How to get rid of bingo wings at home: 9 of the best exercises
If you dread wearing strappy tops because of your arms, tighten your upper arm muscles with these simple exercises for bingo wings
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These exercises for bingo wings will tighten and tone your muscles, so you don't have to wonder how to get rid of bingo wings anymore.
Seen as a derogatory term by some because it refers to the arms of female bingo players, 'bingo wings' is slang for the lose skin that hangs down from the upper arms. Lyndsey Forfar (opens in new tab), studio manager and head trainer at F45 Vauxhall, explains: "There could be several reasons why someone develops bingo wings - from genetics to diet and lifestyle." She adds, "People naturally hold fat in different areas of their bodies so if you're noticing it more in your upper arms that could be one place that your body generally tends to store fat."
And much like many of us are keen to know how to get rid of cellulite (opens in new tab) or how to lose weight on the face (opens in new tab) and how to get rid of a double chin (opens in new tab) to help us feel at our most confident, the same is often true of bingo wings. While there's nothing wrong with them, they're generally considered a sign of aging and therefore leave many wanting to tone up their arms. That's why we've spoken to the experts to put together this guide on how to get rid of bingo wings.
How to get rid of bingo wings at home
There are a range of exercises for reducing bingo wings that can be done as home workouts (opens in new tab), and some can be done while you're going about your daily life, such as when you're watching TV or waiting for the kettle to boil.
Julia Buckley (opens in new tab), founder of Julia Buckley Fitness, says: "We also tend to gain extra fat as we age, which is why 'bingo wings' are more common in older women. That's why a well-planned, varied programme of arm exercises (opens in new tab) and a healthy diet are crucial to keep the skin and muscles in good condition." She adds, "If you really want to see changes you should be ready to invest some time and effort with at least three workouts of around 30 mins each per week."
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Best exercises to get rid of bingo wings
1. Resistance training
"If you’re holding fat in the upper arms, a healthy diet and a good varied workout plan including HIIT workouts (opens in new tab) and weight training is the best way to torch that," says Julia. "If sagging skin is the issue (often it will be a combination of both), tighten up the area by developing the muscles of the upper arms. As well as tricep dips and press-ups [, focus on the shoulders and bicep muscles on the front of the upper arms to give the area more firmness and shape with moves like shoulder presses, bicep curls and arm circles," she says.
Lyndsey adds: "Add weighted upper body exercises into your workout. Lifting weights will increase your muscle mass without making you look bulky. And it will tone your arms."
Try this exercise:
- Sit up straight or stand with feet hip-width apart
- Hold a small dumbbell, a bottle or water or a can of beans in each hand – anything with a bit of weight
- Start with your arms at your sides, then flex your arms from the elbows up to the shoulders and down to your sides
- Repeat 10-15 times
Press-ups are one of the best exercises for your arms. "You can do press-ups in different positions – e.g. wide and narrow," says Lyndsey. "It's important to try and get your chest all the way to the floor. If that means dropping to your knees then make that modification so that you can achieve full range of motion to work the whole arm," she adds.
How to do a wall press-up:
- Stand at arm's length from a wall, with legs shoulder-width apart
- Stretch out your arms and place your palms on the wall
- Lean in so your face is near the wall
- Push yourself away from the wall using just your arms
- Do three lots of 8-10 press-ups to complete the exercise
"Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) aim to ease tension, strengthen and align the entire body,' says Deanne Oliver-Pickard (opens in new tab), a yoga teacher at beach destination Rockwater in Hove, and co-founder of The Wellness Works.
"Practising Sun Salutations daily will help to lengthen and tone the muscles of the body, whilst also supporting our fascia health," says Deanne. "Popular poses like the high plank, the downfacing dog and the dolphin are particularly beneficial when aiming to effectively sculpt and strengthen the upper arms."
The High Plank (Phalakasana)
- Begin high plank on all fours on your mat, with your hands planted firmly to the ground and your shoulders over your wrists
- Next, engage the legs by pushing back through the heels, with the legs hip-width apart. The whole body should now be raised, with the triceps and core engaged
- To advance this pose and further strengthen your triceps and biceps, you can also lower the knees, the tops of the feet, and bend the elbows underneath.
