If firm and shapely arms are on your list of things to achieve, you absolutely must be nailing your arm workouts.  Unlike the vast majority of women’s fitness plans, our arm workouts for women build muscle fast

Sculpted arms are strong arms, therefore you should build an arm workout that focuses on muscle growth and strength.

Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight:  Female muscle growth is no different to male muscle growth, and without muscle, you can’t have sculpted arms. For that reason; your arm workouts should see you lifting heavy (for you) weights, because there is no other way to build muscle. 

Never before has a woman morphed into the hulk through weightlifting, so please don’t fear the heavy weights.

Your arm workouts should focus on these muscles

  • Biceps

  • Triceps

  • Deltoids (delts)

  • Trapezius (traps)


While you're here; check out Members Zone.  Members Zone is our online portal offering warm ups, workouts and finishers across 21 different training categories specifically for women in weightlifting.  Our plans are designed to be mixed and matched based on your desired outcomes.

Arm workouts to avoid

Traditional arm workouts for women seldom achieve great things, that’s because they either focus on the wrong exercises, or a method that doesn’t achieve efficient muscle growth.

Avoid arm workouts for women that appear effortless and/or require more than 20 reps of anything.  Generally, arm workouts that use terminology such as ‘tone up’ and ‘toning exercises’ don’t work.  Some women’s fitness plans will completely sabotage your goals, so be careful which ones you choose to follow. 

A method that does work

In addition to lifting heavy, you should also be sure to include both compound and isolation exercises in your arm workouts.

A compound exercise is one that uses multiple joint movements and recruits more than one muscle or muscle group.  Whereas an isolation exercise is one that focuses on just one joint movement and usually only one muscle or muscle group.

As a rule of thumb, you should be doing compound and free weight moves at the beginning of your workout, followed by isolation and assisted moves to end your workout.

This is yet another cruital training factor that traditional arm workouts for women fail to tell you. 

Reps and sets

Remember that low reps/high volume will help you to build muscle fast, whereas mid reps/mid volume works well for overall strength and muscle growth.  Ideally, you should use a combination of these methods for well-rounded results.

What traditional arm workouts for women fail to tell you


The reason traditional arm workouts for women don’t get the results they promote, is because they fail to challenge your muscles enough for them to grow before you get fed up and quit. 

Unsurprisingly, since they fail to encourage you to perform your arm exercises with a weight that actually challenges you.

How much weight you need to lift

Lipstick Lifters arm workouts for women encourage heavy lifting, in fact, we insist on it, because it is necessary. 

When we say ‘lift heavy’, this means you should be lifting a weight that is heavy for you.  The most important thing is that you challenge your muscles, therefore you should be feeling the ‘burn’ with each set.

As a rule of thumb, you should start to struggle at around the 8th rep of a 10 rep set.  If you’re breezing through 10 reps without making a funny face, you can go heavier.

Remember; if your arm workouts aren’t challenging you, you’re unlikely to get the results that you want. 

Keep it simple

When it comes to building your arm workouts; try not to over complicate it.  Familiarise yourself with a few key moves and invest most of your time really working those moves to their full potential.  Once you have mastered the basics you can move onto something more complicated.

Believe in yourself

Far too many women don’t give themselves enough credit when it comes to physical strength.  Chances are, you’re stronger than you think you are, so please don’t hesitate to reach for the heavier dumbbells during your arm workouts.  The absolute worst thing that’s going to happen if you can’t manage them; is you’ll have to put them back and choose a lighter weight, but at least you tried and now you have something to work towards. 

Not sure how many calories you need to fuel your workouts?  Try our Macro Calculator; designed specifically for women in weightlifting.  Not sure how the macro diet works?  Check out Macros Explained; that should answer most of your questions.  And if you're serious about your ambition to compete, you absolutely must track your lifts, progress and your diet.

An exercise to target every muscle

Below you will find some basic exercises to get you started, you should be sure to master these moves before adding substantial weight to them.

Remember that our arm workouts for women insist on heavy lifting, so you should be working your way towards a heavier weight. 


Dumbbell bicep curls (sitting)

We’re going to do these bicep curls sitting, this supports better isolation.

Sit upright on the bench, with a dumbbell in each hand.  Slowly curl up at the elbow until the dumbbell is in line with your shoulder, hold for a second and then move back through the same motion to start position.  Do one arm at a time and really focus on the mind muscle connection.


Triceps dips

Sit yourself on the edge of the bench with your wrists facing behind you and half of your palm on the top of the bench.  Keep your knees bent at around a 135 degree angle and feet flat on the floor.

Slide your bum off the bench (this is your start position), now lower yourself down as low as you can go, keeping your torso as upright as possible and your back close to the bench.  Push yourself back up to starting position and go again.

If you want to challenge yourself, straighten your legs out and position your weight into your heels. 

For a further challenge, use two benches, one to dip on and the other to position your feet on.  If you’re feeling particularly strong, position a weight plate on your lap.

Deltoids (Delts)

Lateral raises

Start with a couple of light dumbbells to familiarise yourself with this move before you start loading. 

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, straight down by your sides, with your wrists facing your body.  Make sure you are standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart.  Raise one, or both arms up straight out to the side, stopping when your arm is parallel with the floor.  Back down to start position and go for reps.  Maintain good posture throughout.

Whether you do one arm at a time, or both at once is not important, just ensure you do the same amount of reps each side.

Trapezius (Traps)

Face pulls

You’ll need to head over to the cables for this one, adjust the height of the cable to around shoulder height (find the pin to adjust the height, simply pull it out and adjust to the correct height, release pin back into place).

Grab the rope fitting and attach.  Select the weight you’re comfortable starting with. 

Face the machine and hold onto the ends of the rope, stand back so that you have enough space to pull the weight directly towards your face.  As you pull the ropes towards your face, split it so that you end up with a hand either side of your face.  Stop before you hit your face!!

Keep your arms parallel with the ground and hold for a couple of seconds, release back to starting position.  Continue for reps.

More arm workouts for women who want to build muscle

Obviously you need more that 4 exercises to sculpt your arms, so check out Members Zone for your arm workouts and more.

*Try to avoid chopping and changing your workout plans.  Choose a plan and stick with it for a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 weeks before you switch things up again.