You know what we mean - there you are waving goodbye to someone and when you stop waving, you upper arm carries on doing so for a few more seconds! Not good! Have you taken to no longer wearing short sleeved tops or just not showing your arms at all? Don't worry, there is something you can do about it - all is not lost!
As we age, the structural collagen in our bodies becomes increasingly weaker, leading to the sagging we see. This typically affects women more than men (though men can get them), due to two main factors.
Firstly, women have a wide distribution of fat around the whole body, whereas for men, fat is largely centred over the abdomen. Secondly, women undergo a series of hormonal changes which men don’t, which can affect the size and structure of their fat cells.
The best way to banish your bingo wings is to tone up these muscles so that they no longer sag and burn off the excess fat with regular cardio fitness sessions. What's the best way to do all of this in one go? A "Get Fit Today"session of course 😉
Toning up is achieved when you perform high repetitions of a light weight resistance exercise, ideally three sets of around 10-15 reps. One example could be the diamond press-up (as illustrated).
The image shows these being performed on the toes which is a top-level exercise and not something we would recommend for beginners. Instead, lower your knees to the floor and perform the exercise in that position (it will still be difficult). It's important to keep a straight line between your knees and your shoulders at all times and lower as slowly as you can. At first, don't worry if you cant push back up from the floor, just relax and recover to the start position in any way you can and then repeat, slowly lowering your body down under control and staying straight. Over time, you will build up strength in your upper body to be able to push back up off the floor.
Another good exercise for these muscles is the tricep-dip, which you can easily do at home. Find a sturdy chair, and sit on the front edge of it. Clasp your hands around the front of the seat with your knuckles facing forwards. Place both feet flat on the floor and with a right angle bend of your knees. Lift your bum off of the chair and slightly forwards, maintaining the right angle bend of your knees.
Then, once you are ready to begin, slowly lower your bum to the floor until you reach a right angle bend of your elbows. At this point, push back up until your arms are straight again and you are back in the start position once more. Repeat this about 10-15 times and then rest for 2 minutes. Try again with the same amount of reps until you have completed three sets.
There are lots of other exercises we perform at a "Get Fit Today" exercise class that will target this area. It's important to remember though, that doing these exercises alone will not get rid of the bingo wings - these are aimed at toning the muscle in your upper arm so that it doesn't sag. We also need to remove the excess fat that is hanging there too, and the way to do this is by cardio exercise and calorie burn.
A standard Get Fit Today session will burn off around 630 calories and we currently have 4 sessions a week. If you worked hard in each session, you would therefore be burning around 2500 calories a week. There are approximately 3,500 calories in 1lb of fat, meaning it would take just 6 sessions to burn this off. This may sound a lot, but it's really just over a week and is based on you doing absolutely nothing else during the week except our sessions. If you continued for a month, you are likely to lose atleast 4-5lbs of fat, which over a 6-month period is about 2 stone - so you can start to see how quickly this could work - would you like to 2 stone as well as those bingo wings? 😊👍
In addition to this, if you are able to include some healthy eating into your lifestyle as well as exercise, this could easily double quite quickly. It is important not to overdo things though, especially at first. Your body needs energy to survive so if you reduce the amount of energy you put into your body (by dieting) and at the same time you are burning off more energy by exercising, this will make a big difference to how you feel. Listen to your body, start slowly at first and build up over time.
One final thing, to bust any rumours or reports you may have read elsewhere - it is IMPOSSIBLE to target your weight loss. If you want to lose fat in your upper arm, you can‘t make this happen on its own. Your body will share out the benefits of the exercise you are doing across all of your limbs. This is why mixing cardio and targetted strength exercises is important. As your body starts to lose excess fat, you will slowly start to get trimmer, and if at the same time you are performing the above exercises you will notice your bingo wings slowly disappearing!
Until next time............