Not only does saggy skin under your triceps indicate a decline in muscle strength, but it also signals accumulated body fat. While arm fat isn’t the most harmful, toning up can lead to a stronger, fitter appearance. Strengthening your arms improves daily tasks like pulling, pushing, and carrying.

To lose arm fat and tone up, you need to focus on two things: reducing overall body fat through weight loss and building lean muscles in your arms with targeted workouts. It’s essential to understand that spot reduction of arm fat isn’t possible through exercises alone.

Lean, toned arms result from a combination of muscle development and fat loss. To achieve this, it’s crucial to address both aspects. Simply doing arm exercises won’t lead to fat loss in the arms alone

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How to Lose Arm Fat and Get Toned Arms

Arm Exercises to Tone and Strengthen

Clients often express a desire to lose weight or trim fat from specific areas like the back of the arms, midsection, or thighs. It’s essential to understand that spot reduction is not possible.

To target fat loss in areas such as the arms, a holistic approach involving full-body workouts and a balanced diet is necessary. Lowering overall body fat contributes to slimming desired areas.

However, for toning the arms and building upper body muscle, numerous arm exercises can aid in achieving this objective.

6 Best Exercises to Strengthen and Tone Your Arms

6 Best Exercises to Strengthen and Tone Your Arms

While there’s no secret formula for slimming your arms, focusing on exercises that engage the biceps, triceps, and shoulders can certainly aid in toning them.

1. Biceps Curl

Biceps Curl
  • The biceps curl targets the upper front of your arm, that bump you think of when you flex your arm.
  • To perform, grab a set of dumbbells or kettlebells and hold one in each hand, palms in. Stand tall, feet hip-width distance apart. Have a slight bend in your knees and engage your abdominals.
  • Exhale while bending both your left and right elbow, and curl the weights toward your shoulders. Remember to keep your elbows tucked in, and your shoulder blade neutral.
  • Squeeze your biceps at the top of the repetitions.
  • Inhale and with control, lower the weights back to the original position. 
  • You can also perform one arm at a time. Start with your feet hip-width, weight in your right hand. Get an even number of repetitions on both sides before moving on to the next exercise.
  • Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets.

2. Triceps Kickbacks

Triceps Kickbacks

The tricep kickback is an isolation exercise that will hit the back of the arm, where those pesky “bat wings” are.

  • Start standing in a neutral position with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. 
  • Feet hip-width is also acceptable. Have a slight bend in your knees and a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells in your hands.
  • This time, your palms will be facing in, toward your body. Bend elbows, shoulder blade neutral.
  • Hinge forward at your hips until your torso is parallel with the ground or your lower back. Engage your abs. 
  • Bring the dumbbells towards your chest, elbows at a 90-degree bend. With your elbows glued to your rib cage, extend your arms behind you. 
  • At the top of the rep, squeeze the triceps. Return to the start position.
  • Note that this movement may feel complicated. If so, use a single dumbbell, one arm at a time in a lunge until you master the movement, or try the triceps extension. 
  • Complete the same number of repetitions on both sides before moving on to the next exercise. Do 10-12 reps for 3 sets.

This arm exercise can also be performed with a resistance band. Hold the end of the band in each hand with the middle under your left foot in a lunge. Pull your left hand back, then return to the original position.

3. Lateral Raise

Lateral Raise

The lateral raise will work to give your shoulders, lats, and back muscle tone!

  • Standing in a neutral position, feet hip-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides and have a slight bend in your knees. (If using kettlebells, it’s a kettlebell lateral raise.)
  • Keeping a straight spine, engage your core, and with control, slowly lift the weights out to the side. You want to aim for shoulder height, chest height, or parallel to the floor. Do not raise your shoulder blades during this movement.
  • Again, this is all about control, slowly lower the dumbbells down by your hips to the start position.
  • Trainer modification: if working both arms with a pair of dumbbells at the same time is a bit too intense, try a single-arm variation.
  • Stand with your feet hip-width. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand by the right side of your body, palm down. 
  • Raise to the height of your right shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side with your opposite arm in an even number of reps before moving on to the next exercise. Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets.

Also, consider using a resistance band. Stand in the center and hold the end of the band in each hand. Raise both arms to the side. Return to the original position.

4. Diamond Push-ups

Diamond Push-ups

This bodyweight pushup variation is an amazing exercise that works not just your arms but essentially your whole body, including your quads, glutes, and core.

  • Begin in the standard push-up position, however instead of your hands shoulder-width apart, they will be centered with your forefingers and thumbs connected creating a diamond shape with your hands.
  • Rotate your shoulders out to engage your lats. 
  • In a controlled manner, bend at the elbows, separating your scapulae, bringing the front of your chest toward your hands, and your forehead toward the mat. 
  • Press back up to the start position. That is 1 rep.
  • Lower down before returning back to the original position.
  • Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets.

5. Chair Dips

Chair Dips

Chair dips are a compound exercise often called triceps dip and boy will they light the back of your arms on fire!

  • Start seated in a chair on a stable surface. Grip the outer edges of the chair firmly with each hand. Walk your feet out in front of you as you slip your glutes off the seat and they are hovering in front of the chair.
  • Bend knees. Your thighs should both be at 90-degree angles, hip-distance apart, and feet flat on the ground. Make sure your left foot is in line with your right.
  • Engage your core muscles. On an exhale, lower your hips, and bend your elbows at the arms to a 90-degree angle. Press through your hands, using your arm muscles to bring your glutes back to the initial position. That is one rep. Continue for 10-12 reps for 3 sets.

6. Rows

  • Grab your resistance band for one of my favorite resistance training exercises that will tackle the major muscles in your upper back!
  • Stand on the center of a recovery band, with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Hold the handles at the end of the band in the palm of your hand, arms by your sides. Bend knees slightly.
  • Hinge forward until your torso is parallel with the mat.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together as you pull each end of the band to your sides, elbow up in a 90-degree bend. Engage the backs of your upper arms. Return to the start position. That is rep.
  • Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets.

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