Washboard abs, Michelle Obama arms, lean legs and a firm bum… let’s face it, we all have that body part that, no matter how many sit-ups, squats and push-ups we do, the changes just won’t come.

As the weather heats up, the layers come off and more and more people are trying to tone their triceps and work on their biceps in preparation for summer. I can’t tell you how many times I am asked for tips and tricks to get rid of arm flab or ‘bingo wings’ (their words, not mine!).

Why do women get flabby arms?

You gain weight on your arms the same way you gain weight on the rest of your body- eating too many calories and burning too few. Where you store weight is predominantly due to your genetics and some women simply store more stubborn fat on their arms.

Can you lose weight off your arms?

Of course you can! But, just like every other part of your body, you cannot spot reduce to burn fat off of a specific area. To lose weight from your arms, you need to achieve overall weight loss and then work at toning your arms, not the other way around.

How long does it take to tone your arms?

There really is no right answer to this. The good news is that if you are being disciplined with your food and training – you will get there! Consistent training and a healthy, balanced diet contributes to overall weight loss which will result in a reduction of fat all over your body – including your arms.

Do I have to hit the gym to tone my arms?

The good news is that tou don’t need to step foot in a gym to tone your arms, in fact I have some great arm-sculpting workouts you can do from home! Try these two workouts for an epic upper-body blast that will help to give you lean, defined arms… just in time for summer!

VIDEO: See Snez’s arm workout you can do at home

At Home Arm Workout
Follow along with Snez as she does this arm-burning upper body workout!!

Best workouts to get rid of flabby arms… fast!


Arm Workout #1: Resistance Bands!

Resistance Band Shoulder Press
Loop a resistance band around your hands with your hands up at chest height, shoulder-width apart with your palms facing inwards. With the back of your hands creating resistance against the band, extend your arms up above your head to ‘press’ up from your shoulders.

Resistance Band Bicep Curls
Loop your resistance band around a couch leg, door or another stable low surface. Underhand grip the resistance band with both hands side by side and curl the band towards your chest. Keep your elbows in by your side to ensure you are engaging your biceps.

Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension
Stand shoulder width apart with dumbbells held out in front of you. Lift the dumbbells up above your head until your arms are completely straight. Keeping your elbows tucked in by your ears, slowly lower the dumbbells back behind your head. Once your forearms have gone beyond parallel, slowly return your arms to the starting position by bringing the weights back up.

Close-grip push-up
Lie on your front face down and position your hands slightly closer in than shoulder width apart. Push-up so you are in a high plank position and slowly lower yourself down until your chest almost touches the ground. Using your triceps, push your body up until you form a straight line from your head to your toes. You can do this from your knees to make it easier or alternatively you can do them with your hands against the couch or the kitchen bench..

Tricep kick-back left side
In a four point kneeling position, hold a dumbbell in one hand. Keeping your back straight, bend the arm that is holding the dumbbell to 90 degrees so that your triceps are in line with your back and your biceps are perpendicular to the ground. Keeping your elbow tucked in by your side, hinge at the elbow to straighten your arm out behind you. Your triceps should not move, the hinge comes from the elbow but you should feel the burn in your triceps. 

Tricep kick-back right side
Repeat as above, just on the other side. 🙂

Bicep Boxing Uppercuts
With a dumbbell in each hand, punch upwards one arm at a time like you are punching someone in the chin. Alternate arms at a quick pace to elevate your heart rate.

Mixing strength based moves with high intensity bouts of cardio will turn you into a lean, mean fat burning machine much more efficiently than doing your strength and then cardio sessions in isolation.

If you are looking to maximise the effects of your training and lose that arm jiggle, then it’s not as black and white as choosing cardio over strength, or vice versa. We all need a bit of yin to our yang, and the reality is you will get the best results when you combine the two.

Mixing strength-based moves with high-intensity bouts of cardio will turn you into a lean, mean fat-burning machine much more efficiently than just doing your strength and then cardio sessions in isolation.

VIDEO: Watch how Sam sculpts his upper body

#Sam 7 – Upper Body Sculpt
Work out with Sam Wood and this upper body sculpt session

Arm Workout #2: Sculpt Your Upper Body

Alternating renegade row (20 reps, 10 each side)

  • Start in a push-up position with the dumbbells on the floor.
  • Hold your push-up position while performing alternating rows, keeping your body nice and stable, nice and strong.
  • Be sure to get your shoulder blade back and not shrug and keep your core nice and tight.

Push-ups (20 reps)

  • Start in a high plank position with your body in a straight line from your head to your toes. 
  • Keep your back straight and make sure your hips and chest are going down and up as one.
  • Breathe in on the way down, and breathe out on the way up.
  • If you can’t do push-ups on your toes yet, you can try them on your knees.

Curl & Press (20 reps)

  • Stand up tall with your feet hip-width apart, with a dumbbell (or a can of baked beans!) in each hand
  • Ensure your hands are facing up, and bend your arm at the elbows to curl the weights up towards your shoulders
  • Push the dumbbells up above your head, making sure you extend your arms all the way up

Hammer Curls (20 reps)

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a dumbbell (or can of baked beans!) in each hand
  • Ensure your palms are facing towards your body like you’re hitting a hammer
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and slowly curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders

Overhead Tricep Extension (20 reps)

  • Kneeling with a dumbbell in each hand
  • Lift the dumbbells up above your head until your arms are completely straight
  • Keeping your elbows tucked in by your ears, slowly lower the dumbbells back behind your head.
  • Once your forearms have gone beyond parallel, slowly return your arms to the starting position by bringing the weights back up.

Lat Raise (20 reps)

  • Lie on the floor in a hip bridge position.
  • Take one dumbbell up above your chest
  • Keep your arms straight, and slowly lower the dumbell over your head, to gently touch the floor above you,
  • Bring it back up, with a straight arm, back to above your chest.
  • Remember, you should always control the movement, and if it is too tough to control, reduce the hand weight.

Alternating Side Plank (20 Reps, 10 each side)

  • Starting in a high plank or pushup position.
  • Open your chest up and rotate into a t-hold
  • Then bring that arm down to the floor and open up and rotate into a t-hold on the other side.  
  • Hold at the top of the movement for 2 seconds each rep and continually swap sides for 20 reps.

Check out our beginner’s guide to resistance training


Remember, you can’t spot reduce but consistent training will help to burn fat all over and you can do specific exercises like the above to shape and tone certain areas.

Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change. Sam Wood has over 18 years experience in the health and fitness industry, and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators. He is also the founder and trainer at Australia’s number one online fitness and nutrition program, and owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed.