How To Get Rid of Fat Arms (7 Effective Tips!)

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // January 14, 2022

If you’re wanting to learn how to get rid of fat arms, you’re not alone! It’s no secret that many women want to know how to lose arm fat.

If you’ve dealt with excess arm fat before, you know how frustrating it can be to try on so many dresses and tops that are otherwise perfect, except that they don’t have sleeves and you just want to hide your arm fat!

And you are acutely aware of how embarrassing it is that you don’t want to clap in public or wave your arms due to that all-too-familiar jiggle effect.

So it’s time to free yourself from saggy, waving upper arms and tone those babies up. Here’s our comprehensive guide on how to lose arm fat.

While spot-reducing doesn’t work (more on that below) let’s talk about what does. Let’s get down to the details you need to make this happen!

Here’s what we cover in this guide on how to get rid of fat arms:

  1. Eat clean to lose arm fat

  2. Strength train to reduce arm fat

  3. Focus on overall weight loss, not spot reducing

  4. Get your cardio in

  5. Sleep

  6. Hydrate for strong toned arms

  7. Develop a morning routine


Enter your email & get this article sent to your inbox.

    We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

    How To Get Rid of Fat Arms

    1. Eat Clean

    Healthy salad with avocado, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and purple cabbage

    Let’s make something clear. You cannot—I repeat you CANNOT—lose arm fat (or any body fat) without eating a good, clean, nutritious diet. This might be the hardest part for most people to hear, but you’ll never succeed unless you change what goes into your mouth and watch your caloric intake.

    And while it may seem like a daunting task, it is probably much more simple than you think. The key is to eat real food! Put simply:

    DO EAT:

    • Protein
    • Fiber
    • Veggies

    With each meal try to fill your plate with lots of veggies, add a lean protein source, and finish it with a portion of healthy whole-grain carbohydrate like brown rice or sweet potato.

    DON’T EAT:

    • Added sugar
    • Refined carbs
    • Trans fats

    You know, the packaged foods with a paragraph of ingredients…you get the idea. Use fruit for your sweet tooth.

    If you want to get more down and dirty details about your eating, check out our Get Started with Clean Eating e-book. This will give you detailed help for everything you need to know when it comes to eating well.

    Related: 5 Ways to Simplify Healthy Eating

    2. Strength Train

    Fat is a freeloader. Body fat sits on your body and takes up space.

    Muscle, on the other hand, is a workhorse! Not only does it look better, but it actually works to burn calories and helps your metabolic rate. Losing arm fat is going to be much easier if you incorporate strength training exercises and build muscle.

    Though we are going to concentrate on specific arm strength exercises in this article, try to get a full-body strength training session in twice per week.

    Not sure how to start? Use this free Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training to get you started!

    10 Exercises To Get Rid Of Fat Arms

    This workout will help to shape your muscles and give you the sculpted, toned arms you’ve been looking for. It’s designed to cover each part of your arm muscles—biceps, triceps and shoulders—to give you a solid workout and a toned upper body while helping to lose arm fat – no gym required!

    • For this arm workout, you need both a light (5-8 lbs) and heavier (10-12 pounds) pair of dumbbells, however some moves are bodyweight only.
    • The lighter dumbbells will be used for moves that take your hands farther from your body like Shoulder T’s and the Elevated Bicep Curls.
    • The heavier weights can be used for things like Straight Arm Press Backs and Yogi Squat Concentration Curls.
    • Aim for 10-12 repetitions for each move, then repeat the entire set!

    Here are 10 easy exercises to incorporate into your arm fat workout routine.

    Tricep Push-Up On Knees 

    Push-up on knees

    This is an amazing move that tackles your triceps, chest and shoulders! Plus, you’ll be modified on your knees, so you’ll likely be able to do more reps. 

    1) Begin in a kneeling plank position with arms directly below shoulders and body in a straight line back to kneed.

    2) Lower chest 2 inches from the floor keeping elbows close to your side. Exhale and slowly push back to start position.

    Shoulder T 

    Shoulder t exercise

    Beautiful shoulders are on tap when you work on the Shoulder T.

    Use this move to strengthen your shoulders and move them through a range of motion which also stabilizes your rotator cuff.

    1) Starting with feet together and dumbbells at sides with palms facing in.

    2) Engage abs and lift dumbbells in front of body to shoulder height. Open arms out to sides rotating dumbbells parallel to the floor.

