It’s an excruciating feeling to find a top that you love — only to discover the sleeves won’t work because of flabby arms.

It sucks. You want to wear what you want to wear. But how do you get rid of flabby arms?

Just like anything else, it takes a plan and it takes some hard work. But, when you want to know how to get rid of flabby arms, we’re here with tips and tricks that can help you get the job done. Look below for everything you need to know.

OK, so you can probably guess that the answer to the question of how to get rid of flabby arms involves both diet and exercise. That’s always the answer, right? But stick with me here: I’ll go into detail on why arm fat develops, as well as specific exercises that can help you melt it away.


Why Do Arms Get Flabby?

Before we get too deep into how to get rid of flabby arms, let’s first look at why arm fat develops in the first place. There are 3 main factors:

  • Genetics: Where your body chooses to store fat is largely a function of gender and genetics. Some people are more likely than others to store fat in the arms. And women’s bodies, unfortunately for us, love to use the arms for fat storage.
  • Caloric Imbalance: This is pretty simple. An average, moderately active female needs about 2,000 calories a day, give or take for age. An average, moderately active male needs about 2,400 a day, also give or take for age. (Here’s a handy chart from the USDA that helps you pinpoint your ideal total.) If you’re far surpassing that number of calories per day and not exercising to balance it out, you’re going to gain weight — and that fat has to go somewhere.
  • Low Testosterone: Don’t tune out, ladies! Yes, testosterone is the sex hormone present in males, but women also have lower amounts of testosterone. When you’re not exercising, when you’re eating poorly, and when you’re getting bad sleep, testosterone levels plummet — which can make the body resist muscle development.



We develop flabby arms because of the accumulation of fat. If you want to get rid of fat, you’re going to need to exercise, but you’re also going to need to address your eating habits.

There are so many fad diets out there. I prefer a more traditional approach. Rather than outlining it here, I’m going to refer you to an outstanding post by my colleague Doug Holloway on how to start losing weight.

This post sticks to the basics on dieting, but it also gives you some neat tips and tricks for making a diet easier. Check it out, and start using the strategies that work for your lifestyle.



So, you want to get rid of flabby arms, right? Don’t you want to replace them with cut, defined arms? I sure do.

And you’re going to need to build some muscle mass. Not too much — I’m not talking about bulking up here. No, I’m talking about how to get toned, sleek arms that turn heads.

First, you’re going to need to get some dumbbells. I prefer lighter dumbbells (2- or 3-pounders), so I can do more reps. This helps achieve the toning you want without bulking up too much.

Find dumbbells that you’re comfortable with. There’s no prize for getting weights that are too heavy, just because your pride won’t let you get the lighter ones. Once you have the right size, try the following:

  1. Curls: This is pretty simple: Just let your arm hangs loose, and then slowly pull a dumbbell straight up to your shoulder, alternating one arm after the other. Try to keep the weights on a straight line, and avoid swinging them. Also, make sure to slowly lower the weights back down rather than letting them fall.
  2. Shoulder Press: You can sit or stand for this one. Hold both dumbbells up to your shoulders with your elbows hanging beneath them. Them at the same time, lift both weights up until your arms are extended. Then, bring them back down slowly without letting them fall.
  3. Arm Circles: Stand and hold your arms out extended to your sides with a dumbbell in each hand. Then make small circles with your hands, first going forward and then backward.
  4. Triceps Extensions: Find a bench or chair, and then place one hand on it while bending at the waist. Hold a dumbbell in your other hand, and let your arm hang down loosely. Pull your elbow up so that it’s parallel with your body, and then extend your arm out straight, lifting the dumbbell using your triceps.


Simple Exercises

No into weights? That’s OK. You don’t need any equipment for these simple exercises:

  1. Pushups: We’ve all done pushups, right? But how many of us have done them correctly? Not many. The key here is to do fewer correctly rather than doing more incorrectly. Make sure your body remains plank-like and straight. Push up from a resting position, and then slowly drop your body until your chest is as close to the ground as possible. Keep your elbows closer to the body rather than flaring out. Push up slowly and try to prevent any bouncing. It’s going to be hard to do more than a few at first, but you’ll get better at it over time.
  2. Dips: Find a sturdy bench and sit down. Place both hands firmly on the edge of the bench and slowly inch your butt off of it. Once your bottom is clear of the bench, drop your bottom slowly toward the ground, stopping when it’s as close the ground as possible without touching. Then push back up using your arms. Like pushups, dips are tough, and you may find it’s hard to do more than a few at first.
  3. Pull-Ups: You might need to install a pull-up bar for this, but you can often find them at local schools and parks. This is a pretty advanced exercise. Most people can do just one pull-up, if any, when they are just starting out. Grab the bar with hands reversed so that you can see your fingers gripping. Pull up slowly, and then release slowly, too. When you’re really advanced, try doing reverse pull-ups — with your fingers facing away from you.



Stretching helps your arms unwind and rid themselves of tension. When you’re working out (as you should be to lose arm fat), the simple act of stretching helps tone your arms and give them a naturally defined shape — the look you’re going for.

The best part about stretching is that you can do it almost anywhere at almost any time. Get into a routine of doing arm stretches first thing in the morning when you get up, right before bed, at your desk after lunch, while watching TV, etc.



Some people hate exercises and lifting weights. Those same people sometimes love sports and activities.

If you’re that kind of person, and you desperately want to get rid of flabby arms, try boxing. You can hang a punching bag in your garage, or you can often find gyms that hold boxing trainings or classes.

This is a great way to define your arms — and it makes you feel like a badass, too.



Diet is great. Weights and exercises are great, too. But you’re going to need to do some cardio to accelerate weight loss in your arms.

I’m a runner, but I’m not here to tell you what type of cardio you need to engage in. The point is that you need to create a calorie deficit. Dieting helps a ton, but cardio plus dieting helps even more.



As mentioned in the stretching section, it’s important that you develop a routine. Do the same things every day, and they’ll soon become a habit. Find easy ways to build pushups or curls or stretching or quick bursts of cardio into your day. Create better eating habits.

If you can find the right routine, you’re going to find success in getting rid of flabby arms.


Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Flabby Arms

I feel like I say this all the time about getting healthy, but I’ll say it again: There are no shortcuts. Getting rid of flabby arms takes dedication, focus and energy. It’s not going to happen like magic when you find a new fad diet, and it’s not going to happen if you invest just 5 minutes a day into working out.

So find the strategies that work for you from what’s listed above, and then stick to it. If you want it bad enough, you’ll start to see results — and you may even develop some defined arms that start turning heads. At the very least, you’ll be able to buy the tops you want without worry.

Have you had success with getting rid of flabby arms? If so, let us know about it in the comments section below, or contact us directly through our contact page.