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How to Tone Arms

How to Tone Your Arms

Many women crave the sculpted arm look while also not wanting to look too muscular. Understanding the best arm exercises to achieve your toned arms goal is vital because there’s no point slaving away on random exercises especially if the results just aren’t working.

Why Women Wish to Tone Flabby Arms

How to Tone Arms- Kettlebell Tone Having a toned body is a goal for a lot of women and while many women have a regular gym or exercise plan as part of their lives, others find it difficult to fit this type of activity into their busy lives. Another issue for some is that gym membership is a cost they can’t afford and yet they still feel the need to do something to feel more toned and the arms are a great area to tackle even at home.

So why are toned arms a goal for women?

Reason 1: In comparison to the rest of the body like defined abs or a toned bum, the arms are visible pretty much all year so women sometimes want to prioritise on what they aim to tone if short on time.

Reason 2: Arms are an indicator of how fit someone is and having them sculpted looking can make up for lesser toned areas such as a slightly flabby tummy.

Reason 3: Women’s clothes incorporate a lot of designs but many designs do focus on the upper body so women like to ensure that the area looks its best to really set off their outfit.

Reason 4: Many female celebrities and public figures have brought ultra toned arms into fashion (Madonna, Michelle Obama, Jessica Biel) and women often aspire to be like their idols.

Reason 5: The rise in popularity of the fitness blogger / influencer. Over the last number of years, we have been witness to the explosion of the fitness blogger / influencer world. This has seen many women (and men) following the exploits of these fitness bloggers as they attempt to emulate their favourite blogger’s fitness goals and also their healthy living and clean living targets.

Before beginning on your quest for the toned arms of your dreams, an important issue needs to be addressed and that is body fat. If you've got too high of a body fat percentage, it's going to be a battle to see definition development irrespective of how much you focus your exercise on those muscles when there is a layer of fat covering them.

Understanding the Anatomy of the Upper Arm

In understanding the anatomy of women’s upper arms we also need to learn why women’s arms actually get flabby. This excess fat is an unfortunate result of increasing age when lean muscle decreases and many women who pass the age of 30 will see this change occur in their bodies (hips, thighs, upper arms) even if they are predominantly slim and petite.

While this change is connected to increasing age, it is also linked to the fact that with increasing age, women (in general) tend to become less physically active and coupled with the fact that metabolic rates decrease with age, it becomes harder to shift any weight that goes on. Even gravity has a role in the existence of your flabby arms because gravitational pull is constantly pulling on the back of the arms and thus contributing to flabbiness.

The major muscles in the arms as displayed in the diagram on the right include the deltoids, biceps and triceps. The deltoids are the major shoulder muscles and are responsible for lifting the arms up, forward and out to the sides. The biceps brachii features down the front of the upper arm and is responsible for bending the elbow joints against resistance. The triceps, which are located on the back of the upper arms overcome resistance to straighten the elbow joints.

It is important to note that some ‘wiggle’ of the upper arm area will never leave because a relaxed muscle is soft by nature. To really judge what you are dealing with get into a plank position and if you don't notice even a slight curve in the back of your arms or you can't press yourself up, you've got work to do!

Toning the arms – understand the upper arm anatomy

Exercises to Tone Arms

This video from Tracey Campoli is a really good one to watch if you have a specific area you wish to target like the ‘bat wing’ or ‘bingo wing’ feature that so many women hate about their arms. In the video, Tracey doesn’t use weights but as you proceed through these after a couple of weeks or so, it’s a good idea to introduce some weights (1-3 kg) to add some resistance. The key thing to remember is that you don’t want to build too much bulk - especially if your goal is just toning.

This video from Popsugar Fitness is one which includes weights and they recommend using anything from 1-3 kg for these exercises. These exercises work both the arms and the shoulders.

This five minute video from NewBeauty Magazine involves some floor work and is concise and easy to follow. The instructors say that you will see a noticeable difference in your arms as long as you follow this routine three to five times a week.

Fitness Magazine outlines three exercises that they feel will help tone your arms in three easy to follow moves* – note these are very much for beginners so you’ll need to think about stepping things up after a few weeks:

How to tone your arms – three exercises to tryThree simple arm and shoulder exercises for beginners.

