Healthy Living

5 ‘bingo wings’ barre exercises to tone and shape your upper arms

Looking for exercises that can tone your upper arms or – as they are often referred to – ‘bingo wings’?

Knowing which exercises are worth your time and energy is crucial when creating effective workouts. It’s also important to remember that, while you can’t target fat loss in specific areas, you can tone up by doing movements that target muscles in that area.

We spoke to Nathalie Errandonea-Mewes, a classically trained former dancer and barre instructor, founder of NRG barrebody, for five simple exercises you can add into your repertoire to help improve the appearance of those so-called ‘bingo wings’.

What is barre?

Inspired by moves from ballet, Pilates and yoga, barre workouts are fairly low-impact, which makes them suitable for all ages and abilities. They can help to lengthen, strengthen and tone your body. But don’t be fooled into thinking low-impact means barre is a walk in the park. You’ll really feel the burn!

When it comes to banishing bingo wings, the triceps are the key to our success, as Nathalie explains.

“There are plenty of exercises that can be done in order to tone up this area. Your workouts should focus on upper arms and in particular the triceps,” she says. “​​The skin on our upper arms starts hanging with age, because of the loss of muscle mass and weakening of the connective tissues. This is the reason why working and strengthening our arms is very important if you wish to avoid looser upper arms as you get older.”

These exercise suggestions from Nathalie require no equipment, meaning you can do them anywhere. Just bring your body, a water bottle and your A-game.

5 upper arm barre exercises to banish bingo wings

Flap flap (shoulders and upper back focus)

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  • Stretch your arms to the side, make sure you keep your shoulders down.

  • Start flapping your arms up and down ( small range of motion).

  • Keep a dynamic pace.

  • Do this for 3 minutes, 3 times (30 seconds rest between each set).

Press Away (shoulders and upper back focus)

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  • Stretch your arms to the side, make sure you keep your shoulders down.

  • Flex your wrists, fingers pointing to the ceiling.

  • Bend your elbows slightly and push away by stretching your arms.

  • Imagine you are in water and create some resistance for yourself.

  • Do this for 3 minutes, 3 times (30 seconds rest between each set).

Pulse Up (triceps focus)

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  • Come on all fours, make sure to keep your shoulders straight above your wrists.

  • Engage your tummy muscles and keep your spine long.

  • Lift your arm up behind you with the palm of your hand towards the ceiling.

  • Start pulsing up and down (small range of motion).

  • Do this for 3 minutes, 3 times (30 seconds rest between each set).

Pulse In (triceps focus and scapula muscles)

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  • Come on all fours, make sure to keep your shoulders stay above your wrists.

  • Engage your tummy muscles and keep your spine long.

  • Lift your arm up behind you with the palm of your hand towards your sacrum (middle of the back).

  • Start pulsing in and out (small range of motion) without lifting the shoulder.

  • Do this 3 minutes, 3 times (30 seconds rest between each set).

Push Up (pectoral muscles and upper back focus)

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  • Come into a plank position with your knees on the floor, make sure your shoulders stay above your wrists.

  • Shift your bodyweight forward above your arms, squeeze your glutes and engage your tummy muscles.

  • Bend your elbows slightly and stretch (everyone is different and has a different strength so be mindful).

  • Do this for 2 minutes, 3 times (30 seconds rest between each set).

It’s important to remember that consistency is key when it comes to getting results.

Alongside a healthy diet that’s high in protein, you can expect to see results within four to six weeks when adding a couple of upper-body workouts into your weekly exercise routine.

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