(This article appeared previously on KathySmith.com)
If the headline above caught your attention, chances are good you’ve battled with “bat wings,” upper body flab or a little extra jiggle in your wave. Well, it’s time to change all that, once and for all.It’s time to embrace your arms.
In a way, our arms are always getting the short end of the stick. Anytime we stand or walk (which most of us have to do throughout the day), we’re working the lower body. So naturally, our legs are a little stronger.Most of us only use our arms when we type at a computer – and we’re not exactly breaking a sweat.(MORE
: 5 Ways to Sneak Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
3 Steps to Make Arm Fat Disappear
Your arms don’t have to be a point of embarrassment. They can be your calling card (think all the media on Michelle Obama’s well toned arms). Here are the three basic steps to waving goodbye to arm fat for good:
1. Start to strong-arm your cardio routine.
First things first: You’ve got to do cardio to lose arm fat. It’s all about choosing the right kind of cardio to do that. We’ve come such a long way in the fitness and wellness industries since the disco days of legwarmers. But early aerobics did get one thing right: It incorporated moves into the entire body. Cardio on a treadmill, stationary bike or outdoor jog is great, but doesn’t involve much work for the arms.(MORE: 7 Big Myths About Body Fat
)To define your arms, start to look for cardio exercises that use the entire body. I’m a big fan of rowing, for example. My friend Josh Crosby created a great indoor rowing workout called Indo-Row, which is an incredibly fun and challenging group exercise class. The best part about doing a full-body workout like that is that you’re not just burning a ton of calories, you’re targeting multiple muscle groups at the same time, including your arms — which is crucial if you’re concerned with how to lose arm fat.
2. Tone up with the triangle.
This second step is all about toning muscle. Remember, resistance training is a must. And the best exercise might surprise you.
The No. 1 exercise that will help you tighten and tone your arms is your new best friend: the triangle pushup.A study at the University of Wisconsin showed that this move is the most effective exercise out there when it comes to toning the jiggly areas of the arms. Ready to try it for yourself?
Also, try a sculpting workout that incorporates multiple muscle groups (once again, integration is a biggie). I love TRX classes, for example, because after a fun-filled hour, you’ve moved your body in so many different planes of directions and you’ve used your arms for almost all of it.
3. Find your second skin.
As women age (especially in that 40-60 year range), we become increasingly concerned with our arms – not just the tone, but the quality of the skin itself. Over time, we begin to lose collagen, causing that area to sag and look “creepy.” Sunlight, of course, is a major factor here.(MORE: Secrets to Firm, Glowing, Youthful Skin
But staving off saggy skin doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying the great outdoors, when the weather’s good. Just make sure you come prepared. Hopefully, it goes without saying, but the first step is to always slather on some SPF.It’s also important to keep in mind, when it comes to your skin, you are what you wear. So next time you’re exercising outdoors, skip the tank top and wear something that covers (at least) the upper part of the arms. I like to find a fabric that has SPF protection, like the Solumbra line.
Remember, toning your arms isn’t just about the appearance of sculpted triceps. It’s about giving yourself the strength, the confidence and the freedom to do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it.Whatever you’re doing, chances are good that you’d like to live life on your terms. And strengthening the upper body is just another way to give yourself a helping hand toward reaching that goal.
By Kathy Smith
"America's Trainer" Kathy Smith has been shaping women's thighs and lives for over 30 years through her best-selling collection of workout DVDs and books. Her motto is "Progress, Not Perfection." Find her at www.KathySmith.com
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