Top 5 fitness exercises revealed to help with ‘tuckshop arms’ weight loss

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It’s something almost everyone experiences – and it’s particularly bad for women – but there are ways to help stop it happening.

Welcome to Ask Doctor Zac, a weekly column from news.com.au. This week Dr Zac Turner talks about saggy bingo wings.

Question: Hi Dr Zac,

My husband and I have been married for 40 years, and it’s been wonderful. What hasn’t been so wonderful is watching our bodies sag and wrinkle.

I’ve grown tuckshop arms! My worst nightmare has become a reality. Is there anything I can do to help lessen the sagging of my arms? And how come I’ve got them but my husband doesn’t? He does less exercise than me! – Wendy Perth, 60

Answer: Tuck-shop arms, bingo wings, bat wings, piano arms, nana wings – there are many ways to describe an older person’s bicep which has begun to sag. I appreciate that you are coming to me for help to change your body, but I recommend you first accept that your body has begun its ageing process.

By having a more accepting attitude to your body ageing, you are less likely to take chances with your health to clutch at the last remnants of your youth.

Sometimes an older patient will come to me and ask for anabolic steroids simply because they want to feel strong like they were twenty again – even though steroids at their age could seriously affect their health.

Another common ‘ageing issue’ that I see is what you are coming to me about here: Sagging. I do have a few exercises for you to reduce your Tuck-shop arms, but first, let me take you through the science behind sagging.

‘Tuck-shop arms’, or the sagging of your upper-arm, is a collection of fatty cells underneath the skin which cause sagging and wobbling. As you get older, the structural collagen in your body becomes increasingly weaker.

Think of structural collagen as like the bricks of protein that make up your skin, tendons and other tissue. Over time these lose their strength, and ultimately sag.

I’m sorry to break it to you but there is a reason why you have them and your husband doesn’t: women are typically more affected by this than men for two reasons.

Firstly women have a naturally wider distribution of fat in the body. While men’s fat is centred over the abdomen. More fat cells in your arms means the higher chance of sag. Also women undergo a series of hormonal changes that affect the size and structure of fat cells which men don’t.

Here are five exercises that will help you say goodbye to tuckshop arms. I recommend you do them in unison every day for the best results.

Push ups

Perhaps the first exercise you ever do as a young person, and the last you will ever do. This exercise is nearly perfect for this issue because it isolates the main area of concern.

Don’t be alarmed, I would never expect you to push-up like how the commandos do. Resting on your knees, place your hands down underneath your shoulders with your palms flat.

Face your fingers forward and slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows out to the side. Once your chest is about 5cm off the floor, hold for two, then push back up.

Repeat 10-15 times.

Tricep dips

This is one you can do outside on a park bench or a ledge. What you need to do is sit on the edge of the surface and place your hands next to your hips. Slowly lift off the bench and bring your hips forward. Then all you do is bend your elbows to lower your hips down, and push back up.

Repeat 10-15 times.

Wall push aways

This is very similar to a push-up, except you are standing opposite a wall. Place your hands chest height on the wall, then slowly bend your arms and lower your body to the wall. Your heels should come off the floor as you get close to the wall. Then slowly push back away from the wall.

Repeat 10-15 times.

Bicep curls

Hold a small weight in both arms and rest them by your sides. Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart and begin to bend your elbows by rising your forearms towards your shoulders. Then slowly lower your elbows back down.

Repeat 10-15 times.

Boxing classes

Nearly every gym these days has a boxing class in their schedule. I highly recommend you come along to one at least once a week. This is a great opportunity for you to work out your arms, and it can even be a great bonding session with your husband

Not only are these exercises great for firming up your arms, but they will keep you mobile and active for longer. The best way to prolong the ageing process is to stay active. As they say in the business, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

This will give you the strength to feel healthier and fitter well into your senior years.

Got a question: askdrzac@conciergedoctors.com.au

Dr Zac Turner has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney. He is both a medical practitioner and a co-owner of telehealth service, Concierge Doctors. He was also a registered nurse and is also a qualified and experienced biomedical scientist along with being a PhD Candidate in Biomedical Engineering.

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