If you carry excess fat in your arms, you probably don't like the way it looks. But more than looks, you should be concerned about being overweight, which carries many health risks. You can't target your arms with exercise, but a healthy routine helps you drop weight all over. Cardio and strength training combine to tone your arms and help you lose weight safely.
The bottom line when it comes to losing weight, including in your upper arms, is to burn more calories than you consume. This makes cardio a vital part of your routine because it burns calories and aids in dropping those unwanted pounds. While you can't melt only arm fat, a regular workout schedule helps you lose fat all over your body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting at least 150 minutes of cardio each week, though you might need more to effectively lose weight. Choose an activity that works your upper arms to increase the benefits. Tennis, basketball, swimming and some types of dancing are good choices.
Using your own body weight allows you to incorporate moves that don't require any equipment. These are good options if you have to exercise at home or can't commit to a set time to work out. You can even bust them out in your office at lunch if you have to. Pushups, planks, triceps dips and inchworms are ideal options. MayoClinic.com recommends including at least one set of 12 repetitions of each arm exercise in your routine. Add sets as you gain strength and endurance, which ensures continued progress.
A set of dumbbells or a barbell enhance the arm benefits of your workout. Keep them at home or use them at your local gym. Choose a weight that allows you finish 12 repetitions with good form. If this is too hard, you probably have a weight that is too heavy. If it's too easy, move up a size. To tone your upper arms, choose moves that target your biceps and triceps. Bicep curls, triceps extensions, bench presses and chest presses are good options. Do one set of 12 repetitions and add to your routine over time.
Gym machines, or those you can keep at home, give you a well-rounded arm workout and are good options for women who are more experienced exercisers. The chinup, pull up and dip bars help you build strength in your biceps and triceps at the same time. The shoulder press machine and the rowing machine are other options that work your arm muscles for weight loss and toning.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.