How to get rid of flabby arms when you are middle aged

Updated February 21, 2017

When we hit middle age, our arms tend to accumulate "flab," or unsightly, jiggly fatty tissue and extra skin. Our skin loosens slightly on the backs of our upper arms, particularly if there is excess fat is pulling on it. Loose skin also results from muscles on the arms being weakened and unused. Flab can also consist of excess skin following weight loss. According to, you cannot spot-reduce fat, but you can do arm exercises that tone your biceps and triceps and firm up your arms. Firming and toning up your arm muscles will also help pull in loose, extra skin.

Lose body fat, if needed. Modify your diet by reducing your junk food intake and watching your caloric intake. Substitute fatty snacks with whole grains, lean protein, vegetables and fruits. Restrict your intake of sugar and fatty foods. You can change your diet at the same time as you begin your arm exercise regimen, according to

Pick up a dumbbell and hold it in one hand. Alternatively, use an unopened bag of sugar. Hold out your arm straight in front of you, then lift the dumbbell slowly toward your shoulder, and continue lifting it until the dumbbell is in line with your back. Lift the dumbbell as far back as you can without causing discomfort. Hold the position as long as possible before releasing. You should feel your triceps - located along your underarm - working, according to Health Fitness Doctor. Do three repetitions with 30-second breaks in between, three times per week.

Build your bicep muscles with bicep curls. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your sides. Stand up straight and bend your knees a little. Hold your elbows against your sides, curl the dumbbells straight up to your shoulders, and then lower them to the starting point. Do three sets of 15 repetitions, with 30-second breaks in between. Do this three times per week.

Do push ups, which strengthen your triceps and deltoids. To perform a proper push up, lie face down on your exercise mat and bend your arms to place your palms flat on the floor next to either shoulder. Put your feet together, straighten your legs, and tuck your toes under your feet. Straighten your arms to push your body away from the floor, without losing your formation; your lower back should not sink, and your knees should be off your mat. Slowly lower your body back to the floor and repeat.

Base your initial number of repetitions and sets on your ability, and try to increase them over time as you become stronger. To make the exercise easier, keep your knees on the floor as you push up. Alternatively, push up against a wall in the same formation as you would for a push up on the floor. Work toward the goal of doing proper push ups on the floor by practicing three times a week.

Include cardiovascular training into your routine at least twice per week by exercising in a way that raises your heart rate for at least thirty minutes. According to, regular cardio training helps you reduce fat and build lean muscle. To get rid of the flab on your arms more quickly, try cardio training that involves your arms, such as swimming, rowing, and tennis.


Start out using a 5-pound dumbbell, and see if you can switch to a 7- or 8-pound dumbbell after a couple weeks. Find ways to work out your arms as you go about your day. Health Fitness Doctor suggests carrying a full bottle of water around with you, and periodically lifting it up above your head with one hand, and then the other.


Always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen or diet plan. Do not use fad diets to try to lose weight; the most effective and healthy way to reduce body fat is to regularly perform muscle-strengthening exercises supplemented by at least two cardio workouts per week, supporting this regimen with a nutritious and healthy diet.

Things You'll Need

  • Dumbbell or bag of sugar
  • Exercise mat
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About the Author

Lindsay Haskell began writing fiction and nonfiction in 2008. Her debut novel, "Grace," is to be published in January 2011. Having lived in five different countries and traveled across five continents, Haskell specializes in Third World social and political issues, with a concentration in the Darfur conflict. She is currently a first-year student at Wellesley College studying history, Africana studies and English.