Grandma Arms!!!

Updated on March 07, 2010
S.E. asks from Chicago, IL
11 answers

Hi Moms,
I caught a glimpse of my bare arms in the mirror and was horrified to see they looked like the arms of an old, unfit grandma! Flabby, no tone. I've never had the best upper body strength and haven't done much to work those muscles and obviously have reached a point in my life where I can't fake it any more. What are your best upper arm exercises? Particularly for the under/triceps area. Has anyone managed to turn this condition around and go from flabby to toned? I'm hoping to see some changed before summer - is that reasonable? Thanks for any advice/encouragement you can offer!

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answers from Chicago on

Hi S.E.,
My solution was a free weights class at a local gym. You're with a group of people of all different ages and levels of fitness. For 45 minutes, twice a week (10-11am Tues/Thurs), I've gotten the most bang for my buck ever. It's hard to start, of course. When I started 5 years ago after the birth of my second son, I couldn't even use weights for many of the exercises, and could only tolerate the weight of my own arms! Now, 5 years later, I'm using 10 lb. weights for shoulders, 20 lbs for biceps. Stick with it for about 2 months, and it will get easier. I lack the discipline to do it on my own. This class has improved my health - I hardly ever get sick anymore. My arms, and even my back, look better than they ever have, and I'm 42. This is the only exercise I do. 45" twice a week goes so quick and is really such a small investment of time for great returns! Good luck to you. If I can do this anyone can!

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answers from Chicago on

Get a set of 3 lb dumb bells and do 3 minute "rounds" of various arm exercises (e.g., bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses and/or boxng punches like jab, cross, hook, uppercut). After each set rest 30 seconds and start again. The low weight, high reps will really tone you up. Do 6 rounds and then spend a few more rounds doing core exercises.

Good luck!

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answers from New York on

I am with you and just had this conversation with my hubby. I turned 50 this year and do exercise but I cannot get rid of the extra flab. I was looking up arm lift plastic surgery and he told me I am insane!!!!! Mine is just loose skin and no matter what I do I can't firm it up. Sorry I don't have advice but I am looking forward to your responses.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Supposedly Michelle Obama does dips for her tricep area.
I started doing them myself (just use a dinner chair - or the side of the bathtub works too. Sit on the edge and place your hands beside you and let your left leg bend to a right angle. Then let your right leg go straight out in front and slide on the floor as you slip your bottom off the edge and dip down with your arms. Using a sock instead of having on a shoe helps your foot slide without friction.

Also.. try doing pushups. If they are too hard, especially at first, then do them against the wall.

I started doing a set of 10 dips and 2 sets of 20 "push ups" like this every other day or so, a while back (together with a diet plan) and my arms started looking very nice. I got lazy and have just started doing them again... and within a week it made a difference.



answers from Chicago on

I swear by the dips. They do wonders on that underarm flab. I recently read in Parenting magazine that you should do arm exercises in the morning right after the shower when your muscles are warmed up. I actually have been doing this for years. It takes about 5-10 minutes I do different types each day. I do dips, push ups, and various free weight moves. I also do my abs in the morning and I do a lot of combination moves that work your arms and your abs like planks, which are awesome. Good luck on your toning!



answers from San Francisco on

We have the cheaper version of the Chuck Norris Total Gym, we got it on sale at Big 5 for around $125.00. It works great for your entire body including under the arms. I've seen improvement in my arms since I've started using it. I think I'll see a huge difference over the next couple of months.


answers from Chicago on

The "Perfect Push-Up" to the rescue. My husband (of all people) had flabby arms. His arms are the tightest and best they have ever been. He bought them at Walgreens and says it is the best money he has ever spent. BTW his chest is very firm so my sister tried using them. Her arms are great and her figure is very defined in the upper torso. A lot of benefits for 20 something bucks.


answers from Austin on

Try holding a glass bottle (or weight) in each hand. Place your arms straight out to the side. slowly make circles forward with both arms at the same time 10 times.. remember slowly. Make the circles larger and larger for each group of ten. Then repeat backwards.. increase this till you can do 100 in each direction.. may take a few weeks to get up to that number, but you will see a difference.



answers from Wichita on

Try to raise your arms over your head and in front of you but use resistance this really works and it's not hard or even time consuming. There are people who pay personal trainers for this same thing. Just don't dwell on it try to correct it. (once or twice a day for about 5 minutes minimum.)



answers from Chicago on

Ok, my husband is so embarrassed by this but I do milk gallon lifts in the store, alternating arms after about twelve of those. Start out slow perhaps or less weight with soup cans and anything that has a little weight and you can hold it. Bend back your arm, lift your arms, and when you get outside hand it to hubby and stretch at the elbow, shoulders, etc. stretch, stretch. Hubby is happy however that my arms are not like my grandma's either. Yes, your arms can return. I had uterine cancer and a whole hysterectomy last July and am doing fantastic. I do not look like a movie star but do have some muscle tone. I do not have time to exercise constantly, so I incorporate it into my daily life. Remember to start with less weight, repeat each twelve times and be fair to both arms!!!teehee People might stare at you. Just ignore them or do it in the aisles where there isn't anyone. It's not about them anyway, it's about you and your strength and well being. You will feel great!!