounders for this workout, but others may wish to up it to five or even decrease it to one or two pounds. Either way, make sure you can complete the moves while maintaining good form and still challenging yourself.