Tank top season is almost here so it’s time to amp up those arm exercises to really attack underarm fat once and for all. The dreaded batwings are a notoriously difficult area to tone — partly because it’s hard to target the triceps and partly because tackling underarm fat isn’t only about finding the best arm workouts. According to celebrity trainer Joe Dowdell it could be hormonal too. He tells Shape magazine, “Flab on the back of the arms can be indicative of low-testosterone levels. Testosterone is one of the main “lean hormones” for both men and women.” While, on NBCNEWS.com Diane Vives, a personal trainer in Austin, Texas, and spokesperson for the National Strength and Conditioning Association, adds, “The flab that’s hanging from your upper arms is likely the combined result of excess body fat and poor muscle tone.”
Stress and lack of sleep are two of the major causes of low-T in women. Yet another reason to commit to getting your eight hours every night! Not getting enough protein and not working out intensely enough are also culprits. So the first step in your batwing attack strategy is de-stress, stay rested, eat plenty of lean protein and turn up the cardio to trim fat.
Now for the arm exercises! If the prospect of lifting weights at the gym makes you cringe, don’t worry; non of these exercises involve endless reps. The key is targeting your triceps but it’s also important to tone your biceps, back and chest to pull it all together.
Read Related: Adequately Armed: 12 Arm Exercises for Women
According to a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), triangle push-ups are the number one best exercise for really working your triceps. This is a great way to strengthen your chest, abs and back too. Triangle push-ups are just like regular push-ups except that you turn your hands inward and position them at the center of your body (rather than shoulder-width) with elbows out and your index fingers and thumbs are matched up on both hands to create a triangle. You can modify this exercise by doing it on your knees.
Swimming is another one of the best arm workouts and you get the benefit of cardio and all-over toning as well.
Don’t underestimate the power of the rowing machine. If you do it right, you can tone your whole body, get a cardio workout and really target your entire upper body.
Here’s another total body workout that highlights arm exercises. Kickboxing is fun, you can do it in a group class and you’ll feel totally powerful after each session.
Pilates is an excellent way to tone up and stretch out at the same time. Pilates guru Keri O’Meara, from Misfit Studios in Toronto, tells HuffPost Canada, “Pilates is a great way to achieve toned arms and shoulders because it helps create long lean sleek muscles.”
If you’ve ever taken a yoga class you know it’s always an intense arm workout. Take it to the next level with an arm-centric yoga workout. You’ll gain flexibility and reduce stress at the same time.