Flabby Arms? Torch Upper Arm Fat With These 10 Killer Moves

Upper arms can be a major problem for some people, and figuring out the best ways to tone them can be tricky. Building muscle on any part of your body can be challenging, let alone a part of your body that doesn’t necessarily require much movement on a daily basis. (Legs are lucky — their entire purpose is to carry you around all day with every move you make). The bad news for arms, though, is that most of them spend their days typing away or scrolling an iPhone, so while your fingers may be in the best shape ever, it’s doubtful your arms are. If you struggle with flabby arms, here are 10 killer moves that will turn arms from flabby to toned.

1. Dolphin plank

man in the bottom phase of a push-up in an empty room

Man getting ready for a dolphin plank | iStock.com

You’re well-aware that planks deliver some serious toning benefits, and Health‘s dolphin plank is no different. Targeting more than just your abs and butt, this plank will leave your back, shoulders, and arms feeling good. Start in a classic plank with your forearms on the ground. By raising and lowering your hips, you’ll be firing your back, shoulders, and arms in one low-impact motion.

2. Side plank with dumbbell raise

woman doing a side plank on a yoga mat

Add a dumbbell to your side plank for added effect. | iStock.com

Planks are just good for you, so kicking them up a notch certainly can’t hurt. Start in a side plank, and grab a dumbbell with your free hand. Keeping your body in a straight line, you’ll use one forearm for support, as the other arm reaches straight up toward the sky, dumbbell in hand. Slowly lower your top arm down (keeping it straight) until it’s parallel to the ground. Not only will you be getting a great arm workout, but you’ll be forced to keep your entire body engaged. Shape recommends doing 10 lifts on each side.

3. Reverse fly

Dumbbells on the gym floor

Free weights for reverse flies | iStock.com

Nothing like letting those bat wings fly to really kick your arm workout routine into high gear. You’re probably familiar with this move, and Women’s Health suggests grabbing a pair of dumbbells and standing with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent. Keeping a flat back, hinge forward at your hips and let your arms hang down. Slowly and steadily lift both arms straight up and out to the side. When you feel your shoulder blades squeezing together, you’ll know it’s working.

4. Tricep kickbacks

Man lifting weights

Tricep kickbacks are excellent. | iStock.com

Don’t let the backs of your arms fall by the wayside — they need love, too! And as Prevention mentions, tricep kickbacks will tone your arms without causing discomfort in the wrists or shoulders. Begin the same way as the reverse fly, maintaining a strong, flat back. Hold your arms at a 90-degree angle with elbows just above your torso. Slowly extend your arms straight back, and then lower them back down to starting position. If you can do several of these easily, up the amount of weights you’re using.

5. Tricep push-ups

man doing push-ups

Triceps push-ups are tough, but effective. | iStock.com

There’s no denying the power of push-ups for your entire body. And if you’re still trying to melt that back arm fat, give triceps push-ups a try. Shape recommends keeping your elbows as close to your sides as possible, while pointing them back. After slowly lowering to right above the floor, slowly press your body back up to a straight-arm plank. If it’s too much on your core, drop your knees to the ground, but keep your arms in the same position so as to continue targeting those upper arms.

6. Triangle push-ups

Bosu ball diamond push-up

Diamond push-ups on an exercise ball | iStock.com/Lunamarina

The triangle, or diamond, push-up is yet another way to blast upper arm fat with one swift kick to those unwanted bat wings. As opposed to placing your hands under your shoulders like you would for a traditional push-up, place your hands underneath the center of your chest. Touch the tips of your middle fingers to form the top point of a triangle, and point your thumbs toward one another to form the bottom of the triangle. Once in this position, perform push-ups as you normally would.

In a small study referenced by Shape, the American Council on Exercise says triangle push-ups are one of the most effective ways to target this problem area. Researchers say these push-ups are the number one exercise for eliminating arm jiggle.

7. Tricep dips

Man doing bench triceps dips

Triceps dips can be done just about anywhere | iStock.com/emiliozv

Yet another move requiring no bulky gym equipment, this exercise can be done using a bench or stable chair. If you have neither of these, PopSugar says this bodyweight exercise can even be done on the ground.

To begin, place your hands shoulder-width apart on a bench, with your butt slightly off and in front of the bench. Walk your feet out so your legs are extended in a straight line, and keep your arms straight, but slightly bent at the elbows. Slowly lower yourself toward the ground until your elbows form 90-degree angles. Return yourself to starting position by pressing your hands into the bench, and raising yourself back up.

8. Lying tricep extension

Set of personal sport stuff lay on training bench in fitness gym

Training bench in the gym for tricep extensions | iStock.com/golubovy

For this move, grab a dumbbell in each hand, then find a bench. Lie on your back with your palms facing one another. Reach your hands toward the ceiling, holding the dumbbells over your head. Slowly lower the weights down behind your head, bending at your elbows until the weights are close to your ears. Raise arms back up to starting position to complete one rep.

9. Inchworm

woman hinging at hips

Woman hinging at hips to do inchworms | iStock.com/fizkes

This move isn’t just a good workout for your arms — you’ll be engaging your core, too. Stand at the bottom of a yoga mat and hinge forward at your hips, placing your palms flat on the mat in front of your feet. Slowly walk your hands forward until you reach a high plank position. For added difficulty, Self recommends tossing a push-up into the mix here. Then, walk your hands back toward your feet, and stand back up.

10. Hover rotation

Fit woman doing side plank yoga pose

Woman in a side plank | iStock.com/undrey

You don’t need a hover board to successfully tackle this exercise, nor do you need much coordination, as Fitness Magazine points out. Lie on your back, propping yourself up onto your elbows with your palms flat on the floor. Keeping your legs extended straight out in front of you, lift your hips so your body forms a straight line. After holding here for eight counts, turn to the right to form a side plank, bearing your weight on your right forearm. Maintaining the straight-line body formation throughout, roll onto both forearms, so you’re in a traditional plank position. Continue onto your left side to complete one rep.