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Exercise and Fitness

Flabby underarms

01/23/2008

Question:

How do I get rid of flabby underarms? I have some 10 pound hand held dumb bells. Can I use them to get rid of the flab?

Answer:

There are plenty of things you can do to help reduce unwanted flabby arms and be on your way to stronger and more well-toned ones. First and foremost, a sound, well balanced eating plan is important in decreasing body fat. If you are uncertain about what to eat, meet with a registered dietitian to find out about proper nutrition.

Once you have established a healthy eating plan, the next step is to coordinate your exercise program. Be sure to have some activity in your life most days of the week. Aim for at least thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least three times a week. If you are not anywhere near this level, start slowly and work up to this gradually. Examples of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise include walking at a brisk pace, jogging, cycling, etc. You should break a sweat and be able to reasonably hold a conversation during the activity.

Both weight training and cardiovascular activity are required to improve your fitness level. Positive results are seen when both are included in a training program. Remember, though, that strength training will help you tone, but it won't rid your body of excess fat in a specific area, for example, on your arms. For strengthening and toning your arms, there are many exercises you can do. If you don't have access to a gym, you may do the following exercises anywhere:

Push ups are a classic exercise which work the triceps (back of the arm which often jiggles when we wave to someone), chest, and shoulders. You may modify the traditional push up by putting one or both knees on the floor rather than straightening them behind you. This exercise may also be performed against a wall. Place your hands on a wall and push your upper body away. Work up to three sets of fifteen repetitions. Challenge yourself, but do only what you can when just starting out.

Kickbacks are another great triceps exercise. Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and position your left knee and left hand onto a flat bench. Keep your right arm tucked into your side at a 90 degree angle. Slowly extend your right arm back while keeping your elbow in. At full extension of the movement, make sure to keep a little bend in your arm and all the tension on your tricep muscle. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Repeat with your opposite arm.

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Response by:

Rachael   Dotson, BS Rachael Dotson, BS
Program Manager
Certified Johnny G Spinning Instructor
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati