Wave bye-bye to flabby arms, here are the best arm exercises for women over 50, Let’s get you started…
How to lose arm fat for women
Okay so this is the part that I know you will hate me for, I remember as a young smart-arse teenager making a comment to my Mom, just make sure one day when I have kids and you wave me goodbye your triceps isn’t also waving goodbye… Mom never made a comment but I know she took a mental note as it wasn’t a few months later and she had some serious kick ass triceps and still does at the age of 65. Arms luckily are one of the muscle groups we can notice change pretty quickly.
As you age, your muscles naturally decline in tone and fat begins to accumulate. This is not just because of hormonal changes but also as a result of behavioral choices such as sitting at desk all day, less time spent running around with kids and most likely what we eat or drink; it can be anything really, but let’s start with some basic exercises to get you on your journey on how to lose arm fat for women.
Ignore the Millennial Parents and Play like a Kid
It’s the most common question and motivation for turning up at boot camps, “my upper arms are “flabby” and are waving when I’m waving,way more than I’d like, why has the muscle tone gone and where did it go”? Well…Here’s a task for you to do:
Go to an outdoor park or playground and just sit for a moment, ignore the millennial parents on their phones, iPad and earphones and watch the kids. Notice how they just don’t stop? They climb, they run, they jump, they fall, they eat and they invent methods other than those purposed to climb to the top…that my dear friend was once upon a time YOU.
A fellow fitness coach once said to me, we should never take a rest day, on the days you don’t “officially” train, go play like a kid in the park for an hour, just have fun..ha-ha, these “fun” session were the toughest, I’m willing to bet that you cannot play like a kid for 60 minutes!
So in a nutshell, yes we simply stopped using our bodies and exercising those muscles that you thought came naturally! We also stopped eating, kids graze they don’t eat…every 4 hrs they seek sustenance and that in the fitness industry is the golden nugget to weight management and a fit and healthy body, play like a kid and eat every 4 hrs.
NOTE: we will get to what to eat in a later article but simply put, eat good protein and whole foods – avoid foods in a box, cans or plastic!
Bye Bye Flab, hello Fab!
Right, now let’s look at a few simple exercises we can do to wave goodbye to our flab and get those fab arms.
I overheard a bikini fitness model one day say, “ the way to build strong arms is to build strong triceps” and she was so right! So Let’s start with a few simple anywhere triceps exercises
Seated triceps press otherwise know as a Dip:
Muscles benefiting from this exercise: Triceps, shoulders, upper back (if you lean forward enough your chest too)
Step 1 – Sit on your coffee table or something of similar height (dinner table chair)
Step 2- Place your hands alongside your bum with your fingers pointing toward your knees, keep your shoulders directly above your wrists.
Step 3 – Your leg position, you can either stretch your legs straight in front of you with your heels on the floor, or bend your knees at 90deg.
Step 4- Now with your legs in chosen position move your bum off the table and bend your elbows and lower your bottom towards the floor with control.
Step 5 – first do one or two without going all the way down, test the waters first, then straighten your arms to press your body back up to the start position. Drop a little lower each time for the first 5 and get your desired, challenging, depth.
Step 6 – Depending on your current strength levels, you may want to start at less than 5 repetitions (reps) and if you are stronger push yourself and aim for 10 – 15, try this 3 – 5 times over.
More advanced versions:
Gym option – Use two benches and raise your feet to hip height, or if you are ready jump on the dip bars. There is also a seated version you will find in the circuit section.
At home options – Raise your feet on a chair, this puts more weight on your arms
Option 2 – Add some weight onto your lap – (coffee table books)
Outdoor option – Find some parallel bars (kids play ground, or some home ones here) This is the true dip, with your legs below you, yes you guessed it, lower yourself down and push upward
Incline press otherwise know as standing push up
Muscles benefiting from this exercise: Shoulders, triceps, chest, core, upper and lower back.
Step 1 – Determine your strength, again test the waters, stand up against a wall and place your hands at shoulder height against wall with your fingers facing upward, arms straight.
Step 2 – now bending your elbows allow your chest or chin to touch the wall.
Step 3 – if this is easy stand a foot further away from the wall and try again.
Step 4 – once you have found the desired distance that provides a challenge for 10 reps do it 3 – 5 times over depending on your current fitness.
More advanced versions:
Gym option – Same as the at home option – find a wall or a mirror and push. You could also sit on an inclined bench and grab dumbbells and complete a press with weights
At home option – instead of a wall do it on a table with your feet out behind you. The height of the table may start at kitchen counter level and you could progress down to a push up
Option 2 – knee push-ups, I find this targets the arms and triceps better than an actual push up. Complete a standard push up but rather than being on your hands and feet, you are on your hands and knees.
