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Toning for out-of-shape arms

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I used to be more active and stronger in my upper body.  So, after a few years of not using all my arm muscle they got kind of squishy and untoned, though all the mass stayed there!?

I'm trying to get back in shape overall, but would like some tips on how to get what is now fat, off my arms around my tri/biceps.  I know running/jogging helps with this on legs, but I'm lost on the arms.

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Didnt see your profile.  Male? female?

You can not spot reduce. 

Great fat burning article 33

(one of Melkors favorites)


Running & jogging will help you reduce your fat, but only weight lifting (bicep curls & tricep kickbacks) &/or resistance training (push ups or resistance bands) will make your arms look good. If you don't fill that skin with muscle you're going to have wings!


You can not "tone" muscle.  You can reduce body fat, so your muscle can be more visible.  You can only "build" or "maintain" muscle, and to stress if you want it to show, your body fat % must be lowered. 

If Melkor reads this I am sure he can explain further.

Take care.

Female, 24yr, 5'9", 165lbs, 25-30% bodyfat

I understand you can't spot fix. I've been in sports for all but the last few years of my life. Build muscle, reduce bodyfat, etc. My problem is the muscle I had turned to fat in a place I never naturally had it. I struggled to get muscle in my arms in the first place.

Runners tend to have smaller legs because excess muscle is not needed, just highly oxygen efficient muscle. I used to play basketball and had huge thighs. After stopping that and doing more cardio, eliptical & jogging, versus strength training the size of my legs has decreased.

I do realize I am out of shape now and my bodyfat is high, but I was just asking if there was a way to reduce the overall size of my arm, similar to the running to legs thing that I could use as I get back in shape. My skin is still young enough I don't think I'll have the "wing" issue! I do enjoy weight training and work my arms on a regular basis.

Keep up with the cardio and throw some push ups in there.  Real ones.
I just saw a thing yesterday about bi-cep curls. Don't do them unless you want popeye the sailor arms! tricep kick backs with weights are good. I'm leery of push ups right now. I was heard that push ups over stretch the connective tissue of the breast and won't help you boobs. It's supposed to diminish the elasticity of that tissue.  Undecided  I'm still reading into that topic. Don't want to put all my eggs in one basket and then be wrong?! utube has tons of clips for ideas.
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im_amy -- can you post a link to the sources of this advice?

I am definitely seeing popeye arms!! But I thought it was more of a genetically-predetermined response to working the muscle... like that some people will get popeye arms and others won't. I do a weights class so maybe I should stop trying to increase my bicep curls weights?

The Popeye arm thing sounds like a load of crap.  I think genetic disposition has a lot to do with what you start with and how fast you can change it.

 I weight trained specifically my arms before for sports for over a year and I never got  Popeye arms.  Women tend to hold more fat within muscle than men, so our arms do seem big compared to the strength, but thats due to body fat not a Popeye muscle.

I also participated in Army ROTC fitness and had to do many pushups in college(2 years)   They are great for firming the chest and keeping everything up high where is should be.  Ive gained a cup size since then and they are still nice and high.  I wouldn't put too much thought behind that article, unless they are refering to bad form push-ups where you drop significantly past the 90deg elbow bend.  

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