1. Arm Circle
  1. What You'll Need: A pair of 1 kg dumbbells
    Where it Targets: Shoulders, back, triceps, biceps
    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight out to sides keeping at shoulder height.
    Keep shoulders down and do 20 small backward circles.
    Switch directions; do 20 forward circles.
2. Shoulder Press
  1. What You'll Need: A pair of 1 kg dumbbells
    Where it Targets: Shoulders, triceps
    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
    Bend elbows, bringing hands to shoulders, palms facing forward.
    Press weights straight overhead, keep the shoulders down; lower weights back to shoulders.
    Complete 20 reps.
3. Triceps Push-Back
  1. What You'll Need: A pair of 1 kg dumbbells
    Where it Targets: Triceps
    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees slightly, hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight down at sides with palms facing back.
    Lift arms straight back about 2 feet behind you; return to sides.
    Complete 20 reps.

*If you haven’t done any fitness work previously, it might be a good idea to check with your doctor first before trying any of the above exercises.

Tips When Toning the Arms

Tip #1 If you can manage 15+ reps with a weight and you don’t break a sweat that is a clear indication that you’re not lifting enough for you to get any meaningful results. Start small and work your way up.

Tip #2 If money is an issue and you simply can’t afford a gym and a personal trainer then you can improvise at home. Use household items as weights. Useful things include bottles filled with water, so start with a small size and work up to larger bottles.

Tip #3 Variety is the spice of life and so it’s also important to add some variety to your arm workouts or you will become bored quite quickly. Adding in variety will challenge you and also work all the muscles you need to be working.

Tip #4 As you become more accustomed to doing your exercises and also noticing some results i.e. more toned arms, you will likely begin to really enjoy your mini workout. You’ll also likely want to move up in terms of the weights you use so if you start on 1 kg, you should move up to 2kg to challenge yourself further and so on. You might also want to look into aspects of your diet or consider taking a supplement to help your workout. There are many options available for your needs and they will help in achieving the extra results you crave.

How to Tone Your Arms - Tips
Social Media Accounts to Follow for Motivation

This Aussie was a pole vaulter but now carves out a career in yoga instruction and her toned limbs and overall body is truly a wonderful sight to behold.@amandabisk

Tracey is behind Gwyneth Paltrow’s refined body. Check out Tracy’s posts which include video instructional content and Tracy isn’t afraid to get sweaty!@tracyandersonmethod

Lindsey is an Olympic skier who is obviously into her fitness. Check her out on Snapchat as she’s good there also and shows her workouts. [ See ‘lindseyvonnski’]@lindseyvonn

This is an anonymous account but it will make you marvel at the human form in its most toned self. The account posts a (tasteful and discreet) black and white nude shot once a day.@nude_yogagirl

We are proud to have Barbie as a Supplement Mart athlete and her Insta’ account is definitely one to follow. Check out her intense workout videos and marvel at her amazing physique which she works hard on to maintain and build.@barbie_heng

Jayde is another Supplement Mart athlete and she’s a registered personal trainer and gym instructor. Check out her Instagram feed for great inspiration with quotes, her diet and lots of images of her strong, amazing body. @jaydenish


Emily is a fitness guru from Australia and her personality really shines on Snapchat where she posts everything from training videos to funny commentary to what she's eating. Emily Skye
Handle: EmilySkyeFit

Lolo is an American Olympic hurdler and bobsledder. Her snaps are a mix of everything but there is some great content in terms of her workouts and her toned, athletic body.Lolo Jones
Handle: lolojones

AJ is based in the UK and you’ll adore her high octane daily snaps and be enthralled by her amazingly toned body. You’ll likely also crave her fitness wardrobe. AJ Odudu
Handle: aj.odudu

On her Snapchat you will see Faya and lots of healthy eating, workouts, fitness fashion and active travel.Faya – Fitness on Toast
Handle: Fitnessontoast

Emilie, who is a qualified nutritionist, is also a Supplement Mart athlete. Her Snapchat feed is lots of fun which shows her work out and what she eats. She’s also on Instagram at [emzy¬¬_bikini].Emilie Bric
Handle: emzyggg

Good luck with your toning arms goals; it’s a great place to begin your fitness journey and one where you’re likely to see results fast once you stick to the routines. Once you see some progress, it’s important to keep up the work and maintain your toned appearance that you have worked hard to achieve!