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I want to tone my upper arms. What can I do?

The question

I work out regularly and I am fairly happy with my body. However, I would describe the back of my upper arms as flabby and I want Jennifer Aniston arms. What can I do?

The answer

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First of all, well done. Exercising regularly is something you should feel great about.

I try always to remind my clients that working out should not just be about aesthetics. I assume you are aware of the numerous health benefits that come from working out, so I won't give you my usual sermon.

You're frustrated by the lack of change you're seeing, and I understand your concern. Almost every woman I talk to hates her upper arms. But contrary to popular belief, it is not possible to instruct your body to lose fat in a particular area.

Have a fitness question? Ask the trainer

You can, however, increase the muscle tone in the backs of your arms by performing upper-body strength exercises. I suggest trying the "French press" to target your triceps.

Lie on your back holding a three- to five-pound weight in each hand. Start with your arms straight above your shoulders, palms facing each other. Bend your elbows so the weights end up on the outside of each ear. Finish by returning the weights to their starting position.

Trainer's tip: Don't forget about your biceps (the front of your upper arm). It is important to work opposing muscle groups equally. For every exercise you perform on your triceps, do one for your biceps. You'll have Aniston arms before you know it.

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Send certified personal trainer Kathleen Trotter your questions at She will answer select questions, which could appear in The Globe and Mail and/or on The Globe and Mail web site. Your name will not be published if your question is chosen.

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The content provided in The Globe and Mail's Ask a Health Expert centre is for information purposes only and is neither intended to be relied upon nor to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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