How to tone sagging arms while keeping them slim. Here are the most useful exercises you can do on your own, safely and from home.
If it is true that our face is our interface with the world, the arms are the litmus test of our physical shape. If you put on a couple of pounds, it will deposit in your inner arm and will do so blatantly by weighing it down. Worse still, if you lose weight too quickly, you run the risk of “bingo wings”. The result? Having to keep your arms tight against your sides and only move your forearms, and there’s nothing for it but to wear long sleeves. A solution is urgently needed.
Let’s start with nutrition.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for toning your arms without bulking up – a combination of good habits is key. The first imperative is to take care of your diet, starting with the usual formulas: cut down on carbohydrates, opt for whole wheat pasta, eliminate sweets, eat fruit and vegetables and above all drink plenty of water to drastically reduce fluid retention also on the arms .
Exercise is the best solution, just don’t overdo it.
Physical activity is undoubtedly indispensable, but it can be a double-edged sword, especially if you’re tempted to overdo it. Exercises that make you lose weight also tend to build arm mass. Evidently winding up with bodybuilder biceps and triceps isn’t the solution we are looking for.
The ideal exercises, meaning the ones which will get you slender, proportionate arms, i.e. with the perfect length to mass ratio, do not require a gym: you can do them at home, in a nearby park, or at most in the pool. Furthermore, they don’t involve the use of machines, dumbbells or barbells, but they are free-body, meaning they exploit your own body weight, the water’s resistance, and only exceptionally some light weights like a half-filled bottle of water. The only ingredient you can’t leave out? Consistency.
To avoid a “curtain” effect, lose weight and tone your arms simultaneously.
These exercises should be done three times a week (for example Monday, Wednesday and Friday), to allow the muscles time to relax (on the other days you can train other parts of the body.) And remember to do three repetitions for each exercise and to give yourself a rest between each set.
Before you start with the arm exercises, if you are not a physically active person (as is likely, since you’re reading this advice…), warm up your muscles by doing some stretching. This will avoid you getting injured. The last thing you need is a period of forced immobility!
Seated tricep extensions.
This is an exercise you can safely perform at home. You only need a full bottle of water, preferably a two-liter one.
- Take up a comfortable position, standing, sitting or kneeling. Grasp a two-liter bottle of water with both hands. Fully extend your arms and lift the bottle over your head.
- Lower the bottle behind your head by bending your elbows. Inhale slowly. Keep your elbows still. Stop when the bottle touches your neck.
- Take a one-second break, then exhale, stretch your arms and bring them back to the starting position.
This exercise requires two small weights, for example two half-liter water bottles, which you will hold in each hand. Depending on how you hold the bottles, you will engage a different arm muscle. A hammer hammer grip will exercise your forearm. A supinated grip (with your wrists rotated by 90°) will train your biceps more. You can do two separate sets of 3 reps, to train your arms harmoniously.
- Begin the exercise with your arms stretched out by your sides, your back straight and your legs slightly bent.
- Flex your forearm trying to keep your elbow in place. While you contract the muscle, breathe out.
- Return to the starting position inhaling slowly, and repeat the exercise with the other arm.
Lateral raises, as everyone knows, do not specifically exercise the arms muscles, but the shoulders and in particular the deltoid and trapezius muscles. But we have included them in this sheet to create a harmonious connection between the arms and the rest of the body.
- Begin the exercise by positioning yourself with your legs apart and your hands at your sides.
- Lift your arms out to the sides up to shoulder height, stop and breathe out.
- Now slowly lower with your arms to your sides, inhaling.
This exercise works your triceps, especially if you keep your elbows close to your body. You can safely use any chair you have at home. But why not take advantage of a nice day and do this exercise on a park bench?
- Begin the exercise by placing your hands on the edge of the bench. Keep your arms semi-flexed and your elbows as close to your hips as possible. Your legs should be straight or slightly bent in front of you. Keep only your heels on the ground.
- Now slowly lower yourself until a 90 degree angle is formed between your torso and elbows. As you contract the muscles, inhale.
- By pressing on the triceps, slowly return to the starting position, exhaling.
Jogging is a great activity for losing weight. By running, you will not only burn a bunch of calories, but the circular movement you make with your arms when you run will make them shed weight harmoniously. You could run on your rest days from the other exercises, for example on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Start with a five minute walk, rotating your arms back and forth to prepare them for movement.
- Start your running session. Since your goal is to lose weight, know that the body begins to burn fat after the first thirty minutes of running. So try to run at least 40 minutes and focus on the last ten minutes.
- Close your session by doing at least ten minutes of stretching. Remember that stretching is not only used to lengthen and protect the muscles, but also to make your skin more elastic.
Swimming is also an activity that allows you to lose weight and strengthen your arms simultaneously. As for the weight loss, you won’t see amazing results in the first weeks because the burned fat will simply be compensated by muscle toning. But this is already a great result. To begin to lose weight in a visible way, you must start interval training, which alternates high intensity phases (at a heart rate between 60 and 70% of your maximum heart rate) with others of light intensity recovery .
- Crawl is the most propulsive style and with the lowest energy expenditure, and practically engages all the muscles of the shoulders and arms.
- Backstroke, too, which is nothing more than an inverted crawl, also exercises the aforementioned muscles.
- Breaststroke, on the other hand, exercises the arm muscles less, and can therefore be used to rest and recover.