Boot Camp Arm Workout – 11 Effective Exercises

Boot Camp Arm Workout

Are you looking to tone up your arms for summer or hoping to build up your strength for a sport you enjoy playing, or just wanting to become healthier for daily activities? Improving your arm and shoulder strength is important to help you look and feel confident and able to perform at an optimal level. Taking only twenty minutes each day, a boot camp arm workout can help to achieve this goal in a fun and creative way.  

One of the easier areas of the body to improve definition and strength, the arms are one of those “trouble zones” that everyone wants to see some improvement in, whether it be to look good in a tank top, t-shirt, or summer dress. By increasing the strength and definition of your arms and shoulders it will also help to balance out your lower body. 

As with most body parts, there are countless exercises that you can do with very basic pieces of equipment or just your body weight that will help you accomplish the goals of strengthening and sculpting your arms. We have broken down a series of exercises that you can use to create your own boot camp arm workout.

Note: Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. If you have any chest or back pains, do not attempt these exercises. Do these exercises (30 seconds–1 min), rep count (8-12) and sets (3).

Boot Camp Arm Workout – Chest And Triceps


Boot Camp Arm Workout

While there are advanced variations of push-ups that will target different muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, chest, and core, the basic push-up is still a tried-and-true exercise that can challenge even the fittest athlete.

  • Start in a straight arm plank position with your feet only hip-width apart and your hands shoulder-width apart. 
  • With your core engaged, lower your body towards the ground until your elbows are at 90 degrees. It is important to keep your elbows tucked in and not let them flare out. 
  • Keep a straight line along your back, neck, and head. Do not bob your hips or head up and down. 
  • When your elbows reach 90 degrees, push your body back up to the starting plank position and repeat. 

Triceps Bench Dip

Boot Camp Arm Workout

  • Using a stable surface such as a bench, chair, or plyo-box, place your hands, shoulder-width apart, on the edge with fingers facing forward. Extend your legs straight out in front.
  • Lower your body until your elbows bend to 90 degrees, keeping them as tight to your body as possible.
  • Once you reach your limit, push onto the bench to straighten your arms and return to the starting position.

Bear Crawl 

Make sure you have enough room to move at least 4-6 strides. Keep your core engaged at all times.

  • Start on your hands and knees with your hands placed under your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. Elevate your knees slightly off the ground.
  • Move in a crawling motion with your opposite hand and foot/knee, driving forward/backward or laterally.
  • Quickly switch hand/knee after placing weight on the other pair.

Close Grip Push-Up 

Boot Camp Arm Workout

The close grip push-up is a variation of the regular push-up that targets the anterior deltoids, pectorals, triceps, and core stabilizers.

  • Start in plank form, creating a strong straight line from shoulders to feet.
  • Rather than placing your hands straight under your shoulders, bring them in closer together under your chest. Do not allow your elbows to flare out.

Boot Camp Arm Workout – Back And Biceps 

Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows

Boot Camp Arm Workout

  • Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent, arms shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, and palms facing each other. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping a neutral spine.
  • Pull the dumbbells straight up towards the side of your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades together, keeping your arms tight to the side of your body.
  • Arms should go no higher than parallel to your shoulders.
  • Reverse the motion, lowering the dumbbells towards your knees at the same tempo you lifted them.

Dumbbell Biceps Curl:

Boot Camp Arm Workout

  • Standing in an athletic stance, knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart.
  • With your arms hanging naturally at your side and a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the elbows and lift the weight towards your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows tucked close to your body, but not anchored into your waist. Do not let your elbows flare away from your body.
  • Focus on not using your shoulders or torso to swing the weights upward. Use only your arms.
  • Lower the weights at the same tempo.

Triceps Kickback

Boot Camp Arm Workout

  • In an athletic stance, with weights in both hands, hinge forward at the hips, creating a flat back.
  • With elbows tight to your side, pull weights up as if doing a dumbbell row.
  • Extend your arm straight back, moving from the elbow only.
  • Return through the movements to the starting position.

Crab Walk 

Make sure you have enough room for 4-8 strides. Keep your core engaged at all times.

  • Start in a seated position on the ground with your feet flat hip-distance apart, knees bent and arms in line with your shoulders, fingers pointed towards your feet.
  • Lift your hips off the ground
  • Begin “walking” either forward or backward, moving your opposite hand and foot.
  • Keep your hips elevated and maintain an equal weight distribution between your hands and feet.

Boot Camp Arm Workout – Shoulders 

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Boot Camp Arm Workout

  • In an athletic stance, begin with the dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing inward, elbows out, and bent at 90 degrees.
  • Keeping upright without leaning backward, extend your arms upward, pressing the dumbbells above your head. Do not lock your elbows.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Reverse Fly


  • Athletic stance, feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hip, lining up your torso parallel with the floor.
  • Allow the dumbbells to hang straight down from your shoulders with palms facing each other and a slight bend in your arms.
  • Maintaining a flat back, raise your arms out to the side, creating a straight line across your back and shoulders from one hand to the other.


Boot Camp Arm Workout

  • Start with feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in your knees, dumbbells in hand, and arms extended down.
  • Slowly raise the dumbbells forward at an angle, creating a “V” shape with your arms and chest.
  • With arms remaining straight, lower back down to your thighs and repeat.

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Steve Lee

I am a former certified personal trainer, sports conditioning coach, certified basketball and softball coach. Whether you are in the weight room, on the court or on the field, it doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s that you enjoy doing what you are doing and try your best.

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