What Are the Causes of Flabby Arms?
If flab has crept its way to your arms, creating an embarrassing jiggle, you are not alone. Your arm skin, particularly the upper portions, become looser with age. Another cause is body fat; if you're overweight, you are more likely to have excess fat stores in your arms. While you can't change your age, you can lose weight to reduce arm flab. You can also use resistance exercises to tone your arm muscles, although these won't remove any fat.
Flabby arms are often a natural result of aging. As you grow older, your skin loses elasticity and connective tissue degrades, causing a saggier appearance. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do to remedy this unless you're willing to undergo plastic surgery. However, there is one aspect of aging that you can fight: fat accumulation. Body fat may increase by up to 30 percent as you grow older, but you can combat this with a healthy, reduced-calorie diet and plenty of exercise.
Excess fat can cause flabby arms at any age. Based on your genetics, you may store more fat in your arms than other areas. You can't spot train to shave fat directly from your arms, but if you're overweight you'll benefit by losing fat overall. Determine your calorie needs using a calorie expenditure calculator, available free online. Then cut 500 to 1,000 calories from the daily amount required to maintain your weight, without going below 1,200 calories. Exercise five days a week in addition to your diet, and you will lose about one to two pounds every week.
Pushups build muscle in the triceps, which won't cut into the flab but will add definition to your arms. If traditional pushups are too difficult at first, start with assisted pushups. Stand about two feet back from your kitchen counter or a surface of similar height. Shift your weight to your toes, and place your hands on the counter just past shoulder-width apart. Bend at the elbows until your chest or chin meets the countertop. Push back up, and repeat 12 times. Do two to three sets of pushups.
When exercising one muscle, it's important to also work the opposing muscle. Biceps oppose triceps, so do curls along with your pushups. Hold a dumbbell or unopened can of food in each hand. Sit straight in a chair with your abdominal muscles engaged, feet flat and shoulder-width apart. Raise your hands towards your shoulders by bending at the elbows. Your elbows should remain close by your sides as you lift. Lower your hands back down, and repeat for a total of 12 repetitions. Perform two to three sets.
- IdeaFit.com: Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions In A Fitness Center (And Their Answers)
- MedlinePlus: Aging Changes in Body Shape
- HelpGuide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips
- Shapefit.com: Right To Bare Arms - Great Exercises For Women Who Want Amazing Arms
- NCPAD: Week 2 Video Tip: Upper Body Strengthening Exercises Using Common Household Items
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.