How to Get Rid of Bat Wings – Best Arm Exercises

The summer is here, and that means arm-baring tank tops and bathing suits. If you are one of those ladies that do not want to go out on the beach with flabby arms, it is time to get started.

Excess weight is the reason why you have flabby arms, popularly called bat wings [1]

So, if you want to know how to get rid of bat wings, read on.

The excess weight will cause the dreaded bat wing appearance, and usually, the result is poor body image and self-esteem.

Now, while you cannot spot treat fat loss, you can improve muscle tone in certain areas to create a tight and toned appearance [2]

If your goal is to tone your arms and learn how to get rid of bat wings, go for lower weights and higher repetitions. And as always, combine it with some cardio and high-intensity training to reduce fat around the muscles.

Why you have flabby arms?

woman with flabby arms

Before we get to the how to get rid of bat wings part, let’s talk why you might have flabby arms in the first place. There is not a woman alive that actually loves to have flabby arms.

There are two causes of flabby arms, and those are:

  • You do not have muscle tone in your arms
  • You have excess fat in your arms

In 99% of cases, these are the two main reasons for bat wings. The remaining one percent falls into people who are skinny fat.

They appear thin, but they actually lack muscle tone. This is why someone who looks very thin, can still have flabby and unattractive body.

Best exercises that help get rid of bat wings

Best arm exercises infographic

Pulley triceps extension

1. Start by standing, and facing an overhead pulley. Have a rope attachment to the pulley

2. Place your hands on the end of the rope, with your palms facing each other

3. Your feet are hip-width apart, while your knees are slightly bent and your core is engaged

4. Start with the elbows beside your hips, bent at 90 degrees, and extend your arms down toward the floor until they are straight

5. At that point, squeeze into the back of the arms at the end of the movement. Repeat 10 to 15 times, and do 3 sets of this exercise

Triceps pushups

1. For any pushup, you start in a plank position on either feet or knees. If it is too hard, go on your knees, if not, on your feet. Put your hands directly under the chest, and turn them inward. This way, the fingers form a triangle

2. Slowly lower yourself to the floor, all while your body stays in a straight line with the core engaged

3. Push back into a plank position, squeezing through the back of your arms and midback. Pull your shoulders away from your ears. Repeat 10 times, and perform 3 sets

Hip Bridge Triceps Extensions

1. Lay on your back, and hold dumbbells directly straight out over your body

2. Lift your toes off the ground. This way, only your heel is on the floor. Raise the hips up off the ground as well

3. Keep your elbows, and slowly begin to lower the weight down, towards the top of your head. Your elbows should not flare out

4. Lower your hips with the dumbbells, and then slowly raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, and perform 3 sets

Lat pulldown

1. Start by siting, facing the weight stack of an overhead lat pulldown machine. Attach a wide bar

2. Reach overhead and grab the bar, using a wide grip, and your palms facing away from your body

3. Lean back 30-45 degrees, and then start pulling the bar down toward your chest

4. Engage the muscles down the sides of your back, and feel as if you are tucking your elbows into back pockets. Relax the shoulders and the neck. Perform 10 repetitions, and 3 sets

Pilates overhead press

1. Sit upright on the floor, and position your legs in a loose diamond position

2. Lean slightly forward at the hips, and untuck your tailbone from the floor

3. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at chest level with a wide grip

4. Pull your shoulder blades down the back, engage the muscles down the sides of your back and the core muscles

5. Push the weight upward away from your body, and aim to keep the bar moving diagonally, not straight overhead. Keep the rest of your body in a straight line, and perform 10 repetitions, in 3 sets

Chair Dips

1. All you need is a sturdy chair that won’t break. Turn your back to the chair, and place your hands on the sides of it

2. Keep your knees in a bent position, and your arms straight

3. Squeeze the back of your arms, and slowly begin to lower yourself down by bending the elbows

4. Go as low as you can, and try not to overstrain in your shoulder. Slowly raise back up to the top. Do 15 repetitions, in 3 sets

Lying triceps extensions

1. Lie on a bench, and hold a straight bar in your hands, with your hands at shoulder-width apart

2. Extend the arms at 90 degrees away from the body, and place your palms and elbows to face your legs

3. Keep your upper arm stationary, and slowly bend your elbows, as you lower the bar down toward the forehead. Return to starting position, and repeat 10 to 15 time and 3 sets

Reverse Fly

1. Lie on an incline bench with the bench slightly declined. Place your chest on the bench

2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and let the hands hang toward the floor

3. Raise your arms to the side, forming the shape of the letter “T”

4. Keep the shoulders down, your core engaged, and squeeze through the back of the shoulders and upper back. Repeat 10 times, and do 3 sets

The good old plank

1. Being one of the best exercises for core muscles, and your entire body, plank can also help for triceps as well

2. Stand in a plank position, with your palms on the floor, and your feet in shoulder-width apart

3. With your body in a straight line, engage your core muscles and your arms, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds

How to maximize your exercise?

  • If you do not have a pulley machine, you can replicate the movement using a resistance band. Anchor the band on a pull-up bar or under your foot. Resistance bands are great for adding resistance to your exercise, giving you better results
  • Focus on the muscles you are working while performing the exercises. The mind-body connection is crucial for success
  • Use a slower tempo of 2-3 seconds for the positive and negative phases of the exercise. The positive phase is when you are lifting the weight against gravity, while negative is when the weight is being lowered
  • Stick to slower and more controlled tempo that will cause your arms to work harder

Do not forget cardio

There are two ways of getting rid of bat wings. The one is to tone your muscles, and the other is to shed off excess fat.

While strength training will help you tone the muscles, you cannot ignore cardio [3]

You need some cardio exercises to shed off fat, and allow the toned muscles to shine. Otherwise, they will be covered in fat, and you will not see results, despite vigorous strength training.

When exercise is not enough

If you have too much excess fat on your arms, exercise will not do the trick completely. You can work out as much as you like, and do cardio every day, and there will still be no results.

The key to eliminating excess fat is proper diet. Nutrition is the most effective strategy to combine with the above-mentioned exercises.

Strive to reduce carbs, sugars, processed foods, bad fats, and focus on consuming more protein, good fats, and fiber.


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