Option 3 – My favorite, this is an arm burner, but oh so simple and again can be done everywhere with zero equipment, introducing the push ladder.
The Push Ladder Explained:
This comprises two exercises 1. The push up (or the push up on knees) 2. The incline press, or in simple terms a push up against a wall.
Right so this is how it goes:
Set 1. – 9 push-ups | 1 wall push
Set 2 – 8 push-ups | 2 wall push
Set 3 – 7 push-ups | 3 wall Push
Set 4 – 6 push-ups | 4 wall push
Set 5 – 5 push-ups | 5 wall push
Work your way down to:
Set 10 – 1 push up | 9 wall push
Sound easy – done properly those final 9 wall pushes will feel like your arms are on fire!
Overhead triceps press
Muscles benefiting from this exercise: Triceps and some shoulders
Step 1 – you can do this standing or sitting
Step 2 – raise your hands above your head, straight
Step 3 – try keeping your elbows as close to your ears as possible, bend your elbows and with your thumbs pointing downwards, touch the base of your neck.
That’s the movement nailed, now add some resistance.
Don’t buy weights, why you ask…as the proud owner of an array of weights in my garage, you outgrow them pretty quick, they then become the worst toe breaking door stops in the world, you also pay per kilogram so it gets expensive.
Here are a few cheaper and healthier options to add resistance:
Gym Option – Grab some dumbbell weights and start pressing. Alternatively you can use cables (in another article) or a z – bar.
At home option – hold two water bottles in your hands, size of the water bottle is your desired weight, benefit here is as you get tired drink some water and lighten the load but increase your repetitions! Your body gets water, your arms get a workout
Option 2 – Grab your backpack, I’m sure you can find something to put in that will add weight
Option 3 – Ziploc bags with some sand, make sure you measure them out evenly
Option 3 – Right as you know I’m a fan of bands by now, grab a cheap set here, as they can be used for everything, and you can never outgrow them as you just add a band to a band and its additional resistance – my choice!
Muscles benefited from exercise: Triceps, lower back
Step 1 – Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Step 2 – Bend forward at the hips until your chest is almost, not parallel to the ground. Keep your knees slightly bent, your arms tight to your sides and a 90° bend in your elbows.
Step 3 – Lift the weights to the back by straightening your arms, then squeeze the triceps muscles and pause for a moment, you can do these together or alternating. The pause is crucial, the longer the pause and contraction of the triceps the more it works
Step 4 – Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the start position.
Step 5 – add resistance!
At Gym option – with some dumbbells
At home option – Water bottles
Option 2 – bands are terrific for this as it holds the muscle in contraction in both the push and the retreat.
Muscles benefited from this exercise: Shoulders, triceps, core, chest
Ever seen a fight or a boxing match? Yep! Right zero need to get into too many steps here:
Step 1 – feet shoulder width apart
Step 2 – punch your arms forward one after the other trying to keep your arms level with your shoulders
Step 3 – Let’s now add some resistance
Gym option – grab some light dumbbells
At home option – Your water bottles again!
Option 2 – Yes bands, Band are great but just be mindful on the retreat as you are under tension and may receive an unwanted wack to the upper lip (happened to me)
My winner here is the water bottle, it’s off balance and requires the top of your shoulder to do extra work to hold it up
Muscles benefiting from this exercise: Deltoids (top of your shoulder)
Step 1 – with your feet standing shoulder width apart
Step 2 – arms hanging along your sides with palms facing your hips.
Step 3 – raise your straight arms outside ways until they are level with your shoulder, stop and lower back down to your sides.
Step 4- add some resistance!
Gym option – grab some dumbbells or even cables (might need a blog about cables as they are hugely beneficial but complex)
At home option – any weights..use your water bottles again if you need too.
Option 2 – Bands bands bands.
Made famous by every mom and dad – The Biceps
Made famous by every mom and dad…eat your beans and you will get muscles…and we all show off our biceps!
These can be done in so many ways, but we will focus on a few most basic variations, so let’s get some basic bicep workouts going:
The Bicep Curl
Muscles benefiting from this exercise: bicep, chest, back and core
Now I prefer the seated curl particularly for beginners and even intermediate fitness level adults. First off it really targets the bicep directly and secondly most people I have seen use their backs to swing the weight back and forth which really becomes a totally different exercise and can hurt your back.
Both exercises are done the same way:
Step 1 – (seated) preferably a low seat with a backrest, arms hanging by your side and back against the back rest or straight if zero back rest.
Step 2 – from a stationary position raise your clenched fist toward your shoulder keeping your elbows against your sides, lower back down and stop at the starting point – do not swing!
