Flabby arm fat is often one of the areas that women feel most self-conscious about, but is unfortunately also one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to targeted fat loss.
But fear not, because arm-envy will soon be a thing of your distant past once you know the ten secret tricks to building strong and toned upper arms. But why stop at your arms? Your whole body deserves the same care and attention, so follow up with 20 Ways to Belly Fat to get the body that you dream of.
1. Curl Those Biceps
Getting toned isn’t just about losing fat – you need to build up the muscle underneath to create the perfect balance of strength and tone. Skin and bones isn’t a good look on anyone, so we suggest incorporating bicep curls into your workout.
Don’t worry, you won’t turn into the Incredible Hulk, women’s bodies just can’t physically grow enormous muscle, especially without a cocktail of steroids and protein powders. You don’t even need an expensive gym membership for this as you can pick up a pair of dumbbells cheap or even use household objects such as gallon jugs or food tins to get you started.
2. Think Protein
Most women don’t get enough protein in their diet, and this macro nutrient becomes even more important when you are working hard to build muscle and tone. Your body needs those nutrients to repair and build muscles after exercise and consumption of protein has been scientifically proven to increase muscle synthesis by as much as 25%.
Protein also helps make you feel fuller for longer so it’s a win-win macronutrient! It can be found in abundance in pulses (beans and lentils), leafy greens, egg whites, nuts, milk and of course in meat.
3. Get Your Dip On
Another great exercise to help you get leaner quicker are dips. And more good news, you can do these at home too. If you have a sturdy bar, a step or even just a chair propped against a wall then you have no excuse to not get your dip on.
For this movement you’ll need to position yourself with your back against whatever object you are using, then with your hands behind you (knuckles facing forward) grip the chair and lower yourself down until your butt nearly touches the floor, then push yourself back up again.
Count to three as you go down and again as you come back up to avoid rushing through the movement. This exercise works your arms as well as your shoulders and your pectorals so you get a whole lot more bang for your buck.
4. Incorporate Lat Pulldowns
You’ll need to head to the gym for your lat pulldowns so why not incorporate it into your gym session? We promise you’ll notice the difference within days. Plus, this is the perfect exercise to do between cardio sessions because you get to sit down! That helps your heart rate lower between bursts of exercise and ultimately makes you fitter.
Using a pulldown machine, position yourself so once at chest level the bar will be just in front of you, you can do this either facing the machine or with your back to it. Grip the bar and pull it down to chest level, then slowly let the bar return to the starting position. You should feel this working your biceps and shoulders and it will give your whole upper body better definition.
5. Superfruit Grapefruit
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered the miraculous weight-loss benefits of the humble grapefruit, a fruit often overlooked due to its bitterness. However, you’ll want to start stocking up on this juicy fruit because research shows that drinking a half cup of grapefruit juice before meals can significantly aid weight loss.
The study was undertaken with obese individuals, some of whom were given water to drink before meals. Those who drank grapefruit juice saw their BMIs drop quicker than anyone else. So next time you rehydrate think to add fresh grapefruit juice to your drink to help you shed those pounds a little quicker.
6. Cardio Is King
Doing strength exercises is indispensable for building muscle and getting those arms more toned and defined, but you’ve got to shed the fat on top so you can show off your hard work to the world. This is where cardio comes in. Research conducted at Duke University proved that sticking to a cardio program can increase your weight loss twofold, compared to doing only strength training.
What’s more, of the 119 overweight individuals who took part in the study, those who lost weight through cardio exercise actually did on average 47 minutes less exercise per week. So when it comes to losing fat there’s no question that cardio is king.
7. Lower Weight, More Reps
If you’re new to weight training it can seem pretty intimidating and it can be difficult to know exactly how much to lift. In the gym some people grunt and strain their way through 4 reps of the highest weight possible, but it doesn’t have to be like that! Starting with lower weights can help to build your confidence and get used to the exercises.
What’s more, research at Canada’s McMaster University conducted over a 12-week period shows that lifting lower weights is just as effective as lifting heavy weights when it comes to strength and muscle size. Just make sure that you up the number of reps (how many times you lift the weight) in each set and you’ll be handing out tickets to the gun show in no time.