Are flabby arms the first thing you notice when you look at yourself in the mirror? If so, you’re not alone. Flabby arms affect countless men and women.
But fortunately, you can tone up your arms fast.
Before we begin, I want to clarify that the word “toning” is a marketing term but it’s another word for muscle definition, lower fat more muscle.
In this article, you’ll discover how to lose arm fat with a science-backed approach including exercising and dieting guides and tips for fast results, so read the entire article to not miss out.
How Long Does It Take To Tone Flabby Arms?
You can tone flabby arms in 4-6 weeks following an upper arms training program and nutrition plan. Depending on your genetics and body fat percentage, it may take longer to tone your arms.
The less arm fat, the more toned (defined) your arms will appear.
Can flabby arms really be toned?
Yes, with consistent training flabby arms can be toned, however, exercise alone doesn’t tone the arms. Lowering your body fat and increasing arm muscle by dieting and weight training is the best approach to toning flabby arms.
The body is not able to fat spot-reduce a target body part, rather your genetics determine the area in which fat loss occurs first.
Common FACTORS why your results may vary!
There can also be varying results based on some other factors including gender, age, genetics, hormones and body fat percentage. You will still see results, it may just take a little longer.
What Causes Fat and Flabby Upper Arms?
Various factors can cause flabby upper arm fat. One of them is genetics. Some people store more of their body fat around their arms, which may be the case for you.
Men, for instance, tend to store more of their fat around their midsection. But women usually store most of their fat around their thighs and hips and, in some cases, their upper arms.
Basically, we all have spots where the body likes to store more fat than what’s considered the average. And usually, these spots are among the last to get lean as you lose weight.
Now, while genetics do play a role, it’s not the leading cause of fatty arms.
Instead, the root cause is a high body fat percentage.
The more body fat you carry, the more fat you’ll also have around your arms.
So, the main question is: what causes fat gain?
It’s simple. Fat gain is caused by consuming more calories than you burn.
This is a fact. Countless studies show that you’ll gain fat if you’re in a calorie surplus.
In other words, fatty arms are caused by consuming more calories than the body needs.
If you overfeed like that for a prolonged period, your body will store the excess calories as fat, including fat disposits in the arm regions.
Can You Spot-Reduce Arm Fat?
People often claim that training a muscle helps you lose fat in that particular area. For example, exercises like the biceps curl and triceps extension are supposed to help you lose upper arm fat. But does that really work?
The answer is no. Doing exercises for a particular area does not lead to a preferential fat loss in that region. Except for surgical procedures, it’s just impossible to spot-reduce arm fat.
One study, for instance, had 104 people complete a twelve-week workout plan that only trained one arm. While the subjects did lose fat overall, the exercises did not produce more fat loss in the specific area trained.
In other words, you can not spot-reduce arm fat. It’s a myth. If you want to slim your arms, you must focus on fat loss in general. That means optimizing your diet.
Related: How To Get Rid Of Armpit Fat
How Quickly Can You See Results In Your Arms From Losing Weight?
Well, there’s no such thing as spot-reducing just your arms so your goal should be general weight loss.
Ideally, you can lose 1-2 pounds per week (faster weight loss isn’t safe or sustainable).
So do the math – you can lose five pounds in just under three weeks! And a slimmer body can noticeably change the appearance (or disappearance!) of those flabby arms.
How do you build muscle?
Well, of course, weight training and dieting or just eating regularly, but also eating plenty of protein for muscle recovery. Make sure to work a lean protein source into every meal.
I recommend watching the video below as new research suggests and the video explains, that if you have excess weight, simply just start resistance training and eating at maintenance will yield much better results than dieting for fat loss.
I agree with this sentiment because just the fact of starting a weight loss program, dieting, macros, cooking, and learning exercises can be overwhelming.
Simply just get started and learn one new thing every day.
The idea is to gain muscle and our body composition will change over time just by growing more muscle mass, that’s because your body will use that stored fat to grow and repair your muscle, leading to lower body fat over time, assuming you are not overeating.
The amount of protein you need to be eating varies depending on factors like your gender, age, and activity level.
The best way to find your protein requirements is to use our free advanced macro calculator that determines your protein, carbs and fats.
You can generally get enough protein from your diet. Check our list of 25 protein boosters from our Registered Dietitian. Protein powder is also a great way to increase your intake. We listed the 14 best protein powders without artificial sweeteners, so completely clean and healthy sources of protein.
How To Tone Arms With Exercise
In addition to optimizing your diet, physical activity is also beneficial. That’s because:
- Exercising aids fat loss by burning calories.
- Weight training can help prevent muscle loss while you get leaner, which means more of the pounds you’ll lose will come from body fat.
The fastest way to create toned arms is by doing both cardiovascular exercise and upper body resistance training.
