How To Lose Arm Fat?

Medically reviewed by Merlin Annie Raj, RD (Registered Dietitian) Merlin Annie Raj Merlin Annie RajRD (Registered Dietitian) facebook_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years

Millions of women struggle to lose fat from their arms these days. Are you in a war with your flabby arms too? Fat arms are caused by sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, the body’s metabolic rate, medical issues, or even your genes. To address this problem you have to work extra hard on your triceps and biceps and lose overall weight from your body to get the desired result.

Factors that determine how quickly you will lose the extra pounds from your arms are food, exercise, and lifestyle. In this article, you will know:

  • The best 28 arm exercises to trigger the weight loss
  • The best foods to eat while planning to lose weight and
  • The best lifestyle to follow to prevent regaining the weight

Guide To Lose Fat From Arms

A. Exercises
B. Foods Habit
C. Natural Supplements
D. Surgery
E. Lifestyle


1. Cardio

Lose Fat From Arms - Cardio
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You can go for cardiovascular exercises to lose weight faster. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, swimming, aerobics, cycling, rope jumping can be very effective in burning the calories.

It is recommended to do around 20 minutes of cardio workout 3-4 times a week. The duration of the workout should be increased gradually up to 30-45 minutes, and the frequency to 5-6 times a week as your endurance increases.

2. Push-Ups

Lose Fat From Arms - Push-Ups
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Heavy lifting is very beneficial to strengthen your arms. However, most of us are not used to lifting heavy weights. As a result, doing push-ups becomes difficult, particularly for women.

You can start off by holding weights on your hands and knees instead of your hands and toes. Knee push-ups are a great exercise for beginners. Apart from these, you can resort to open push-ups with your arms placed wider than the width of your shoulders, or closed push-ups, where the arms placed close together.

3. Weightlifting

Lose Fat From Arms - Weightlifting
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Exercising with weights also helps in losing fat from the arms. You can start off with light weights of about 2 to 3 pounds, and gradually move on to heavier weights. Weight lifting strengthens the muscles of your arms.

  • Stand erect and hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands.
  • Keeping your body straight, squat and bend your arms at the elbows.
  • Come back to the original position. Repeat.

This will keep your arms toned.

4. Triceps Kickback

Lose Fat From Arms - Triceps Kickback
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This exercise tones the back of the arms.

  • Rest your left knee on a bench.
  • Keeping the dumbbell in your right hand, raise it towards the ceiling. Ensure that your back is straight throughout the workout.

5. Plank Moving

This is effective in working the upper arms along with the core.

  • Get down to the planking position on a stability ball with your chest and arms on the ball and the toes on the floor.
  • Lift your body up so that the weight of the upper body is on your arms.

This also helps in strengthening your body.

6. Scissors

This exercise resembles a pair of scissors being opened and closed. It enables you to lose arm weight fast.

  • Stand erect and stretch your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Keeping them straight, stretch them to the side and bring them back to the front to enable your right arm to overlap your left.
  • Stretch them again, and bring them back to make your left arm overlap your right.
  • This should be repeated at least 20 times.

7. Triceps Dips

Triceps dips are very effective in toning the back of your arms.

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with both your hands gripping the chair and your feet on the floor a few feet from and facing away from the chair.
  • Keeping your legs straight, slide off the chair such that you are supporting your body weight with your arms. Slowly lower your body to reach a 90-degree angle at your elbows.
  • Now, lift your body back by squeezing the muscles in the back of your arms. Initially, you should keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent. But as you keep practicing and gain upper body strength, you can try doing it with your legs extended out in front.
  • Perform 8 to 9 repetitions.

8. Triceps Press

  • Start off by standing or sitting in a chair.
  • Keep your back straight and lift a dumbbell of about 3 to 5 lbs over your head.
  • Bend your elbow such that the weight ends up behind your head.
  • After this, straighten your elbow to return to the starting position. Repeat a few times.

This is a much-recommended exercise to tone the arms.

9. Biceps Curls

  • Stand straight and hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand.
  • Keeping your body straight and your palms facing up, slowly curl up both your arms by bending them at the elbows such that your biceps are fully flexed.
  • Your elbows should be kept close to your sides while doing this exercise.
  • Hold this position for a second. Then, slowly lower your weight to the starting position. Repeat several times.

10. Diagonal Raises

This exercise helps in toning your shoulders.

  • Stand erect and hold the dumbbell with your right arm.
  • Place your right arm across your body in front of you, near your left hip.
  • Keeping your arm straight, slowly raise it in front of you and diagonally across your body such that it is fully extended above your right shoulder.
  • Slowly lower your arm to your left hip.
  • Repeat this exercise with your left arm.

11. Dumbbell Bent Over Reverse Flies

This exercise aims at toning your arms, shoulders, and back.

