The Right to Bare Arms
September 24, 2008 10:03 PM   Subscribe

How can I best lose some excess upper arm flab?

I'm a midtwentysomething girl, fit and happy with my body. Except for the upper arms - they're your classic 'bingo arms' and wearing sleeveless tops has me really self-conscious. What sort of exercises can I do to try and tone them? I don't currently belong to a gym but I'm on the edge of joining one, otherwise I run and bicycle for fitness.
posted by troika to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Unfortunately, there's no such thing as "spot reduction". For instance, doing exercises in that section of your body may well increase the amount of muscle there, but won't reduce the amount of fat.

Fat management is a body-wide phenomenon. The only way to lose fat is to lose weight. The only way to spot-reduce is liposuction.
posted by Class Goat at 10:32 PM on September 24, 2008

The only way to lose fat is to lose weight.

Bingo. That said, if it's mostly loose skin, putting on some muscle in that area could help firm things up.
posted by chrisamiller at 10:40 PM on September 24, 2008

I'd suggest try something with a boxing type workout maybe? Get a punching or speed bag?

Also just doing bicep curls with weights will target, biceps obviously

Also pushups and pullups target different parts of your biceps/triceps
posted by axltea at 10:48 PM on September 24, 2008

Best answer: Pushups!

I'm the same; mid-twentysomething girl. I exercise often, yoga and running were my favourite forms of exercise. But while I was thin, my arms still had too much...well, too MUCH for my liking. I started doing push ups late this summer, and the upper arm jiggle is gone!

I highly recommend this site for getting started.
posted by thatbrunette at 11:03 PM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]

Triceps dips.
posted by 26.2 at 11:13 PM on September 24, 2008

Ditto building muscle. I've been swimming a lot, and while I am losing weight, the big difference in my arms came quite fast as the muscles became more defined in my arms and shoulders.
posted by carbide at 12:21 AM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In this order I think:
- Weight loss
- Triceps work: this will firm up the rear/underside--wingy--portion of the arm
- Front and rear delt work: these are the small muscles at the tops of your arms. When a bit defined they really say "My arms are in amazing shape!" even if overall they aren't. They're small muscles and can be easily injured, so be gentle.
posted by cocoagirl at 2:33 AM on September 25, 2008

It's true you can't spot-reduce weight. That said, I nth the calls for focusing on tricep work, and also recommend the hundred pushups site.
posted by inigo2 at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2008

Data point here...I have super muscular arms (pushups, swimming, surfing) and when my arms are relaxed they still look flabby to me. Friends tell that they're not at all. It may be a perception thing. I guess there's a difference between relaxed muscle arms and relaxed fat arms (I personally don't see may not either).
posted by iamkimiam at 7:47 AM on September 25, 2008

stop eating around 6pm...
posted by jakubsnm at 9:40 AM on September 25, 2008

If you change the proportion of muscle to fat in your arms, aesthetically it will look like 'spot reduction'. If you can't exercise then the second best option is probably something like ultrashape.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:08 PM on September 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yoga has always done the job for me.

(Note to self: go to yoga)
posted by Space Kitty at 12:49 PM on September 25, 2008

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