Lean Arm Workouts

Workouts that achieve lean arms target specific muscle groups. Muscles in the arms include the triceps, biceps, forearms and rotator cuffs. In “The 30-Minute Celebrity Makeover Miracle,” author Steve Zim recommends performing a variety of exercises so that you target all of your arm muscles. In “Stronger Arms and Upper Body,” Dr. Jim Stoppani suggests training at least three times a week with a day of rest in between exercises that target the same muscle group.


A standard push-up targets your triceps. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor with your body straight and your toes on the floor. Start this move with your arms extended, perpendicular to the floor. Bend your elbows to slowly lower your body down toward the floor. Once your chest touches your hands, extend back up to the start position. Intermediate and advanced versions are available when you are ready to progress to the next level.

Dumbbell Curl

The dumbbell curl strengthens your biceps. In a standing position, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with your arms extended toward the floor. Keep your palms facing in and your knees bent. Keep your elbow in towards your body and curl one dumbbell upwards while turning your palm up and out. Squeeze your biceps for a count and then slowly lower your arm back to starting position. Repeat with the other arm, continuously alternating between both. You may choose to substitute this exercise with an incline dumbbell curl or concentration curl.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is an exercise used to tone your arm muscles. Sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight and abs pulled in tight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at ear level with your palms facing forward. In this position, your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle and upper arms parallel to the floor. Exhale while slowly straightening your arms and pressing the dumbbells toward the ceiling. Keep your elbows slightly bent and hold for one second. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position. Perform a set of 12 repetitions before resting.

Lying Kickback

To perform a lying kickback, lay on a mat on your back with a dumbbell in each hand by your ears and your elbows pointing up. Exhale and slowly extend your arms, raising the dumbbells toward the ceiling. Straighten your arms but try and keep your elbows slightly bent. Hold for about a second and then lower the dumbbells back to your starting position. Perform about 12 to 15 repetitions to strengthen your triceps.