Bingo wings is an odd, rather unflattering expression. It refers to the fatty skin under the triceps at the top of the arm. Rumour has it that bingo wings got its name from women waving their arms with their winning ticket at bingo, with the flabby skin resembling a wing.
© DragonImages / Adobe Stock
Whether this is true or not, the reality is, people with bingo wings don’t feel like they’re winners. In fact, 75% of British women declare their upper arms their least favourite part of their body, often feeling self-conscious wearing strappy, arm-bearing tops in summer. Some Brits are so unhappy with their bingo wings that they even avoid waving in public!
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to send your bingo wings packing, leaving you with firm, toned upper arms that you’ll be proud to show off.
Bingo wings are essentially an accumulation of fat in the upper arms, so if you want to get rid of them, you need to watch your fat intake. Eat a healthy diet rich in wholegrains, fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water to flush out toxins. Some studies suggest that a diet high in leafy green veg can help to bust bingo wings, as these type of veg can speed up fat loss and rebalance hormones linked with the formation of tricep fat.
Get into the habit of exfoliating your upper arms to improve circulation in this area and banish toxins. This helps to leave your skin looking softer, fresher and firmer.
Don’t let your bingo wings dictate what you wear when summer arrives. You can still expose your upper arms and look great with a little bit of clever dressing. If you wear strappy tops, choose those with thick straps rather than thin ones, to make your arms look thinner. Tops with frills or puffy sleeves are also a great choice for taking attention away from your arms.
If you really want to make a difference to your upper arms, you need to factor exercises into the equation. Many exercises that banish bingo wings are easy to do and don’t require taking out a gym membership. You can even do some firming up movements sitting down while watching TV. You won’t notice your bingo wings magically disappear overnight, so be patient. Do exercises that tone the arms for about eight weeks, at least a couple of times per week to make a difference. Here are some top exercises to try.
Alternating bicep curls
Take a dumbbell in each hand (or a can of beans!), with arms to your sides. Slowly raise one arm, bending at the elbow, as you bring the dumbbell towards your shoulder. Lower the arm and then repeat with the other arm. Repeat 10 times on each side.
Swimming works all of the muscles in the body, but is especially beneficial for getting your arms in shape. All types of strokes are great for upper arms, so pick your favourite and head to the pool at least two or three times per week.
Watch TV while you wave goodbye to your bingo wings with this exercise. Simply sit on the edge of a chair, with your hands facing forward. Move your feet forwards so your hips aren’t resting on the chair. Gently lower yourself, using your arms, so that your backside is almost touching the floor. Pull yourself back up onto the chair again, using your arms. Repeat several times.
With dumbbells held in each hand and arms flat in front of you, gently raise one arm up to shoulder height, keeping your arm straight. Lower and repeat on the other arm. Aim for about 10 repetitions.
Floor press-ups are great for toning your triceps but if you want something a bit easier but equally as effective, do press-ups against a wall instead.
The benefits of yoga are enormous for both the mind and body, but there are certain poses that you can focus on to shift upper arm flab. The plank, downward-facing dog and sun salutations all strengthen and tone the triceps.