Downfacing Dog (Adho mukha svanasana)
- Similar to high plank, begin on all fours on your mat, with your hands planted firmly to the ground
- Tuck your toes under and lift the knees off the floor, straightening the legs to where feels comfortable
- Here you can also begin to bend alternate knees
The Dolphin (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
- To begin the dolphin pose, begin on all fours
- Bend your elbows and bring your forearms to the mat
- Next, curl your toes under and lift your legs until straight, feeling the engagement in your upper body and core.
Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do. It works most muscles in your body, and can be especially beneficial for your arms.
Choose from backstroke, butterfly or front crawl – whatever you feel most comfortable with – and do as many laps as you can, focusing on powering your body with your arms more than your legs. Head to your local pool, lido or beach at least three times a week to see the maximum results.
5. Tricep dips
Another great arm-toning exercise is the tricep dip. "The tricep muscle has the biggest surface area in the arm, so exercises that will strengthen the tricep will give your arms a more defined appearance," says Lyndsey.
How to do tricep dips:
- Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair, put your hands by your side, with your fingers facing forward and hanging just over the edge
- Walk your feet out a little so that your hips and bottom are off the chair
- Now use your arms to lower yourself down so that your bottom is just a few inches from the floor
- Use your arms to slowly pull yourself up again
- Try to keep your back straight and don't tense your shoulders
This is quite a tough exercise, so don't worry if you can only do five. Aim to build up to 10 and to stretch your legs out a little further as you get the hang of it.
If you go to the gym or you would like to buy a piece of exercise equipment that tones arms, opt for a rowing machine. You can buy a well-reviewed home rowing machine on Amazon (opens in new tab) from around £91.99. To see some results, aim for 20-40 mins a day, five days a week.
7. Carrying shopping
You can even incorporate exercises for bingo wings into your daily routine. "In every day, carrying heavy shopping bags home will work your shoulders and grip strength. Make sure you have two bags of equal weight either side," says Lyndsey.
As you walk, slowly bend your elbows to the lift the bags up then, using controlled movements, move the bags back down.
Sitting in the car might not seem like exercise, but there are some toning moves you can do behind the wheel.
Grip the steering wheel and squeeze inwards to tone the chest, and then outward to target your upper arm, holding each for 10-20 seconds. Repeat these moves at the beginning and end of each journey you make, or whenever you're stuck in traffic. Don't try these while you're driving as it could distract you.
OK, so a bit of stretching isn't going to melt your bingo wings away. What regular stretching exercises do is make muscles longer and leaner.
Stretching is also a great way to release stress and stay flexible, and if you're going to be ding any of the exercises above on a regular basis, then stretching afterwards is important to to keep your muscles strong, and healthy, and to improve your range of motion.
Try this stretch for your shoulders, armpits, triceps, and chest:
- Stretch your right arm out to the side and turn it palm facing down
- Continue to roll your palm back until your thumb is pointing behind you and your shoulder is rolled forward
- Raise your left arm to the sky, then bend the elbow so your elbow is pointed toward the ceiling and you are patting yourself on the back
- Bend your right elbow and tuck your forearm behind your back. The back of your right hand should be resting against your lower back
- Gently work your two arms together, as close to parallel to your spine as possible. Try to keep your hands moving together
- Repeat the move the other way around, so your right elbow is pointing upwards
Our 30 days of exercises for bingo wings challenge:
Bingo wings are a stubborn area to address so sometimes they need some dedicated attention. Try our free 30-day bingo wing challengemto try and get rid of bingo wings fast. Just like our 30 day plank challenge (opens in new tab), the below plan for exercises for bingo wings takes just one month and will help you tone up.
Whatever you choose to do, you shouldn't ever feel bad about how you look. "It’s not the sort of thing other people massively notice and it's totally normal," says Julia. "Please don’t be ashamed of your arms, whatever they look like. Instead, keep them strong with regular exercise, then the tightening and sculpting that comes from that will be a pleasing side effect."
Lyndsey agrees: "Try not to dislike or hide any parts of your body – learn to love what every part of your body can do for you," she says.
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Debra Waters is an experienced online editor and lifestyle writer with a focus on health, wellbeing, beauty, food and parenting. She currently writes for Goodto and Woman&Home, and print publications Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman’s Weekly. Previously, Debra was digital food editor at delicious magazine and MSN. She’s written for M&S Food, Great British Chefs, loveFOOD, What to Expect, Everyday Health and Time Out, and has had articles published in The Telegraph and The Big Issue.
- Ellie HutchingsJunior Features Writer
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