‘Bingo wings, flappy arms, loose skin’ – all terms used to describe what happens to our upper arms as we lose weight and age. Many people feel that there is simply nothing that can be done about it other than learn to live with it. In reality, however, there are things that can be done. Surgery is an option but it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Not only is it expensive but results are not guaranteed and there is the risk of complications. Plus, since you can actually address your ‘wings’ yourself, there really is no need to go under the knife. Let’s take a look, therefore, at some easy to implement actions that can help you banish the flap forever. Do remember that, with any physical exercise, you should warm up and cool down with stretches and movement.
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates exercises are very gentle, but highly effective. They are also designed to isolate specific muscle groups, including the triceps and biceps, which are the arm muscles responsible for the jiggly skin you have going on around your arms. Because they are such gentle forms of exercise, anyone can do them and they can be done in the comfort of the home.
If you find yourself clamping your arms to your side because your upper arms are a little wobbly, then it’s time to banish the flab with this quick and simple workout routine.
As an added benefit, while these moves are designed to isolate the arm muscles, all yoga and Pilates moves strengthen the core muscles as well. This means that you will improve your overall posture and generally feel better in yourself – a double bonus, in other words.
Swimming is another fantastic exercise because it is such low impact. It is not the best type of exercise for calorie burning but it is great for muscle building. Anyway, if you have bingo wings, calorie burning is probably not what you are looking for. Swimming is so gentle that it is also a recommended form of exercise for people with diabetes and arthritis, for instance. And because you must always move your arms, you will tone those wing muscles as well.
All kinds of strokes can help to tone your upper arms and shoulders, so choose from backstroke, butterfly, front crawl – whatever you feel most comfortable with – and do as many laps as you can, focusing on powering your body with your arms more than your legs.
The above-mentioned exercises are things that anybody can do, regardless of their fitness level. This one, however, is slightly more challenging. By doing press ups, you will really push your arm muscles to their limit, focusing on creating more muscle tissue in those all important areas.
Firstly, place your hands down with your palms flat, fingers facing forward and underneath your shoulders. Your legs should be straight with your knees off the floor. Basically, your body should form a rigid plank from head to toe. Slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows out to the sides until your chest is about two inches above the floor. Hold for the count of two, push back up and repeat 10 to 15 times.
A lot of people avoid press ups because they feel they do not have the upper body strength to actually complete the exercise. Luckily, there are two other gradations of difficulty that enable you to complete this exercise even without significant upper body strength. If you find that you cannot get up from your press up (after checking your position, because that could be the cause of it), try it again by having your knees on the ground (feet raised if you can). If you then still can’t do it, you can do standing up press ups against a wall. Slowly work your way up to full press ups, even if you can only do one and do the rest on your knees or against the wall.
The Chair Dip
Another cool piece of exercise that you can do from the comfort of your own home is the chair dip, which is technically a Pilates move.
Stand in front placing your hands in front edge of chair with fingers facing towards your butt. Supporting your body using your arms, lower your body until there is a 90 degree angle between your thighs and ankles. With back straight breath in pinching your arm pits shut as your lower body bending your elbows into a dip. Breath out as your extend your elbows out raising your body back to the initial position.
When you first start this exercise, there are two important things to remember. The first is to focus on safety. You must make sure that your chair will not slide or topple over. As such, you may want to place it against a wall, so that it remains in place at all times. The second thing is that this exercise is about as heavy and hard work as the press up. Start by doing no more than 10 reps and build your way up. You can also, if it gets too easy, extend your legs, or even extend and lift one leg. This is a very versatile workout that has many benefits and can be changed so that it never gets boring. But safety must always come first.
Last but not least, you must drink plenty of water.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to kickstart weight loss on stubborn areas is to drink eight glasses (2 litres) of no calorie fluid a day. As-well as water, sneaking in 2-3 cups of dandelion tea or hot water laced with thinly sliced ginger, will naturally flush out fatty toxins and reduce fluid retention throughout the day.
If you do not drink enough water, you will struggle to get rid of any fat deposits still in your wings. Your skin will also struggle to retain its elasticity. Drink as much water as you can, at least eight glasses each day.