  • Stand straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at the waist, making your torso almost parallel to the floor. You can try to bend forward as far as possible.
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your arms straight and pointing towards the floor.
  • Keeping your arms straight, slowly raise them away from each other towards the ceiling.
  • Reach up to the position where your arms are even with your shoulders and stop there.
  • Slowly lower your arms and repeat.

12. Upright Row

This exercise works on your upper back, shoulders, and biceps.

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Keep your core muscles engaged and lift your elbows to bring them at the level of your shoulders. Bring the weights together and up to your chest level.
  • Lower the weights to the starting position and repeat.

13. Chest Press On Ball

This exercise works on your triceps, shoulders, chest, core muscles, glutes, and legs.

  • Position yourself on a ball such that your upper back and head are supported on the ball while your lower body is supported by the legs in a bridge position with your hips lifted.
  • Bend your elbows and bring the weights to your chest.
  • Press the weights towards the ceiling and straighten your arms, squeezing the chest muscles.

14. Opposite Arm And Leg Lift

This exercise strengthens your arms and legs, while stretching your back. Thus, it involves all the four limbs of your body.

  • Extend your right arm forward and stretch your left leg back at the same time and flex your foot. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position and perform the move with your left arm and right leg. That counts to one repetition.
  • Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.

15. Pullovers With Dumbbells

This exercise aims at working out your biceps and triceps.

  • Lie on an exercise bench or a large couch cushion with 5 or 8-pound dumbbells in both hands. Extend your arms over your chest.
  • Now, lower the weight slowly behind your back and return the weight to the starting position.
  • Perform 15 repetitions.

16. Push-Up On A Ball

You need to learn to balance yourself on a ball before trying this exercise. Maintaining stability is also very important.

  • Lie on your abdomen on an exercise ball and place your hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under your thighs.
  • Now, bend your elbows and pull your navel in towards your spine.
  • Lower your upper body to the floor and hold this position for 3 seconds.
  • Then, push up such that your elbows are straight, but not locked. Your head should be in line with your spine, and your abs must be engaged.
  • Start off by doing 5 repetitions and gradually move on to 15.

17. Plank Arm Row And Rotate

This exercise for arms works out your biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, upper back, and abs.

  • Assume the push-up position and balance your body on your hands and toes. Ensure that your body forms a straight line from the head to the heels.
  • Move your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your hips level, lift your left hand off the floor and bend your left elbow behind you to bring your hand next to your shoulder.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat this move by rotating your torso to the right such that your left elbow points up.
  • Then, return to the starting position. This counts to one repetition. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions, alternating sides.

18. Kickback With A Twist

This exercise is best for getting firm and sleek triceps.

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your arms by your sides. Hold a 5 to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand.
  • Keeping your back straight, bend your legs slightly and lean forward such that your torso is almost parallel to the ground.
  • Now, raise your elbows to make your lower arms even with your back. Ensure that your elbows are bent to 45-degree angles with your palms facing each other.
  • While your upper arms are still, extend both hands behind you and rotate your wrists such that your palms are up.
  • After this, turn your palms back to make them face each other and bend your elbows to bring the weights back towards your body.
  • This completes one repetition. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions.

19. Pilates Press

This exercise targets the triceps and biceps, shoulders, the back, chest, and abs.

  • Assume the push-up position and balance your body on your hands and toes. To make it easier, you can keep both your knees on the floor.
  • Now, bend the knees at 90 degrees so that your toes are pointing up.
  • Keeping your arms close to your body, bend your elbows directly behind you. While doing so, lower only a few inches towards the floor and press back up.
  • Perform 8 to 10 repetitions and switch legs to complete one set. You are required to do 2 sets.

20. Triceps Swing

  • Lie on the floor with your face up and knees bent. Hold a 5 lb dumbbell in each hand. Keep your hands a few inches off the floor.
  • With your arms straight, raise your left arm over the chest while keeping the right arm overhead.
  • Lower it to the starting position and repeat.
  • Do 15 repetitions with your left arm. Repeat this move with the right arm. Try doing 2-3 sets.

21. Dip Kick

This exercise is great for working your shoulders, upper back, and triceps.

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent.
  • Lean your torso back at an angle of 45 degrees, placing your palms on the floor under the shoulders with the fingers facing out.
  • Bring the left knee to your chest and place the left foot on the right knee.
  • Bend your elbows directly behind you and lift your hips a few inches.

22. Shadow Boxing

Lose Fat From Arms - Shadow Boxing
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  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees soft and your core engaged.
  • Staying in this position, punch across your body, doing 15 repetitions on each side.
  • For upper cuts, start off with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle, and punch upwards across your chest. Do 15 repetitions on each side. You can add weights to increase intensity.
  • This exercise should be performed at least 2 to 3 times with 15 to 20 repetitions each.

