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-Mind Your Damn Fitness-
Got a little (or a lot) more jiggle and wiggle in your arms than you care to admit? Looking to get rid of arm fat WITHOUT doing push-ups or lifting weights?
First, let’s acknowledge that most people notice some excess arm fat at some point in their life. This is especially true as we age. So know that you’re NOT alone!
Second, I’m sure you showed up to this particular post for a reason. You’ve got shit to do, so you’re not looking for some lengthy arm workout. You want a workout that is effective at delivering results in a handful of minutes per day. Trust me, I’ve got you covered.
As a former gymnast and a Dr. of Physical Therapy, I have tons of effective exercises that can shape and sculpt pretty much any area of the body. But the reality is a lot of these moves are hard!
So for this post, I’ve used principles of effective strength training to create a simple, single move that will zap away your arm fat in less than 3 minutes a day. To maximum your results, make sure your read this full post and view the exercise demonstration and break down!
The key to toned arms
If you want to get rid of arm fat, the key is knowing 1) which muscle groups to target and 2) the most effective way to activate target muscles. Both of these concepts go hand-in-hand when selecting the best exercise.
Your upper arm muscles include both the triceps (on the back of the arm) and biceps (on the front of the arm). Both your triceps and biceps create movement at your elbow joint. However, it’s sagging in the triceps area that gives rise to “bingo wings”. So to get rid of arm fat, you’ll want to primarily focus on toning the triceps muscle group.
Whether the triceps or biceps muscle group is activated depends on the type of motion and whether you’re moving with or against gravity. When fitness experts describe the action of a muscle, we always reference gravity.
Actions that move your body or limbs against gravity require “concentric” muscle contractions. Your triceps concentrically contract to extend (straighten) your elbow during the upward motion of a push-up.
“Eccentric” muscle contractions are the exact opposite of concentric. Actions that move your body or limbs with gravity require “eccentric” muscle contractions. Your triceps eccentrically contract to lower your body (bend your elbow) during the downward motion of a push-up.
So why does any of this matter?
It’s because slow, eccentric muscle contractions are the secret ingredient to strengthen and tone your muscles, particularly when you’re only using your body weight! And as you’ll see in my exercise demonstration below, I’ve combined the power of eccentric training with multi-joint movements to deliver a simple-yet-effective exercise to get rid of arm fat.
Get rid of arm fat with this simple exercise
This simple, controlled move is deceivingly good at targeting the triceps!
The best part is that you can do this exercise ANYWHERE…. no weights or special equipment required! And so that means you can (and should) perform this move a few times throughout the day. Waiting for your shower to warm up? Do it. Watching a TV show? Do it. Computer taking a while to download something? Do it! The bottom line is that you should it all the time!
Here’s how it’s done:
1) Sit on floor with knees bent
With feet flat on floor, place your hands behind your back with your elbows pointing directly behind. It’s important that your elbows point straight behind you, and not out to the side, during the entire exercise.
2) Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift your chest tall
Your chest should be proud and elbows should still be pointing straight behind you. Gaze directly in front of you to ensure your neck stays in an upright position throughout the exercise.
3) Straighten your arms to lift butt off the ground
Keeping your chest proud and neck tall, straighten your arms and shift shoulders slightly back to lift your butt off the ground. Don’t try to lift your butt too high though as that is not necessary to target the triceps. Notice that my butt is only a few inches off of the ground.
4) Bend arms and lower butt to just above the floor
Imagine that you are tracing an oval with your torso during this motion. When you bend your elbows, allow your body weight to shift backwards at the start of the motion. Just make sure you keep your elbows pointed straight back and do NOT let your butt touch the ground.
5) Keeping arms bent, hover and glide your butt forward
This portion of the motion is more of a glide than anything else. Keeping elbows bent and your torso at the same height, shift your body weight so that your body slowly glides forward.
6) Straighten arms to complete the motion
Straighten your arms to complete one repetition of the motion. Notice that my shoulders are positioned slightly ahead of my hands when I initially straighten my arms. This is because my body weight is still shifted forward. However, as I move to continue to do additional repetitions, my shoulders (and body weight) will shift backwards again.
You’ll notice that the further you shift your weight in front of and behind your hands during the exercise, the more challenging it is. So in the beginning, start by making small ovals with your torso. As you start to master the exercise, push yourself by making the oval motion even longer.
So exactly how many times should you complete this exercise to get rid of arm fat? Aim for 30 total repetitions 2-3 times per day. You can take as many breaks as you need, but try your best to complete at least 5 repetitions in a row (and build from there).
Just when you think you’ve got nothing left and you’re ready to stop, perform the move in the opposite direction for 5 repetitions (or until you’re completely tuckered out)! Even when you reverse the motion, you’re still targeting your triceps, albeit at slightly different angles.
Consistently perform this exercise daily for 1-2 weeks and you’ll be amazed out how quickly you can tone your triceps. However, keep in mind that you cannot “spot treat” fat stores in the body. The best way to get rid of arm fat is to also include strategies that help boost your metabolism to more effectively burn fat stores throughout your body, like this at home HIIT workout .
Want to get fit but having a hard time staying motivated to exercise?