Many women complain about flabby upper arms, sometimes referring to them as "bat wings." If you have a lot of excess fat in your arms, you can't reduce it with specific exercises — spot-training isn't possible. You need a comprehensive fat-loss plan.
But, the good news is that you can tone the upper arm area by strengthening your triceps along the back of your arms. So, when you do lose weight, there's muscle that looks lean and firm. Triceps exercises also build strength in these muscles that straighten your elbow and help with daily activities such as opening your car door and pushing yourself up out of bed.
Triceps strengthening can be done at home using your own body weight as resistance. Dumbbells and exercise bands can also be used as portable exercise equipment. Begin with 10 repetitions of each exercise, working up to three sets in a row.
Push-ups are a versatile exercise that can easily be adapted to your current fitness level. If you are new to push-ups, start with your knees bent or with your hands placed on an elevated surface.
HOW TO DO IT: Start on your hands and knees. Walk your hands forward until your knees are straight. Press down through the balls of your feet and lift your legs off the ground. Squeeze your buttock muscles and tighten your abdominals to keep your body straight throughout the exercise.
Position your hands directly below your shoulders. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest toward the ground, as far as you comfortably can. Press back up into the starting position. Keep your elbows next to your sides throughout the movement to better target your triceps.
2. Triceps Dip
Use a sturdy chair or coffee table to perform triceps dips. For extra stability, position the object against a wall.
HOW TO DO IT: With your back to the chair, place your palms on the edge of the seat. Straighten your elbows and balance your weight on your heels with your toes pointed toward the ceiling.
Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your bottom toward the floor, as far as you comfortably can. Press down through your palms and straighten your elbows to return to the starting position. Make the exercise more difficult by moving your feet further away from the chair.
3. Overhead Extension
To safely perform overhead exercises, start with lighter weights until you master the technique.
HOW TO DO IT: Sit up straight on a firm surface. Hold a dumbbell or other heavy object and lift your right arm straight up toward the ceiling. Bend your elbow and lower the weight behind your head. This is the starting position.
Straighten your elbow until your hand is pointed toward the ceiling. Slowly lower back down. Keep your elbow close to your ear throughout the movement. Repeat on the opposite side.
4. Resistance Band Pushdown
Bands are available in several levels of resistance, making it easy to progress these exercises as your strength improves.
HOW TO DO IT: Secure one end of the band in a door frame, near the top hinge. Stand facing the door with your elbow bent, holding the opposite end of the band in your right hand.
Keeping your upper arm against your side, straighten your elbow against the tension of the band. Slowly allow your elbow to bend to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.