health

How To Get Rid Of Arm Fat: 5 Easy Exercises To Tone And Strengthen Your Arm Muscles

Christin Perry LitteThings writer by Christin Perry
Christin is a mom and editor specializing in lifestyle content. She also hides cookies like a boss.

There’s nothing that can suck the pizzazz out of that little black dress faster than upper-arm fat. You know, the kind that makes you look a bit like a bat every time you raise your arms?

Here’s the thing, though: it can happen to anyone, and it seems to creep up out of nowhere despite our best efforts at the gym.

Similarly, if you’re dealing with annoying armpit fat, check out seven of the best exercises to tackle it. And if back fat is your bigger problem, here’s a great guide to helping eliminate it.

But back to arm fat: The good news is that there are exercises that can reduce it pretty quickly. There are also other measures you can take to prevent arm fat from coming back into your life the second you put down those weights.

Keep reading to check out our comprehensive guide on how to lose arm fat.

Causes Of Upper-Arm Fat

Looking at arm in the mirror
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Here’s something we bet you didn’t know: There are a couple of “hidden” reasons for fat arms, which can occur even if you tend to have a smaller frame.

Cause #1: Inadequate Protein Intake

Eating eggs with glass of milk
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

This may seem inconsequential at first, but think about it: What causes you to burn more fat and calories while building lean muscle and helping you feel fuller, longer? Protein, of course!

Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, David Katz, MD, states on prevention.com

“Getting a little extra protein may be helpful after age 50 to counteract the inevitable muscle loss that comes with aging. Older adults at risk of sarcopenia, the gradual loss of lean muscle mass, would benefit from more high-quality protein in their diet.” 

So, if you’re wondering how to get rid of fat arms, consider adding lean protein to your diet.

Cause #2: Hormonal Changes

Estrogen and testoterone hormone cycle
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We realize that this isn’t news that anyone wants to hear. Nobody likes to think about getting old, but alas, it happens. As we enter our thirties, our metabolism slows down and our hormones can more easily become off-balance.

According to livestrong.com, “The hormonal changes cause metabolic rate to decrease, which means fewer calories burned throughout the day. A slower metabolism combined with fewer calories burned from a lack of exercise creates a significant risk of weight gain.”

Cause #3: Not Doing The Right Exercises

Cause #3: Not Doing The Right Exercises
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

At the end of the day, diet and lifestyle will do the most for toning parts of your body, but targeted workouts and strength training will help supplement your goal of busting arm fat.

Exercises To Burn Arm Fat

Working out while dreaming of toned arms
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We’ve rounded up five of the best exercises to lose arm fat, which you can easily incorporate into your workout routine. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, you can perform this fat-burning arm workout at home, using the weight levels you feel comfortable with.

Exercise #1: Rotating Triceps Kickback

Pressing dumbbells back for triceps kickbacks
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Women’s Health brings us this exercise, which will help you lose arm fat quickly. The extra twist at the end really helps to target and tone where you need it most.

  1. Holding a weight in both hands, bend forward at the waist.
  2. Bend your arms at the elbow and raise until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Press the dumbbell back until your arms are straight, then rotate so that your palms face the ceiling.
  4. Return to the bent position with your palms still facing upward, then repeat 10 to 15 reps.

Bonus exercise: Add 5 to 10 small pulses upward when your arm is extended for greater tone.

Exercise #2: Dips

Doing dips with a chair
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

From the website bodybuilding.com comes this classic but super-effective tricep workout. You don’t have to do these dips in the gym; you can easily try them out at home against a chair — making them quite user-friendly. 

  1. Get in the starting position by sitting on a chair and placing your arms on the chair on either side of you. Extend your legs in front of you and lower yourself off the chair.
  2. From there, lower yourself about halfway to the ground, hold, and rise back up to the starting position.
  3. Repeat 10 to 15 reps.

Bonus exercise: For isometric toning, hold for 20 seconds each time you lower yourself.

Exercise #3: Diamond Push-Up

Diamond pushups
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

This exercise was voted the most effective to reduce arm jiggle by the American Council on Exercise (as reported by Shape magazine)! It’s the diamond push-up, and it’s a great exercise for several muscles in the arms as well as the back. The key is to keep your hands close together to target the triceps.

  1. Kneeling on your hands and knees, place your hands on the floor, making a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers.
  2. Keeping your hands in this position, lower your body up and down just like you would in a push-up.

Bonus exercise: You can make this easier by remaining on your knees, or you can choose to do full push-ups for a tougher exercise.

Exercise #4: The Weighted Punch

Punching with dumbbells
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Livestrong.com praises weighted punches because they’re easy to perform with any weight range, and your arms will be on their way to a lean and muscular look with every punch.

  1. Stand up straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Place one leg in front of you and the other a bit behind.
  3. Raise one arm and punch forward, holding the weight.
  4. Alternate arms, and try to punch with increasing speed.

Exercise #5: Arm Circles

Arm circles with dumbbells
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Here’s an exercise that you’ve probably been doing since third-grade gym class: arm circles.

This classic exercise is a great way to tone arms, and it can be done with or without weights. Fitnessblender.com says that this exercise is difficult yet effective, and perfect for toning your upper body — arms included! 

  1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Holding a weight in each hand, raise your arms in the air, extending out from your sides.
  3. Make small circles with your arms, starting in a clockwise direction and switching to a counter-clockwise direction for a more robust workout.

Bonus exercise: Make larger and larger circles, moving slowly to target and tone your entire arm and shoulder.

Are you planning to use these exercises to reduce upper-arm fat? Please SHARE this article with anyone who could benefit from this fat-burning arm workout.