Marsh column: Toning up flabby arms

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 1, 2009

Q. I am working really hard to get my arms in shape and they just do not seem to get any firmer. What can I do to tighten them up?
A. Inquiries about firming and or slimming arms and abs are the most asked questions in a fitness center.
As I have written many times before, you can not spot reduce any particular area because you are working that area.
I wish it were that simple!
Are you toning the areas when you are working that specific muscle? Absolutely! With all parts of your body, you have to take genetics into consideration. Does your family have flabby arms? Are your arms waving long after you are done because you are overweight or plain out of shape?
In your case, you have been working out. Has it been a while or did you start and expect your body to just tighten up?
How long have you been out of shape or had flabby arms?
When I ask that question, most of the time the answer is quite some time.
So give your body time to tighten up. Age is a huge part of it. Skin will lose its firmness the older you get.
I hope I did not discourage you already. I just want people to understand that sometimes it is the way you are built or in a case of obesity, the flab is actually not just lose skin but fat.
With proper nutrition and exercise and time, you can come a long way. Never give up.
Most people are not happy with the skin/ flab at the back of the upper arm, which is the triceps.
The following exercises will work the triceps:
– Push ups. If you’re not able to do them in a full push up, put your knees on the ground.
– Triceps push down with bar
– Triceps push down with rope
– One arm overhead extensions
– One arm triceps kick backs
– Triceps selecterized equipment
If you have a thera-band, you could do the following:
Stand on one end and extend one arm over the head, extend your arm and bend it.
Stand with both feet on the band, bend knees, and bend in the hip, your back is straight belly tight. With upper arms parallel with the floor, extend and bend your arms.
This will help the back part of the upper arms. With a proper diet, cardio vascular exercises and adding exercises for biceps, and shoulders, you are on your way to some good-looking arms.
Ester Marsh is associative executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or