Best Arm Exercises to Lose Arm Fat for GOOD!

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If you shy away from sleeveless shirts because you’re afraid of unleashing some gnarly “bat wings”, you can lose arm fat by doing arm exercises that target the triceps. Most people are familiar with the bicep – which is on the top of the arm. The tricep muscle is a long muscle that is found on the backside of your arm that runs from your elbow to your shoulder.

Closely Monitor Your Food Intake

“What? This isn’t an exercise…?!” However, you WILL be amazed at how much you can accomplish just by eating the right foods and keeping your daily calorie count in check. I played around with some things and have lost an additional 5 pounds in the last 3-4 weeks due to making changes to my diet. (Post on that lil’ experiment coming soon!)

The secret to monitoring your food intake successfully is to journal every morsel of food and drop of liquid (besides water) that hits your tongue. If you skip the things you nibble on throughout the day – you won’t be successful. You have to record EVERYTHING. If you do this for 1 week, you may find that you’re eating too many calories, consuming too many carbs, too much sugar, etc. Either way, you’ll know how you’re eating and how much. Record things like calories, fat, carbs, protein and sodium. An easy way to do this is by using an online calorie counter like My Fitness Pal.

*If you need help to determine how many calories you should be eating, check out this helpful weight loss calculator.

The Best Arm Exercises for ‘Bat Wings’

*These are my very unprofessional stick people drawings to help illustrate these exercises.

REMEMBER: You CANNOT spot reduce fat (without scary, expensive and invasive surgery).

The best arm exercises to help you lose arm fat are those that target the triceps – that’s where you see most of the sagging that some refer to as “bat wings”. Building the tricep muscle will help strengthen and tighten the overall area while cardio will help shed the excess fat faster. Strength training allows you to build muscle density which will firm up your muscles and also help you raise your resting metabolic rate. Increasing your metabolic rate will help your body burn more calories during the day which in turn, will help you lose fat all over – faster.

  • Overhead Triceps Extensions: These can be done by standing with your hands grasping a dumbbell behind your head. You can do these using one or both arms. Carefully raise the dumbbells over your head and then slowly lower back down. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
  • Push-Ups: Push-ups are very effective in strengthening the upper body. The best thing about them is that you don’t need any equipment. If you can’t do a push-up, begin by doing wall push-ups, progress to push-ups on the floor on your knees and then finally to a full push-up. Having your hands closer together will help to target the triceps more.
  • Kickbacks: This exercise is actually a bit putzy for me but it does provide excellent results. You can do these by kneeling on the floor or on a bench supporting your body with the non-working arm. Upper arm should be parallel to floor. Extend your arm out until it’s straight and then go back to the starting position and repeat.
  • Dips: Using a bench or stable chair, position your hands so they’re about shoulder-width apart. Move your butt out just in front of the bench, bend your knees a bit and place your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Straighten your arms but keep a slight bend in the elbow to keep the tension on your triceps. Slowly lower your body down until your arms form a 90-degree angle, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench and never let your neck sink and your ears should never dip towards your shoulders.

More arm exercises to try:

  • Shoulder Press
  • Plank
  • Bicep Curls
  • Lateral Raises
  • Hammer Curls
  • Upright Rows
*Tip: Pick at least 2 exercises for each muscle group, including the biceps, triceps and shoulders, and perform 2 to 3 sets of each. You may opt to do biceps/triceps on one day and shoulders on another or work them all into one workout. Be sure to lift heavy enough that you’re being challenged without risking great form.

Home Workouts that Include Great Arm Work:

Pssst..! Don’t Forget Cardio

Cardiovascular activity will help your body burn extra calories which will allow you to lose weight at a faster rate. Try to do some form of cardio every other day (3-4 times per week) for at least 20 minutes. Interval training workouts can be done in as little as 10 minutes and are extremely effective for burning fat. Other cardio activities include running, jogging, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, etc.

So to recap, in order to lose arm fat you should be monitoring your diet, performing strength training activities that target the triceps area and also doing some cardiovascular activity. Eventually, you’ll happily reach for your favorite tank top – or better yet – buy some new ones!

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My name is Mindi and I'm an office manager and blogger living in Minnesota with my husband and our blended family of four children. Thank you for visiting Lifting Makes Me Happy! I fight depression and anxiety with healthy living and writing. I hope you are encouraged and motivated by the things I share here. I appreciate you stopping by!

