Are you always pairing your sleeveless dresses and tank tops with a matching sweater? Do you automatically reach for long–sleeved tops, while the short-sleeved versions have been relegated to the nether reaches of your closet?
You are definitely NOT alone if you are self-conscious, embarrassed, uncomfortable and concerned about your flabby arms and find that these fleshy wings interfere with your choice of clothing and activity.
First let’s get past all the name calling. Flabby arms have been tagged with quite a few less than favorable names, of which ‘swing wings’, ‘bye-bye arms’, flabby flappers’, and ‘bingo wings’ are a select few.
Perhaps the most endearing, euphemistic name for them that we have come across is ‘angel wings’– but that doesn’t make them any nicer to have!
Causes Of Flabby Arms
The main cause of flabby arms is age. As we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and as a result begins to sag, most noticeably in the upper arms.
Another cause of flabby arms is a build-up of fat that hangs from the underside of the upper arms. This affects both men and women, since we all have a tendency to store fat in the upper arm (even if we are at a healthy weight).
A third cause is significant weight loss, which can leave you with flaps of loose skin on the arm.
What You Can Do?
Simple fact – when age is the cause of flabby arms, there isn’t much we can do about it.
That said, the good news is that the other two causes can be successfully tackled, but you’ll have to understand a bit about how your body works. It is important to realize that you cannot target weight loss on a specific part of the body, such as the arms.
However, you can lose weight generally, reducing total body fat all over, including on the arms. You can considerably improve the appearance of flabby arms with exercises specific to arm toning and muscle building.
Cardiovascular and resistance exercises coupled with appropriate nutrition from a healthy diet are essential in the quest to sculpt firm and fabulous arms from the flab you are currently working with. If you’re wondering why it not enough to just focus on either the weight loss or improving muscle tone in the arm, then consider this.
With weight loss your arms may become thinner but will not have any muscle tone and so still look flabby. With muscle toning you could firm up the muscle, but it would be hidden under a layer of fat.
Using the right balance of both types of exercise is important.
A combination of cardiovascular activity to generally burn fat and strength exercises targeting the arms will get you well on the way to sweetly toned arms. You don’t need heavy weights to incorporate upper body exercises into your daily routine.
Objects you already have at home like a full water bottle or a small bag of rice can replace weights and get you started. If you are at work, a paperweight that fits nicely in your grasp will do just fine.
Your other options include resistance bands, which are portable, inexpensive and range from light to medium to heavy in terms of the resistance they offer. They may take a little getting used to if you are already familiar with free weights, but they do offer effective resistance for muscle toning.
Just as everyday objects can prove to be quite useful in your strength and toning exercises, so too are everyday actions. Movements that mirror simple tasks, such as lifting an item to place on a shelf can be incorporated into your routine.
Advantages Of Gaining A Little Muscle
Improved bone density – The American College of Sports Medicine recommends resistance training as especially beneficial to an aging population. This is so because weight bearing exercises have been shown to improve bone density.
Effective calorie burning – Your body has to work harder to sustain muscle than fat. As a result it will be burning off those extra calories throughout the day.
Increased strength – You will have new found strength (and stamina) to take on everyday activities.
Great Exercises For Your Upper Arms
Strive for 10 minutes daily dedicated to an arm exercise routine, stretching before and after to eliminate the risk of injury and tight muscles. You’ll be rewarded with flab-replacing muscle definition gained form building strong biceps (at the front of the arm), triceps (at the back of the arm) and shoulders.
Truth be told, there are quite a few exercises that are very effective at toning up the arms. Each person may have a favorite one or two, so experimenting with several options is a good idea. A combination of bicep curls, bent over rows, plank holds, shoulder presses and tricep kickbacks can spice up your routine. The triceps are principally responsible for straightening the arms.
It is worthwhile to master the tricep kickback’s correct execution to effectively sculpt well defined triceps. Keeping triceps toned will go a long way in reducing the appearance of arm flabs.
The Tricep Curl Properly Executed
Select weights appropriate to your level of fitness. Holding one weight in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees so that your back is at a 45-degree angle and you are looking at the floor in front of you.
Bend your elbows to form a 90-degree angle between your forearm and upper arm. Your forearms should be pointing toward the floor with your hands in front of you. Tightly tuck your arms into your sides. You are now in the starting position.
Keep your upper arms stationary, exhale and use your triceps to slowly extend your arms back behind you and lift the weights till your arms are fully extended. Do not allow your shoulders to do the lifting. If you keep the upper arms stationary, you will begin to feel the triceps in action as you lift the weight behind you.
Hold the lift for about two seconds, inhale and then slowly return the arms to the starting position. 10 reps are good at the start, but do not overdo it. As with any form of exercise, stop if you feel uncomfortable.
You can intensify the workout by turning your palms upwards or by positioning the elbows slightly higher than the shoulders.
Tricep kickbacks can be done using both arms at the same time, as illustrated above, alternating arms, or using one arm at a time. For working on one arm at a time, the weight-free hand is placed on your thigh and you should assume a staggered stance (placing one foot forward, knee bent).This helps to keep your back in the neutral position. The exercise can also be done with one palm and knee resting on a bench while you work on the opposite arm.
With realistic expectations and the motivation to continue the routines, you will soon see nicely toned flab free arms in the mirror. No more need to be hiding under a sweater or long-sleeved T-shirt when you have these sexy arms to show.