I recommend you read our back and bicep workout program with 15 powerful exercises for upper body training to achieve toned arms.
Related: Stairmaster Benefits
Cardiovascular exercise is anything that bumps up your heart rate.
The harder the workout, the more calories you will burn. Higher intensity cardio exercises like HIIT or swimming can burn up to five-hundred calories an hour.
If you want to tone your arms and upper body muscles, the best forms of cardio are activities like HIIT, swimming, boxing, or rowing.
When you’re in a calorie deficit for fat loss, you’re more likely to lose muscle mass. That’s not ideal, not only because losing muscle diminishes your appearance, but because it makes it harder to obtain and maintain ideal body weight for long term fat loss.
The reason is, that muscles are metabolically active. Even when you rest, your body burns calories to maintain your muscles and energy. That’s why muscle loss reduces your metabolic rate over time causing you to gain fat if you overeat or stop exercising daily.
In short, the more muscle you maintain and grow the better your metabolic rate.
Benefits to a faster metabolism?
Faster weight loss and keeping the fat off long term.
To keep your metabolism (and sex appeal) buzzing, it’s important to include resistance training. What follows are exercises you can do to tone and tighten your arms.
Arm Toning Exercises For Females
Below are upper body exercises to get toned arms with weights by Nikkiey Stott that will help combat flabby arms and tighten the arms by building muscle to the bicep, tricep, and forearms (yes, other muscle groups are targeted also):
1. Cable Bar Tricep Pushdown
2. Dumbell Champagnes
3. Seated Dumbbell Curls
4. Single Arm Dumbell Preacher Curls
5. Incline Dumbbell rows
6. Seated Dumbbell Arnold Shoulder Press
Bodyweight Training To Lose Arm Fat At Home
If you don’t have the time, desire, or resources to go to the gym, you can also train your arms with bodyweight exercises.
What follows are arm toning exercises you can do at home without any equipment.
Alternative Types of Training To Tone Arms
Related: Underbutt Exercises
Group Training Sessions: F45 Vs Orangetheory
Both F45 and Orangetheory are popular fitness organizations that fill a similar niche in exercise communities and discussions.
F45 began in 2011 and has rapidly spread across the globe. It relies on a group training model that lasts for 45 minutes but which keeps burning calories even after you’ve finished your exercising.
F45 routines typically include lots of circuit training and high-intensity interval training. Its resistance training and other exercises focus on functional movements, increasing your everyday strength.
Different F45 sessions might focus on different aspects of fitness or calorie burning.
There’s plenty of variety to be found.
Results usually show up in about 12 weeks.
On the other hand, Orangetheory first started in 2010 and has also spread all over the world. It’s a great choice for losing weight and for pursuing whole-body exercises.
It focuses on the fitness ideas surrounding post-exercise oxygen intake.
Basically, it takes advantage of the fact that you consume more oxygen immediately after a workout and burns more calories post-workout rather than during your exercises.
Yoga is a common exercise routine that focuses on physical and mental endurance and strength-building.
It also burns plenty of calories while improving your flexibility, so it’s great for losing weight over time.
Yoga can also help you relax and relieve stress in a gentler way when compared to other exercise routines.
More active or intense yoga poses or sessions can burn plenty of calories and improve your metabolism.
Metabolic improvements will help you avoid putting on extra weight in the first place.
These are low-impact exercises that are usually used for building lean muscle or toning up existing muscle.
They can also be beneficial for improving your posture and helping you maintain or reach a healthy weight.
It isn’t as intense compared to other cardio exercises and it doesn’t burn as many calories as other exercise routines. Instead, the value of Pilates is in its ease of entry.
They are a good choice if you haven’t worked out much before and if you struggle to maintain a weight loss or exercise routine.
You’ll be more likely to lose weight over time and continue to exercise with Pilates compared to other more rigorous exercise routines.
How Often Should You Exercise to Tone Your Arms?
While you don’t need to exercise to be in a calorie deficit, being active can make it easier to maintain a negative energy balance.
That’s why it helps to stay active.
When it comes to cardiovascular training, try and aim for 2-3 days of intense cardio exercise to help aid in faster fat loss.
Regarding resistance training, aim to exercise at least 2-3 days per week. It’s best to train your entire body instead of only your arms because that helps you burn more calories and increase your metabolism.
Following a training split can be beneficial, a popular training program is the 3 day workout split for busy moms who can commit to training for at least 3 days per week.
The most important thing with any exercise routine is CONSISTENCY.
Occasionally hitting the gym will not get you those tight arms!
The Bottom Line
With a calorie-restricted, high-protein diet and the right mix of cardio and resistance training, you can tone flabby arms in as little as four weeks to six weeks.
However, some women may find it more difficult to lose weight and hormones play a part in the equation.
I recommend you read my Metabolic Renewal Review which was designed for women and their hormone types.
Do you have questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!