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You’re probably wondering how to get skinny arms. If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone because bat wings and flabby arms are quite common. You may not believe this, but there are exercises that will burn calories around your arms and toning the muscles in this area.
It’s important to note that there is no such thing as spot fat reduction. Research after research has proved this to be a myth. Fortunately, combining different exercises that target different muscles will help you burn more calories per day and help you lose fat overall.
It’s your body that decides which fatty area to burn calories from, but if you don’t give up, the calorie-burning will eventually get to your arms. Also, exercises isolating and recruiting your arm muscles will help tone this area and bring you the results you desire sooner than later.
The exercises we discuss below have worked for millions of people of all ages and will no doubt work for you, too. What we recommend is for you to you pick at least three exercises to avoid the dreadful workout plateau and consistently work out for at least three months.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How to Lose Arm Fat with these 10 Exercises
Many people underestimate the power of cardio exercises when working to lose arm fat. Don’t fall into this category. As mentioned above, you need to do full-body workouts to trim down over-all body fat then do arm-focused exercises to sculpt your upper limbs.
For this, you can use machines like arm bikes, ellipticals, and home gym with weights, and you can also use your body weight for arm training. Check out these exercises below. They’re doable, they don’t need any special equipment, and you can do them anywhere.
1. Chair Dips
This exercise is not only effective in toning your arms, but it also works your back muscles. The advantage of chair dips is that is can be done anywhere.
You only need a chair or anything which is at least 2 feet above the ground and should be stable. Avoid soft cushioned surfaces like sofas. Ensure you have at least 3 feet space in front of the chair.
Here are the steps to a chair dip:
- Step 1: Stand close and face away from the chair. It can be a stool or bench or any support that is stable enough to accommodate your weight.
- Step 2: Pull your hands back and place them on the chair, shoulder-width apart.
- Step 3: Move your feet three steps away from the chair and maintain a straight upper body as your arms support most of your weight from behind.
- Step 4: With knees bent to match the chair, lower your body by bending your elbows. Sink your butt to the ground as if to sit down. Hold your position about an inch above the ground and pause for 2-3 seconds. You may also lightly tap the floor with your buttocks if that’s possible, but don’t force it.
- Step 5: Engage your upper arm muscles to push up to the starting position. Repeat the dip and aim at 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions each.
Do not attempt this exercise if you have a bad shoulder. You should also avoid rushing through the motions.
Push-ups are conventional body weight exercises that have proved to be the best in toning your core, chest, and upper arm muscles. Toning your abdomen is a sure way to compliment your effort to achieve a skinny upper arm.
For beginners, you can start with knee push-ups before you gain strength to perform the full push-ups.
Here is how to get skinny arms with push ups:
- Step 1: Get in a plank position with a straight arm, palms on the floor directly below your shoulders.
- Step 2: Lower your chest down towards the floor by slowly bending your elbows until your chest is about 2 inches above the floor. Pause for 1-2 seconds.
- Step 3: Push up back to the starting position. Make sure to make slow and controlled movements for effectiveness.
Push-ups work by the principal of toning your body and building muscles, and this makes them an effective way of getting rid of fat in your upper arm.
It is a proven way of getting skinny arms. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps each.
3. Counter Push-Ups
This is a push-up done in an almost standing position. Counter push-ups are less intense compared to traditional push-ups. Your arms are lightly worked, and this exercise focuses on stability too. You can use your kitchen counter or table.
Here is how to lose arm fat with counter push-ups:
- Step 1: Stand close to the counter or table while facing it. Place your hands on the edge of the counter and then take 2-3 steps away from it until your body leans forward.
- Step 2: Engage your core muscles to make sure you maintain a straight back as you balance your feet.
- Step 3: Lower your chest towards the edge of the counter by bending your elbows until it almost touches the counter. Pause and push back to starting position.
Aim at 3 sets of 20 – 25 repetitions each. Doing this consistently for 8 – 12 will leave you with well toned arms. Counter push is good for beginners.
Every fat losing journey should start from the heart, and the scissors is one cardio exercise that is simple and fun-filled.
Here is how to workout arms with the scissors exercise:
- Step 1: Stand upright with legs shoulder-width apart and arms lifted straight in front of you at shoulder height level.
- Step 2: Stretch your arms to the sides and then bring them back in front of you to create a “scissor movement”. You will achieve this by overlapping your hands as they come to meet in front of you.
