The best way to combat arm fat is to replace it with lean, firm muscle; so you want to find the best exercises for arm fat and muscle mass. Arm fat is about the most stubborn and difficult problem area to get rid of on your body. It is also the most difficult to hide in warm weather or at the beach. General exercise, workouts, or dieting don’t seem to have any impact on arm fat. It can slowly accumulate, and before you know it, you begin to notice a little jiggle under your arms. This jiggle can grow to a full wave. Unaddressed, it can continue to increase until you start to notice stretch marks developing in the skin under your triceps.

Some of the best exercises for arm fat focus on resistance for building more muscle. Others focus on using your complete range of motion for creating denser muscle tissue. Both will give you lean, well-shaped arms you'll be proud to show off. Some of these exercises are simple, and some are, admittedly, difficult. The important thing is that all of them are effective. However, before figuring out the best exercises for arm fat, it’s important to understand what circumstances lead to the accumulation of arm fat in the first place.

Factors That Contribute To Creating Arm Fat

Girl on a Black Sleeveless Shirt showing her Arm Fat

If you have decided to attack this issue, you should know that you are not alone in dealing with it. Increased arm fat can be as natural of a development over time as any other metabolic process. As you age, your metabolic rate slows. And like elsewhere on your body, the fat under your arms can increase.

That is especially true if you are not actively engaged in a regular exercise program to keep fit. As a result, you accumulate additional fat, and it can build up under your triceps. Gravity just adds to the problem by stretching the skin under the arms as fat accumulates. However, here are the three things experts say are big contributors to increasing arm fat.

Low Protein In The diet

Hormonal Changes

Improper Or Inadequate Exercise

How We Chose These Exercises And Strategies

To compile this list of strategies and the best exercises for arm fat, we sought information from the major experts on exercise and fat loss. We culled data from Livestrong, Fitness Magazine, Femina, and even the Mayo Clinic. Using this data, we determined the efficacy of each exercise we chose to share with you.

Medical Disclaimer

You should never begin any diet or exercise program without first consulting your physician. While your doctor will likely encourage you in your quest for improved wellness, make sure that you don't have any medical problems that could become exacerbated by a new exercise routine or dietary changes.

3 Strategies For Reducing Arm Fat

Nutritious Food and Tape Measure

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Along with building an exercise routine that includes the best exercises for arm fat, you can also apply some additional strategies for battling this bane.

1. Reduce Your Calories

2. Eat A Smart Breakfast

3. Eat Better At Every Meal

Can’t Diet Reduce Arm Fat?

Girl Eating Strawberry in a Bowl in the Kitchen

Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels 

It can help, somewhat. Any change in diet that reduces caloric intake will also help reduce the buildup of additional fat. It will also, naturally, include arm fat. However, to get it under control, you will need to apply specifically targeted exercises.

Exercises that directly impact your arms will help increase muscle mass. Your arms will develop a more muscular tone, which helps support any loose or sagging skin, too. So, you get double the benefit from adding the best exercises for arm fat to your workout routine.

Your Most Powerful Weapon: The Best Exercises For Arm Fat

Group of Girls doing some Arm Exercise using dumbbells

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels 

Now we get to the most important thing you can do to combat chubby or sagging arms. These are the best exercises for arm fat reduction and for firmly, more toned arm muscles. Professionals recommend these exercises the most for combating arm fat. Combining these with a comprehensive diet will prove very beneficial.

However, remember to do these exercises at your own speed. Also, stop immediately if you feel excessive pain or discomfort, particularly in your joints. Be sure to rest for a minute or two between your sets. Rest even longer before moving on to the next exercise. The idea here is to build muscles. With more muscle mass, you burn just as many calories in 15 minutes as you will in 30. But your muscle needs some rest between sets. Your body will appreciate this, and it will reward you for your patience with fewer muscle aches.

The 2 Best Exercises For Arm Fat With Weights

If you have no access to traditional weights, acceptable substitutes are easy to find. You can use water bottles, books, canned goods, or any other lightweight, easy-to-hold object. Your weight should be something weighing between one and two pounds when you're just starting.

1. Overhead Triceps Extension

To perform this exercise, follow these steps:


  • Stand or sit with your back straight.
  • Holding your weight over your head and in both hands. Keep your arms close to your body.
  • Very slowly, lower the weight behind your back. Be careful not to bounce the weight. That can cause you damage to your joints as well as your muscles. The key here is a steady, smooth flow to make the arm muscles work steadily and evenly. They have to work at lifting the weight on one side and resisting the urge to let it drop on the other.
  • Hold the weight behind your back for a second or two and then slowly lift it over your head again.

Normally, 3 sets of 20 repetitions each is a good place to start. Rest for a minute in between each set.

2. Bicep Curls

Bicep curls are the most popular of the best exercises for arm fat. They're easy to do because the motion is so simple and natural. Start off with small hand weights of 1 or 2 pounds until your elbow and shoulder joints feel comfortable with the range of motion.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Be sure you have a solid stance and hold one weight in each hand.
  • Holding the weights with your palms facing forward.
  • While keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly raise the weights by bending at the elbows. Raise them to your shoulders. Hold them in this position for a second or two.
  • Slowly lower your arms to return them to your original position.

Repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 10 repetitions, making sure to rest a minute between sets.

The 3 Best Exercises For Arm Fat Without Weights

Additional weights will increase resistance and make your muscles work harder. However, they are not completely necessary for productive exercise. Here are some examples of the best exercises for arm fat reduction that require no weights. They are easy to do and you can do them almost anywhere. Best of all, they don't require equipment.

3. Tricep Dips

You can do this exercise anywhere you can find a stable chair and some privacy. To perform this exercise, you need is a solid, stable surface about two feet off the floor and shoulder width apart. A chair works perfectly for our purposes.

  • Sitting on the chair, put your hands, roughly shoulder length apart, on the edge of the seat behind you.
  • Keeping your back straight, extend your legs forward and transfer all your weight to your hands.
  • Bending only your elbows, slowly lower yourself.
  • Once you have gone as far as you can, hold your position for a second or two.

Repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 20 repetitions. Be sure to rest a minute between sets.

4. Arm Scissors

Arm scissors is another great exercise that you can do anywhere you have space and privacy. Note that you can do this one a bit faster than the others, but again, keep it at a controlled pace. A controlled movement forces you to tense your muscles rather than flailing using momentum. It will give you a better workout. Each cycle should take about a second to complete.

  • Begin by standing with your legs approximately shoulder length apart.
  • Extend your arms out directly to your sides with palms facing in front of you.
  • Keeping your arms straight, bring your left arm across to your right side and your right arm across to your left side. Cross them over in front of you like a pair of ... you guessed it ... scissors.
  • Swing your arms back to your starting position and hold for a second or two.

Repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 20 repetitions.

5. Good, Old, Traditional Push-ups

The final exercise should be familiar to you. It is a standard everywhere, from grade school gym class to military Basic Training. They also happen to be among the best exercises for arm fat reduction. Depending on where you are performing this exercise, you may want to use an exercise mat for your push-ups. Remember to inhale as you descend and exhale as you straighten your arms.

  • Lie down flat your stomach with your legs straight.
  • Place the palms of your hands flat on the floor beneath your shoulders.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked close to your body, extend your arms straight to push your body up from the floor. You can do this either using your feet or knees as the pivot point. Start by using your knees until you feel you are ready to use your feet. Take your time.
  • Once you extend your arms fully, hold this position for a second or two.
  • Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body until you are almost lying on the floor once more. Do not lie back down on the floor. Hold this position for a second or two.
  • Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 above.

Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Rest between sets.

Bonus Workout

For those of you that want to go a bit farther, here is an excellent expanded arm workout featuring some more of the best exercises for arm fat. This workout will help you build additional muscle as well as increased tone.

Time To Cool Down

Girl on a Black Sleeveless Shirt  showing her Arm Fat

By now you may be asking “How long does all this diet and exercise take before I lose my arm fat?” Well, that depends on a great many factors. Not only the amount of fat you want to lose but how hard you exercise and how well you stick to a healthy eating plan. Your individual metabolism and hormonal profile can affect this timeline. The results will always be different from one person to another.

However, if you stay focused and follow these simple suggestions of diet and exercise, it will happen. Hopefully, you should see a noticeable difference in your arms within a few short months. And because of your healthier diet and lifestyle, you should notice your overall health improving as well.


While there are a few best exercises for arm fat reduction, remember that the body works as a whole organism. It's impossible to lose fat and spot reduction is a bit of a myth. However, increasing muscle mass and density in your arms will result in firmer, stronger arms that look fantastic in short sleeves.

Featured Image: Image by Scott Webb from Pixabay

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