The Truth About Arm Fat and Exercises to Help Improve It!

arm flab

By now you know that my approach towards fitness is a bit more holistic. I believe that our journey should be more about feeling good in our own skin and learning what it means to be healthy than about numbers on the scale and sizes.  That being said, there is nothing wrong with the desire improve ourselves and look our best.  That brings more confidence and encourages us to keep that healthy lifestyle going.  It feels good to feel good!

Most of us have insecurities and/or areas that we find troublesome.  I recently spoke on social media about my insecurities with my legs and how hard that has been to overcome.   We’re all in the same boat.  These trouble spots can be difficult if not impossible to specifically target, but it’s never a lost cause.

A common concern with women is that pesky arm fat, or “wings” as we sometimes refer to them.  I have even heard women call them “bye-bye’s”, because when you wave they keep waving after you stop.  Here is the deal – we need to give ourselves some grace and acknowledge the truth.  Arm fat is completely normal, so there is really no need to give it a nasty name.  It can be hormonal, genetic, and like all fat on our bodies it is influenced by our overall health and nutrition. Read Carrie Pierce’s article The Wind Beneath Your Wings – Conquering Midlife Arm Flab for some great information on what causes muscle loss.

Unfortunately, there is no way to target fat loss in one area of your body.  There is no magic exercise that will zap the fat under your arms.  The best thing you can do is adopt an overall healthy lifestyle, including different types of exercise.  Exercise in addition to a healthy diet full of whole foods, fruits, vegetables and limited sugar will go a long way towards helping reduce fat overall.

If you’d like to do more you can also start a routine of arm exercises that will tone and build muscle to help firm up the offending area (mainly around your triceps) and improve the overall aesthetics.  Not only will that help strengthen and tone muscles in that specific area, it has also been shown that strength training burns fat faster than traditional cardio workouts because it keeps your metabolism elevated for longer afterwards.  That’s in addition to all of the other benefits like improved bone density, strength, and heart health.  It’s a win-win situation!

So here is your quick and easy to implement regimen to start firming up those arms!  We don’t want to target just one muscle, we’re going to work the WHOLE arm to give an overall toned look.  Check out the video for details.  Remember, it is important to start with light weights (or none at all) if you are new to this.  A good rule of thumb is that you should use the heaviest weight you can that will allow you to finish all of the exercises in a set without compromising your form.  If you get to the end and feel like you are barely working, it is time to increase.  If you can barely finish and your form is compromised, you need to go lighter.  If you need to start these exercises holding a can of soup instead of a 3lb or 5lb weight, do it!

This routine is meant to be done 3x a week, with at least one rest day in between.  It is important to let your muscles recover and rebuild before repeating.  Again, if you are new to exercises like this start out slow.  Try it once a week to begin and then add a second and third day over time.

Set 1: (Repeat 3 times)

-10  full bicep curls

-10 wide curls

-10 tricep kickbacks

Set 2: (Repeat 3 times)

-10 tricep dips

-10 hammer curls

-10 arm circles in each direction (20 total)

-10 doorknob turns in each direction (20 total)

Set 3: (Repeat 3 times)

-10 shoulder presses

-10 front raises

-10 side raises

-10 swimmers

Make sure you take the time to do a little warming up before you begin, and stretch those muscles out at the end.  We might not be lifting anything heavy here but it is still important to take care, make sure we are using proper form and protect ourselves from injury.

I would love to hear from you as you try this out.  Please feel free to visit my Facebook page and leave a note and look for more workout inspiration!!

Hadley Sorensen
Author: Hadley Sorensen

Hadley Sorensen is a health and fitness coach who lives in Virginia with her husband and 3 boys. She is an avid reader, runner and fitness instructor who has a passion for helping others learn to enjoy exercise. Hadley uses one-on-one coaching as well as virtual accountability groups to provide support and motivation to her clients. Her guiding philosophy is that it’s never too late to take charge of your health and improve your level of fitness. Find her on Facebook @HadleySorensenFitness

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