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Many people with flabby upper arms look for ways to build muscle and tone their muscles. Typically, most will need to lose overall body fat, because the excess fat is covering up their muscles. Along with aerobic calorie-burning activities, there are specific arm toning exercises that can be utilized to help give a defined look. The best arm toning exercises usually are single-joint movements that focus directly on the biceps and triceps muscles. These types of exercises include curls, kickbacks, extensions and dips.
For biceps, the muscles on the front of the arms, the curl is one of the most common types of arm toning exercises. The basic curl is done standing with the feet shoulder-width apart, holding weights in both hands. The palms should be facing outward and the elbows should be close to the trunk of the body. The arms bend up, and this motion is considered “curling.” Curls can be done standing or sitting, with one or both arms at a time and with dumbbells, hand weights or barbells.
Kickback arm toning exercises work to strengthen and define the triceps, the muscles on the back of the upper arms. One of the most common techniques requires the use of a single dumbbell and a bench or flat support surface below knee height. The exercise begins by standing with the left knee on the bench and holding the dumbbell in the right hand. The exerciser bends forward, places his or her left hand on the surface for support, slowly bends the right arm and then moves it back and up. The same movement is repeated on the other side of the body with the left arm.
Arm extensions are arm toning exercises that also target the triceps. They can be done on an exercise machine or using a single dumbbell from a seated position. To execute this arm exercise, the person holds the dumbbell overhead while in a seated position. He slowly lowers the dumbbell behind the shoulder while keeping the arm’s vertical position and then extends it up again.
Dips target the triceps and are one of the most popular arm toning exercises for strength building and training. The exerciser positions himself or herself on the edge of a chair or bench, with his or her hands on the edge of the seat directly underneath the shoulders. Bending his or her knees slightly, the exerciser extends his or her feet flat on the ground away from the chair, then slowly lowers himself or herself by bending the arms before pushing upward and returning to the near-seated position.