I’m trying to lose weight and tone up my arms since they are way too fat. The back of my arms are the worst and they always jiggle around when I raise my arms or wave to someone. Since I like to wear a lot of short sleeve shirts, I’m very self-conscious about my arms and I need to know which types of exercises are the best to tone and tighten them up?
I completely understand how you feel when you say that you feel embarrassed when wearing clothing that reveals certain parts of your body that need improvement. When I was in junior high school, I was about 50 pounds overweight and many of the kids would make fun of me when I wore jeans that were too tight. They would call me names like “fat butt” or “baboon butt” which really hurt my feelings.
The key to any fat loss plan is targeting the approach using 3 different angles of attack. This includes nutrition, cardio and weight training. If you try to tackle just one area without focusing on the other two, your success will be much more difficult to reach. Many people try to focus on the nutrition area solely by cutting calories drastically low while not doing any form of exercise. This usually leads to disaster since they eventually slip up on their ultra tough diet plan and decide to have a few cheat foods which usually turns into a week-long mega binge leaving them fatter than when they started. By following a super low-calorie diet, they also slow down their metabolism which leads to a loss of muscle tissue since their body will start using lean muscle for fuel. This is the double whammy when it comes to a failed fat loss plan and it’s something you want to avoid at all costs.
By including a solid and clean nutritional plan with plenty of muscle building calories, you are providing your body with the fuel it needs to get you through intense cardio and weight training workouts. If you cut your calories too low, you will simply not have enough fuel in the tank to power you through it all and you will get tired too early. So, focus on eating nutrient dense whole foods that provide your body with the macronutrients it needs to perform at its maximum potential.
The second area to cover is cardiovascular exercise. By including cardio workouts into your overall plan, you will be burning off any excess calories and creating a calorie deficit the right way. Your goal should be to eat enough calories for your body to run at an optimal level and then burn 300-500 calories a day with additional cardiovascular exercise. When you do it in this manner, you are priming your body to “run hot” which means you are providing enough of the high quality fuel it needs to perform while burning off any additional overage with cardio. This is a very important point since many people think they can simply cut down calories and this will be the key to losing fat. Although nutrition is absolutely critical for losing fat, it will be almost impossible to keep the weight off for the long run without including some type of calorie burning exercise into your overall fitness plan.
The last area of your overall fitness plan will include weight training. Lifting weights will help strengthen and tone up your muscles which will give your body overall symmetry. Resistance training can include anything from lifting weights, using exercise bands or doing bodyweight exercises. Your goal should be to overload your muscles with some type of resistance in order to make them work hard, so you can break down muscle fibers and then rebuild them to become bigger and stronger.
In terms of specific weight training exercises, I recommend two different forms of training to tighten and tone your arms. The first is high repetition sets (18-20 reps) with different biceps and triceps exercises to build lean muscle and tone up your arms. Here are the top arm exercises I recommend:
You can also incorporate specific cardio training into your plan to burn fat and calories while also toning up your arms in the process. The best cardio exercise I recommend is jumping rope. Start off very slow and try going for 10 minutes. Work your way up to 25-30 minutes and you will start to see amazing results. Jumping rope is one of the best overall body workouts and burns major calories! You can also do the elliptical machine but make sure you use your arms by grabbing the handles so you can push and pull your way to ripped arms!