We all have those areas of our bodies that drive us crazy, and make us self conscious. One of the prime examples: A flabby upper arm.
This flaw is particularly problematic because we use our arms for everything, and once your arms are on your mind, you feel every unwanted jiggle.
Well, we say enough's enough. How much of your wardrobe is going unused because you don't want to think about arm insecurity. If your mind goes to a beloved top or two that you've been avoiding, let's put an end to this. Here's how:
The Hard Part
You can find things on the world wide web claiming that eliminating flabby arms is simple. But we won't lie. Depending on how your body carries fat, flabby arms can be a legitimate struggle.
A guide to tightening your arms that doesn't start by talking about managing body fat, isn't worth your time.
So this is the part where you decide. How much arm flab is the result of excess body fat? If you are currently significantly over a reasonable goal weight (say 40-50 pounds or more) than you should pause this guide after this section.
That's because toning the underlying arm muscle and improving form will have diminishing returns as more fat obscures that work. As you get closer to overall weight goals, these moves have bigger and bigger impact.
Getting Comfortable With Muscle
Flabby equals soft. So what's the answer to flab? Firm.
That's right. In order to conquer the jiggle, you're going to need to develop and tone the muscles of the upper arm.
The biggest problem with that is that so many of us just aren't familiar with that kind of muscle development. We often associate the work necessary to develop muscle with huge body builders, and we're trying to make things smaller here.
If you're going to have arms that you can be proud of (or at least not hide) you're going to have to shake that kind of thinking. Muscle development, especially in women, does not necessarily build large, bulky muscles.
Using the moves that we'll show you will leave you with plenty of muscle tone, and firm structure that makes the arm seem much better put together.
Start In The Back
When people think about the muscles of the arm, they usually think first about the biceps. That's the muscle group on the front of the arm that you remember 1980's Arnold Swartzenegar flexing so much.
But that's not the place to start. In fact, it's the triceps muscles in the back of the arm that actually make up about 2/3 of the total muscle. That's where we want to make the biggest improvements.
Overhead Tricep Extension (3 Sets of 20)
We start with a simple, easy lift. The move does call for a dumbbell or two, but in a pinch, you could just use a gallon of water (That's about 8 pounds).
To do an overhead tricep extension, start by extending your arm and dumbbell directly upward. Then lower the weight backwards, causing your elbow to point up, and straighten your arm again. You can do each arm separately, or together.
Side Tri Rise (3 Sets of 15)
Our next two tricep exercises don't require weights at all. The first is the Side Tri Rise.
To start this movement, lay on your side. Grab your opposite shoulder or torso with the arm that's closest to the ground. Then place your other hand on the ground under your armpit. To do the exercise, straighten that arm, lifting your torso off the ground, and back down again.
There's plenty of ways to adjust the difficulty of this move. Play around with different leg positions, and use your core as necessary to complete the move and target the tricep muscles.
Dips (3 Sets 20)
Here's another exercise that has plenty of room for adjustment. Dips can be incredibly challenging, or a very mild lift. Find what makes you struggle, but still allows you to complete sets of 20.
To do dips, find a sturdy chair, and slide forward on it. Grip the front of the seat at a comfortable width with both hands and allow your bottom to hang in front of the seat. Bend your arms and lower yourself towards the ground. Go down as far as you can comfortably, and come back up.
To make the movement more difficult, place your feet farther away from the chair.
End In The Front
Once you've worked the triceps, it's time to hit the other side. The good news about the biceps is that they are a pretty simple muscle group. You can get the definition you want there with a couple of moves.
Preacher Curls (3 Sets of 20)
Working the biceps is all about curls. The most basic curl is the Preacher Curl.
To do this move, hold a weight by your side, with your palms facing forward. Then curl your weighted arms, bringing your hands to your shoulders, and back down again.
To make sure the exercise is working the biceps, try to prevent rocking, or unnecessary shoulder motion.
Hammer Curls (3 Sets of 20)
Hammer curls are very similar to preacher curls, but work the muscle in a slightly different way.
To turn a preacher curl into a hammer curl, simply turn your palms inward during the motion. The resulting move should look like swinging a hammer. This small change works the muscle group in a new way, and rounds out bicep development.
Doing this routine 2-3 times a week will firm up your arms. It won't be long until you see a noticeable difference.
The Hormone Component
Fat stored in the arms has also been linked to hormone imbalance. In particular, excess estrogen/deficient testosterone. Because estrogen excesses are often behind testosterone deficiencies, this problem can often be addressed by eliminating excess estrogen.
If you experience disproportionate arm flab, that is resistant to diet and exercise, we recommend using DIM (Diindolyl Methane). DIM is a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower that promotes your body's natural metabolism of excess estrogen.