We may complain about our "flabby triceps," "jiggly arms" or "batwings," but some fitness experts will tell you that when it comes to toning these tough spots, you don't even need to start with a set of weights.
"Sometimes the problem is that someone is just carrying too much fat on the triceps. The solution here is to eat a clean diet of natural foods, lower your carbohydrates and exercise with resistance on a regular basis," says Jean Luc Boissonneault, personal trainer and CEO of Free Form Fitness based in Ottawa, Ont.
And when it comes to the actual exercise portion of this equation, Boissonneault says you can still tone your arms simply by doing push-ups, dips, chip-ups and bodyweight extensions. But when you feel ready, always add in some weights.
"Always start off with a weight you are comfortable with and build up from there week after week. As long as you try to increase the weight, sets or repetitions you will continue to improve. Starting is the most important part," he tells the Huffington Post Canada.
Often, women tend to have larger fat cells and more of them in their arms, Boissonneault adds. Some studies have shown that women also tend to carry more fat cells in their thighs, hips and bottoms while men collect these cells in their bellies, according to the LA Times.
Boissonneault also says that gaining muscle is much harder for women in general and the process to build hormones like testosterone (women produce small amounts of testosterone in the adrenal glands and ovaries) is much slower.
Some people may have a hard time toning their arms because of their diets (eating foods that cause excessive body fat), while others may not plan out their routines and not give their arms enough rest. "Arms are like any other muscle group — they need recovery in order to build them up," Boissonneault says.
LOOK: Here are Boissonneault's 10 exercises to tone your arms and how to do them safely:
Triceps: Rope Extension At A Pulley Station:
Standing up with elbows glued to your side, grab the rope hanging from the top of the pulley station. Press down as you extend your elbows until you're at a comfortable position (or until your elbows are locked). Flex your triceps and slowly release to the top position again.
Triceps: Bodyweight Dips:
On a dip machine (or even a bench) hold your body up completely with your elbows locked. Start to lower yourself slowly until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and keep your head straight as you press up to the starting position.
Triceps: Band Push-Ups:
Place a rubber band in each hand and wrap it around your upper back. As you get down into a push-up position, make sure there is constant tension throughout the actual movement. Press yourself up the same way you would do a regular push up.
Triceps: Close Grip Bench Press:
Lie on a bench with your elbows against your sides and grab the bar (with a weight you're comfortable with) with a width that allows your elbows to be directly under your hands. Start to lower the bar until it makes contact with the chest and press up. If you don't feel comfortable doing this on your own, ask a trainer or even a friend to help you out the first few times.
Triceps: Cable Overhead Extension:
In a standing position facing away from a high pulley, reach up and grab the rope. Take one step forward while keeping your elbows alongside your head. Extend your forearms until your arms are straight and flex the triceps. As you return to an upward position, you should feel a stretch in the triceps.
Biceps: Wide Parallel Grip Pull Up:
Hold on to a wide parallel grip bar and allow your palms to face each other as you let yourself hang. Pull yourself up while keeping your chest out and reach your chin over the bar if you can.
Biceps: Chin Up:
Hold onto a bar with your palms facing towards you and let yourself hang. Pull yourself up keeping your chest out and reach your chin over the bar if you can.
Biceps: Barbell Curl:
Take a barbell in your hands and hold it tightly with all your fingers, particularly your pinkys, making sure you have good rotation in the forearms. Pull the bar up to your neck while maintaining your elbows at the side of your body.
Biceps: Dumbbell Tension Curl:
Hold a set of dumbbells to your side. As you start to raise them, lean forward. As you reach the top of the shoulder, start to lower the dumbbells and at the same time, start to stand up straight again. This creates a constant tension on the biceps throughout the entire movement.
Biceps: Easy Bar Curl:
Hold an easy bar curl (the easy bar is a bar that is bent to be easier on the wrist) in your hands against the front of your thighs. Curl the bar up to your neck and slowly return to the bottom.