Whatever you like to call yours, I’m sure you don’t like the look or feel of that saggy, shaky skin under your arms.
I know I’ve deliberately sought out swimming costume tops with sleeves just to keep my sagging arms tucked in, and I’ve even worn long-sleeved shirts in ninety degree weather.
And while weight and age can certainly contribute to your arm flapping, it doesn’t necessarily discriminate.
I know my friend wears a size two and has always been short; yet she’s been struggling to get rid of her “bat wings” since her thirties!
That’s because there are different things that can give you wings (and no, it’s not Red Bull).
As well as looking far from cute, having extra skin flapping in the wind is just plain uncomfortable.
But can you really do anything about it?
Spoiler alert: YES, it is possible to reduce and even eliminate your flabby arms!
Before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at why you have arm fat to begin with.
Flabby arms are caused by:
Drastic weight gain – Very often those extra pounds settle into your arms, resulting in flabby, heavy wings, especially if you lack the muscle to help keep things high and tight.
Extreme weight loss without muscle building – I know! Totally unfair, but just because you lose weight quickly doesn’t mean you will magically be toned and fit.
Age – As we age, we lose muscle mass and skin elasticity, which can lead to those pesky bingo wings (and it’s just harder to lose weight after a certain age).
Genetics – some people just tend to develop flabby arms, regardless of their weight or age (thanks Mum and Dad!)
Exercises to tighten flabby arms
And now the part you’ve been waiting for: it’s time to sweat it out and embrace those flying squirrel arms for good!
These exercises will definitely help you tone and tighten your arms, and they’ll also burn some serious calories while you’re at it.
And the more lean muscle mass you build, the more calories and fat you’ll burn even when you’re not pumping iron.
I can already hear your groans, and I get it, I’m not a fan of push-ups either.
But this exercise is a popular staple for a reason: it actually gets results!
Although push-ups are often thought of as chest exercises, they also work the triceps to tighten and tone your arms.
Pro tip: if you can’t manage a regular push-up, you can modify it!
The two best ways for beginners to do push-ups are knee push-ups (where you’re on your knees instead of in a full plank position) or incline push-ups (with your hands on the wall or on a counter or floor bench).
You still get some of the burn and you will be working most of the same muscle groups.
- Triceps dips
For this exercise you will need a sturdy bench or chair. You can use a couch if that’s your only option; but for proper form, we suggest sticking to something solid.
You’ll want to make sure that whatever you use for this exercise won’t move, so push whatever you’re using against the wall to prevent it from sliding or tipping.
To do this exercise, sit down and wrap your hands around the front of the seat with your knuckles facing forward. Then slide your back end off the front of the seat and extend your arms to stand.
From here, slowly lower your body until your elbows bend at a 90 degree angle.
Dip your body down and up for about 30 seconds three times, resting about 30 seconds to a minute between sets.
If you have trouble doing this one, you can bend your knees a little more and put your feet flat, which will transfer some of the weight from your arms to your feet.
- Bicep curls
The key to this exercise is good posture and form. If you don’t tighten your biceps while doing this, you won’t get effective results from your movements.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand.
Let your arms relax with your hands at your sides, shoulders back, elbows level with your hip bones and palms facing forward.
Then, keeping your elbows bent to work only the biceps, lift both dumbbells , then slowly lower your arms to complete one rep.
Repeat for 10-12 reps three times with a 30 second rest between rounds.
- Front Punch
This is a great exercise to get your heart rate up between strength training exercises.
It’s important to maintain good form and keep your abs tight so you don’t throw your back out; but you don’t want to go too slow here.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
Make a fist with both hands. Then raise your arms, bend your elbow so that your arms are at a 90 degree angle, with your hands in front of your face.
Push forward with your right arm until it is straight with your palm facing the floor. Then pull it back to its starting position. Repeat with your left arm to complete one repetition.
From there, continue to strike forward, alternating arms between strikes for 60 seconds. Repeat three times with a 30 second rest between rounds.
- Arm Circles
You might look like you’re trying to fly, but trust me, this will help your wings disappear!
This exercise will seriously tone your shoulder and arm muscles, which will help tighten those wings back up.
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Then move your arms in a circle, either counterclockwise or clockwise.
Continue for about 30 seconds, then switch from counterclockwise to clockwise or vice versa.
To make it more challenging, hold a small dumbbell or 16-ounce water bottle in each hand.
Break up your flabby arms
These exercises may not be a “quick fix,” but building muscle and burning fat is the only way to remove flabby arms from your life forever.
It may not be easy, and exercises alone will certainly not make them disappear quickly, but when you work consistently, your body will reward you by melting away all that unwanted fat.
For even better results, you should also consider your skin.
Adding a collagen supplement to your diet will help repair aging or sagging skin from the inside, and a high-quality lotion will help restore moisture and elasticity from the outside.
Tighten and tone all over
If you’re looking for lower-impact exercises than those listed here, a daily yoga routine can also strengthen and tone your entire body.
Exercise is important no matter your age or size, but fast or high-impact exercises can be difficult to do, especially if you are new to exercise or not as agile as you once were.