Sick of looking in the mirror and seeing flabby arms? If you’re a woman suffering from the insecurity that your upper arms are fat then I’m going to show you how to get rid of them. I know we all love our body for what it is but there’s also nothing wrong with wanting to improve it too.
We all have those stubborn areas on our bodies that need improvement like your arms and shoulders. Sometimes even if you lose weight on the rest of your body these stubborn spots like arm fat always seem to be a little bigger than the rest.
Carrying this flab in your arms even after losing weight almost everywhere else on your body can be frustrating. But don’t listen to anybody who tells you that your arms are so big and wobbly they’ll never get slim and toned.
I’m sure by now you know there aren’t any quick fixes but there is a full proof plan you can follow to get results. And the solution isn’t just losing more weight. Crazy enough just losing weight can make your upper arm fat look even worse!
Why Your Upper Arms Are So Fat
I once started working with a lady who told me she nearly cried after taking her “before pictures.” Once she saw her arms she gasped and in her words told me how “horrible” they looked. But the good news is you can make progress on losing your arm fat and get them slimmer.
Sure genetics are going to play a role in carrying a lot of weight in your arms and upper body (1,2). Women tend to naturally carry more weight in the arms, hips, and thighs compared to men who store more in the belly (3,4). But just because you have a genetic predisposition for arm fat doesn’t mean you’re going to have to suffer from the hand you were dealt.
The truth is your genetics are only going to make up about 20% or so of your results. The rest is going to be from how consistent you are making some actual changes to your diet and exercise routine. Most women who have arm fat have gained a lot of weight at one point in their lives.
But even if you do succeed with weight loss that doesn’t mean the weight is going to come off from your arms at first. This is because even though you lost “weight” that doesn’t mean you’ll tone and slim this stubborn area. Just about anybody who has tried to lose weight will tell you how hard it is to lose this troublesome fat.
The problem with “losing weight” is you’ll be losing muscle along with fat (5). But you’re going to need to have some muscle on your arms to tone up and tighten them. Without muscle, they’ll end up being flabby and jiggly as well as unhealthy (6). If you look at the picture below you’ll see 5 pounds of fat vs 5 pounds of muscle. Both weigh the same but the muscle is much more compact and tighter than the fat.
You’ve probably heard that spot reducing doesn’t work for toning up certain parts on your body. Yes it’s true it won’t help you lose arm fat. There’s a much better way to lose arm fat…
Why Spot Reducing Doesn’t Work Well
The theory behind spot reduction is if you train a certain spot on your body then you’ll lose fat from there. So for example, if you did a bunch of sit-ups then you should expect to lose a beer belly (7). But it doesn’t work like this!
That’s because just doing these exercises that strengthen the muscle doesn’t mean it’s also going to directly burn fat from that area. Crazy enough if this is all you’re doing then you could very well make the area look bulkier than it should. That’s because you need to lose fat in your entire body. Just losing weight won’t lower your body fat very much. Crazy enough it sometimes makes your body fat go up even higher if you’re not doing any strength training.
A lot of people in the weight loss process end up losing a good amount of muscle along with fat. This results in flabby stubborn areas like big arms that don’t want to go away. This can throw a dagger in the heart of someone who worked hard to lose a lot of weight but their arms still remain just as flabby as before.
What You Need to Do to Lose Arm Fat
So now that you know weight loss isn’t really the answer it’s time to get down to brass tacks. The first part of the answer to how to lose fat on arms is to lower your body fat.
I’d recommend picking up a smart scale that can also measure your body fat. They’re not always the most accurate but they’ll help to give you a ballpark picture of your progress. Also, be sure to measure your inches on your body. This will let your know if you’re getting results towards slimming and toning your body (8).
With dieting, it’s best to go on a low calorie, low carb, and high protein diet. I’ve found in my experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach this formula works the best with those who have trouble keeping the weight off. A high protein and low carb diet also creates leaner bodies (9,10). For a complete nutrition plan to lose stubborn fat check out my Flat Belly Formula system.
Then you’ll need to do full-body strength training workouts to build lean toned muscle (11). This will naturally burn fat from your body while tightening it up with toned muscle. I recommend using a form of Metabolic Resistance Training and HIIT workouts. These are the most effective for rapid fat loss since they create an Afterburn effect. You can find a complete workout plan in my Flat Belly Formula program.
Finally, you’ll get the best results to get rid of arm fat when you combine those workouts with targeted exercises (12). These targeted exercises below when combined with the HIIT workouts will give you the best results possible for toning and slimming down your arms.
Best Upper Arm Exercises
Close Grip Pushups
Lying Tricep Extensions
Halfway Dumbbell Curls
Side Lunge Curls
Slim Arms Workout Plan
Now that you know the best exercises it’s time to start putting them together on a plan. You already discovered how ineffective spot reducing can be. So if you only did these exercises on their own then your results would end up being poor. But by adding them in along with the body fat burning diet and workouts strategies above you’ll get the best results possible.
The best workout plan is to combine the above targeted arm exercises with a HIIT workout. So for example you could do the biceps curl exercise along with doing stair sprints. You could also do the close-grip pushups along with jumping rope.
The trick is going to be to get your heart rate up high with fat burning workouts then to pepper in these targeted exercises. Your body will be in a fat-burning mode which will make it the ideal moment to use these exercises to build some toned muscle.
How do you get rid of arm flab?
Just losing “weight” isn’t the answer to getting rid of arm flab. You need to lower your body fat by adding lean muscle throughout your body (13). Then add in the targeted arm exercises above to tone up and slim down this stubborn area. The secret sauce is to combine HIIT and the targeted exercises above. With weight loss you’re also losing muscle which will only end up making you flabbier. This will make you have a tougher time getting rid of your upper arm flab.
The Last Word
A lot of people know what it’s like to have a disproportionally bigger body part compared to the rest of their body. And if you’ve noticed your shoulders and arms getting then bigger then it’s time to start taking action. Even cellulite can start to form in your arms if it gets too out of control.
It would be a shame if you never wore another sleeveless shirt or dress because you’d feel so conscious of wearing them. Genetics do play a role but that in no way means you can get some impressive results and make progress towards getting rid of them.
Most women find out that even if they start losing weight that their arms will still remain just as fat as before. But when you follow the plan above you’ll be able to lose arm fat faster and with better results than you thought possible. Following the exercise list above will help you lose arm fat when combined with other body fat burning strategies. Just make sure you’re not only focused on losing weight.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college level. He has over 10 years experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He hopes to be able to bring inspiration & results to people all over the world to live a healthier life through diet & exercise.