How to Eliminate Your Bingo Wings: 5 Easy Workouts
Unfortunately, many people they tend to store a disproportionate amount of body fat on the back of their arms. This especially tends to be the case for women and this, in part, is due to gender differences in fat storage.
One thing to be careful of when assuming your ‘jiggly bits’ are all fat is that the triceps in itself is a pretty big muscle and, when not tensed, will wobble a bit as well if your arm is relaxed making it seem like you are carrying more fat on your arm than you might have in reality!
In order to get a better idea of how much jiggle you actually have, instead of just holding your arms out and giving them a shake, try to fully extend your arm by your side, tensing your arm as hard as possible… much of what you think is flab will become more solid, then have a ‘pinch’ at the back of your arm to get more of an idea of how much fat you carry there as it will still be loose and ‘grabbable’.
Now you’ve established how much fat you actually have, and there will still tend to be more than on the front of the arm, the next question is what can we do about it?
For many people the first logical port of call will be arm exercises to attack that arm fat tissue, makes sense, right? Well unfortunately just because we store fat in the arms doesn’t mean that just because we work those muscles that fat stored subcutaneously (under the skin) in that region is used instead. It might do to a small extent, however not so much as to focus overly on these muscles.
In short, we cannot (to any significant degree) localise fat loss and even when we exercise a given muscle although it uses fuel stored locally within the muscle (intramuscular) this does not mean that we are then going to restock these stores from the same location… so we may use stored fat from our belly to provide the fuel to work our arms if our internal arm fuel stores run low!
In order to lose arm fat the first thing that needs to be achieved is a calorie deficit. By this we mean that over the course of days, weeks and even months (depending on how much body fat you want to lose) you need to be using more fuel than you are consuming from food.
Energy expenditure can be increased through exercise and generally being more active, and our intake can obviously be restrained by controlling overall calorie intake. The number of calories you need for weight loss is highly variable and dependant on many factors including how active you are, the job you do, how often you exercise and how much lean tissue you have. To get a solid estimate of your calorie requirements for fat loss you can use a calculator like this one.
For people who a smaller and with less lean mass then their needs to be an element of patience because, no matter how unfair, you burn less calories so to create large deficits to lose weight quickly is going to be tough. For example, if you are a petite woman and losing ½ a lb a week you are doing very well, that’s a calorie deficit of around 300kcal per day (each 1lb of fat has around 3500kcal, give or take!)
This means that we also need to workout in a way that increases our energy output and focusing on working out the arms isn’t going to be burning that many calories in the grand scheme of things. So, we need to think bigger, working more muscles, bigger muscles and keeping expenditure as high as possible.
With that being said here our 5 workouts that will build muscle (and in turn make you burn more calories) and maximise your energy expenditure to melt your body fat including those pesky bingo wings.
1. LOWER BODY BLASTS
What better way to burn calories than to use the biggest muscles in the body… bigger muscles burn more fuel. But remember we want to maximise expenditure, so stick to short rest periods, keep chatter to a minimum and push yourself as hard as you feel you can.
EXERCISE, REPS/WORK, SETS/ROUNDS, REST
Leg Extensions: 12-15, 3, 60s
Lunges: 15-20 each leg, 3, 60s
Hamstring Curl: 15-20, 3, 60s
Hip Thrusts: 12-15, 3, 60s
Leg Press: 12-15, 3, 60s
2. HIGHT INTENSITY TIME SAVE
Only got 15-20 minutes a day to exercise? Limited equipment? Then that’s no excuse, you can still have an incredible workout in no time with high intensity interval training (HIIT)… in short this is working as hard as possible for short periods, with short rest periods. This will maximise your calorie expenditure and keep your metabolism ramped up for hours after.
EXERCISE, REPS/WORK, TIME, REST
Burpees: AMRAP, 45s, 20s
Mountain Climbers: AMRAP, 45s, 20s
Split Squats: AMRAP, 45s, 20s
Plank: AMRAP, 45s, 1min
AMRAP=As many reps as possible in 45 seconds
Repeat 3 Times!!
3. THE MODERATE INTENSITY FAT MELTER
HIIT can be demanding and some days we might just fancy a ‘plod’, then no worries you can work at moderate intensity without too much trouble for long periods. When it comes to increasing calorie expenditure moderate intensity (a pace where you can talk in short bursts but have to pause to catch your breath occasionally) is a great option. It’s not as efficient as HIIT in some ways but because you can go for longer, without the need to stop and rest, then cardio sessions on the cross-trainer or bike are a great way to burn a good number of calories if training in the 45-60 minute window. Put on your favourite music, a podcast or even a film and get moving!
4.THE UPPER BODY BLITZ
For those who like lifting weights, and also want to burn some body fat then you can focus on the bigger muscles of the upper body including the back, shoulder and chest… and even some arms thrown in there for good measure! Much like the lower body blast we want to maximise expenditure so keep rest periods short and work those muscles ‘til they burn!
EXERCISE, REPS/WORK, SETS/ROUNDS, REST
Seated Row: 12-15, 3, 60s
Bicep Curl: 15-20, 3, 60s
Bent-Over Row: 15-20, 3, 60s
Bench Press: 12-15, 3, 60s
Machine Shoulder Press: 12-15, 3, 60s
Machine Chest Press: 12-15, 2, 60s
5. THE DAILY EXPENDITURE MAXIMISER
This isn’t a workout as such, but people VASTLY underestimate the impact of simply being more active. Walking to and from work (or at least a bit more of the way), walking the dog, doing the house work, gardening and generally just pursuing more active leisure time has a HUGE impact on fat loss and weight management after reaching your goal… in fact the chances are that by making more effort in these areas you will be burning more calories than in the gym… manage to increase both exercise and activity and you are onto a big winner!