As I was planning what to wear at a luncheon next week it occurred to me that I’m shying away from anything sleeveless. I never thought I’d have to plan my wardrobe around my arms but there it is. Unacceptable I say!! So, I’m on a mission girls! Let’s talk about how to fix those flabby arms.
There are three key factors to consider when treating aging arms. Number one is the fat content, next is the muscle tone, and finally the skin elasticity. It’s important to keep these issues in mind when deciding how to successfully turn that flab into fab!
Is Fat the Issue?
First, let us determine if it’s fat hanging there or just relaxed muscle? Unfortunately, as women age our upper arms attract fat like a magnet but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is your own personal situation. To find out try this simple test:
Get into the plank position . If you don’t see a small curve in your tricep area (the back muscle of your arm) and you can pinch an inch of flesh, then losing the fat is essential in de-flabbing your arm.
What’s Your Muscle Situation?
Maybe you’ve got mongo muscles but there’s a layer of fat on top? Or, like me, maybe muscles haven’t inhabited your arm area since the discovery of the ozone layer. It’s good to know where you stand when planning your full-on extermination of the flabby arm.
Flex your arm in the mirror. Does anything move? Does the skin lift? Does the fat jiggle? If so there’s some kind of muscle under there, it just needs it’s friend ‘skin’ to cooperate and it’s nemesis ‘fat’ to skat.
How is Your Skin Elasticity?
This is important Ladies! Because if you have skin laxity and it’s not addressed then tightening a flabby arm will be a losing battle. The skin holds everything together and, unfortunately, as we age, we lose collagen and elastin which makes our skin lax and look like hell in a cheap handbag.
A good way to check is to pinch the skin in on the area of your arm that bothers you. Does it snap right back or does it take some time to realign?
The speed at which it reshapes is an indication of the degree of laxity. If it snaps back right away then it doesn’t mean that your skin elasticity is where you want it , it just means that there is still some collagen to work with there.
This is important since certain treatments such as the PelleFirm, rely on a baseline of collagen to build upon so If you lack in such areas then another treatment needs to be considered. Capisce?
The Best Ways to Lose the Flabby Arms
Diet and Exercise
If ya wanna go au naturel then diet and exercise is your first step. Eating the right foods and doing the right arm exercises like diamond push-ups which is scientifically proven to work the most amount of arm muscles with the most intensity at the same time, may do the trick but it may not. As we age fat tends to collect in those places we least want them, the arm and saddlebags being the top ones.
So, if you find that your working out and eating right and still can’t loose that flab, or you just want to take a shortcut (nothing wrong with that!) then maybe it’s time to check out some other options.
Used For: Freezing Fat Cells
Ideal Candidate: Someone with isolated areas of fat but good skin elasticity
CoolSculpting (Cryolipolysis technology) – Freezes off all the extra fat. Does nothing about skin tightening so keep that in mind. In every experience I’ve come across, a little fat on the arms is a lot better than that flappy chicken skin trust me.
Used For: Freezing (killing) fat cells
Ideal Candidate: People with good skin elasticity and fat pockets that won’t go away with regular exercise (or just those who prefer the easier solution 😉 )
Used For: Melting fat and minor skin tightening
Ideal Candidate: Someone who needs to eliminate fat and still has a good amount of skin elasticity
Laser Lipo, also known as liposculpture or laser lipolysis, was developed to target small pockets of fat that cannot be reached during standard liposuction. A small cannula houses a laser to melt the fat off the target area.
Once it’s liquified it leaves your body through your lymphatic system and you pee it out. An added benefit of the laser is that the heat promotes a healing process in your skin, thus promoting the growth of collagen and making the skin tighter.
Some doctors claim that they can do this under local anesthesia, it’s actually marketed that way. I’d be remiss though if I didn’t tell you that I did this once and let me tell you it hurt. The whole thing was horrifying and left me with divets everywhere because he was rushing and I was moving since it stung like hell. I came out like Tara Reid incarnate. I had to go to another doctor to get it fixed but that’s another story and another article (digging up before and after shots for that).
On the other hand I’ve talked to women and men who said they were in la la land and couldn’t feel a thing. If I ever try it again I will do it under general anesthesia. If it’s done right you come out of it sculpted with tighter skin to boot.
It works great for sculpting definition into your arms and giving you that immediate ‘fit’ look. You can expect a day or two downtime and you need to keep your arms wrapped for a week or so. It stays swollen for a couple of weeks but you’ll still notice an improvement.
The full result won’t show for a month or so depending on your body’s capability to heal, but you will immediately see a marked difference.
The cost of both of these procedures varies depending on where you live in and the extent of the fat being removed but count on $3000 and up.
Venus Freeze (MP² technology)
Used For: Skin Tightening and melting a small amount of fat
Ideal Candidate: Someone with skin laxity but also a minor amount of fat to burn
The Venus Freeze uses both RF tecnology AND Magnetic Pulsed energy making it a double wammy in skin tightening. Not only does it promote collagen production and all that it also reduces areas of unwanted fat.
It takes several 30-40 minute treatments depending on the severity of the issue and it doesn’t hurt. It has been likened to a hot-stone massage. I’ve seen women who used this on their face and it works. Check out what it can do on the arms:
The Venus Freeze costs about $1450 for 8 weekly treatments depending on where you live.
PelleFirm (RF technology)
Used For: Skin tightening on the body
Ideal Candidates: People who suffer from skin laxity but who pass the pinch test meaning they still have some collagen in their skin to build upon.
The PelleFirm System uses RF technology to stimulate the production of collagen making the skin smoother and tighter. It also temporarily improves the appearance of cellulite but today we’re interested in it’s ability to tighten that saggy arm skin.
It takes 6 once a week treatments and costs $2160 for the package here in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, they are marketing it as 40% off and unfortunately they are the only Laser Center in my area that uses this newish system so I can’t tell how much truth there is to that statement. If $2160 is 40% off then I think I’ll choose the Venus Freeze thank you very much!
Exilis Protege Elite (RF technology)
Used For: Skin Tightening
Ideal Candidate: Someone with skin laxity but no issues with fat
The Exilis Protege Elite by BLT Aesthetics, also uses radio frequency tecnnology to tighten and improve the texture of sagging skin. It heats the deep tissue to stimulate the body’s natural collagen remodeling process to increases the amount and strength of healthy collagen. This image below demonstrates it best.
It’s purported as having a slight warm sensation which is counteracted by the cooling device prevents most discomfort. It takes 4 to 6 treatments, one every month. Each visit takes 30-45 mins. Maximum results are experienced incrementally over 3-6 months.
There are so many machines out there that I haven’t mentioned but the ones above are the ones that I will consider for tightening my arm skin. I’m 70/30 in favor of the Venus Freeze because I like the additional fat melting bonus.
Plus I’ve seen people who’ve used the Venus on their face and the results were nice.
I’ll keep you informed of my final decision and let you know how it went! Since original publication I ended up going with the Venus Freeze. Here’s how it went!