If you shy away from sleeveless shirts because you’re afraid of unleashing some gnarly “bat wings”, you can lose arm fat by doing arm exercises that target the triceps. Most people are familiar with the bicep – which is on the top of the arm. The tricep muscle is a long muscle that is found on the backside of your arm that runs from your elbow to your shoulder.
Closely Monitor Your Food Intake
“What? This isn’t an exercise…?!” However, you WILL be amazed at how much you can accomplish just by eating the right foods and keeping your daily calorie count in check. I played around with some things and have lost an additional 5 pounds in the last 3-4 weeks due to making changes to my diet. (Post on that lil’ experiment coming soon!)
The secret to monitoring your food intake successfully is to journal every morsel of food and drop of liquid (besides water) that hits your tongue. If you skip the things you nibble on throughout the day – you won’t be successful. You have to record EVERYTHING. If you do this for 1 week, you may find that you’re eating too many calories, consuming too many carbs, too much sugar, etc. Either way, you’ll know how you’re eating and how much. Record things like calories, fat, carbs, protein and sodium. An easy way to do this is by using an online calorie counter like My Fitness Pal.
*If you need help to determine how many calories you should be eating, check out this helpful weight loss calculator.
The Best Arm Exercises for ‘Bat Wings’
*These are my very unprofessional stick people drawings to help illustrate these exercises.
REMEMBER: You CANNOT spot reduce fat (without scary, expensive and invasive surgery).
The best arm exercises to help you lose arm fat are those that target the triceps – that’s where you see most of the sagging that some refer to as “bat wings”. Building the tricep muscle will help strengthen and tighten the overall area while cardio will help shed the excess fat faster. Strength training allows you to build muscle density which will firm up your muscles and also help you raise your resting metabolic rate. Increasing your metabolic rate will help your body burn more calories during the day which in turn, will help you lose fat all over – faster.
- Overhead Triceps Extensions: These can be done by standing with your hands grasping a dumbbell behind your head. You can do these using one or both arms. Carefully raise the dumbbells over your head and then slowly lower back down. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
- Push-Ups: Push-ups are very effective in strengthening the upper body. The best thing about them is that you don’t need any equipment. If you can’t do a push-up, begin by doing wall push-ups, progress to push-ups on the floor on your knees and then finally to a full push-up. Having your hands closer together will help to target the triceps more.
- Kickbacks: This exercise is actually a bit putzy for me but it does provide excellent results. You can do these by kneeling on the floor or on a bench supporting your body with the non-working arm. Upper arm should be parallel to floor. Extend your arm out until it’s straight and then go back to the starting position and repeat.
- Dips: Using a bench or stable chair, position your hands so they’re about shoulder-width apart. Move your butt out just in front of the bench, bend your knees a bit and place your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Straighten your arms but keep a slight bend in the elbow to keep the tension on your triceps. Slowly lower your body down until your arms form a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench and never let your neck sink and your ears should never dip towards your shoulders.
More arm exercises to try:
- Shoulder Press
- Bicep Curls
- Lateral Raises
- Hammer Curls
- Upright Rows
Home Workouts that Include Great Arm Work:
Pssst..! Don’t Forget Cardio
Cardiovascular activity will help your body burn extra calories which will allow you to lose weight at a faster rate. Try to do some form of cardio every other day (3-4 times per week) for at least 20 minutes. Interval training workouts can be done in as little as 10 minutes and are extremely effective for burning fat. Other cardio activities include running, jogging, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, etc.
So to recap, in order to lose arm fat you should be monitoring your diet, performing strength training activities that target the triceps area and also doing some cardiovascular activity. Eventually, you’ll happily reach for your favorite tank top – or better yet – buy some new ones!