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10 Beginner Exercises to Target 'Turkey Wing' Arm Fat

Don’t miss out on these killer movements that are proven to tighten and tone your arms.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Whether you're a bodybuilder, endurance athlete, or someone who's simply looking to get into better shape, pretty much everyone wants toned and sculpted arms. But firming up your arms may require some extra attention if you have flabby triceps (also called "turkey wings"). Flabby arms are often associated with weight loss and aging, but research suggests they can also be associated with metabolic syndrome. That's why addressing your turkey wings now with these trainer-approved exercises can help you sculpt those pipes and boost your overall health. We spoke with Kyrie Furr, CPT, a certified personal trainer and performance coach with Barbend, who shares 10 beginner-friendly exercises for turkey wing fat.

These arm exercises are explicitly designed to target upper arm flab, helping you melt away those unsightly turkey wings for good. You may find exercising intimidating if you're a beginner—especially when targeting specific areas like the triceps. Fortunately, with the right approach and a set of arm-targeted exercises, you can confidently work toward toning your arms and eliminating turkey wings.

Read on for Furr's beginner-friendly exercises for turkey wing fat and her detailed instructions for each. And when you're done, check out the 5 Best Floor Workouts To Melt Belly Fat.

Diamond Pushups

woman doing diamond pushups, concept of exercises for turkey wing arm fat

This list of exercises for turkey wing arm fat kicks off with the diamond pushup. A classic yet productive movement, pushups engage multiple muscle groups, such as the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

"Get into a pushup position with your hands close together under your chest, forming a diamond shape. Lower your body, keeping your elbows close to your sides, then push back up," Furr explains. Perform four or five sets of as many reps as possible with 60 to 90 seconds of rest between sets.

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Tricep Dips

tricep dips illustration, concept of exercises for turkey wing arm fat

Tricep dips specifically target the back of the arms, helping to tone and tighten the triceps. They also activate your chest and shoulders.

"Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your hands gripping the edge. Slide off the edge, bending your elbows to lower your body. Push back up, engaging your triceps," Furr instructs. Repeat this movement for four or five sets, doing as many reps as possible each time. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

Front or Lateral Raises

dumbbell front raise, concept of exercises for turkey wing arm fat

Front and lateral raises focus on the deltoids, helping to boost overall shoulder definition and strength—an essential component for toned arms.

"Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs," says Furr. "Lift the weights in front of you until they reach shoulder height. Lower them back down slowly." Aim for four sets of 12 to 15 reps. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

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Hammer Curls

dumbbell hammer curls, concept of exercises for turkey wing arm fat

Hammer curls work the outer biceps and forearms, providing a well-rounded arm exercise.

To set up, Furr instructs, "Hold dumbbells with your palms facing your torso. Curl the weights toward your shoulders in a hammer-like motion. Lower the weights with control and repeat." Complete four sets of 10 to 12 reps per arm with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

Reverse Planks

reverse plank exercise

The reverse plank is a stellar full-arm exercise that engages the triceps, shoulders, and core. "The reverse plank is a bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, and also helps to stabilize your shoulders and arms," says Furr.

She continues to instruct, "Sit on the floor with your legs extended and your hands behind you. Lift your hips toward the ceiling, creating a straight line from head to heels. Engage your arms and core for stability." Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat four times with 60 seconds of rest between.

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Shoulder Presses

illustration of dumbbell shoulder press

Shoulder presses engage muscles in your upper arms by targeting the deltoids (shoulders) and triceps (back of upper arm). Furr says, "The shoulder press primarily targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders. It's an effective movement for building shoulder strength and mass."

To begin, hold the dumbbells or a barbell at shoulder level with your palms facing forward. "Push the weights overhead, fully extending your arms. Lower the weights back to shoulder height," Furr adds. Complete four sets of 10 to 12 reps with 60 seconds of rest between sets.


plank to pushup

This movement fires up the triceps and shoulders, making it an effective exercise for beginners to tone their arms. "The plank-to-pushup is a dynamic exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the core, chest, shoulders, and triceps," states Furr. "It combines the static plank position with the dynamic movement of a pushup."

Begin in a forearm plank, then push yourself up to a high plank from one arm to the next. Then, lower back down to a forearm plank. Perform four sets of 12 to 15 reps. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Tricep Kickbacks

woman bent over Triceps Kickbacks

A tricep-toning classic, tricep kickbacks effectively isolate and target the triceps. Just make sure you use light weights to maintain proper form.

"Hold a dumbbell in each hand, hinge at the waist, and bring your upper arms parallel to the ground," Furr says. "Extend your arms straight behind you, engaging your triceps. Return to the starting position, and repeat." Aim for four sets of 12 to 15 reps per arm. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

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Skull Crushers

illustration of barbell skull crusher

Skull crushers—or lying tricep extensions—is a fantastic beginner tricep exercise that extends the arms while lying down, effectively targeting and eliminating turkey wing arm fat.

"Lie on a bench with a barbell or dumbbell in your hands. Lower the weight toward your forehead, then extend your arms back up," Furr explains. Repeat this movement for 12 to 15 reps across four sets, and rest for 60 seconds between each set.

Overhead Tricep Extensions

illustration of overhead tricep extension

This list of exercises for turkey wing arm fat wraps up with the overhead tricep extension. This movement is another killer tricep-isolating exercise that targets upper arm flab and builds arm strength.

"Sit or stand with a dumbbell in one hand. Raise the weight overhead, and lower it behind your head, extending your arm. Remember to maintain proper form and control throughout the movements and to gradually increase weights as you build strength. Additionally, it's essential to include a variety of exercises to target different angles of the triceps for the best overall development," says Furr. Perform four sets of 10 to 12 reps with 60 seconds of rest between sets.

Adam Meyer, RHN
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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