If you are trying to lose weight, you can strive for firm, toned arms without the skin hanging down underneath. For a woman, reducing arm fat means doing strength training, trying sports or activities that help build muscle in that part of the body, and eating a healthy diet. Most women are overweight in their hips and waist. It shouldn't be too difficult to tone your arms with targeted exercises, especially if you're trying to drop your total weight. Keep in mind that it is not possible to lose weight in just one part of the body, but with diet and exercise, you can lose weight anywhere and reduce the size of your arms!
Method 1 of 3: Do arm strength exercises
Step 1. Strengthen your triceps and pecs with push-ups
Tricep push-ups are simple exercises that can actually work your triceps, pecs, and shoulders. If you are new to it, you can modify this exercise by dropping your legs to the floor to strengthen your arms over time.
- To do tricep push-ups, place your hands under your shoulders on an exercise mat. Make sure your fingers are wide apart and the weight is evenly distributed between your two hands. Tighten your abdominal muscles and straighten your legs behind you, getting on your tiptoes. Activate your leg muscles and push off from your heels. Your body should be well supported and your lower back should be straight, without leaning or swinging from side to side.
- If you cannot adopt the starting position, change it by kneeling down, keeping your arms and shoulders straight. Align your head with your back and lower your chest toward the floor. Your elbows should be pressed against your body when you are above your fingertips. It is completely normal if you can only lower your body a few inches. The more tricep push-ups you do, the easier they will be.
- Exhale as you push to return to your starting position. You just did a rehearsal! Do 3 sets of 8 tricep push-ups to start building your triceps.
Step 2. Challenge yourself with the 2-2-2 push-ups
If you are comfortable with the tricep push-ups, you can try a variation. The “2-2-2” designate 3 sets of 2 push-ups using different hand positions: tight grip, classic grip and wide grip. Close-grip push-ups work the triceps, and wide-grip pushups work the pecs.
- Begin in a plank position with your shoulders directly under your hands and your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your abdomen engaged and activate your leg muscles so that your board is strong and stiff.
- Do 2 push-ups in classic grip. Then, spread your hands apart so that they are on the edge of your exercise mat. Do 2 push-ups with this plug. Finally, place your hands in the center of the mat so that they form a triangle directly under your chest. Do 2 push-ups in this position.
- Repeat this sequence 3 times, doing 2 push-ups with each take.
Step 3. Do chair repulsions
This exercise only requires a chair, but it will help you strengthen your triceps and improve their definition.
- Start by placing a chair on a solid surface and against a wall with the seat facing you. You can also do repulsions on the edge of a staircase (for example the 2nd or 3rd step from the bottom) or on a training bench. Get up 30 or 60 cm in front of the chair. Place your hands behind you, shoulder-width apart, fingers gripping the edge of the chair. Bend your legs so that they form a 90-degree angle and your knees are directly above your ankles.
- Make sure there is a good balance between your arms and legs. Inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your buttocks towards the floor. Look ahead as you lower your body and make sure your arms bend at a 90-degree angle. Bend your arms until you feel your muscles activate and work.
- Exhale as you push your body back to your starting position. Do this gently and slowly to avoid overextending your shoulders. Be sure to retract your shoulder blades well and keep your shoulders square and stable (no rolling forward or upward). As soon as you can no longer keep your shoulders still and back, stop the range of motion. You just did a rehearsal! Do 2 sets of 10 reps. You should feel your triceps working after 2 sets of this exercise.
Step 4. Do tricep extensions with your torso leaning forward
For this strength training exercise, you will need dumbbells and a weight bench or chair. If you've never done weight training before, start with 0.5-2.5 kg weights to build your arm strength without hurting yourself.
- Start with a dumbbell in your right hand. Place your left hand and your bent left leg on the weight bench. Your left hand should be directly under your shoulder to support your body. Bend your right hand with the dumbbell making sure your back is straight and your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Form a 90-degree angle with your forearm and upper arm. Keep your head up and your neck straight.
- Exhale and use your triceps to lift the dumbbell until your right arm is fully extended behind you. Supine by rotating your palm upward as your arm lifts (your palm will be facing the ceiling). Move only your forearm and do not use your left hand or legs. Pause when your right arm is fully extended, exhale, then inhale as you return the dumbbell to its starting position.
- Do this exercise 10 times on the right side then move on to the left side. Do 2 sets of 10 reps on both sides.
Step 5. Try bicep curls
This exercise will work the muscles on the front side of your arms, called the biceps. You will need a pair of 2.5 kg dumbbells.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees relaxed, and your weight distributed across your feet. Hold a 2.5kg dumbbell in each of your hands, with your palms facing forward.
- Exhale as you lift the dumbbells towards your chest. Look ahead and keep your weight distributed between your legs. Inhale then lower the dumbbells to 3/4 of their height. Activate your biceps while doing this. You did a rehearsal! Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
Step 6. Give uppercuts with dumbbells
This exercise will help tone your upper arms and strengthen your shoulder muscles. You will need a pair of dumbbells weighing 0.5-1 kg.
- Start with your feet hip-width apart and a 0.5-1 kg dumbbell in each hand. Place your fists in front of your face with your palms facing each other.
- Keep your left fist still as you inhale and strike by throwing your right fist as high as possible. Make sure your arm is bent slightly and don't lock your elbow when you strike. Exhale as you return your right fist to its starting position. Next, inhale, projecting your left fist as high as possible.
- Alternate between right hand and left hand for 60 seconds. Gradually increase the speed until you hit up as fast as possible. Repeat this exercise for 1 to 2 minutes a day.
Step 7. Try out the side planks
This exercise will simultaneously work the muscles in your arms and abdomen. It will require a dumbbell of 0.5-2.5 kg.
- Start the side plank on your right elbow placed directly under your shoulder and your feet stacked on top of each other. Lift the dumbbell with your left hand.
- Lift your hips off so that your body forms a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles. Clench your right fist to find your balance and activate your arm muscles. Then, inhale, stretching your left arm so that it is directly over your right shoulder. The dumbbell should remain in your left hand for the duration of the movement.
- Exhale as you lower your left arm until it is parallel to the floor and in front of your body. Keep your hips raised and repeat this exercise 10 times on each side.
Method 2 of 3: Exercise to strengthen your arms
Step 1. Try tennis or another racquet sport
Racquet sports like tennis or squash are great for building arm muscles and for a full body workout. Join a recreational tennis league in your area or take lessons from your gym's tennis professional. If a member of your family enjoys playing squash or racquetball, ask them to give you lessons and play with you. The more racquet sports you practice, the more you should notice a marked improvement in your arm strength and better definition of your muscles.
Step 2. Rowing or kayaking
Playing a sport that targets your arm muscles will help tone them. Try a hobby that uses that part of the body (such as rowing or kayaking) that requires arm strength as well as good abdominal engagement. You can start by using the rowing machine at the gym, then take rowing or kayaking lessons. You can also join a recreational rowing team in your area to improve your skills and be more active each week.
Step 3. Take boxing lessons
Boxing is another high intensity sport that requires strong arm muscle strength and general physical condition. Take classes in your gym or hit a hanging beanbag. Hitting a beanbag can help strengthen your arm muscles, and partner hitting exercises will help tone them up.
Method 3 of 3: Eat a healthy diet
Step 1. Adjust your daily calorie intake
Your calorie intake should be adjusted so that you don't overeat or avoid empty calories that only risk adding fat to your arms. Once you've calculated your calorie intake per day (based on your age, weight, and fitness level), try to consume enough calories each day for exercise.
- Eat more vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. Each meal should have one serving of protein, 1 or 2 servings of vegetables or fruit, and 1 serving of complex carbohydrates, such as one serving of whole grains. Make sure your carbohydrate intake is within the recommended range of 20-50g per day.
- Reduce your intake of carbohydrates, sugars and animal fats. Eating foods rich in carbohydrates and sugars causes the secretion of insulin, which is one of the main hormones responsible for storing fat in your body. When your insulin levels drop, your body is able to burn fat. Lower levels also help your kidneys flush out excess sodium and water, which will allow you to reduce the water weight you carry.
- Avoid foods high in starch and carbohydrates like french fries, crisps and white bread. Avoid foods high in artificial sugars like soft drinks, cakes, candy, and junk food.
Step 2. Commit to a 7 Day Meal Plan
Create a 7-day meal plan that includes 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) scheduled at the same time of day and 2 small snacks (between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner), also scheduled at the same time. This will allow you to eat at a consistent time each day and not skip or miss a meal. Eating about 1,400 calories per day combined with physical activity can help you lose weight in a healthy way.
Make a shopping list based on your meal plan and buy them early in the week. Keep all the ingredients you need to prepare your meals for the next 7 days in your fridge so you can prepare them easily and not be tempted to skip a meal or eat anything
Step 3. Drink water instead of sugary drinks
By hydrating with water, you keep your immune system healthy and make sure you are hydrated during your daily workout.
- You can replace sugary drinks such as carbonated drinks with water flavored with lemon or lime slices.
- Try unsweetened green tea as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks. Unsweetened green tea contains a good amount of antioxidants and promotes overall well-being.
Step 4. Eat well before and after your exercise
To maintain your weight loss, you should always eat a healthy diet before and after your exercise. Eat a light snack 1 to 2 hours before you exercise to have enough energy during your workout.