If you want to firm up flabby arms before you hit the pool or beach this season, you’re not alone. Here’s the good news: We polled a few experts for tricks to transform this body stressor into body-beautiful, and their tips are a lot easier than you’d think.
Nutritionist says: Look leaner with protein.
“Increasing protein intake boosts collagen production, which helps provide the amino acid building blocks to increase muscle mass,” explains nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, author of Radical Metabolism ($15.33, Amazon) and The New Fat Flush Plan ($17, Amazon). This firms arms to reduce wiggles for a leaner appearance. In fact, research published in The Journal of Nutrition revealed that upping protein boosted muscle synthesis by 25 percent within one month. Dr. Gittleman’s advice: Eat 60 grams of lean protein daily to reveal toned arms in four weeks.
Dermatologist says: Tone with a seaweed wrap.
“Seaweed’s iodine stimulates fat-burning enzymes to target the stubborn fat that builds up in upper arms,” says dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules ($9.27, Amazon). To do: Mix 1/2 cup of seaweed powder, like Starwest Botanicals Organic Kelp Powder ($12.21, Amazon), 1/2 cup of water, and 2 tsp. of almond oil (its vitamin E boosts elastin production). Rub onto arms and loosely wrap with plastic wrap; remove plastic and rinse after 30 minutes. Use twice a week for results in three weeks.
Trainer says: Pull out a pair of pantyhose.
You can tone the entire arm using the resistance of an old pair of pantyhose for this classic move that works the biceps, triceps, and brachioradialis (a forearm muscle), according to celebrity trainer Autumn Calabrese, author of the portion-control cookbook FIXATE ($26.90, Amazon). Calabrese’s how-to: Stand with feet hip-width apart and a pair of compression pantyhose under your feet. With one end of the hose in each hand, curl your right arm up to your shoulder, then lower it to your thigh; repeat with the left. Do two sets of 20, four times a week for results in three weeks.
Stylist says: Mask them with ruffles.
Off-the-shoulder style swimsuits are having a moment, and for good reason, says stylist Samantha Brown. “The ruffly shoulder-showcasing design drapes right over the upper arm to conceal the spot where flab is most prominent.” Plus, it’s a fun, feminine way to offer extra coverage without having full-length sleeves, which can leave you feeling overheated and overdressed in summer’s high temperatures.
This story originally appeared in our magazine.
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