6 Exercises for Strong, Lean Arms

Life by DailyBurn
by Life by DailyBurn
Share it:
6 Exercises for Strong, Lean Arms

So you go to the gym twice a week, hit the weights a bit, do some cardio and crunches, and on your off days yoga does the trick. But you look the same as you did a year ago — what gives? Turns out, the key to unlocking strength and tone is finding exercises that recruit a large amount of muscle fiber. For stronger, more visibly defined arms, try throwing these moves into the weightlifting portion of your workout for the next eight weeks, and watch your arms go from good to amazing!

The Workout

1. Dead-Hang Chin-up Grasp a pull-up bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Pull your shoulder blades down towards your tailbone and draw them in towards your spine (a). Pull yourself up so that your collarbone is in line with the pull-up bar (b). Take four seconds to lower yourself down to the starting position, keeping the shoulders down and back throughout. That’s one rep. NOTE: If you cannot pull yourself up, loop an exercise band around the pull-up bar and place your knee in it to decrease the level of difficulty.  Sets: 3, Reps: As many as possible, Rest: 120 seconds between sets

dailyburn Lean_Arms_ChinUp

2. Zottman Curl Grasp a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides, palms facing inwards (a). Curl the weights up, turning your hands so that your palms face you (b). At the top of the motion, turn your hands so that the palms face away from you and take three seconds to lower the weights. That’s one rep.  Sets: 3, Reps: 8-12, Rest: 90 seconds between sets

dailyburn Lean_Arms_Bicep_Curl

3. EZ-Bar Drag Curl Grasp the two handles of a resistance band with palms facing in, standing on the midpoint of the band (a). Pull your elbows back as you perform a bicep curl, as if dragging a bar along the front of your body, shoulders down and back throughout, until your hands reach your breastbone (b). Hold the position for one second, then take three seconds to lower yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep.  Sets: 3, Reps: 8-12, Rest: 120 seconds between sets

Michael Schletter for Life by DailyBurn

Want more? Head over to Life by DailyBurn for the complete list of 6 Exercises for Strong, Lean Arms.

Photos: Eric LaCour


About the Author

Life by DailyBurn
Life by DailyBurn

Life by DailyBurn is dedicated to helping you live a healthier, happier and more active lifestyle. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build strength or de-stress, a better you is well within reach. Get more health and fitness tips at Life by DailyBurn.



15 responses to “6 Exercises for Strong, Lean Arms”

  1. Thank you for promoting the, “dead hang” pull ups, or as most people call them, “pull ups” – although these appear to be chin ups. Regardless, the kipping craze is out of hand!

  2. Avatar MO Crossfitter says:

    As a crossfitter, I can say we use kipping pull ups as an efficient way to get through a high number of reps. We do “strict” or “dead hang” pull ups to increase strength. It just depends on what your purpose/goals are. Someone who wants to get stronger should NOT kip.

    • Avatar Hey Kid says:

      Lol, purpose/goals of crossfit are…. What exactly? To be part of the cult of people who do compete to see who can do the most cheater style pull ups and other exercises? Makes no sense. You yourself just said that you use kipping as an “efficient” (read:easier) way to get “get through high reps”… Why are doing that in the first place?? Crossfit is hilarious.

  3. Avatar anissa says:

    how many calories are burned doing the different arm exercises in the 6 exercises for lean strong arms ,want to enter on my daily log.

  4. Avatar Victoria Rejuney says:

    I wish I could do a pull up. Even as a kid who did gymnastics, I could never ever do a pull up. Today I can barely even hang from a bar without getting exhausted immediately. Any suggestions to how to slowly work my way up? As of right now, I am assuming I am just too heavy in the first place.

    • Avatar April says:

      Do like the article sugguests and use resistance bands that support your body weight. Use less as you get stronger.

    • Avatar hamiltonfortuna says:

      Also, the less you wieght, the easier you’ll be able to do pull ups.

    • Avatar justkeepmoving says:

      As a start do assisted pull-ups; we use a TRX, both feet on floor, deep squat and hands over extended above your head grabbing the TRX handles; pull up with your hands and core, using as less possible assistance from your feet; first work on repetitions; then work on less assistance (use only one feet); hopefully eventually we will be able to do at least one pull up… and that day will be victory ;o); but in the mean time jumping from 7 to 10 (a)pull-ups are small battle wins and take those any day.

    • Avatar Indra Rachmaditya says:

      Actually there are 3 exercises that helps you before doing single pull-up which are
      1) Inverted Rows
      2) Lat Pulldowns
      3) Iso-Eccentric Jumping Pull-ups

      One and a half month ago I can’t do a single pull-up. Right now, by training this exercise 3 times a week, I can do complete 5 pull-up without any machine. Hope it helps, Victoria!

  5. Hip heist push-ups and biceps or arm circle are the exercises which I do usually to tone my arms. I would love to try these too as I like to tweak my workout routine.

  6. Avatar RaiRose says:

    The title of this post is “6 Exercises…” but I only see three. Strange.

    • Avatar Guest says:

      They want you to go over to another website…it’s at the end of the article. Why they can’t just post all 6, I don’t know…

  7. Avatar Cindy B. says:

    I think that’s crap. They Mike and Molly show was the only real today living show. People love the show. Nobody is playing footsy with the polls. Kick them in the polls. KEEP THE SHOW GOING IT AWESOME.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.


Click the 'Allow' Button Above


You're all set.