Fitness tips

Personal trainer Colin Ayliffe tells us how to get rid of our unsightly ‘Bingo wings’

A: When we think of ‘bingo wings’ we imagine that elderly lady down the bingo hall, waving her flabby arm aloft and shouting ‘House!’. Dinner lady arms, bat wings, sugar gliders, call them what you want, they appear to be one of the most self-conscious parts of a woman’s body. Firstly, we need to realise there is not one optimal body shape. Everyone is different. Individual differences like loose skin are a commodity shared by many that are perhaps best overcome by an acceptance of self, rather than an unhealthy desire to fit into a certain body image.

Nonetheless, if this will improve your confidence in that dress, we need to dispel the myth of spot reduction – the idea of burning fat from specific areas by targeting them with particular exercises (e.g tricep exercises to burn away saggy arms). Unfortunately, it is physiologically impossible to spot reduce fatty tissue without surgical intervention. Therefore, you need to address body fat reduction from an overall perspective, not an isolated one – you need to address the ‘big picture’.

Nutrition: It would be ideal to speak to your trainer or nutritionist about completing a food diary so they can identify any improvements that can be made with your diet. Ultimately, make sure you are eating a balanced diet. This will help you lose weight all over.

Cardiovascular activity: Cardio activities such as running, stair climbing, elliptical running, rowing, cycling and rollerblading will increase calorie expenditure, helping to create a calorie deficit and a decrease in your total weight.

Resistance exercises: Although triceps exercises such as dips will help tone and nicely shape the back of the arms, this should not be the only exercise you do! Aim to perform all-over body exercises like squats, lunges, press ups, rows and shoulder presses. This will not only help burn calories, but also improve muscle tone and increase your metabolism, resulting in overall weight loss.

Remember, that the first place you put weight on is often the last place it goes, so stay determined and soon you’ll have arms that resemble Madonna rather than Marge.

To contact Colin Ayliffe, go to

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