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  1. Mandy T says:

    woo hoo! excited to lose my bat wings! thanks for the tips. Love the drawings too! :D

  2. Boot Camp Sydney says:

    Articles are created to express different body of knowledge. That is why I admire writers who are passionate of doing such incredible job. I salute you guys. By the way, I like your post; I look forward for your subsequent post’s…

  3. For healthy body exercise is really important

  4. Very good job, passionate writing with lots of information.

    Kelly Jo

  5. Definitely.

  6. Kate at Flex Belt says:

    Hi Melinda! I LOVE your “stick people” drawings! Wonderful! One thing that I’ve been doing that seems to be helping my triceps (and I didn’t even start this with my triceps in mind) is when I warm up before going out for a walk. What I do is pick up my small, 2-pound weights, and get into a squat (kind of to just work my thighs) and then do what I call “karate punches” witih the weights.

    I’ll only do it for 30 – 60 seconds, but the motion of my arms going back and forth w/ the weights has seemed to make a difference in my arm tone!

    I do it to the song “Mony Mony” by Tommy James and the Shondells (giving away my age here! LOL!) – and the beat is awesome! It does a nice job of getting me ready for my walk – but with that added benefit of helping my arms!
    :) Kate

  7. Heyy really great information for arm exercise. I am going to try this one and will post what happen. But I think it will really beneficial exercise.

  8. nice blog website

  9. Well, I am going to give these exercises a well deserved shot!

  10. I liked this and published it on my site, with article source of course. Here it is: Hope that’s fine with you!

  11. This is great!! m really looking forward to health and fitness program so m gonna start with first shaping my arms.:)

  12. You rightfully point out that you can’t spot-reduce …yet go on to claim that these exercises will do exactly that.

    • No, that’s actually not what I’m saying. Building muscle helps your body burn more fat all over.. but I also know a lot of women neglect to workout their arms and I feel it’s important to include them (because it is). Thanks for your insight though!

  13. 4 great exercises to really hit the triceps. Diamond press ups are a little harder than a standard press up but hit the triceps hard.

  14. Hey thx! i want 2 lose weight before summer! its march and im dying 2 where a sleevless shirt that will show off my sexy arms!!! I also want 2 lose leg fat… wats the fastest way 2 lose leg fat??? wat type of excersise????!!!!!

  15. hi thx 4 info… i really want skinny arms & legs cuz summer is comin up.. its march rite now and im dying 2 get skinny :)

  16. ii been working out about 2 years and I did lose weight but I still have fat around my tricep and also belly. I am having a hard time losing those area HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!

  17. Veronica V. says:

    MELINDA, God bless you these are wonderful helpful tips. JUST FOR INFO ..I am 24 yrs old 142and pounds and I have a 7 month old. My husband and I decided that I will stay at home with the baby until he is a year old. So you can imagine besides the cleaning and cooking, I found myself watching television alot dor entertainment and perhaps for adult time. When u watch tv u dont really watch what you eat I went from 135a to 142 and it seems impossible to lose it. I will follow everything you said …i hope it works and keep up the good encouraging work :-)

    • I find that when I watch tv I snack more so that definitely sounds about right. Unfortunately. Lol! Enjoy your time at home with your little one – time goes by so fast! Thanks for visiting – be sure to let me know if you ever have any questions. Would love to help. :) I know it can be tough to get everything done and make time for yourself with kids!

  18. the drawings could have been more clear..

    • These were completely just for fun! They aren’t meant to be used as your go-to diagram for proper exercise instruction and body alignment. I’m not a pro and neither are my drawings.

  19. I do agrеe with all of the сoncepts you’ve presented in your post. They’гe really сonνincing and ωill
    certainly ωork. Stіll, the pοsts аre too short for starterѕ.
    Could you pleasе lengthen them a lіttle from subsequent time?
    Thank you foг the pоst.

  20. You are absolutely right when you say that many women neglect to target their arms when trying to reduce fat through exercise. It’s not an attempt at “spot reduction,” which I totally agree is an ineffective concept.

    Women with some extra fat commonly have these around the triceps area, not only at the hips, etc. And it’s a very good thing that you’ve shown us some of the best exercises to address this “fat hotspot” in particular.

    Those stick figures are hilarious and effective:) Dumbell kickbacks, done very strictly, are a killer exercise!

  21. Heather Jameson says:

    Great post and exercises…. To be honest, my arms were so big that I was ashamed to go out of the house without a jacket on. However, I managed to lose my arm fat, and a lot of weight just with an easy cleanse, some foods that burn fat and special workout for all muscles, not only arms. Check my story and the keys of losing arm fat on — —–

  22. What’s up, just wanted to say, I loved this post. It was funny.
    Keep on posting!
    Muscle Pro Xtreme recently posted…Muscle Pro XtremeMy Profile

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