    3) Slowly lower dumbbells down to sides and then return to the front of the body. Repeat.

    Straight Arm Press Back

    Shoulder press back exercise

    The back of your arms and shoulders are going get noticed with this awesome move. You’re bound to feel the burn in not only your triceps, but your core and back as well!

    1) Start with feet hip distance apart. Engage your abdominals and sit back into a slight squat. Dumbbells start at the sides of the knees.

    2) Keeping the core engaged press the dumbbells past your hips and return with control. Avoid swinging the arms or bending the elbows.

    Tricep Dips

    tricep dip exercise

    No more arms that keep moving after you’ve stopped waving goodbye! Instead, stop those saggy upper arms in their tracks with tricep dips! 

    1. Start seated with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place hands behind you, directly under the shoulders, with finger facing your hips. Lift hips to a hover.
    2. Bend elbow straight back and use your triceps to press back up.

    Side Plank With Arm Extension

    Chris Freytag demonstrating side plank with arm extension to lose arm fat

    Tone and shape your waistline while you work your arms and shoulders in this multi-tasking move. 

    1) Bring your body into one straight line on the floor stacking legs, hips, and your shoulder directly over your elbow into a forearm plank. Lift hips with dumbbell resting hovering over the floor. (You can modify this plank by bending your lower knee if necessary)

    2) Raise the dumbbell directly over your shoulder keeping abdominals engaged and lower with control working your arms, and entire core.

    Reverse Table Top Plank

    Chris Freytag demonstrating reverse tabletop planks to lose arm fat

    Mid-way through it’s time for a chest and arm stretch. While you are opening the front of your body with this move, you’re also strengthening your glutes and lower back.

    1) Start seated with bent knees and feet on the floor directly under knees. Place hands behind your hips slightly wider than shoulders with fingers pointed towards your body.

    2) Lift hips and torso off the floor and gaze up towards the ceiling keeping your neck relaxed. Keep your knees, hips, and shoulders parallel to the mat as you hold your plank squeezing your glutes and core.

    Elevated Bicep Curl

    Chris Freytag demonstrating elevated bicep curls to lose arm fat

    Biceps work to curl, but the shoulders are stabilizing the entire move. 

    1) Standing upright, hold dumbbells and extend arms out to sides at shoulder height with palms up, and  slight bend in elbow.

    2) Curl dumbbells in towards shoulders, and release with control.

    Dolphin Dive

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a dolphin dive to lose arm fat

    While you’re working those arms and shoulders, forget about your upper back. This move gives you a great stretch, but tackles your upper back and core at the same time.

    1) Begin with your forearms on the floor with your arms and feet shoulder-width apart and your hips raised so that your body forms an inverted V.

    2) Dive forward, coming to a forearm plank. Keep abs tight and back from sagging. To finish the push-up, reverse the dive, raising your hips back up to start position.

    Tricep Overhead Extension

    Chris Freytag demonstrating tricep overhead extensions to lose arm fat

    Just because you can never get enough upper arm work, right?

    1) Standing with feet hip distance apart holding dumbells straight overhead and keeping your spine long and abs tight.

    2)  Bend elbows lowering dumbbells behind the base of the head. Keep your elbows hugging in towards your head and pointing forward. Then extend your arms long returning to your starting position working the triceps.

    Yogi Squat with Concentration Curls

    Chris Freytag demonstrating yogi squat concentration curls to lose arm fat

    Enjoy this final deep stretch in the hips while you concentrate on building beautiful biceps and arm muscles. 

    1) Stand with your feet heels in/toes out and slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees and lower your seat toward the floor. Keep going until your hips are lower than your knees, and keep your spine as vertical as possible. Relax your shoulders and keep your feet flat on the floor. (If your heels come off the floor, likely you have tight calves.)

    2) Anchor elbows to inside thigh and curl towards your chest working your biceps. Control as you lower back down.

    3. Focus on Overall Weight Loss; Not Spot Reducing

    The most common misconception about weight loss that is still floating around out there: spot-reducing.

    Science says you can’t spot reduce body fat. That means you can’t pick a spot on your body, i.e. your arm flab,  and exercise the fat away. You see, you store fat cells all over your body so it’s important to focus on overall body fat. Where your fat cells happen to be more concentrated is often a genetic predisposition.