23. Forearm Plank

  • Get into a push-up position.
  • Putting all your weight on your forearms and toes, align your elbows on the floor under your shoulders.
  • Make a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for 20 seconds and breathe gently.
  • Place your knees on the floor and take rest for 30 seconds.
  • This exercise should be done 3 times in a day with a total of 6 repetitions.

24. Get-Up Plank

This arms exercise is quite apt for giving you strong arms, back, and shoulders.

  • Start off in a modified side plank position with your legs stacked and your knees bent.
  • Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, bend your right elbow such that your weight rests against your forearm.
  • Lift your hips and make your body straight from the knees to the shoulders while pressing the kettlebell up to the ceiling.
  • Switch sides and do 3 sets on each side.

25. Clean And Press Windmill

This exercise is suitable for working out your legs and glutes in addition to your arms.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a free weight between them.
  • Push your hips back. Lower your body to squat and grab the weight with your left hand.
  • Now, push through your feet and rise to the standing position while lifting your weight towards your left shoulder and up overhead.
  • Bend from your waist towards your right, enabling your right foot to turn out while your right hand is on the inside of your right leg.
  • Keep on bending sideways, sliding your right hand down to the foot and keeping your left hand overhead.
  • Reverse this movement to return to the squat position and repeat it with the other side.

26. Biceps Curl With Alternating Lunge

This exercise is great for getting a firmer lower body in addition to long and lean arms.

  • Hold a dumbbell or water bottle in each hand and stand with your knees slightly bent.
  • Take a step forward with your right leg and lower your body into a lunge position. Make sure that your front knee does not go past your toes.
  • Simultaneously, tighten your left bicep and curl your left hand towards your chest.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

27. Alternating Bicep Curl

  • Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand.
  • Keep your upper arm close to the body and curl one dumbbell up to your shoulder.
  • Now, as you lower your arm, do the same with the other arm. Keep on alternating your arms during the exercise.
  • Start off by doing 8 repetitions on each arm.

This exercise is perfect for women as it tones the arms but doesn’t build muscles.

28. Biceps And Arm Circles

Apart from working out your arms, this exercise is apt for those who want a full body workout.

  • Stand with your legs apart, slightly wider than hip-width, holding a 5 to 8-pound dumbbell in each hand. Your elbows should be bent, and your palms should be facing up.
  • With your spine straight, squat and circle your left hand up towards your shoulders in a circular motion.
  • Now, reverse it to lower your hand to the starting position.
  • Perform 16 repetitions. Do the move with your right hand.

B. Food Habits

Lose Fat From Arms - Food Habits
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1. Reduce Your Caloric Intake

In order to lose fat from one specific region, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved by cutting your daily caloric intake down to 500 calories. Apart from this, you have to burn calories through exercise. It is advisable not to drastically cut down your caloric intake as this may deprive your body of energy and cause fatigue and dizziness. Hence, you should gradually cut your caloric consumption and burn more calories than usual.

2. Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and keep your metabolism active. Therefore, more fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into your diet. Eat at least two types of fruits every day. Unhealthy items like colas, alcohol, and processed foods like chips and cookies should be eliminated. Mono and polyunsaturated fats from sources like olive oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, trout, and salmon should replace the unhealthy saturated fats. Reduce the intake of flour and refined sugars and consume more of whole grains.

3. Proteins

Lean protein is what you should bank on while on a diet plan to lose weight in general. Protein sources such as fish, chicken breast, turkey, soy, tofu, mushrooms, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds should be incorporated in your daily diet. A good amount of energy is required to metabolize these foods, which helps to burn the fat and build muscle.

4. Carbs And Fats

Carbs and fats are essential for our body to function properly. Eat foods that are rich in good fats and carbs. Foods like brown rice, oats, wheat bread, sweet potatoes, multigrain cereal, dark chocolate, avocado, whole egg, chia seeds, nuts, fatty fish, rice bran oil, etc. are highly nutritious and keep a lot of health problems at bay. Avoid fried foods, potato wafers, cream cheese, donuts, cakes, flour products, polished rice, cakes, pastries, milk chocolate, etc. Even if you choose to eat them, make sure to workout to burn the extra kilos. Also, eat good fats and carbs in measured amounts.

5. Dairy

Include one glass of milk and one whole egg in your everyday diet. The yolk of the egg should not be thrown away as it is highly nutritious. It is full of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat. If you eat an egg, you may avoid eating any other meat protein source for the day. Milk will augment your bone health. Cheese is also rich in nutrition and won’t make you bloated unless you eat more than what you burn.

6. Drink Plenty Of Water

Drink at least eight glasses of water in between meals to control your appetite. This will support metabolism and burn fat. Do not drink too much water with your meals as it can dilute the stomach acids and impair digestion. Drinking pure spring water detoxifies your system and balances your stress hormones. Sodas, coffee, and sugary drinks should be avoided.

