If you have ever watched the arrivals on the red carpet at the Oscars you may have been very impressed with the stunning dresses and great physiques on display. One body part that is on show more than any other are the arms.
Arms are definitely an area that everyone wants to work on and women in particular wish to tone up and lose fat around their arms, especially if they have a special dress in mind.
‘Spot reducing’ is the notion of losing body fat in a specific area with the arms, tummy or bum being the common requests from my personal training clients.
So can we just lose the flab around the arms?
Is there a way to reduce fat in one particular spot?
I am afraid not. Spot reducing is just a myth and I have never witnessed any client to reduce fat in only one area of their body.
Reducing or adding fat is generally genetically controlled.
If you look at any family, you will notice that members of that family tend to gain fat in the same areas of the body but this differs from family to family.
Although this is genetically predisposed we can still lose body fat and tone up but it only occurs all over the body rather than one particular spot.
The most important thing is to get the metabolic rate to optimal through adequate movement. That means moving the body at least 20 minutes a day, even if it means walking.
This will get the body pumping.
We also need adequate rest and should be getting 8 hours of sleep every night and in bed by 10.30pm!
Our food needs to be predominately organic as anything else is nutritionally deficient laden with chemicals and will increase toxins in the body.
Toxins in the body are stored in fat but if the body is lacking nutrition then it becomes increasingly difficult for the body to detoxify itself let alone drop the body fat.
We also have to remember to drink 3 litres of water every day to stay hydrated and I recommend Evian, Fiji or Highland Spring.
In the gym, I always use compound exercises to tone up the arms. Compound exercises are moves that use multiple joints and incorporate several major muscle groups for example, a push up, pull up or row.
I also integrate lower body compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and lunges with a push, pull or lift movement such as a squat with a Bicep curl or a lunge with an overhead Tricep extension.
I choose these types of exercises, as they are a lot more metabolically challenging than any isolation exercise like a seated dumbbell curl.
Working the major muscle groups all at once will get the heart pumping as well as targeting several body parts in one move.
Performing a mini circuit tends to be the most effective and efficient way to drop body fat and tone the arms.
Choose 5 compound exercises and complete them back-to-back with little rest in between and 90 seconds rest after the circuit is finished.
Pick a weight so you can carry out 10 repetitions on each exercise and repeat the circuit 3-4 times.
Aim to run through this workout 3-4 times a week and change exercises every month to prevent injury.
Try the sample workout below and your arms will be red carpet ready!
- Step up with dumbbell Bicep curl
- Squat with dumbbell Shoulder press
- Push up with feet elevated on a Swiss ball
- Forward Lunge with overhead dumbbell Tricep extension
- Barbell Bent over Row