Will 5lb Weights Tone My Arms?

The common thought process is that moderate resistance is needed for body toning, but 5lb weights can and will tone your arms. The only way to make this possible is by executing the correct exercises with control and focus.

You can accomplish this even with one weight if that is all you have at home. The only difference being you need to switch arms each movement to count as a whole set. Let’s take a look at this task on how to tone your arms with the weight(s) you have.

How Many Days Per Week for Results?

You need a maximum of 3 days utilizing this type of resistance training. The reason for this is because 2-3 days of the week need to focus on the lower body. The only difference is how much time you have available to train each day, and if you are new to physical training.

In between these days you need to be performing leg workouts to have a well-rounded healthy body. If you plan on using this upper body program for over 3 days of the week, then you need to mix leg exercises in with them as well.

woman on leg press machine

The total time taken to perform a workout ranges from 20-40 minutes. This is not much time considering the number of minutes in a day, so there should be no excuse to get the minimum in if you want your arms to be tone.

How Many Sets and Repetitions for Toning My Arms?

The amount of sets and repetitions depends on how your body reacts to the 5lb weights. Finding these very easy means you need to perform more repetitions and possibly even sets. Not everyone has already been active and has strength, and if this applies to you then a starting point is needed for you.

This allows you to see how much intensity your body can handle, and will enable you to decide if you need more repetitions to proceed on for muscle toning. Time under tension is key for resistance training to provide the benefits you seek.

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Starting reps for most with 5lb weights is 4 sets and 10-12 or 12-15 repetitions. The next time you train if this was moderate or easy, is to perform the exercises for 4 sets with 15-20 repetitions.

What Are Repetitions and Sets?
Repetitions or Reps:The number of times you perform an exercise. For example, if you do 20 sits-up,that is 20 reps.
Sets:The number of consecutive reps without a break in between. If you complete 20 sit-ups in a row, take a 30 second break, and then complete another 20 reps, that is two sets.

You should not need more than 30-40 seconds of rest between sets. Try to stay focused and away from using your phone to not go over this rest time.

Have you already been active and have some muscular strength and endurance? Then you would instead perform an extra set when possible for the same repetitions or possibly more.

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However, being intermediate means you can control the movements better having more mind muscle knowledge. That is the ability to feel your muscles contract through movement. This lessens the need to just add a lot more repetitions.

What are the Best Exercises With 5lb Weights to Tone Arms?

Toning your arms means developing lean muscle. This doesn’t mean your muscles will get larger. Instead, they will become more defined and solid to prevent things like the “fat jiggles” underneath your arms.

Just doing movements isolated to the arms is only putting in half the work. This is because you want the larger muscle regions such as your shoulders and back to get stronger and toned as well. The good thing to know is that performing exercises for these two groups engage your arms also.

The following exercises are the best for arm toning with 5lb weights.

Biceps and Triceps

  • Hammer Curls – This exercise targets the long head of your biceps. This gives the leaner look opposed to a rounded biceps. Keeping your elbows tucked and wrist straight is key to this exercise.

How to Do: Stand tall with your arms fully extended down your sides. Dumbbells should be grasped firmly keeping your palms facing in at all times. Maintaining tucked elbows, execute by moving your lower arm up in a curling motion.

The endpoint is right before touching your shoulders. If you do want to have the rounded biceps when you flex, then performing the curl supinated (palms up) works this small head of the biceps better.

Video Credit: Howcast/YouTube
  • Triceps Kickbacks – Exercise that targets the larger area of your arms located on the back-side. This movement helps give the triceps a great stretch to improve muscle tone. Many exercises are named after how they appear, and this is one because the motion of the arm kicking back like a mule.

How to Do: Stand tall grasping the dumbbells firmly. Bend at your hips to get into position forming your body into a 45-degree angle, keeping your lower back straight.

Bend 90-degrees at the elbows bringing the dumbbells towards the outside of your chest. Execute by keeping your elbows close and extending your lower arm back. Feel the squeeze.

Video Credit: John Garey TV/YouTube

Back and Shoulders

  • Bent Over Rows – Rows help develop your back muscles while targeting the biceps on your arms as well. Changing the position the dumbbells are held moves the focus on the back slightly.

For example, underhand grip focuses more on your lats and better biceps emphasis. Overhand is upper back with some shoulder focus. Then neutral is a mixture of the two.

How to Do: Stand tall grasping the dumbbells. Bend your hips back to form a 45-degree angle with your body. Keeping your lower back flat, drop your arms down towards the floor in front of you.

For neutral and underhand rows, you keep your elbows in as you bend at your elbows pulling them back. Overhand rows you open your elbows and pull them back.

Video Credit: Bowflex/YouTube
  • Overhead Presses – This exercise focuses on your shoulders and slightly your upper back. Triceps are the secondary muscle group being activated. Normally the press is performed with palms facing forward, but you can turn them inwards for a neutral grip if shoulders feel any tension that day.

How to Do: Stand tall grasping the dumbbells and raise them to your chest. Open your elbows aligning them with your body forming a 90-degree angle with your elbows.

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The lower arm will be vertical with the floor, palms are facing up. Execute by driving your palms to the ceiling fully extending your arms up. Control the weight down to the starting point.

Adding Cardio to Your Workout

woman in black outfit doing cardio

Cardio such as an elliptical workout is great for burning more fat at the end of your workout and improving your heart health. This can also easily be accomplished by performing exercises with your dumbbells, or you can invest in a jump rope.

An easy exercise to perform along with your upper body exercises is called dumbbell thrusters. This incorporates the use of your arms and shoulders while also providing cardio.

How to Do: Stand feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells up over your shoulders by ears. Partially bend at your hips and knees to perform a half squat.

From this point come out of the half squat by extending legs to straight and simultaneously thrust the dumbbells up like a shoulder press. Repeat as one fluid motion going from half squat to shoulder press.

Video Credit: CrossFit/YouTube

You Really Can Tone Your Arms with 5lb Weights

The answer to “Will 5lb weights tone my arms” is yes. These exercises are all you need to start performing a workout that will get your arms tone and stronger. Over time you may want to invest in a few other dumbbell weights, but for now, focus on performing the exercises and starting your goals!