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The 5-Minute Workout To Banish Flabby Arms

This short, spicy arm workout will help jumpstart your fitness goals.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

And just like that, it's 2024! The new year is upon us, which means you get to start fresh with new goals, say goodbye to any excuses, and let go of the things that no longer serve you. I'm sure on top of your list of goals (along with many of my clients) is to work out more. As a fitness trainer specializing in yoga, barre, and pre/postnatal workouts and a busy mama of two, I've learned that the key to success when it comes to creating and maintaining a fitness routine is consistency. What exactly does this mean? It means moving your body daily—even if it's just for five minutes. That's why I've curated the ultimate five-minute workout to banish arm flab.

Not only will you see lasting results, but your body will begin to crave this routine each day. This short, spicy arm workout will help jumpstart your fitness goals and build svelte, sculpted arms in no time!

For the first two exercises, you don't need any equipment. For the other exercises, I recommend using three to five-pound weights or holding your baby if you're a mama for extra bonding time—just as long as they can hold their head up. Make sure to hold your baby underneath their armpits, gently holding onto their torso.

Keep reading for the best five-minute workout for arm flab and to sculpt stronger, more toned arms. And when you're finished working out, be sure to read A 69-Year-Old Fitness Trainer Shares the 6 Exercises That Keep Her Looking Half Her Age.


wide pushups
Jacquie Smith

This workout for arm flab begins with classic pushups. Place your hands wider than your shoulders (should be as wide as your mat) with your elbows driving out to the sides. You can choose to do them either on the tops of your thighs (knees bent and feet together) or with straight legs. If you have your baby, gently place them on the mat between your hands, and you can give them a kiss each time you lower down. Do eight pushups and eight pulses at the bottom for two rounds.

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Reverse Pushups

reverse pushup
Jacquie Smith

Sit on your butt with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. If you have your baby, you can gently place them on the mat between your legs. Put your hands behind you with your fingertips facing your glutes. Pressing your feet into the floor, lift your hips up, and roll back your weight over your wrists. Now, bend your elbows—keeping your hips up and driving your elbows back—and re-straighten your arms. Do eight reps and eight pulses at the halfway point for two rounds.

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Overhead Presses

overhead press
Jacquie Smith

Grab your weights, and wrap your hands tightly around them. To get into proper form, stand with your tummy tight and your knees bent, and place your arms up in a goal post position—elbows bent, palms facing out, and elbows slightly below your shoulders. Extend your hands over your head with straight arms. Your hands should be slightly in front of your face, then bring your arms back down to the starting position. If you have your baby, start by securely holding your baby in front of your face, with your elbows bent out to the sides. Then, extend your arms out in front of you just like you would if you were holding weights. Do eight reps.

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Bicep Curls

fitness trainer doing bicep curls
Jacquie Smith

Next, bring your arms down, lock your elbows into your sides, and flip your palms to face upward. Lower your hands down to your thighs, and then curl your weights up toward your shoulders. Lower your hands back down to complete 1 rep. If you have your baby, you'll just tap their feet to your thighs and then smile as you lift your arms up and engage your biceps. Do eight reps and eight halfway pulses.

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Jacquie Smith

Keeping the weights in your hand, hinge forward at a 45-degree angle, and activate the core with your knees bent. Send your arms out straight in front of you with your palms facing each other, and bring your gaze up to elongate the neck. Drive your elbows back, keeping your arms as close to your body as possible. Lower back down to the starting position to complete one rep. If you have your baby, you'll simply send them out to the starting position and then bring them in as you would with weights. Saying "down down down" and "up up up" as you move them usually makes them giggle. Do eight reps and eight pulses at the top.

And you're done—great job! You're one workout closer to meeting your goal for the week.

Jacquie Smith, RYT 200, RPYT
Jacquie Smith is a certified integrative nutrition health coach from IIN and a fitness instructor specializing in barre, yoga, and pre/postnatal workouts. Read more about Jacquie