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One of the most dreaded physical traits in many women, is flabby arms. Even though men develop flabby arms too, it seems more horrifying for a woman than a man. Often associated with growing old and out of one’s control, it’s not. In most cases, there’s a simple solution.
The two exercises that will give you the biggest bang for buck are push ups and dips.
The part of the arm I’m referring to is the back of the upper arm. If you raise your arm and shake it, or flick it with the fingers of your opposite hand, does it wobble?
My grandma had flabby arms for as long as I could remember. She referred to them, as many people do, as tuck-shop lady arms. I think that’s a bit discriminatory but fairly enough, she too was a tuck shop lady.
Contrary to what many people believe, flabby arms aren’t the inevitable result of growing older. Most often than not, they result from a lack of use. Use which develops muscle. Not big bulky muscle. Muscle that grows as a result of lifting your own body weight.
If it’s been years since you ever lifted your own body weight, there are heaps of exercises you can do to develop strength (and muscle) in your upper arms. The type of muscle that makes your upper arms tight, not flabby.
Exercises to Get Rid of Flabby Arms
Push Ups. This exercise is probably the most valuable exercise of the lot. Push ups strengthen multiple muscle groups in your upper body. They also achieve the functional movement of getting off the ground. Watch this video on how to perform push ups correctly and modify them to suit your ability (even if you haven’t done push ups in years).
Dips. This is another functional exercise just like push ups. Dips serve the purpose of helping you get up from a seated position. Also like push ups, dips strengthen multiple muscle groups including your triceps and chest. Watch this video on how to perform dips effectively and safely.
Supine Tricep Extensions. This exercise isolates the tricep muscle on the back, upper part of the arm. Weak tricep muscles are a leading cause of flabby arms. There are several ways to perform tricep extensions. The best way is using a tricep extension machine like in the image above. But the exercise I recommend is supine tricep extensions because all you need are some dumbbells (or an object with some weight to it). You don’t need access to a gym. When performing the supine tricep extension, you are holding the weights above your face so it can be a little dangerous. Watch this video to learn how to do them safely and effectively.
Arm Circles. This exercise develops muscular endurance in and around your shoulder. They are very good for protecting the shoulder joint. Arm circles are great because they create definition and develop lean, dense muscle of the upper arm, shoulder and upper back. The circular movement encourages the surrounding muscles to contract, helping to reduce flabby arms. Watch this video for how to perform arm circles safely and properly.
Lateral Raises. This exercise really targets the muscle on the outer, upper part of the arm, known as the deltoid. Although not the main muscle contributing to flabby arms, it is a muscle that needs to be strengthened to support the other muscles of the upper arm. This is an exercise that can lead to a shoulder injury if not done correctly. Holding a dumbbell by your side, raise your hands to shoulder height, ensuring you don't go any higher. To make this exercise easier, apart from holding a lighter weight, start with your elbows bent at 90 degrees and raise your elbows to shoulder height. Keep your elbows bent throughout the entire movement and again, don't go above shoulder height. Doing so in this position and under load, places pressure on one of the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder.
Bicep Curls. This exercise isolates the biceps on the front, upper part of the arm. It is not as valuable for eliminating flabby arms as the others; however, it is still important because it develops the opposing muscle to the triceps, the biceps. Biceps curls are a simple exercise that are often mistaken with other types of bicep exercises. Watch this video on how to get the most out of bicep curls by following the ‘grain’ of the muscle.
These exercises all develop the upper arm in different ways. The two exercises that will give you the biggest bang for buck are push ups and dips. Tricep extensions will target the main muscle associated with flabby arms, the triceps. Because you can change the weight of the dumbbells you’re holding, you can do this exercise regardless of how strong you are. Therefore, they are a great place to start. Arm circles, lateral raises and bicep curls help to develop the upper arm as a whole and provide support to the triceps.
What have you tried to get rid of flabby arms?
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