Lift your arms up in the air and now shake them a little. What do you see? A chunk of wiggly fat or finely sculpted lean muscles? Whether your body aesthetics are that of a model’s or that of an athlete, there is no denying that the arms are the ultimate barometer of fitness. If you have some flabby arms, you know you need to tone them, and if you have them toned already, you know you are on track with fitness.
When was the last time you lifted some weights for your arms (and, no, we’re not talking about that huge tub of ice-cream)? Unlike the abs or thighs, the arms are on a year-round pressure to look good, because they are pretty much out there for a close-up shot. And it definitely seems like a task to tame that stubborn arm fat. But we’ll tell you a secret – weight training or not, if you subject your arms to regular toning exercises and a proper diet, you’ll see a smaller arm with high definition (1). Of course, one day at the gym will not leave you with arms like Serena Williams, but you don’t want to end up mirroring arms like that of a sumo wrestler (unless you fancy the life of a sumo wrestler). We have a repertoire of go-to exercises that can eliminate your arm fat at home. Take a look!
1. Wall Push-Ups
Who said that fat loss wasn’t fun. Look at this workout – this could be a drinking game! You need to just push the wall with your arms. Place your hands on the wall at chest level (they should be shoulder-width apart). Lean slightly towards the wall with your feet placed slightly behind shoulders. Now, inch closer to the wall by bending your elbows and pressing your palms. Then return to the original position. Repeat this 12-15 times for 1 set.
2. Shoulder Raise
We’ll be straight with this – just raise your shoulders like you’re taking an oath. Take dumbbells of comfortable weight and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Now, slowly raise your arms straight in front of you till they reach shoulder level. Make sure to pull your core in and keep your back straight. Repeat this with each arm for 12 to 15 times to complete one set.
3. Plank Away
Planks are magical workouts that work all the muscles in the body. You can either go for a low, face down plank with tightened abs, a clenched butt, and pressure on your forearms, or you can go for side planks. For the latter, move your hips from the low plank position to one side and lift your shoulder towards the ceiling. Repeat on the other side.
4. Swing That Arm
Kettlebell swings work your buttocks, midsection, lower back, arms, and thighs. So, set your body shoulder-width apart and as you assume a full squat position, swing back the kettlebell to your shoulder level. This opens up the arm muscles.
5. Dumbbell Kickbacks
This works for your triceps. So, grab that dumbbell with both hands and hold it behind your neck. Now, drop and lift the dumbbell in that position. Focus on your elbows being locked in.
6. The Good Old Bicep Curl
For this, you can either stand up straight with a barbell or a dumbbell in each hand. By keeping your elbows close to your torso, and palms facing forward, lift the barbell or dumbbell toward your chest. Maintain an arm’s length distance between the two hands.
Nutrition Tip: Food To Keep At An Arm’s Length
Use the arm strength that you have gained with all the exercises to push away processed food, junk food, refined food, and sugar-laden foods. These foods do more harm than good to you. If you want to ensure that your arms remain toned, you need to focus on your diet too. Just working the muscles isn’t enough. Like they say, the thumb rule to weight loss is 75 percent diet and 25 percent workouts (2).
Open Your Arms To These Foods Instead!
Remember the thumb rule: eat clean, lean, and fresh whole foods. Ensure that each meal includes whole grains, proteins, vegetables, and fruits in an adequate quantity. Keep a track of the calories you’re consuming and set a danger limit (like your car starts beeping before you cross the speed limit). For women, the daily intake should be between 1800 to 2400 calories, while for men, it is 2400 to 3000 calories depending on the lifestyle (3). Cutting calories speeds up your fat loss process. So, eat smart and include natural fat burners like green tea, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and whole grain foods in your diet (4).
So, what did we learn today? If you really want to target fat loss, you should be consistent and regular. What are we waiting for? Time to work those arm muscles every day to tighten the triceps, define the biceps, and prep ourselves to flaunt that strapless little black dress!