Step 3 – add resistance
At Gym option – Seated bench in front of the mirror with some dumbbells
At Home option – your water bottles will do, just make sure you have filled them up after your triceps presses!
Option 2 – the at home option that’s king, your bands!! Band here will again add so many variations to your bicep curls as you can stand on them and complete as above or even attach them to a post and curl toward you, all targeting the bicep but getting all the pieces!
There are a few variations to the row so I’ll keep it simple and explain the main row technique that will target your arms and as always cover some alternatives.
Muscles benefited from this exercise: Bicep and lats (muscles on your sides – helps with the hourglass figure we are going to get you!)
Step 1 – walk up to the back of your lounge suite or even dining room table and stand approximately an arm’s length away.
Step 2 – Stand with your feet hip-width apart and with your palms facing your body
Step 3 – Keeping your knees slightly bent, hinge at the hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor and your arms hang perpendicular to the floor.
Step 3 – place one hand on your desired piece of furniture
Step 4 – your hanging arm, with fist clenched, bring your elbow up past your sides (lats) ending with your clenched fist touching the side of your body
Step 5 – Let’s add some resistance
At Gym Option – at the gym, use some dumbbells
Option 2 – Gyms have row machine options that can help too, one such machine is the cardio rower, as an alternative swap your grip every 5 pull, from fingers pointing downwards and fingers pointing up. Not only will this delver some cardio benefits but also gets your back, legs, biceps and forearms.
At Home Option – Water bottles or your bands (that you have definitely bought by now!)
Option 2 – for some additional lower back activation lean forward and bring both your elbows past your side.
Put them all together and you get…
Let’s put them all together, Biceps and triceps are great to do together.
It works equally well when you do one triceps exercise followed by a bicep exercise, me personally I like to get 2 triceps done followed by 2 biceps, test what works for you.
If you are starting out aim for 1 of each during the day, or better yet have a dedicated area that if you walk past, you complete 10 and move on that way you will accumulate a lot during the day.
My best exercises to lose arm fat for Women
These are two of my favorite arm workouts Ive used in the past for myself, my wife and many boot camps and training sessions.
Workout 1 – Dips, 5 x 10 – 15 reps (make it challenging)
Workout 2 – Seated bicep curl, or standing curls using bands – 5 x 10 on each arm
Workout 3 – Triceps kick backs, 4 x 8 remembering the pause and contraction in the full extension (it must burn)
Workout 4 – Double arm row (together) 4 x 10
The finisher: Complete The push ladder, push-ups and wall press from 9 though till 1 and 1 though till 9 as explained above
Passed onto me by a great mentor and multiple Master Ironman athlete.
This will be done as a super set continuously.
Exercise 1 – 7 bicep curls standing
Exercise 2 – 7 triceps kickbacks
Exercise 3 – 7 lateral raises
Exercise 4 – 10 forward punch (5 each arm)
Exercise 5 – sky punch
Rest 2 minutes
Repeat 4 times.
Rest 5 minutes and complete The Push Ladder as per above example.
If you do decide to upgrade you home gym or walk in closet with a few odds and ends to add the additional resistance, here are a few I think are worth considering:
Note: I dont get paid by the manufacturers for promoting these products, I use these products and recommend them from personal use. I do however earn a commision should you purchase through Amazon links provided, it allows me to continue my passion and provide you with, hopefully, great, entertaining and my main aim, helpful content.
1. Resistance Bands – Click here, I like these as they come in a convinient travel bag with multiple options and fittings for doors etc
2. Also resistance bands but different – click here, I use these for all my mobility exercises and they come in super handy when you just want to add some resistance but dont know how. These are great to play with.
3. I recently had the opportunity to have a workout with a MaxPro portable exercise machine, its sort of expensive but worth every cent as a 1 bit of gear that will cover 99% of anything you need – click here, its also super portable – read my review here.
4. Last but not least my personally owned favourite, The TRX – click here, TRX is fantasitc at adding difficulty or resistance to your training. It also comes with a super small travel bag and a poster on workout variations. For the price its a winner!
Great looking arms don’t need a gym or expensive equipment
Wrapping up, I hope I have helped by providing mostly at home workouts proving there is zero need for a gym or expensive equipment to get your Fabulous sexy looking arms, at the very most grab a set of bands and if you do have access to a gym absolutely go and grab some of those dumbbells and have some fun.
For those who complete my mentors session 2 workout and the Ladder Push, I’d love to hear from you on what you thought, especially done with the finisher!
Looking forward to the comments on your favorite arm workouts, or if you enjoyed my Ladder Push
Till next time – G