12 Quick & Effective Exercises for Flabby Arms

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Are you ready to tighten and tone your upper body? In this post, I’m sharing 12 quick and effective exercises for flabby arms.

Whether you’re trying to get rid of bat wings or just firm everything up, this post has you covered. These 12 exercises will target your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and upper back.

Feel free to pick and choose which exercises target your problem areas or head to the bottom of this article for a full workout you can do at home.

12 Quick & Effective Exercises for Flabby Arms

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which I’m happy to promote. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Much love & thank you for your support. 🙂 To learn more about my policy, click here.

What causes flabby arms?

In my experience, flabby arms are caused by 3 things:

  1. Excess body
  2. Low muscle tone
  3. Sagging skin

The exercises in this article are going to help with excess body fat and low muscle tone. Strength training is the best way to not only burn fat but also build muscle.

According to Grant Tinsley, Ph.D. in an article on Healthline:

…weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest than some other tissues, including fat.

Because of this, it is commonly said that building muscle is the key to increasing your resting metabolism — that is, how many calories you burn at rest.

So while doing cardio can help burn more calories in a given workout, strength training increases how many calories you burn throughout the entire day. It also ensures that you’re building muscle while you lose fat.

This helps create that toned, fit look that most of us want. 💪

What is the fastest way to get rid of flabby arms?

The fastest way to get rid of flabby arms is to attack the cause by all sides. Work on building muscle, burning fat, and (if possible) tightening up any sagging skin.

Be sure to add in plenty of arm strength training exercises like the ones listed below and work on eating a healthy diet. A good exercise routine can transform your body, but it won’t do any good if you don’t make changes to your diet as well.

If you spend your morning exercising to burn fat and then overeat throughout the day, you’re just adding that fat right back to your body.

When it comes to sagging skin, some of that has to do with age, genetics, and elasticity. As we age our skin loses its elasticity (the quality in our skin that allows it to firm up and “snap back into place.”)

I won’t pretend to have a magic cure-all for fixing this, but I do know that good nutrition and drinking plenty of water can help keep our skin at its best.

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12 Quick & Effective Exercises for Flabby Arms

Here are 12 exercises for flabby arms. These will help tighten and tone your whole upper body. All of these exercises can be done at home with minimal to no equipment.

Depending on your strength and physical fitness level, I suggest starting with light dumbbells, around 2-4 lbs. As you get stronger, you can increase your weight if needed.

If you don’t have dumbbells or the exercises are too difficult, try using water bottles or soup cans instead. It’s more important to do the number of reps listed with good form than to use the heaviest weights possible.

Good quality reps are always better than straining yourself or causing a possible injury.

Bicep Curls - Need Some EMOM Workout Ideas? Try this EMOM Dumbbell Routine

Bicep Curls

The Bicep Curl targets the bicep muscle on the front of the upper arm between your shoulder and elbow.

Instructions:

  1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the dumbbells at your side.
  2. Engage your core and lift each dumbbell toward your shoulders. As you lift the dumbbell, you want to turn your wrists so that your palms are facing up.
  3. Once you reach your shoulder, slowly lower the dumbbells back toward your sides.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try performing fewer reps or using a lighter weight. If this move feels too easy, try performing more reps or using a heavier weight.

Bent Over Row - Need Some EMOM Workout Ideas? Try this EMOM Dumbbell Routine

Bent-Over Row

The Bent-Over Row targets the triceps on the back of the upper arm between your shoulder and elbow. It also strengthens the muscles in the upper back.

Instructions:

  1. Start by gripping one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet close together.
  2. Put a slight bend in your knees and hinge forward at the hips about 45 degrees. Make sure to keep your back and core engaged so your upper body stays in a straight line.
  3. Next, extend your arms toward the ground. Now, keeping your arms close to your side, pull your elbows up and behind you.
  4. Lift the dumbbells to about chest height. Then slowly lower them back down.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try performing fewer reps or using a lighter weight. If this move feels too easy, try adding an extension at the top of the exercise.

Tricep Kickbacks - Exercises for flabby arms

Tricep Kickbacks

The Tricep Kickback is a great exercise to help strengthen the triceps muscles on the back of your arms. This is the area most women experience “bat wings” and flabby arms.

Instructions:

  1. Start by gripping one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet close together.
  2. Put a slight bend in your knees and hinge forward at the hips about 45 degrees. Make sure to keep your back and core engaged so your upper body stays in a straight line.
  3. Next, bend your arms with your elbows glued to your side. This is your starting position.
  4. Now, extend your arms backward until your arms are parallel with your core.
  5. Then bend your arms back to the starting position.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move is too challenging, try using a lighter weight or performing fewer reps. If this move is too easy, try combining it with a Bent Over Row.

