In case you never realized it, most people you encounter on a daily basis, regardless of how slim or fit you may think they are, deal with some degree of body dysmorphia as a result of excessive weight gain.
Trouble areas usually include the thighs, back, or stomach, but a very large number of people also deal with excess fat on the arms.
Understandably, this can cause a great amount of distress and cause the individual to shy away from wearing any clothing that would reveal the arms.
Why some people have issues with one area over another is not fully understood, although it is believed to be due to genetics and overall body fat level.
However, it is not uncommon for even slim people to have a disproportionately large amount of upper arm fat and flabby arms.
The good news is, that you can reduce the amount of fat present in this area.
A large part of this revolves around performing the correct exercises to tone the muscles and burn arm fat, but also to lose weight overall.
For best effect, be sure to include these exercises in your overall program:
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How to Get Rid of Flabby Arms: Best Exercises For Arm Flab
Kickbacks are helpful for helping to improve tricep strength and definition, being considered an isolation type of movement that focuses primarily on the tricep muscle group.
It also helps to target that stubborn arm fat.
- This exercise can be done seated, standing or while kneeling on one leg. Regardless of which you choose, the technique remains the same
- If this is the first time you are performing this exercise, it might be a good idea to do so without added resistance
- Simply lean forward slightly with knees bent, and extend your upper arm back so that your elbow is roughly parallel to the floor
- Slowly straighten the elbow so that it forms a straight line with your upper arm. Do not swing your upper arm back and forth
- This exercise can be performed one side at a time or both, depending on your comfort level and overall strength
- Aim to perform 15 to 20 repetitions per side, and two to three working sets
2) Chair dips
Dips are an excellent exercise to strengthen the triceps and overall arm, requiring nothing more than a stable chair.
These are sometimes referred to as chair tricep dips.
- If this is your first time performing a tricep dip using a chair, your couch will work nicely for this. Place both palms on the edge of the chair while seated as you push yourself away from the chair
- With only the balls of your feet on the ground, and knees slightly bent, lower your butt towards the ground while being supported by your triceps.
- Just before the bottom position, forcefully press yourself up using your triceps away from the ground.
- Repeat this process 10 to 15 times and for 2 to 3 sets.
It is important to maintain control throughout this process as the goal is not merely to drop and rise as fast as possible
Chair dips not only help tone but will also support building lean body mass to better muscle tone and fat burning potential.
3) Overhead Shoulder Presses and Lateral Raises
While these exercises are considered to be primarily for the shoulders, they can help significantly with helping to tone the muscles nearest to the shoulder, and also recruit the triceps owing to the pressing nature of the movement.
This is actually a superset consisting of two different exercises performed one after the other without rest.
- Raise your arms from your sides so that your upper arms are parallel with the ground and your elbows form 90° facing up. Palms should be facing forward (fingers pointing up), or closed with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Press and extend your arms overhead so that they nearly touch in the top position.
- Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds before lowering back to the start position.
- In this case, lower your arms so that they hang at your sides.
- With or without weight in each hand and elbows slightly bent, raise in an arc until your arm is parallel with the ground. This is considered one lateral raise
- Repeat both movements for a total of 20 repetitions in each superset. Performed two supersets of this combination.
4) Bicep Curls
Bicep curls are the quintessential arm exercise, helping to stimulate the muscles found to the front of the arm.
While the tricep is larger than the bicep, from the front this is the first part of the arm people tend to see while looking at you.
There are many variations of bicep curls that exist today, however, we will stick with the classic curl which can be performed using a barbell, dumbbells, resistance band or anything else you can find around your home that fits the bill.
Even something as simple as two cans from your pantry can do the job.
- Start with your arms hanging straight down and in front of your thighs, palms forward.
- While keeping the elbows fairly stable from swinging back and forward, curl your arms upward to the point that you feel maximum tension.
- Afterward, slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat this 15 to 20 times for one set. Aim for two or three working sets.
Many people shy away from trying out boxing because they think that it is too complex.
However, in reality, that isn’t necessarily the truth.
Rather, as with anything new, anxiety may cause it to seem daunting.
If you have access to a punching bag, then that’s perfectly fine to get your workout, but it’s not the only way.
Shadowboxing, which is basically just punching into the nothingness, or imagining a target exists when there is none is also an effective way to harness your skills.
Boxing is great as a cardiovascular exercise and for strengthening and getting toned arms.
