Summer is finally here and If you have been fighting flabby arms and feeling self-conscious about putting on your tank top, it is time to make a change. For too many women (including myself), the upper arms are a problem area, especially the triceps area at the back of the upper arms. Sometimes referred to as bat wings, this area is easily neglected, because compared to the biceps at the front of your upper arms, it’s less visible.
So, if sleek, sculpted arms are the accessory you want most this summer use these 5 lifestyle changes to get the job done.
1. Plan on creating a deficit of 500 calories every day. One pound of fat has 3,500 calories, so you’ll lose 1 pound per week. Avoid drastic measures that promise to make you lose weight rapidly, because these are hard to maintain in the long run and can make you feel drained, sluggish and sick. Additionally, speedy weight loss is often water weight and muscle tissue, instead of fat. These are some of my favorite things to eat each day.
2. Make small changes to your diet so you eat fewer calories. For instance, eat fruit and veggies instead of chips and cookies. Eat from smaller plates and bowls and use smaller drinking glasses and cups. Avoid strictly depriving yourself, because this can result in binges — if you’re really craving a cookie, have it, but just don’t have the entire box. Aim to develop healthy eating habits that can become part of your lifestyle.
3. Work up a sweat with cardiovascular exercise to burn calories. Exercise for at least 30 minutes on five days of the week. If you can’t do 30-minute sessions, break them up into three, 10-minute exercise sessions spread over each day. Go for a brisk walk, swim laps or exercise on an elliptical machine. Really activate your arms by pumping them back and forth during the exercise.
4. Perform strength training at least two days each week. Strength training (like my tank top workout) maintains and builds muscle tissue, which boosts your metabolism even after finishing your workout, resulting in more calories burned. Do eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise and two to three sets. Target your legs, shoulders, chest, arms, hips, back and abdominals.
5. Work your arms with targeted exercises. Triangle pushups, which are pushups during which your thumbs and index fingers form a triangle on the floor, dips and triceps kickbacks, are the most effective to target the back of your upper arm. All three exercises are easily done at home. Dips can be done with your hands on the seat of a sturdy chair. If you don’t have dumbbells to do kickbacks, use water bottles or a thick book.