“Fixing flabby arm fat” is the one use of alliteration that no one wants to hear. If you wave to a friend you see out in public, and your arm fat continues to flop in the wind after you’ve stopped waving, you may be suffering from flabby arm fat. For most, especially women, this area of fat is no joking matter.

As the body ages muscle growth slows down, and skin loses is elasticity. This can often lead to the dreaded flabby arm, but so can being overweight. Gaining weight and the excess fat that comes with it (like flabby arm) can be counteracted with necessary steps such as eating healthy and exercising. Nothing can halt the aging process, but muscle can be added continuously as you age. This lean muscle can keep your arms tight and toned and help excess fat from accumulating around areas like the arm.

You need a plan to fight flabby arm fat. If it is already there, you are fighting a battle that can absolutely be won – you just may be losing at the beginning of the war. Cutting down on foods high in fat is the first step to defeating flabby arm.

Here are the rest of the steps in the plan to fix the flabby arm fat:

  1. Food. Already said above: eat smaller portions and foods that are low in fat. Avoid “empty calories” such as sodas and candy (foods with little to no nutritional value). Eat the foods that fuel your body and only necessary calories.
  2. Get your arms moving. A sedentary lifestyle makes fat accumulation very easy. Counter this with not only exercise but a more active lifestyle. Park farther away from the door at the grocery store or mall. Take the stairs when you can. Carry your own groceries inside. A little goes a long way when it is done consistently.
  3. Cardio. You may wonder what cardio has to do with arm fat, but the answer is simple: cardio burns calories. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose. Flabby arm fat is just that – fat. And when you train your cardiovascular system, you are not only improving the health of your heart, but you are building leg muscle, increasing your lean muscle and speeding up your metabolism. All these things help you say “buh-bye” to fat.
  4. Tone Up. Don’t be scared to lift weights. But have a plan! You are not going to bulk up if you follow some simple rules: Choose weights that are light. Perform 15-20 reps and feel the burn. If you aren’t feeling the burn, you aren’t using enough weight. If you can’t comfortably do 20 reps with proper form, you are using too much weight, and you may be adding too much muscle. You could potentially make your arms bigger.

Try these exercises to tone up your arms and replace the flabby arm with long, lean sexy arms:

Triceps Kickback:  Bend at the waist and support your body with one arm on a bench or piece of equipment. Take a light dumbbell (like a 1 or 2 pounder) in the other arm and, keeping the elbow in a fixed position, extend the arm back to work the triceps. Keep the arm parallel to the ground. Do 2-4 sets of 15-20 reps.

Arm Pulses: While standing, place your feet together, bend slightly at the knees and waist, and extend the arms straight out behind you, as if you were getting into a ski position. From here slowly pulse and pump your arms straight up for 30 seconds. This is a very slight movement and you should feel as if you are lifting your arms slightly and letting them return to the starting position. The range of motion is very small. Perform 4 sets for a total of 2 minutes, resting for no more than 20-30 seconds between sets.

Bicep Curls: Though flabby arms fat shows up mostly on the back of the arms, the biceps on the front of the arm need to be worked, too. These are the antagonist to the triceps, and you do not want to have any muscle imbalance. Again, choose a light weight and perform 15-20 reps for 2-4 sets.

Isometrics: The arm pulses mentioned above are a form of isometric exercise, and once you try them, you will understand how they help you feel the burn. Isometrics do this through working fatigued muscles. When you work a fatigued muscle, you are getting the most out of your workouts and you will see the best results. For instance, after performing a set of triceps kickbacks, hold the arm in an extended position for as long as possible. Your arm will feel as if it is on fire, but the added benefit is worth the temporary discomfort. Try the same thing with the bicep curls. Hold the weight about halfway down after 20 reps. Do these isometrics on your last set to be sure you can get through the exercise. Once this gets easy, add isometrics to every set. You will speed up the time between flabby arm and sexy arm.