After your first session, you’re likely to feel extremely sore.
Depending on how agile you are, you can also expect your legs, back, chest, and core to feel fatigued as well.
Boxing is usually performed on a timed basis, so start off by aiming for one minute of continuous boxing practice, followed by one minute of rest. Repeat this 3 to 5 times and you have a comprehensive arm workout and licence to burn fat.
As your experience grows you can gradually increase the time up to a maximum of three minutes per interval (or one boxing round).
6) Hammer Curls
Surprisingly, hammer curls aren’t that well known.
However, adding hammer curls to a workout designed to help reduce arm fat is an excellent idea.
Hammer curls, like bicep curls, do a good job at stimulating the aforementioned bicep arm muscles.
However, where it excels is that it also stimulates the forearm muscles to a good extent.
Most people do not have an excessive amount of fat in the forearm region, but if you really want balance and to tone the arms evenly, you need these curls.
Incorporating hammer curls into your workout also means that you can decrease the amount of time spent training the smaller supporting muscle groups since they would’ve already been sufficiently targeted it with this movement.
- Start with your arms at your side, in a neutral grip position (palms facing your thighs from the side)
- With adequate resistance in your grip, curl the weight while retaining the neutral grip.
- Slowly return to the starting position
- Perform 15-20 repetitions and 2-3 working sets
You are likely to feel fatigued in your forearm before your bicep with this variation, and that’s ok.
It may be a better idea to add this movement towards the end of your workout or forearm fatigue could hamper your other exercises that require grip strength.
Push-ups are one of the most well-known exercises on the planet, and yet many people cannot successfully perform one repetition.
Yes, you read that right – many people can’t do even a single rep.
This is easy to blame on the chest muscles, but in reality, push-ups should be considered more of a triceps exercise.
If you have an excessive amount of arm fat, it is very likely that you do not have significant muscle mass in that region.
This is why push-ups can feel so difficult to perform.
The good news is, that there are many different push-up variations for you to perform, some that are of a lower difficulty, and others that increase the difficulty for experienced athletes.
a) Beginner Push-Ups
If you find it difficult to perform a standard push-up, relax – you’re not alone.
Not everyone possesses the upper body strength to do so, especially if you carry a few pounds more than the average person.
To perform this beginner-friendly push-up, firstly lay facedown on the ground with arms at your side.
Next, tuck your forearms close to your body as your upper arm forms 90° while against the ground.
Then, with palms pressed against the ground, in one forceful movement push your torso up from the ground.
In this beginner position, your waist and lower body remain on the ground with only your upper chest rising up.
This is a great way to start building strength and putting the triceps to work.
b) Intermediate Push-Up
Maybe you’ve gotten stronger than the initial push-up level, and wish to add some difficulty to the movement. while you’re in luck, as this exercise does just that.
Similar to the beginner push-up, this variation is easier to perform than the standard variation.
However, in contrast to the beginner version, you raise your upper body and lower body up to the point of the knee in this push-up.
To achieve this, bend your knees so that your lower leg curls backward, effectively making it the base of your body.
This removes the lower leg from the equation and retains its position as being easier to perform than a full push-up.
c) The Standard Push-Up
The most classic variation of the push-up, this movement recruits muscles of the chest, triceps, forearms, and core for stabilization.
Your body weight offers ample resistance in this exercise.
It is performed in a manner similar to the other variations, except for the fact that your lower body is supported on your toes.
Your spine straight down to your legs should form a roughly straight line diagonally when viewed from the side.
d) The Close Grip Push-Up
Close-grip presses are excellent for adding emphasis on the triceps when training, as the narrower grip removes the chest from the biomechanical equation, causing more load to be borne by the large muscles of the arm.
Simply move the arms to a width that is closer to shoulder distance apart to perform and let er’ rip as your press your body away from the ground.
e) The Diamond Push-Up
This variation of the push-up is the ultimate difficulty (with the exception of the one-handed push-up, which we are not including in this list owing to extreme difficulty), able to really cause an insane burn in the triceps.
To perform, arms are moved in closer together, with fingers touching in such a way to make a diamond shape.
Only attempt this variation if you are comfortable performing some close grip push-ups first.
For all movements, irrespective of your experience and fitness levels, you should aim to perform 20 push-ups per set, for a total of three working sets.
8) Machine Rows
A rowing machine is one of the best investments you can make.
Doing them in the gym is fine, but being able to do the rows in the comfort of your own home is priceless.