    Having arm fat doesn’t mean you can lose the fat directly from your arms alone. So when you’re learning how to get rid of fat arms, you have to first lose body fat all over and then work on specifically strengthening your arms to tone them the way you wish.

    In other words, just doing a bunch of exercises for your arms isn’t enough. Strong toned arms won’t look any different if they are still covered in a layer of fat. You need to lose the fat AND tone the arms.

    4. Get Your Cardio In To Get Rid of Fat Arms

    Woman running on treadmill as a part of overall goal to lose arm fat

    Cardiovascular exercise is known to help burn calories and eliminate body fat, so don’t skimp on your cardio! More importantly, make sure your cardio minutes are effective and fat burning.

    60 minutes on an elliptical reading a book is not going to be as effective as 20 minutes of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). That doesn’t mean you can’t be on the elliptical, just be sure to make your time worthwhile!

    When performing cardio, you want to make sure you are working hard enough to breathe through your mouth and make you think about what you’re doing. If you can multi-task during the workout, it’s time to change it up!

    Shoot for 4-5 days a week of effective fat burning cardio training! And if walking is your cardio of choice, check out our plan 3 Walking Workouts to Boost Your Weight Loss.

    5. Sleep

    You know sleeping is important, but did you know that sleep and weight loss share an important link? There are a few reasons why you need to make sure you’re getting adequate sleep while working to get rid of fat arms.

    The first is that when we’re overtired, we tend to reach for added calories in the form of sugary, caffeinated beverages or processed snacks. Ever hit a wall at work at 3 pm? What do you do? Grab a coffee and candy bar. Two things that will not serve you well when you’re trying to lose weight. Plus, a tired brain actually has a harder time saying no to cravings.

    The other reason is that when you’re low on sleep, you’re cortisol level spikes leading your body to store fat (leading to extra arm fat). Opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish!

    6. Increase Water

    Drinking water is key for weight loss and shedding arm fat. It contains zero calories, boosts your metabolism, aids the body in efficient removal of waste, and can even decrease your appetite. Drink a big glass of water prior to your meals and you may just find yourself more satisfied and eating less.

    And be sure to cut out soda, juice and alcohol. That’s right—eliminate alcohol as much as possible while trying to lose arm fat. You don’t want the empty calories and it won’t make losing weight any easier.

    On average, you should be drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. If you exercise regularly, add another glass or two to that.

    7. Develop a Morning Routine

    Woman doing yoga for morning exercise routine

    Even when you learn how to get rid of fat arms, the hardest part of losing weight can often be keeping motivated. Developing a consistent routine is key and the most consistent exercisers tend to work out in the morning. The benefits of morning workouts are pretty awesome:

    • Consistency: It’s rare that a meeting or conference call can be called at 6:00 a.m., so interruptions aren’t likely.
    • Hormones: The hormones that help you build muscle and burn arm fat (and fat in general) are at their peak early in the morning, making early workouts more efficient.
    • Eating Better: Morning exercisers choose a healthier breakfast and studies show that those who start with a healthy breakfast eat better all day long.
    • Better Sleep: Morning exercisers tend to fall asleep more quickly and sleep better through the night.
    • Energy: Morning exercise gives you more energy throughout the day. You might think you’d be more tired, but the opposite is true.

    Here are a few tips to develop a morning routine.

    REMEMBER, you can change the shape of your arms as you lose the fat and work on arm strength exercises designed to tone and shape your biceps, triceps and shoulders.

    When all of these things are happening, the arm fat begins to be replaced with toned, shapely arms.

    Pin This Guide On How To Get Rid of Fat Arms

    A graphic of exercises to lose arm fat

    READ THIS NEXT: Top 6 Moves To Prevent Flabby Arms

    Fitness, Training Advice, Training Tips

    Printed from


    on Reply

    Nice article with deep information on how to lose arm fat.

    on Reply

    Isn't it okay to drink natural fruit drinks too?

      on Reply

      Hi there - yes, although many can be made with lots of added sugar so be sure to check the label!

    on Reply

    I wanted to eat Tortilla chips with nacho cheese dips for the second time in my life (in fact its probably the first time because its been so long that i dont even remember if that was even a cheese that i used as dips). You convinced me not to eat it. just ran for like 20 minutes ad burned about 250 to 300 calories about two hours earlier too. kind of feeling bad for not eating the cheese.

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
    Skip to content