7. Have Frequent Smaller Meals

It is advisable to have frequent, smaller meals instead of few large meals as it enables your body to repair itself after workouts while keeping your blood sugar low. Also, eating frequent meals makes you less likely to overeat.

8. Do Not Avoid Breakfast

In order to lose more weight, you should eat a healthy and balanced breakfast, comprising of lean proteins and high fiber carbs. Eating a substantial breakfast keeps you full for the rest of the day.

9. Refuel Your Muscles After Every Workout

Your muscles require nutrients after a workout. Therefore, it is advisable to have a liquid meal, such as protein shake, after doing exercise. Liquids are digested faster than solid food. Also, have your meals at least 90 minutes before a workout.

C. Natural Supplements

Lose Fat From Arms - Natural Supplements
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1. Green Tea

Green tea contains natural antioxidants called catechins. One of the catechins, known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), helps to burn fat. EGCG prevents the breakdown of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which regulates metabolism and burning of fat (1).

Drinking green tea two to three times a day would help you to lose the overall weight, which in turn will help you to lose fat from arms.

2. Ginger

Ginger has been used to cure many ailments, and now, researchers have found that ginger also aids weight loss. Ginger increases lactic acid production by the muscles. Lactic acid stimulates the release of the growth hormone, which results in the breakdown of fat. Therefore, adding ginger to your food or just eating a small piece of raw ginger will help you to lose weight (2).

3. Chili

Chili has a chemical known as capsaicin that helps in burning fat and increases the metabolic rate (3). Capsaicin works by increasing the levels of norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps in the burning of fat. Therefore, an increased level of norepinephrine leads to weight loss. Incorporate chili in your daily diet to see the results for yourself.

4. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil contains a lignan known as sesamin, which is an antioxidant and also burns fat (4). Sesamin, in the active form, binds to a specific receptor known as peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha). These receptors are found in the heart cells, muscles, and the liver cells. The binding of active sesamin to PPAR-alpha activates the genes that help in burning fat.

5. Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3-fatty acids. These get converted to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins, which help in thermogenesis. Fish oil helps to increase lean muscle and decreases fat tissue in the body (5). You can either use fish oil in foods or take fish oil pills that are available in the pharmacy.

6. Soy & Whey

Soy protein contains small proteins or peptides that help to keep the resting metabolic rate levels high to promote the burning of fat. These small proteins also help keep your hunger pangs at bay (6).

Whey proteins help to burn fat by releasing hormones, cholecystokinin, and glucagon-like peptide-1. These hormones help to decrease hunger and therefore people tend to eat less (7).

D. Surgery

Upper arm lift or brachioplasty will help you get rid of sagging arms. Surgery should be your last option. If you have lost weight drastically that resulted in flappy arms, and no workout regimen seemed to have addressed the problem, you can opt for surgery.

E. Lifestyle

Lose Fat From Arms - Lifestyle
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So the critical question is: how can you prevent your body from putting the weight back on? The answer lies in the lifestyle you choose to follow. If you are really serious about losing weight and keeping your body toned, you have to make significant changes in your lifestyle.

1. Do Not Stop Working Out

Keep yourself as active as possible. The weight you lost by putting in so much time and energy will come back right on where it was if you stop working out. Play a sport that requires full body movement, especially the arms. You can also mop and clean your room at least twice a week.

2. Get Proper Sleep

Apart from eating right and exercising, you also have to take care of your sleep. Sleep for at least seven hours. Also, try to go to bed early and wake up early in the morning. This way, you will get all the rest and also have time to go for an early morning jog and have breakfast as well.

3. Delete Bad Memories

Bad memories and brooding over them can only harm you. Depression, anxiety, and sadness increase the reactive oxygen species, which will harm your body, lead to weight gain, and also accelerate aging.

4. Avoid Junk Food

Try and avoid eating foods that do nothing but add weight. Have dinner by 7 pm and go to bed by 10 pm. This will help you avoid the late-night carb cravings.

5. Say No To Alcohol

Alcohol is another reason for weight gain. When you drink alcohol, it is broken down into sugars, which get readily absorbed by the body. Excess unutilized sugar finally gets stored as fat. Therefore, to lose weight, one should avoid drinking alcohol.
These are the best ways to get rid of your fat arms. Start working towards slimming down your arms right away. Share your story with us. If you know of a particular exercise that can help in reducing arm fat, please leave a comment in the section below.

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Merlin Annie Raj

Merlin Annie RajRegistered Dietitian Nutritionist

Merlin Annie Raj is a Registered Dietitian based out of Hyderabad, India. She has 14 years of experience in Clinical Nutrition as well as teaching Nutrition and Dietetics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. She was awarded the ‘President’s Award’ at the 47th Annual National Conference of the Indian Dietetic Association, 2014.   Merlin has conducted various weight management programs, full bio

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