Living Room Exercises for Bat Wings

If you want to love your triceps, work them hard.

If you want to love your triceps, work them hard.

Bat wings, also known as lunch lady arms, hang loosely from where a firm, strong triceps muscle should be. Flabby triceps can take away all your tank-top-wearing confidence. But you don't have to be a bat wing victim any longer. Scientific minds have come together to analyze and provide the most effective triceps exercises to counteract those flesh sails that drift in the wind when you wave at a friend. Best of all, you don't need a gym any bigger than your own living room.

Use Your Body

When the American Council on Exercise performed a study pitting the most common triceps exercises against one another, it was discovered that the triangle pushup -- a body-weight exercise -- was the most effective at creating muscle activity in the triceps. A triangle pushup is similar to a regular pushup, except you bring your hands together, touching the thumbs and forefingers to make a triangle shape directly under your chest. This adjustment to a typical pushup position targets the triceps. Right behind the triangle pushup in effectiveness was the dip. Dips are performed by lowering your body in front of a low bench, chair or coffee table, bending and straightening your arms -- keeping your palms flat on the bench behind you -- to dip and rise.

Use A Dumbbell

Triceps kickbacks with a dumbbell were found to be as effective for activating the muscles hiding underneath your bat wings as dips. For this move to be effective, make sure you are using weight that is 70 percent of your one-rep max. Not sure what your one-rep max is? You can use an online calculator to figure it out, or use a regular calculator to figure out 70 percent of whatever weight is the most you can press during a single rep of the exercise.

Use a Band

If dumbbells don't appeal to you, you can still increase the resistance of your triceps workout with resistance bands. Sit down, grab the ends of the band with each hand and stretch out the middle with your feet by straightening your legs. You can use this position to do a resistance-band version of a kickback. Best of all, you can increase the difficulty by sliding your hands up the band, closer to your feet, to add to the resistance. You will see that resistance bands are even easier to store in your living room than dumbbells. Just fold them up and hide them in a drawer.


Triangle pushups, triceps kickbacks and dips are all you need to build an effective triceps workout, according to the American Council on Exercise. For their study, the participating women performed each exercise seven times for one set. If you are up for more than that, increase your workout to five triceps moves for three sets each. If you want to make big changes, aim to work your triceps three times a week.

Body Fat

Strengthening your triceps muscle can be a big help for getting rid of bat wings, but you can't completely solve the problem unless you lose body fat. One of the biggest determining factors in losing fat is good nutrition. Reduce the calories you are taking in, and add cardio workouts to your regimen to burn calories. In your own living room you can do jump rope routines to annihilate calories and fat. Jump rope for three minutes, and then take a 60-second break. Repeat this five more times for a fat-blasting workout to slim your arms.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG.COM
Brought to you by LIVESTRONG.COM

About the Author

Meredith Berg received her B.F.A. in directing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Now living in Los Angeles, she works as a film and television writer, comic-book editor and director of plays and films. In addition, she loves tackling paleo recipes, workout routines and DIY projects.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images