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How to Get Rid of Arm Flab and Get Toned, Sexy Arms

woman doing pushupsWant to know how to get rid of flabby arms? Jason Paris of Fitness Doctrine explains why it happens, and what you can do to get rid of it..

How to Get Rid of Flabby Arms

For many women there is one item in their wardrobe that isn’t wearable anymore, and it’s not because it no longer fits. Embarrassment keeps this piece of clothing tucked in the back of the closet.

You don’t notice at first, but one day, as you’re waving goodbye to your family from the doorstep, something catches your eye. Out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of something that takes you by surprise, it startles you. You see something you’ve never seen before – well not on yourself at least. Who knows how long it’s been there.

Slowly and silently an extra pound has accumulated here, an extra pound there, and before you know it you have grown batwings. The dreaded underarm flab has surfaced. Time to box up the sleeveless tops and keep the hands below the shoulders.

But before I explain how to get rid of that loose fat beneath your arms, I would like to dispel a few common myths. It’s important to do so because these myths may be one of the reasons that stubborn flab won’t go away. If you’ve ever tried a bootcamp, bought a late night infomercial product, or hired a trainer, all without success, it could be because of those myths. When it comes to tightening, toning and losing those bat wings, there are a lot of myths and fallacies that simply don’t work and are a waste of your time. By busting those myths, you can finally get on the right track and firm up those arms because you aren’t wasting your time doing things that don’t work. Instead, you’ll be busy doing what gives you results.

This myth has men and women in gyms everywhere isolating their triceps. In an effort to build muscle, they are doing every exercise they can:

  • kickbacks
  • push downs
  • overhead extensions
  • and every other triceps exercise you can think of

all done in vain.

Unfortunately the real cause is genetics, not muscle mass or strength. Men and women store fat in different places. While you typically associate the beer belly with guys, many women complain that they easily gain weight around the hips. The same holds true with that stubborn underarm flab. This is generally an area where women will store fat. That kind of stuff is in our DNA, those who tell you it’s due to muscle are perpetuating the myth.

The time you waste targeting your triceps is taking away from the exercises that really help. So instead of fighting the fat, you’re giving it time to sneak up on you. That means you can put an end to triceps exercises. Isolating the triceps is wasted time and energy. But that doesn’t mean to give up on strength training, because strength training is a valuable part of the solution.

Ok, you can buy that. But what about doing those triceps exercises to target and burn off that underarm flab? Well, that brings us to our 2nd myth. You can’t target fat loss. I know there are thousands of ab products and infomercials with sexy people and their great abs. But I promise you this, those abs are not a result of the machine they’re selling.

Sure there are hundreds of infomercials that show ab machines and claim that they are the secret to a flat stomach and great abs. But in actuality, that machine does virtually nothing to help flatten your stomach. Take a look at the fine print – something you can’t do while watching TV because it is so small and flashes so fast. (It irritates me how commercials do that, but that fight is for another day). Anyway, if you could see that fine print it would say something along the lines of “results not typical,” and that their product is just “part of a bigger plan”.

Causes of Batwings

To get those tight and toned arms back, it’s good to have an understanding of what the problem is – that underarm flab has to do with age and body composition. What tends to happen as we get older is that we become less active. This inactivity decreases our lean muscle mass, slows down our metabolism, and allows the weight to accumulate over the years. Add to that the effects of gravity, and the loss of elasticity in our skin, and the underarm jiggle flourishes.

So how do you get rid of arm flab?

Now that I’ve told you what doesn’t work and what the true cause of the problem is, we can get down to business and get rid of that flab.

The best way to tackle this problem is twofold: Exercise and Diet.

As mentioned before, arm toning exercises, the ones that target just your triceps are a waste of your time. A good strength training workout is critical; you just have to do the right exercises. To burn fat, you have to hit the big muscles and have at least motion in two joints. So, squats, pushups and inverted rows are all good places to start. A strength training routine based on those exercises will hit the muscles needed to transform your body and burn the most fat. Add to that some cardio in the form of interval training or metabolic circuits and you have the exercise portion covered.

A healthy balanced diet will do two things:

• Help you better control your weight
• Keep your skin healthy and add more elasticity

Many women shy away from protein, but having an adequate amount of protein will help you lose weight. Your goal is to have 0.8 – 1g of protein for every pound of body weight. The simplest nutrition plan is to eat lean protein and fruit or vegetables at every meal, drink lots of water and cut out refined foods and white starches. A healthy day would look like this…

(This is only a sample. Portion sizes will depend on independent calorie intakes.)

Breakfast – Eggs and an orange
Snack – Greek yogurt with fresh sliced peaches
Lunch – Cottage Cheese with fresh strawberries
Super – Baked chicken over a spinach salad with a vignette dressing
Snack – Sliced apple and cheese

With your diet in check, popular myths busted, regular workouts and the right exercises like squats, inverted rows, and intervals thrown into the mix, you are well on your way to transforming your body and looking better than ever. You may even fit into your high school jeans, but leave them in your closet. But feel free to break out those sleeveless tops.

  • Bev M

    If you would please have a more detailed healthy menu for me to follow… that would be great… thx!

  • Jonathan

    There are some good tips here. The bottom line is that some people gain fat in their arms and others in their thighs or abs, or buttocks.

    To get rid of this fat, you need to simply burn off as much fat as possible. Nothing more. You can’t just focus it on one area. Proper diet and fitness is the only way to do that.

    • rebecca

      that’s probably the key for me I already eat healthy and have started walking between a mile and a half to 3 miles a day along with some yoga and other exercises I developed ‘granny’ arms as I call them when I gained about 100 lbs during my marriage. I figure as I loose the weight I will loose the ugly arms…though as ugly as they are I rather have them then a big gut and thighs rubbing together! lol

  • Tom Parker

    Great post Jason. Hopefully will teach a few people that you can’t spot reduce fat. Nice blog by the way.


  • Jason

    @ Bev M, Tony put up a great nutrition article the other day. Think this will answer most of your questions. If you still have more feel free to come back and I will do my best to answer them for you.

    @ Jonathan It is hard to get people to see that but when they do it makes a world of difference.

    @ Tom Parker, Thanks. Commercials always push spot reduction ab machines so I think it’s a tough fight to tell people there is no such thing as spot reduction.

  • Cindy Rottacker

    Thank you for all the great articles!! This is now the ONLY place I go to when I need nutrition & exercise information!!

  • Danielle

    I don’t understand how these muscular exercises will reduce the amount of fat on the arm?, surely spot reduction has been proven time and again to be a myth? So doing all the muscular exercises in the world will not make any significance difference to the amount of fat on the arm, do you not agree??

    • Coach Calorie

      Spot reduction is a myth. As the article states, it’s a combination of diet and exercise. Exercise builds the muscle so that your diet can drop the body fat. You still want muscle tone, and diet alone is not going to do that for you.

  • Tony Schober

    Best I have for you would be this –