Rowing machines have generally gotten much cheaper as time has gone by, and can help you achieve the body you truly want.
Rowing recruits many upper body muscles, including the lats, rhomboids, trapezius, and of course, the upper arms and forearms.
Low resistance rowing even makes a great cardiovascular exercise to really get those calories incinerated to lose excess body fat.
For beginners, start rowing in simple one-minute intervals, followed by brief rest sessions.
Then, as your endurance improves, you will eventually reach the stage of being able to row for up to 60 minutes in one go.
Rowing is also very low impact and perfect for people of all health states.
Even people with disabilities can benefit from using rowing machines, and it is safe for the elderly as well.
9) Overhead Tricep Presses
The triceps comprises more than 50% of the total upper arm mass.
Not surprisingly, it requires more work in the form of repetitions and working sets to adequately fatigue it.
You will likewise have to subject it to more work for enhanced fat loss.
Overhead tricep presses work the long aspect of the triceps by requiring the upper arm to be extended above the head.
The name tricep actually refers to the fact that the muscle has three attachments to bone, and ideally requires three separate weight training exercises to adequately stimulate it thoroughly.
- To start with, extend either one or both hands straight overhead.
- Using either a dumbbell, another weighted item, or your arm only, and keeping the upper arm straight, bend at the elbow down to the direction of your neck.
- Stretch as far as comfortably possible.
- Hold the down position for a second, before contracting and returning to the start position overhead.
- Perform 15-20 repetitions and 2-3 sets for adequate stimulation.
10) Plank Taps
Have you ever done a plank before?
Don’t make the innocuous name fool you; the plank is a notoriously difficult move to pull off, even if it appears so very simple.
If you are comfortable with your planking to date, why not up the intensity and difficulty?
This variation will light your arms and core on fire.
Plank taps are a bit different from your standard plank variety.
Whereas in a basic plant your forearms are parallel to the floor, this plank position resembles that of a push-up instead.
You will, however, not be keeping your body stationary in this position as that’s just too easy.
- Start by assuming the standard push up position
- Then, quickly tap your chest with one arm, before returning that arm to the ground
- Repeat the process with the next arm.
Be sure to start simple; 30 seconds under tension is a decent guide into whether you should increase the length or work on bettering your 30 seconds first.
Let’s face it- most people despise doing cardio.
And downright boring.
But it’s a necessary evil if you are serious about losing arm fat, or having successful weight loss for that matter.
Resistance training is a great way to lose fat and build (or tone) muscle at the same time.
And the afterburn effect is massive.
In fact, you can benefit from an increased metabolism up to 72 hours after your training session.
But the increase isn’t that significant when you think of it. Maybe an extra 300 calories per day, which is definitely helpful but small on a grand scale of things.
Cardiovascular exercise, on the other hand, is a quick way to utilize a large number of calories.
60 minutes of this type of exercise can help you use up between 600-1000 calories or even more depending on the specific activity.
The afterburn isn’t that noteworthy- maybe up to 3 hours afterward. Then your metabolism goes back to normal.
This is why combining the two types of training is the best plan of action to lose body fat.
Get your cardio the way you appreciate it most- this can be via swimming, rowing, cycling, or jogging. The key is to do it and do it consistently.
Is Exercise The End All of Fat?
Not at all.
In fact, exercise is a major weapon at your disposal to be rid of fat, but it isn’t the only one. It isn’t even the main one, to be frank.
Your diet needs to absolutely be improved.
Do not strive for perfection, but one that is good enough.
To start, implement these changes:
- Increase protein intake – Protein supports muscle synthesis to increase lean body mass, recovery and improves metabolic rate. This should be implemented as part of a healthy diet overhaul.
- Slowly lower daily caloric intake – This will prevent metabolic crashes and weight loss plateauing.
- Sleep enough – Sleep deprivation has a system-wide effect on all aspects of health. Fat storage is enhanced as stress hormone rises.
- Eliminate alcohol consumption or consume in extreme moderation – Your liver is critical in metabolic processes and booze hits it hard. Not to mention that it is notorious for causing belly fat accumulation, decreasing muscle definition, and delivering empty calories.
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It’s not impossible to lose arm fat fast. In fact, it can be achieved with consistency and some hard work.
Just be sure to address both the nutritional and exercise aspects of weight loss and it is possible you will see the difference in as little as 8 weeks.