“B4,” the announcer yells as you dab the last spot on the top row of your bingo card. You raise your arm excitedly and wave furiously, shouting, “Bingo!” Your excitement quickly fades as you feel your sagging arms swaying and shaking with each movement. Those dreaded bingo wings make you feel self-conscious, and you’re tempted to hide them. Losing your bingo wings may not be completely possible, but with consistent effort, you can tone and strengthen your arms. There are some surgical options, but most likely they won’t be covered by insurance. To tone your arms, there are seven exercises you can do once or twice a week. They will help strengthen your arms and provide muscle definition. You may not rid yourself completely of bingo wings, but you can (and should) still feel confident with them.
What Causes Bingo Wings?
Bingo wings are those loose pieces of skin and fat beneath the upper arms. They jiggle when you wave your arm, as when you yell “Bingo!” Women’s Health Magazine states that bingo wings are the fatty deposits that sag around the triceps. After bariatric surgery, bingo wings unfortunately still exist. While some of the fat may be gone, the sagging skin doesn’t ever seem to go away. Some women are more prone to getting bingo wings, depending on hormones and hereditary factors.
Can You Start Losing Your Bingo Wings?
Yes and no. You can tighten and tone your bingo wings. Using the seven exercises below, combined with healthy eating and regular cardio and full-body strength training, I’ve lost 7.5 inches on my right arm and 5.5 inches on my left arm in 16 months. Consistent effort over a long period will add up to results. I have more muscle definition and strength in my arms than I ever have before. I don’t mind the sagging skin as much because I do see muscle definition in my biceps and shoulders.
But sadly, without plastic surgery, there’s no way to completely lose your bingo wings. And at looking at the before and after pictures of plastic surgery, I think I’d rather keep the sagging skin I have and continue on toning and strengthening my arms. Even with surgery, some of the people still had bingo wings and not the perfectly toned arms we dream about having one day.
If you’re self-conscious about your bingo wings, then you may want to consider an arm lift. According to plasticsurgery.org, an arm lift, or brachioplasty, reduces sagging skin, tightens and smooths the underlying supportive tissue to shape the upper arm and reduces pockets of fat. If you are considering plastic surgery of any kind to deal with excess skin after bariatric surgery, you should wait until your weight stabilizes for six months to a year.
The average cost of a brachioplasty according to plastic surgery site is $4,482 in a 2018 statistic, not including anesthesia, hospital facilities or related expenses. This type of procedure usually isn’t covered by insurance because it’s considered cosmetic. You may be able to make a case, however, if you can show documented examples of repeated rashes and skin infections. Risks involved with surgery include bleeding, infection, unsightly scarring, damage to deeper nerves, blood vessels or muscles, numbness or pain.
Exercises to Tone Arms
The Women’s Health Magazine article I mentioned above suggests doing push-ups to help begin losing your bingo wings. Also, I believe that by toning and strengthening the other muscles around your triceps will help in reducing the circumference of your upper arms. These exercises are the same ones I did in the gym that you can replicate right at home. If you need help starting a home gym, check out this post. Repeat each exercise eight times, gradually working your way up to 15 repetitions. As your strength increases, you can also increase the amount of weight you’re using. I also suggest doing two to three total sets of each exercise. Repeat this program once or twice a week consistently to see results.
Combine this program with a regular cardio workout and full-body strength training. I usually start with 20 to 30 minutes of cardio, then alternate my strength training between upper body, lower body and midsection. You’ll see maximum results if you have regular cardio and full-body strength training workouts.
Standing Wall Push-Up
- Stand an arm’s distance from the wall with hands flat against the wall
- With your feet flat and shoulder-distance apart, inhale and bend your elbows, bringing your chest towards the wall
- Exhale, and push back with control to the starting position
- With a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing each other, keep your back straight
- Bend at the waist, with arms at a 90-degree angle. Your upper arms should be close to your torso
- Exhale, and push your forearms back until your elbows are straight
- Inhale, and return with control to the starting position
- With feet hip-distance apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with palms facing forward
- Exhale, bend your arms at the elbows and curl dumbbells up to your shoulders
- Inhale, and lower weights with control back to starting position
Shoulder Overhead Press
- With feet hip-distance apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms out to the side with elbows bent and palms facing forward
- Exhale, and press dumbbells up until arms are straight
- Inhale, and return to starting position with control
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
- With feet together and knees bent, sit back in a slight squat
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with elbows bent at a 90-degree angle at your hips, palms facing the ceiling
- Exhale, and lead with your elbows past hips, hugging the side of the body
- Inhale, and return to starting position with control.
Shoulder Pull Down
- With feet hip-distance apart, hold dumbbells in a touchdown position, palms facing forward
- Exhale, and bend elbows until hands are in front of shoulders
- Inhale, and return to starting position with control
- Lie on back on the floor
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend elbows to a 90-degree angle at your side, palms facing forward
- Exhale, and press dumbbells up in a controlled motion
- Inhale, and return to the starting position with control
You are Beautiful
With consistent effort, you can tone and strengthen your upper arms to begin losing your bingo wings. However, I also wanted to add that regardless of whether your bingo wings are flapping in the breeze or your arms are toned and strong, you are beautiful. You have always been beautiful, you are just now deciding to take care of yourself and your health. Your arm definition, or lack thereof, does not define who you are. To be honest, probably no one else notices your sagging skin. I see too many social media posts of women afraid to wear tank tops because they are self-conscious of their sagging skin.
Don’t be! You have come so far in your weight loss journey, display your sagging skin with pride. It represents countless hours, sweat, tears and blood you endured getting to where you are today. If you are just starting, learn to love your body as it is, as it changes and wherever it ends up. Don’t listen to what the media or magazines are telling you is beautiful. You are beautiful because you are uniquely you. Be proud of taking care of yourself, your health and your future. Be proud of every single step. You deserve it so much! You are becoming the person you want to be. I am so proud of you and your progress. Never give up hope and never stop believing in yourself.
Tone and Strengthen Your Arms
While losing your bingo wings may not completely happen, you can still feel beautiful and self-confident. You are an amazing woman who has overcome an incredible journey. A little extra fat and skin shouldn’t make you feel less than perfect. You could try plastic surgery to lose some of your extra skin, but keep in mind the scarring, recovery and that it may not be completely as you imagined the results. Strengthening and toning your arms can help you feel strong and powerful. Be consistent with your training habits and you’ll see results. Even if you don’t aren’t losing your bingo wings completely, with consistent effort you can tone and strengthen your arms and be proud of your progress.
If this article gave you some great ideas to incorporate into your life, just imagine what other amazing strategies I have for you! Share this post on social media by clicking one of the sharing buttons, and don’t forget to join my email list! You’ll be the first to get updates, access to my new products and lots of tips, inspiration and motivation to help in your bariatric surgery journey. Just for joining, I’ll send you a free eBook with the 10 Habits to Change Before Bariatric Surgery, as well as some other pretty awesome goodies to keep you motivated. Join today!
Consistent exercising, including cardio and full-body strength training, can help tone and strengthen your arms. Combined with a healthy diet, you can lose inches around your upper arms. You can also have an arm lift, also called a brachioplasty, but many insurances won’t cover a cosmetic procedure. While it may not be possible to lose your bingo wings completely, you can still feel confident and sexy with toned and strong arms.