You’ve managed to lower your weight, but you wonder, why the flabby/jiggly/saggy arms still?
Well, that may be because as you age, you lose your skin’s elasticity. More so when your weight had dropped significantly in a short span of time.
In other cases, there’s the excess fats stored in your arms that are the culprit.
Sure, you can go the lazy route such as have the skin excised or the fats removed surgically. For some of us, though, these are not practical options when cost is an issue.
And then, there are those toning exercises meant to improve the muscle mass.
3 Arm Workouts for Muscle Toning
First things first: Although the exercises here focus on the arms, know that you cannot lose your fat in the arms while the rest of your body continues to gain fat. Experts would advise that exercise should thus be paired with good eating habits.
Exercises for muscle toning can benefit from a couple of workout tools: Those that are used as weights—and we are not necessarily referring to dumbbells because any item with weight and that which you can grip will actually do; and those for resistance exercises such as stretchable bands.
Upper arm exercises target two main muscle groups: The biceps and their more under-the-radar partner, the triceps (your muscles at the back of the arms).
- Arm circle motion. This exercise helps strengthen your upper arm muscles plus shoulders and back. Start by standing with feet wide apart and both hands out to the sides at shoulder height. Keeping your shoulders down, allow your extended arms to do 20 small backward circles. Then, do 20 forward circles.
2. Dumbbell triceps extension. You can do the dumbbell triceps extension while sitting on a bench or chair with your back straight and feet planted on the ground.
Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand and with arms extended above the head. Lower the dumbbell slowly behind the head until the elbows are flexed to full range of motion. Return the weight to the starting position with arms extended above the head to complete one repetition.
Remember to keep your elbows always close to your ears all throughout the exercise.
Image by stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
3. Tricep Kickbacks. This exercise focuses on your triceps muscles and would need dumbbells of at least 5 lbs.
Bend your upper body forward from the hips up, bend your elbows at 90 degree angle and extend your arms backward. Note that only your forearm should move, not the upper arm. Slowly return your arms to bent-elbow position. Do three sets of 12 repetitions.
By Everkinetic – http://db.everkinetic.com/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47434401.
To reap the full benefit of the exercise, form (referring to your body’s alignment or “lines” when doing a movement) is crucial. For instance, some people who had worked many hours in front of computers may find that their shoulders have a limited range of motion, and therefore might not be able to lift their arms high enough for the exercise to achieve its full result.
You can also work on your triceps by doing any pushing exercises, including bench press or push ups. But again, as your knowledge of the right form is key, cues provided by a fitness trainer, physical therapist, or simply a training buddy help you know if you’re doing the exercise correctly. For newbies, these are exercises you won’t want to try without proper guidance first.
Are Dumbbells and Resistance Bands for Everyone?
Some exercises make use of dumbbells and resistance bands. While these are generally safe training aids, it would not hurt if you discuss with your doctor your plans to take resistance or weight training and get his clearance.
Diabetics who are on medication, for example, might be advised to proceed with their training but with what physical therapists call “modifications” of an exercise. Don’t worry, if you are one. You’ll still be getting the exercise you need; it’s just that your safety is taken into consideration here.
Neither would you want to over-stress your joints if you already had some problems with them in the past. Here is where the dumbbells you use would matter. Go easy first. Start with light weights. And increase your load as you slowly increase your strength through regular exercise.
Just remember that weights aren’t chosen to impress the guy or woman beside you in the gym (wink, wink).
The same is true with resistance bands. These bands come in different colors, each representing a tension level: light, medium, heavy and very heavy. If you are new to doing workouts, don’t start with the heavy or very heavy bands as your muscles might not yet be able to handle their tension level.