Whether you call them grandma arms, bingo wings or bat wings, no one wants flabby, jiggly underarm skin. While age, gravity, diet and lack of exercise play a role in developing excess underarm skin, there are measures you can take to fight unsightly hanging flab. In addition to weight loss and aerobic workouts, exercises that target your triceps, the muscles located along the backs of your arms, can help those bat wings fly away.
Standing Triceps Kickback
Although you use your biceps to hold groceries and carry your laundry, few daily tasks target your triceps muscles. As television fitness instructor Denise Austin notes in her book "Shrink Your Female Fat Zones," "your triceps are the most underused muscles in your body." The beginner-level standing triceps kickback, however, helps tone and firm underarm flab. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. With a light dumbbell in your right hand, step forward with your left foot, bending your waist at a 45-degree angle. Placing your left palm on a stable chair for balance, extend your right arm straight out behind you. Hold for one to two seconds, lower your arm and repeat the movements on your opposite side. Perform 15 repetitions on each arm.
The Diet Bites website recommends a simpler but effective variation of the standing triceps kickback. The triceps stretch strengthens, tones and tightens the backs of your upper arms. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. With a light dumbbell in your right hand, extend your arm straight out in front of you. Now bend your elbow and bring the dumbbell past your head and toward your right shoulder blade. Hold this position for 20 seconds, and then repeat the stretch on your opposite side.
The triceps extension with dumbbells, an intermediate-level exercise, strengthens and tones the backs of your upper arms to reduce flabby jiggle. With a light dumbbell in your right hand, lie with your back on a weight bench. Slowly extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling. Then smoothly and slowly lower your forearm to a 90-degree angle. Aim for 12 to 15 repetitions for best results.
Single-Arm Medicine Ball Push-Up
Once you have mastered beginner- and intermediate-level underarm exercises, you can progress to more advanced movements. The American Council on Exercise recommends the single-arm medicine ball push-up. It not only firms your triceps but also strengthens your deltoids, pectorals and abdominal muscles. With a medicine ball at your disposal, lie face down on an exercise mat. Place your body in a push-up position, with one hand on the mat and your other hand pressing on the medicine ball. Now lower your body until your chest almost touches the ball. Then press upward until your elbows are straight, arms fully extended. Try three repetitions.
- Diet Bites: How to Get Rid of Bat Wings & Exercises to Tighten Bat Wings
- "Shrink Your Female Fat Zones"; Denise Austin: 2003
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension
- American Council on Exercise: Single-Arm Medicine Ball Push-Up
Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey's "Cape May County Herald" for more than a decade and currently covers the family and pet beat for CBS Philadelphia. Her health, fitness, beauty and travel articles have appeared in various online publications. DeFeo studied visual communications at SUNY Farmingdale.