Hug a Tree - Exercises for flabby arms

Hug a Tree

This exercise for flabby arms is going to target the whole upper body. It works your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and upper back.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold your arms out to the side and keep your elbows straight. This is the starting position.
  3. Turn your palms forward and bring your hands toward each with a slight bend in the elbow. Your arms should make a circle like you are hugging a ball or a tree.
  4. Slowly return your arms to the starting position.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try doing fewer reps. If this move feels too easy, try holding a dumbbell in each hand or doing more reps.

Serve the Platter - Exercises for flabby arms

Serve the Platter

This exercise strengthens your biceps and shoulders.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grab a dumbbell with each hand and bend your arms at a 90-degree angle. Keep your palms facing toward the sky and your elbows right next to your sides. This is your starting position.
  3. Next, extend your arms up and out until they are parallel with the ground.
  4. Slowly bring your arms back to your side to the starting position.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try doing fewer reps or using a lighter weight. If this move feels too easy, try using a heavier weight or doing more reps.

Front Raise - Exercises for flabby arms

Front Raise

The Front raise works the front of the shoulders, biceps, and the middle of the back.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your palms facing behind you.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, lift both hands straight up in front of you until they are parallel with the ground.
  3. Slowly lower your arms back down.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try performing fewer reps or using a lighter weight. If this move feels too easy, try performing more reps or using a heavier weight.

Related Posts:

Dips - Exercises for flabby arms

Dips

Dips are a great exercise for flabby arms because they help strengthen your shoulders, chest, and triceps. For this exercise, you will need a stable surface to push off of.

You can use a chair, exercise bench, or the side of a coffee table. If you don’t have anything you can use, check out this video on how to do dips with no equipment.

Instructions:

  1. Sit on your chair with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands gripping the chair right next to your hips.
  2. Slide your hips off the chair so your body is supported mainly with your hands and your feet for balance.
  3. Bend your arms and lower your hips toward the ground. Stop when your arms reach a 90-degree angle.
  4. Then push and straighten your arms until your hips are back level with the chair.

Perform 8-10 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try to bring your feet closer to your chair. If this move feels too easy, try straightening your legs during the exercise.

Push-Ups - Exercises for flabby arms

Push-Ups

Push-ups strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and the muscles right under your armpits. This makes them one of the best exercises for flabby arms.

Instructions:

  1. Get into a plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders with your feet out behind you. Keep a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground. Stop when your upper arms are parallel with the ground.
  3. Keeping your body straight, push back up to the starting position.

Perform 8-10 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try lowering to your knees for the push-up. If this move feels too easy, try raising one leg off the ground for each rep.

Arm Circles - Exercises for flabby arms

Arm Circles

Arm circles target the shoulders and biceps.

Instructions:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold your arms out to the side and keep your elbows straight.
  3. Quickly rotate your arms forward for small arm circles. Imagine making donut-sized circles with your fingertips.
  4. Count each repetition at the top of the circle.

Perform 20-30 reps front and back.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try making bigger arm circles. If this move feels too easy, try holding a water bottle in each hand throughout the exercise.

Overhead Triceps Extension - Need Some EMOM Workout Ideas? Try this EMOM Dumbbell Routine

Overhead Triceps Extension

The Overhead Triceps Extension is one of my favorite exercises for flabby arms because it targets the triceps. For this move, you will only use 1 dumbbell.

Instructions:

  1.  Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take your dumbbell and grip the end of it between both hands.
  2. Next, lift the dumbbell over your head. You want both arms straight and your elbows pointing forward.
  3. Lower the dumbbell back behind you as far as you comfortably can.
  4. Then, while keeping your arms glued to the side of your head, extend your arms and lift the dumbbell back over your head.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try only lowering the dumbbell partway behind you or using a lighter weight. If this move feels too easy, try using both dumbbells instead of just one.

Punches - Exercises for flabby arms

Punches

Straight Punches are great for targeting your shoulders and biceps. They also get your heart rate up and give more of a cardio workout.

This can help increase how many calories you burn during your workout.

Instructions:

  1. Start this move by placing your feet hip-width apart and dropping into a squat. You don’t need to sit too far down, just enough to engage your legs.
  2. Next, bring both your fists up and place them near your face in a ready fighting position.
  3. Then extend your right fist forward like you were punching someone in the face.
  4. Then bring your right fist back toward your face and punch your left first forward.
  5. You want to throw your punches as quickly as you can with good control.
  6. As you alternate your punches, be sure to squeeze and engage your core to help stabilize your body.

Perform 20-30 reps.

Modifications: If this move is too challenging, try straightening your legs and holding a shallower squat, and slow down your punches. If this move is too easy, try lowering down into a deeper squat or holding a weight in each hand.

Overhead Press - Need Some EMOM Workout Ideas? Try this EMOM Dumbbell Routine

Shoulder Press

The Shoulder Press targets your shoulders, upper back, and biceps.

