It's Grandma Arms! What do I do?!

Those grandma arms. Maybe your upper arms are tight and ripped and look impressive in a tank top. If that isn’t your reality, I wrote this post with you (and myself) in mind! Those of us over the mid-century mark just might be blessed with what some fondly call ‘bat wings’ or ‘arm flab’. However you refer to this jiggly, upper body area, they do supply occasional entertainment for grandkids and work well in the hugging department, but they’re not optimal during swimsuit season.

As we age, our muscles lose their tone, and our skin loses its elasticity, which is a double whammy for us grandmas. Our arm fitness expectations will need to embrace the reality of our changing bodies. That doesn’t mean we just throw them up in the air and say, ‘who cares!’ The change will happen with weight loss and exercises for flabby arms. It will just take longer. But, that’s a fact of life for most body changes for us.

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How to Get Rid of Arm Flab

Of course, the question of the century is, “What can I do to tone these puppies? I do NOT like this look!” The most popular solution is to work on weight loss (if that’s appropriate for you), eating clean, and additionally including a balanced weight-training program. Most trainers believe that spot-toning exercises are insufficient; you need a whole-body approach to fitness to get the job done. But here’s our free Grandma Arms Mini-Exercise Guide with workout suggestions that are fun and easy if you want to start focusing on your jiggly upper arms right now at home.

If your Medicare Health Insurance includes Silver Sneakers or Silver&Fit, check out their website and app for exercises, links to gyms, etc. They have tons of non-member info and exercises even if you don’t. I also just recently ran into Kathy Smith again (remember all those aerobic videos?) She’s focusing more on our age group these days, so she has challenges, lots of videos, and a food plan as well. Here’s a great one from her called the Total Body Turnaround.

If you search Pinterest for ‘flabby arm exercises,’ you’ll find tons of pins that purportedly work extremely fast! Be careful. Once again, a lifestyle change over time works. Darn. The good news, though, is that there’s hope!

If you are currently focusing on weight loss but haven’t landed on a plan, may I suggest WW (formerly Weight Watchers). I’ve had great success…down 15 with 20 to go as of this posting. I have a referral link that awards us both with a free month. There seems to always be a great promotional special on or coming soon. Here’s the link!

Also, there is another post on Quiet Hollow dealing with fitness for Next Chapter Women called 6 Life-Changing Fitness Facts. I think you just might find it helpful.

Quick Upper Arm Fixes in the Meantime

While changing your diet and developing a new workout routine, you can do several other things to help. Pick one or two that might work for you, and if you don’t see yours here, remember to add your trick in the comments below!

Long-sleeved jacket with a cute pink hand weight.

First, check out the 3/4 length tops. Blouses (the roll-up type), baseball shirts, and t-shirts that are in-between short and long fall in the 3/4 category. I love to wear long-sleeve button-down shirts that have a longer body. I fold the sleeves up to the elbow-length level and wear them over a tank or cami if it’s warm out.

Sometimes I put a light-weight long-sleeved tee under a favorite short-sleeved shirt. You need to be careful about colors and styles. If you don’t want to accentuate the need for coverage, go for natural.

My cute cousin Susie suggested purchasing two matching tank tops at a time in the summer. Then using a 3/4 length sleeve tee as a guide, cut two sleeves from the extra tank. Pull out that sewing machine and attach the new sleeves to the first tank top. Such a great idea!

If you live in a sunny spot, tanning seems to help! If not, try a good quality sunless tanner. Sometimes sleeveless is the only option, so I suggest trying body makeup. You can use a brush on bronzer (your face one works) or a product specifically for the body. (Not a great idea if you’re going swimming, however!)

The last option is a product you’ve heard of called Spanx Women’s Arm Tights (this is my Amazon link). I think they’d be especially helpful in the colder months. They come in different necklines and different colors. I think I’ll be trying the black crewneck tee. As with many other body image concerns, our attitudes play a huge role in keeping each of us content, encouraged, and willing to make any needed changes.

An Upper Arm Attitude Adjustment

For me, the first step in adjusting my attitude is embracing the reality of having my mom’s arms (and what a wonderful gift to have!). But, I also realize there’s a balance in accepting my current status while also working for improvement — grateful contentment tends to shoo away regretful disgust (which can creep in if I’m not careful).

Grandma Arms have an extremely important purpose, y’all, and that’s hugging and loving our grandkids. Don’t you remember those Grandma Hugs you got all those years ago? Or even Mom Hugs. Those of us who no longer have our grandmas and moms around would probably give just about anything to get one of those hugs! Mine came with a, “Everything’s going to be okay,” and it usually was. 🥰 (Miss you, Mom!)

Time to Wrap This Up

It’s sad but true that our bodies change as we age and that, as 60+ women, those changes have become very noticeable. It’s not bad. It just is. There are things we can do physically, cosmetically, and with our style to minimize the changes. But, probably the most efficient, meaningful, important thing we can do is accept what is and embrace it. There is joy and peace with that approach. And, that to me is of way greater value than arms that don’t jiggle!

If you’re interested in a little jump-start on the Grandma Arms firming and toning action, join us and get this free Mini-Exercise Guide.

After all that work on your arms, check out this post with some calming, Stress-Relieving Hobbies to Calm Your Heart.

We would love your comments below! Any exercise tips or mental tricks that have helped you? Please, please share.

Disclosure: If you purchase from links in this post, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. I will only promote products that I personally use or can recommend without hesitation. Thank you for your support in this way. 

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  1. I have those Grandma arms and mostly it doesn’t bother me, until I see my arms in a photo. I’ll try to give it a shot, but exercise is one of my downfalls. Thank you.

    1. Kathy Rowland says:

      Those darn photos! The exercises are pretty quick and easy. Good luck…I’m in the same boat 🙂

  2. I can certainly relate over here. Some times It seams like someone is invading my body ever so slowly. Loved your article.

    I lost 20 pounds & got very toned with Kathy Smith. This is so cool, have to check it out. I still have all her tapes believe it or not. Thanks for the Silver Sneakers top.

    1. Kathy Rowland says:

      Patty! Loved your ‘invading my body’ visual! hahaha, but so true 🙂 Thanks for swinging by Quiet Hollow. ~Kathy

  3. Excellent post! You made me laugh and I WILL be tackling my grandma arms tomorrow!

    1. Kathy Rowland says:

      Jane! Thanks…good luck with your Grandma Arms! Excited for your amazing results 🙂

  4. Can’t wait to try the exercises. And, can’t wait to see what you post next.

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