Developing muscle in your upper body can make your arms appear bulky. If this was not your intention, you can make your arms slimmer by maintaining some of the muscle while reducing your overall body weight. It is not possible to trim down only one area of your body. Modify your exercise routine to decrease the muscularity. Training with heavy resistance while keeping the repetitions low stimulates muscle growth, but working with light to moderate resistance while increasing the repetitions can help you lose size. Make adjustments to your training program while following a low-fat diet to slim down and make your arms less muscular.
Work your arms one day per week. Integrate exercises to stimulate your biceps, triceps and shoulders. Perform hammer curls and barbell curls for the biceps; triceps dips and overhead presses for the triceps; and military presses and lateral raises for the shoulders. Execute each exercise for four sets of 25 to 30 repetitions. Use lightly moderate resistance; you should feel a deep burn by the last few repetitions of each exercise.
Train your legs, abs, chest and back in separate workouts throughout the week. Work opposing muscle groups in the same workout; for example, work the chest and back on Monday, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves on Tuesday, abs on Thursday and arms on Friday. Include multi-joint exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time, such as pushups, bent-over rows, triceps tips, lunges, overhead shoulder presses and squats. Perform each exercise for four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions using moderate resistance.
Engage in 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular activity four to five days per week to help give your body a more slender appearance. Ride your bike, take a long walk or go for a swim. Use your local gym’s cardio machines, such as the elliptical machine, treadmill or recumbent bike, to add variety.
Decrease your daily calorie intake by a small amount to help you slim down. Keep track of your calorie consumption with an online food diary such as The Daily Plate. Reduce your daily calorie goal by 200 to 400 calories.
Clean up your diet to fuel your workouts and help trim inches off your body. Consume foods in their most natural form. Avoid processed and refined items such as potato chips, white breads, deli meats and preseasoned meals. Eat a variety of lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, seeds, fruits, nuts, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy.
- "Personal Fitness Trainer Manual: Fundamentals"; National Federation of Professional Trainers; 2008
- Wexner Medical Center: Arm Strengthening Program
- JTPhoto/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.