Instructions:

  1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and 1 dumbbell in each hand. Next, raise the dumbbells up and out to the side.
  2. Your arms are in a scarecrow position with your elbows forming a 90-degree angle and the bottom of your arms parallel with the floor.
  3. Next, extend your arms toward the sky and press the dumbbells straight overhead.
  4. Once you reach the top, slowly lower them back down to the starting scarecrow position.
  5. Make sure to keep your core engaged throughout the move to help stabilize your body.

Perform 15 reps.

Modifications: If this move feels too challenging, try performing fewer reps or using a lighter weight. If this move feels too easy, try performing more reps or using a heavier weight.

15 Min. Strong & Toned Arms Workout

To use these exercises for flabby arms in a full workout, try this 15 Min. Stong & Toned Arms Workout. Complete the exercises with the number of reps listed.

For a beginner workout, complete one time through. To kick it up a notch, see if you can get through it 2 or 3 times. 💪💪

I consider myself to be at an intermediate strength training level and I use 4-8lbs weights for this workout. For more home workouts, check out the Fitness section of my blog.

  1. Bicep curls – 10-12 reps
  2. Bent over row – 10-12 reps
  3. Tricep kickbacks – 10-12 reps
  4. Hug a tree – 10-12 reps
  5. Serve the platter – 10-12 reps
  6. Front raise – 10-12 reps
  7. Dips – 8-10 reps
  8. Push-Ups – 8-10 reps
  9. Arm circles – 20-30 reps
  10. Triceps extension – 10-12 reps
  11. Punches – 20-30 reps
  12. Shoulder Press – 15 reps

15 Min. Strong & Toned Arm Workout - Exercises for Flabby Arms

More Tips for Losing Weight in Your Arms

Doing the exercises for flabby arms listed above is a great start to toning your upper body. However, if you want to see results even faster, here are some great tips to follow.

Eat a healthier diet

Eating a healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with the exercises I’ve listed above to help tighten and tone your arms. No matter how much muscle you build, if it’s all buried under a layer of fat, your arms are still going to feel flabby.

A healthy diet helps your body burn fat, perform better physically, and improves your overall health.

In my experience, a healthy diet consists of lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of fruits and veggies, and a balance of complex “good carbs.” And most of the research I’ve done agrees.

The USDA put out the Dietary Guideline for Americans, 2020-2025 that encourages:

  • Vegetables of all types—dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy; and
    other vegetables
  • Fruits, especially whole fruit
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grain
  • Dairy, including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, and/or lactose-free versions and fortified
    soy beverages and yogurt as alternatives
  • Protein foods, including lean meats, poultry, and eggs; seafood; beans, peas, and lentils; and nuts,
    seeds, and soy products
  • Oils, including vegetable oils and oils in food, such as seafood and nuts.

The better your diet, the more fat you’ll lose in your arms, the faster you’ll build muscle, and the sooner you’ll be rocking those tank tops this summer.

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Drink water

There are many benefits of drinking more water. It helps with everything from the way your skin looks to how your body functions.

It’s even on my shortlist for healthy habits that help with weight loss and on my list of the 8 secrets to a successful diet. Drinking water is an often overlooked, but easy way to improve your overall health and fitness.

Here is what happens to your body when you start drinking more water:

  • Fewer unexplained hunger cravings.
  • Improved exercise performance.
  • Faster weight loss.
  • Higher energy levels.
  • Flushes waste and toxins from the body.

All of these are going to help your body burn more fat as well as improve the elasticity of your skin. All important factors for tightening up flabby arms.

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Work on portion control

An important part of getting rid of flabby arms is helping to burn the extra fat in that area. That’s where portion control comes in.

Studies show that cutting back on overeating can help you improve weight loss. Whether you choose to count calories, follow a specific meal plan, or focus more on intuitive eating is up to you.

I personally have found that working on intuitive eating and listening to my body’s hunger and satiation cues to be the most effective.  It helps with portion control without all the stress and hassle of more “traditional” diets.

Whichever method you try, just make sure to focus on eating portion sizes more in line with your ideal weight and it will help you on your way to tone up your arms.

Train cardio

Strength training is an important part of any exercise routine. I would even go so far as to say a crucial part, but that doesn’t mean you need to ignore cardio completely.

Cardio workouts will help you burn more fat during your workouts than strength training alone. I have found that adding in 2-3 cardio workouts a week has been a great way to make sure I’m getting the best results over time.

Here are some simple ways to get a great cardio workout at home:

Conclusion to 12 Quick & Effective Exercises for Flabby Arms

Now you have a good selection of exercises for flabby arms. If you combine these moves with a solid diet you’ll have tight and toned arms in no time.

If you’re ready to get consistent with your workouts and finally feel fit and strong, check out my ebook “Building Your Best You!” It’s a mom’s guide to staying motivated to exercise regularly so you can get results.

What did you think of these exercises for flabby arms? Tell me in the comments below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more beginner home workouts.

Pin this for later!!👇👇

12 Quick & Effective Exercises for Flabby Arms

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