One way or another, we are all familiar with localized excess weight that defies our attempts to get rid of it once and for all. Unfortunately, not all of our efforts bear fruit, but we must not give up. There are at least three reasons for this.
One, flabby arms are one of the telltale signs of your poor body management. They can appear for several reasons, including genetics and environmental factors(1), as we will discuss later in this article. However, factors that directly depend on your lifestyle can also cause flabby arms - aka “bat wings”.
Two, and no less important for any of us, it’s just the appearance of our arms that we do not want to conceal under baggy garments and long sleeves out of embarrassment. Nobody likes to see his or her body unfit or out of shape.
So, flabby arms can develop for a variety of causes, some of which are even related. You need to carefully monitor your body to know for sure what triggered this process. That’s what we are going to do right now!
There are differing viewpoints on what factors most influence skin flabbiness: extra weight accumulated due to a lack of workouts or natural bodily processes? Among other things, other additional factors indirectly exacerbate upper arm fat. Their combined impact is less visible but also damaging for the skin.
Flabby arms can be the result of weight imbalances(4) in the body. Not only the excess weight provokes a jiggly tummy and flabby forearms. Your body shape is also affected by any weight loss you have when the skin does not have time to gain elasticity and reshape following the disappearing pounds.
A strict diet or weight training can cause unexpectedly adverse effects, so think again before resorting to these methods. A holistic, gentle approach is much more suitable for this purpose.
It is possible that you simply lack muscle mass for toned arms. The firmness in the armpits and forearms is the result of regular exercise and stretching. One can never deny the effect of everyday workouts. Indeed, in the long run, they keep your body in shape when skin's elasticity is already decreasing.
There are various ways to gain muscle mass and lose fat simultaneously, so rest assured that flabby arms are only a temporary problem. If you put in the effort, you can get rid of them at almost any weight and age.
Frequent lifting of weights can also cause loose skin on your hands. With excessive loads, the muscles do not tone up, but on the contrary, they strain, which leads to drooping underarms. Nevertheless, the effect can be the opposite with the appropriate amount of weight and load balancing. For instance, dumbbell curls and biceps exercises with the proper training schedule can be highly beneficial.
Photoaging or sun damage is an often forgotten cause of sagging skin on the arms. The appearance of damaged skin and an increased risk of skin cancer are the two primary issues associated with photoaging. Sun damage heals faster in younger skin because epidermal cells cycle at a higher pace(5), but as people age, their skin thins, and their epidermis turnover rate(6) for cell repair slows down, potentially causing damage to the dermis layer.
So, how should we deal with the inevitable process of photoaging? Sitting indoors all the time? This is not an option. Fortunately, scientists discovered that sunscreens and topical retinoic acids(7) may prevent photoaging while still allowing natural healing to occur. Therefore, when leaving the house for a long time or sunbathing on the beach, do not neglect simple sunscreens.
Of course, sun damage plays a decisive role in your skin condition, but perhaps the most constant factor for flabby arms is genetics and aging itself. It is impossible to deny the significant contribution to health and appearance by natural processes in the body. Although, this does not mean that we cannot influence them at least a little.
Studies(8) show that aging affects the skin's elasticity. Dermal elastic fibers thicken and fracture as people become older. Between the ages of 30 and 70, a minority of elastic fibers begin to disintegrate, but after the age of 70, the changes become more pronounced, impacting most fibers.
There are a couple of reasons behind this. Hormones are one of them. Because women have lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels(9) than males, they are more inclined to retain fat. Furthermore, women are more prone than males to accumulate fat in their upper arms (as well as in their hips and thighs).
Excess fat in the arm region isn't necessarily the cause of bat wings. They appear in some women after they have lost a significant amount of weight. Not fat, but the extra, sagging skin causes the drooping underarms. Sagging bat wings can be caused by the natural aging process, which induces the skin to lose elasticity.
The first thing to remember while attempting to get slimmer arms is that you must begin controlling your calorie intake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture(10) proclaims in its Food and Nutrition Information Center that it takes roughly 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat. While the sum may appear intimidating, there is a straightforward approach to attain this aim.
If you remove 500 calories from your daily diet, you'll be able to burn 3,500 calories for a week. To keep count of your consumption, jot down everything you consume, including the calorie content. In addition, add and remove foods from your diet that will help you to lose arm fat.
Protein-rich foods can help you gain muscle mass and increase your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories.
Everyone knows that high-sugar foods (cakes, soda, candies, gums, etc.) are harmful to your health, so it’s better to choose no-sugar products.
Adding a few extra fiber servings to your diet may help you lose weight and excess body fat more quickly.
Nothing can handle flabby arms better than regular workouts. To reduce arm fat quickly, you should follow a complex of exercises. A fix for flabby arms is in the stretching, push-ups, triceps and biceps dips, etc. Set aside a convenient time for you, find a comfortable place in the house, and devote at least 20 minutes to get rid of the flab. Remember that you should engage all muscles in the arms, shoulders, neck, and chest area.
Disclaimer: check with your trainer and doctor before starting weight training. This is especially relevant for those who have problems with sagging skin due to weight loss(11) and weight lifting.
Surgery can also help you get rid of flabby arms. There are a vast number of clinics ready to help you right now. But first, consider all the options and find out the pros and cons of surgical treatment.
The main advantage of the surgical way to deal with flabby arms is speed. But can we put it a priority if there is even the slightest chance of harming health? Nowadays, there are many different procedures to help get rid of flabby skin. A brachioplasty, often known as an arm lift, may be a preferable alternative if your bat wings are caused by loose skin and fat in the upper arms. Liposuction(12) may be appropriate if your skin is still relatively elastic and all you're dealing with is a small amount of excess, undesirable fat. The cons of surgery include high risks and costs of treatment and rehabilitation. Therefore, our final advice: first, consult with your doctor – then make a decision.
To sum up, we can say that it is unnecessary to resort to surgery, heavy loads, and strict diets to slim down your upper arms. First, understand the reason for their appearance, and then find the exercises that work for you. Make an individual plan containing proteins and fibers because any techniques for getting rid of the flab work only in combination. And do always remember: seven days without exercise makes one weak! Do not be scared to start right now and get the result as soon as possible!