- Step 3: Repeat stretching your hands to the sides again and bringing them back to cross each other. Make slow, controlled and rhythmic motions. Go for 15 – 20 repetitions and aim at 3 sets.
5. Arm Circles
If toning flabby arms are top on your agenda, then don’t miss out on this amazing exercise. Arm circles are low-impact exercises which can be done with or without weight.
If you choose to use weights in this exercise, use a maximum of 2 – 3lbs on each side. You can use dumbbells, water bottles or any convenient object that are comfortable to hold.
Here is how to do arm circles:
- Step 1: Start by standing upright or sitting on a ball with your legs shoulder-width apart and raise your arms to extend on your sides at shoulder level.
- Step 2: Rotate your hands in small forwards circles. Aim at 30-50 small circles. Have a rhythm. Pause for 2-5 seconds.
- Step 3: Make 30-50 small backwards circles at a controlled pace.
Do not do this exercise if you have a bad shoulder. The rotations may worsen the injury. These small back and forward circular movements work your entire arm muscles, and your back and shoulder muscles. This makes Arm circles a very effective option for losing arm fats extremely fast.
6. Weight Lifting
Of all the methods, weightlifting is the widely used technique to help tone muscle and reduce arm fat. It effectively works your arm and core to help you burn fat in other parts of the body too.
Weightlifting for toning flabby arms doesn’t have to be a flashy affair. You can use a dumbbell, water bottle, or any item which is comfortable to lift (you should not use breakable objects). Aim for a 1-kg weight.
Here is how to use weightlifting to get rid of flabby arms:
- Step 1: Hold the dumbbell or weight of your choice with both hands and lift straight above your head.
- Step 2: Tighten your grip on the dumbbell to engage your arm muscles. Bend your elbows to lower the weight behind your head. This motion should be slow and controlled for more efficiency.
- Step 3: Push to raise the weight back to the overhead position. In both motions, make sure you keep your upper arms as close to the ear and head as possible.
Perform 3 sets of 20 repetitions each. You can take a 1-minute rest between each set. Performing this exercise in front of a mirror will help you improve your posture and form.
Increase the weight or reps every week as you gain more strength.
7. Biceps Curls With Resistance Band
The resistance band is gaining popularity steadily in the fitness industry. As you seek to lose arm fat, you can use a resistance band to perform superb biceps curls that will tone your muscles and help reduce arm fat real fast.
This is a piece of convenient training equipment which you can bring along with you anywhere you go. You will only need a standing space for you to perform biceps curls with a resistance band.
How to tone your arms with biceps curl with resistance band:
- Step 1: Grab the handles on both ends of the resistance band with arms by your side and palms facing forward.
- Step 2: Using one foot, step on the band as you stand with legs shoulder-width apart.
- Step 3: Engage your arm muscles and tighten your grip on the handle of the band. Keep elbows tight against your ribs as you slowly pull the band up towards your shoulders. This simulates the dumbbell biceps curls.
- Step 4: Lower your hands slowly to the starting position. That is one repetition. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions each. Make sure you don’t lean back or swing as you do this biceps curls. Keep a straight and tight body for maximum efficiency.
You can also use some chest expanders that come with resistance bands for arm workouts.
8. Battle ropes
Using battle ropes for losing arm fat comes with a cocktail of benefits. It will improve your cardiovascular fitness, tone your entire arm musculature, and help you burn arm fat effectively. It also works your core and muscles. Working many muscles groups makes this exercise good for burning calories.
Here is how you slim arms with battle ropes:
- Step 1: Stand with a hip-width stance while maintaining a straight back with knees slightly bent.
- Step 2: Hold the battle rope with both hands and tighten your grip so that your arm muscles are engaged and then raise your hands to swing the rope up and down to create a wave. Slow movements of your hands will create big waves while fast movements will result in smaller waves.
- Step 3: Aim at keeping waves alive for at least 30 seconds before you rest. Rest for 5 seconds and repeat another 30 seconds session. Go for 3 sets of 30 seconds each. Gradually increase the time and repetitions each week as you make progress.
You can juggle between long waves, short waves, alternating the arms and moving both arms in the same direction. This is a superb way of helping you hit all the muscles effectively, increasing the intensity of the exercise.
9. Ball Slams
Ball slamming exercise is a playful way of making your flabby arms firm. It’s a good cardio that generates full-body movements and works your arm muscles real good. You may use a small ball or a medicine ball.
- Step 1: Hold the ball at chest level and stand in a hip-width stance.
