Don't be afraid to bare your arms with these tips.
Tired of flapping "granny arms" when you wave? Toning up the underarms, or the triceps muscle area, means not only doing your cardiovascular exercises like running, but strength training the area as well. And don't forget to take a close look at your eating habits to banish the flab and your fear of sleeveless clothing. Who wants to spend those hot Texas summers in long sleeves?
Running tones up the body in general and burns fat like all cardiovascular exercises, but running puts most of the work on your lower body, and workouts that emphasize the upper body shape up this trouble zone faster. Consider tennis, swimming or aerobic dance classes, especially those with boxing-type moves that tone the arms while burning up the fat.
Feel the Burn
Tone up the triceps with some light weight training using dumbbells. One exercise recommended by the American Council on Exercise is the dumbbell triceps kickback. Start with one dumbbell in your left hand and stand with your right leg in front in a split stance. Lean forward slightly, resting your right hand on your thigh, or you can lean on a chair or weight bench. Keeping your head aligned with your spine, place your left upper arm parallel to your torso, letting your forearm fall into vertical position. Keeping your upper arm in place, straighten your elbow without locking it until your arm forms a straight line. Return to starting position and repeat, doing 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Overhead Triceps Dumbbell Extension
Overhead triceps extensions tone the triceps, as well. Whether you do them sitting or standing, this exercise starts with a light dumbbell held in both hands straight up over your head. Keeping your elbows close to your ears and stationary, slowly bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle behind your head, pause, then slowly return to your starting position. Keep your head, neck and spine in alignment throughout each repetition.
Trim the Calories and Fat
Spot reduction is a myth, and no matter how many triceps exercises you do, you'll have to discipline your eating habits to achieve success. Toning up the underarm flab means reducing body fat overall through calorie and fat reduction in your diet, particularly saturated fats like butter, bacon and most cooking oils. MayoClinic.com recommends limiting daily fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories and focusing on healthier unsaturated fats like fish, nuts and olive oil.