How to get rid of bat wings: Experts share their best tips and tricks
Have you ever greeted someone and realized that your lower arm continues to wave long after your hand stops? Ugh, we’ve all been there. And no matter your age or weight, that pesky flab on your upper arm, also known as the dreaded bat wings, is a common struggle for most women. But, hey, it’s not our fault!
What causes bat wings?
With hormonal changes, weight fluctuations, and stress, women’s lymphatic systems are more prone to becoming sluggish. And when they don’t flush out toxins fast enough, the excess is carried into the subcutaneous fat located just below the skin’s surface. And in areas, like the upper arms, where the skin is thinnest, it can lead to sagging, dimpling and shaking.
So how to get rid of bat wings forever? We’ve rounded up expert tips, pampering tricks, and easy exercises that you can choose from or do all together to help you get smoother, more toned arms. Not only will you feel more confident with bare arms this summer, when you say hello, you only say hello once.
What are the quick ways to tighten upper arm skin?
Make a DIY wrap with seaweed and aloe
It’s a no-brainer to tighten skin with a DIY seaweed wrap, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a famed dermatologist in New York City. arm. And using it with aloe vera gel (its antioxidants promote elastin production) leaves your arms feeling more toned.
Do: Combine 14 cup seaweed powder (such as Starwest Botanicals Organic Seaweed Powder), 2 Tbsp. of water and 2 tbsp. of aloe vera gel. Massage into upper arms, then loosely wrap arms with plastic wrap (this helps the ingredients penetrate the skin better). Let it sit for 20 minutes, then remove the plastic wrap and rinse the skin. Use twice a week for firmer arms in three weeks.
Try a green tea wrap
Say goodbye to arm swings in minutes by applying a sheet mask infused with green tea extract, like Freeman Beauty Pretty Arms Toning + Smoothing Sheet Mask. The tannins in green tea have an astringent effect that instantly tightens looser skin along the arms, says medical esthetician Holly Cutler, founder of FACE Skincare. Additionally, the caffeic acid in the tea has diuretic properties that absorb into the skin and help flush out excess fluids and toxins that build up in the arm area, so your arms appear leaner and more toned faster.
Do: Place a sheet along the triceps area of each arm (this is where the arms tend to be the flaccid) and let it rest for 15 minutes; remove and scrub the residue into the skin.
Indulge in a sea fennel and coconut oil wrap
What can tone your arms, without the need for a gym or diet? Wrapping them with a mix of sea fennel and coconut oil. Like seaweed, sea fennel is rich in iodine that absorbs into the skin and increases enzyme activity to target the fat cells that accumulate in the upper arms, says Dr. Jaliman. And coconut oils hydrate lauric acid plumping skin for a less flaky appearance.
Do: Mix 1 tsp. of sea fennel extract (such as Making Cosmetics Sea Fennel Extract, MakingCosmetics.com) e 12 spoons. of coconut oil. Rub into upper arms, then wrap loosely with plastic wrap (helps ingredients penetrate better), let sit 15 minutes; remove and rinse. Use twice a week for results in three weeks.
What are the best ways to hide bat wings?
Choose a striped swim top
The firm but stretchy fabric on a long sleeve rashguard holds the loose skin on your arm, so it looks tighter. And a thin stripe design breaks up a larger surface area, so the arms look slimmer too! One to try: Cabana Life Royal Blue Stripe Zipper Rashguard.
Add slimming sleeves to any outfit
JoyShaper Upper Arm Shaper, are opaque sleeves available in black, navy blue and white, can be worn under sleeveless and strapless dresses or tops of the same color to transform them into long sleeve silhouettes which help to make your arms look slimmer and toned.
Create a bronzing illusion
Apply a small amount of temporary bronzer, such as Bondi Sands GLO Matte One Day Tan to the inside of the upper arm and blend well. The bronzer creates a slimming shadow that helps your arms look slimmer instantly.
What exercises at home tone bat wings quickly?
This exercise works the underused tricep muscles that run along the back of your arm, says fitness guru Jessica Smith. Making targeted movements to firm them is the key to eliminating the annoying oscillations of the waves.
Simply stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding 3 to 5-pound weights. Bend your torso forward 45 degrees and pull the weights toward your armpits (elbows toward the ceiling). Without moving your upper arms, extend the weights behind you, then bend your elbows to bring them back. Do 15 reps.
Here Smith outlines the kickback and other bat-wing cancellation exercises:
Perform a simple towel pull
Holding a towel vertically behind you, grab one end across your lower back and the other end behind your head. Pull straight for 30 seconds, then swap arm positions and repeat. Performed daily, this stretch strengthens your triceps to tone your arms in 30 days.
Follow this video below to try it yourself:
Tone up with resistance bands
Looking for an arm workout that’s easier than push-ups? Try some resistance bands! A simple set of rubber rings (light to heavy) will get you the distance. We like the Fit Simplify resistance band set. Then, follow this 10-minute workout routine below.
What can I eat to get rid of bat wings?
Sip on a green smoothie
The vitamin K, folic acid and magnesium in leafy greens like spinach transport toxins and trapped fluids out of the lymphatic system. This helps flush out toxins that can create dimples and sagging.
Nosh on hemp seeds
Add 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds to your daily diet by sprinkling them on oatmeal, salads or smoothies. The seeds are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that will help you build muscle.
Add extra onions and garlic
Onions, leeks and garlic contain compounds that increase levels of an antioxidant (glutathione) which prompts the liver to eliminate toxins and helps eliminate toxins that can cause arm shaky, says Sara Gottfried, MD, author of Women, food and hormones. Supplementing with 600 mg. of the amino acid N-acetyl-cysteine also increases glutathione.
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Womans World.
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