- Step 2: Lift the ball slightly above your head and bend your knees.
- Step 3: Slam the ball hard on the floor in front of you and catch it as it bounces back and raise it back up over your head. Maintain a straight spine throughout the exercise and use your knees to spring up.
- Test the ball to make sure it does not bounce too aggressively. The ball should be of moderate weight. When the ball is too heavy, you will not be able to perform the exercise with a straight back.
- Perform the repetition with a rhythm while doing your best to involve your entire body in the movements. This will help in raising your heart rate. The bouncing of the ball should be used to launch you to your next repetition.
- Aim at performing as many repetitions as you can do in 30 seconds and pause for five seconds before proceeding to the next rep. Try to achieve 5 sets.
Do not continue with the exercise if you can no longer maintain a straight back or even when you find yourself not being able to hold the ball and raise it slightly over your. Allow at least 48 hours of break after an intense workout to let your arms recover.
10. Dumbbell Bench Press
This list will not be complete if we don’t mention the dumbbell bench press. Losing arm fat means finding exercises that dominantly engage your arm muscles so that you develop more muscle and get rid of excessive fat.
Losing arm fat using a dumbbell bench press does not have to involve heavy lifting. Light weights are perfect for targeting your arm muscles. This will help you achieve firm and well toned arm muscles faster.
- Step 1: Lie on the bench facing up with your feet firmly planted flat on the floor. Do not execute any motion if your feet are not stable on the ground.
- Step 2: Engage your core muscles to make sure you maintain your spine and backline in a neutral position and in firm contact with the bench.
- Step 3: Grab the dumbbells firmly and keep your arms close to your ribs as you raise the dumbbells. You should keep your palms facing forward at an almost 450 angle.
- Step 4: Keep your arms tight against your sides as you raise the dumbbells. The palm of your hands should face forward throughout the movement or at a 45-degree angle. Maintain a tight grip on the dumbbells to maximize arm muscle engagement. Raise until your hands are straight and pause for 1-2 seconds.
- Step 5: Lower the dumbbells slowly back to your chest as your elbows come towards your sides. This will effectively target your triceps. Try to begin with 3 sets of 10 repetitions each and increase the number of sets every week as you progress.
You can use a weight bench with squat rack for incline bench press workouts.
Machines for Arm Workouts
If you are a gym rat, here is a crash course on some machines you can use to tone your arms
- Ellipticals: These are the go-to machines for arm workout for most people. You can choose between the best seated elliptical or a standing elliptical.
- Elliptical bike combo: This machine is a mix of the elliptical machine and stationary bike. It works your arms as well as your lower body. For tall users, we recommend the best 20 inch stride elliptical
- Arm bikes: A hand bike is best for the elderly. This bike recruits arm muscles specifically.
- HIIT trainers: HIIT machines are an upgrade of the elliptical machines. These cardio machines require only 14 minutes of your time every day to work both the upper and lower body. You can check this ProForm HIIT trainer reviews articles for the best options.
Workout Reminders for Losing Fat from the Arms
I understand your eagerness to lose those unsightly flabby layer around your arms, but you must not forget these reminders.
- Control and Balance Calories: Always be conscious of your calorie intake and output to make sure you don’t take in more calories than you can burn.
- Keep Hydrated: You should drink plenty of water, which plays a key role in metabolism. With that, remember to significantly reduce your intake of alcohol and sugary beverages.
- Eat Breakfast: If you have to skip a meal, breakfast is not it. Skipping breakfast will make you feel hungrier, resulting in bingeing later on.
1. Why are my arms fat but I’m skinny?
Flabby arms means that more fat is being deposited there. It’s mostly genes, but the lack of physical activity makes it worse.
2. Why are my arms getting bigger but not toned?
If you don’t exercise your arms, you will end up with flabby arms with more fats than muscle. To avoid this, try to work your arm muscles regularly to get rid of excess fat and build more muscle so that you have toned arm muscles.
There are no specific exercises designed to target fat loss on the arms, or any body part for that matter. However, it all operates on the general principal of weight loss and calorie burning. A combination of a good cardio, arm-focused exercises, and a well-thought-out dietary plan is the ultimate way to slim and well-toned arms.
Written by Alisha Wishart – TheHealthPot.com
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Writer and Contributor
Alisha, is a Mother, Wife and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). She understands how demanding everyday life can be and takes great pride in working with individuals and groups to help them achieve their desired fitness goals. Read more about Alisha here.