Feeling a little loose under the arms?
Developing a set of 'bat wings'?

I'm talking about the loose skin you see when you raise your arms. You know, the stuff that sometimes jiggles when you move suddenly. Here, sadly, bat wings have nothing to do with a super hero in tights - after all, those pipes are not bad to look at.

There are many exercises designed for toning. Follow my four simple rules to achieve success:

  1. Work your problem area first before all other muscle groups
  2. Use high intensity, short duration exercises
  3. Attack the muscles from different angles with a variety of exercises
  4. Pay attention to balance - if you're targeting the triceps, make sure you work the biceps equally as hard

Working the problem area first will help fatigue the muscles prior to them being used as secondary targets in your remaining exercises. This works well for smaller muscle groups like your biceps and triceps as you use these muscles to lift and move the weights when setting up for other exercises such as bench press, dumbbell squats, etc. Your arms are also engaged as secondary muscle groups when performing other upper body exercises such as push-ups, lat pull downs and chin ups.

Using high intensity, short duration exercises work best for smaller muscle groups as compared to your chest/back muscles and will fatigue at a faster rate.

There’s truth to the old adage: Variety is the spice of life. Working your limbs from different angles and using a variety of exercises during each workout will keep the muscles guessing and adjusting to the new routines. This will limit the tendency of your muscles to become accustomed to the same movement, workout after workout, enhancing your progress over time. And hey, adding variety to your workout will keep it fresh and keep you interested – so spice things up!

Balance is another important issue. For every movement there is an agonist and an antagonist. In the case of your arms these are your biceps and triceps. When performing a bicep curl, you contract your biceps to bring your forearms up and you use your triceps to bring your forearms back down. Said another way, your biceps are used during ‘pulling’ exercises and your triceps are used during ‘pushing’ exercises. While one muscle group is contracting its antagonist is stretching. In order to create balance, you need to work both sides of the equation.

Let’s focus on those ‘bat wings’

Below is a sample workout routine:

  1. Triceps push-ups using a flat bench
  2. Seated incline bicep curls
  3. Triceps kickbacks
  4. Standing DB hammer curls
  5. Triceps press down with rope cable

But don’t stop there. For your next workout, switch to different exercises:

  1. Triceps dips between two benches
  2. Preacher/Scott curls with an EZ curl bar
  3. Lying triceps presses
  4. Concentration curls
  5. Triceps press down with a straight bar

For your third workout, switch up the exercises once again:

  1. Close grip bench press with EZ curl bar
  2. Standing barbell curls
  3. Parallel bar dips
  4. Single arm pulley curls at 45°
  5. Single arm dumbbell extensions

Note: the intensity factor comes in when you use supersets for exercises 1 & 2 and 3 & 4.

Wouldn't it be nice to go sleeveless with confidence?

Click here for more information on how to perform each of the arm exercises properly.

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The contents of this site are the opinions of Michele Tse unless otherwise noted. The information on this site is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice or treatment. Please consult your health care practitioner before beginning any fitness program.

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