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Whether you call them batwings, jiggly arms, or you remind yourself not to “wave like that,” our arms will eventually be a problem for most of us. It’s fine to strengthen your triceps, but just so you know, those batwings won’t go away. But you say you know someone who did 200 dips a day, and their batwings went away? Okay, then have at it, but for every one of those people, I can tell you about 25 who injured their rotator cuffs and triceps tendons doing the same dips. Instead, let’s think about exercising for the purpose of maintaining our strength, not to fill up sagging flesh with bulging muscles. 

Because that doesn’t work.

Even if you develop some big GUNS working out, they’re going to sag, because the collagen in our arms simply will not tuck that big muscle up against our humerus bone. And if you’re skinny as hell, you’ll have a little less hanging flesh, but if you have any meat on the bone, it’s gonna sag. 

Take hunky, Houston Texan Football player, JJ Watt. Does he have some guns or what? But what else do you see? Batwings! That’s from gravity! The aging process doesn’t like gravity on our face, or our arms. They’re going to be there no matter what, so quit overworking them with heavy weights and lots of repetition. Light weights will suffice. 

Or, cover them up. 

Quit waving at people like a little girl. 

Quit caring. JJ Watt doesn’t.

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Dr. Barbara Bergin is a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon who has been taking care of the bones and joints of Austin, Texas, for over 30 years. She prefers prevention to treatment and takes a natural approach to both when possible. By informing her readers and patients through 1010ParkPlace and her blog,, she wants to prevent 100,000 injuries before she retires.

20 thoughts on “WOMEN OVER 50 AND JIGGLY ARMS”

  1. Thank you for your down to earth words, I have sagging arms and feel embarrassed about them, as if I am to blame in some way. I will now try to accept them and own them, if I hadn’t lived so long I wouldn’t have them !

  2. Dammit, Barbara – exactly what I didn’t want to hear! First, the article about flat, saggy derrières, and now my skinny, wrinkly, saggy arms – it’s as if you’re peeping in my dressing room!
    My Mom was right, focus on your mind, pretty doesn’t last. I’ve still got my mind, so I’ll continue to focus on strength, flexibility, and my sense of humor. Glad to have you as a friend and a voice of reason!

    • Isn’t she the best, Donna? Just love this woman, telling us about things no one talks about. xoxox, Brenda

    • Haha! You’re too funny. And I guess you didn’t read my post on muffin tops…or you recognize that you don’t have the muffins! Believe it or not…I had you in mind when I write about the ONE effin’ person who doesn’t have muffin tops, chubby knees and batwings. There’s always some patient, some friend, or some friend of a friend…and I just have to write back…”Whatevs, I can’t explain the less than one-percenters.”

  3. Yep, I’m a personal trainer, I’ve been trying to explain that nothing works to change drooping, except surgery, for years, and years! The people who “age well” are those who have good genetics , like to eat healthy, and like exercise. Clothes are a wonderful tool to enhance our lives in a positive way, aren’t we lucky to have them ! The true benefits of exercise, is your health, and quality of life.

  4. I never thought that I would be self-conscious about my upper arms as I used to be ‘fit as a fiddle’ and people commented on my beautiful arms but now that I am older, my upper arms are flabby and I was thinking that working with weights would solve the problem and what a disappointment( according to this article) to learn that it will not work. In the meantime I cover my arms. Hard to do in this sweltering heat. I will just have to accept and live with it.

  5. Thought this was interesting and valid, until you showed JJ Watt and said look at his bat wings. Come on, he does NOT have bat wings. Those are his triceps in a non-flexed position. I’m a 71 year old guy and I do not have bat wings. I lift weights and eat well. Still no flabby saggy bat wings. I’d suggest that if you keep your weight down and keep your muscles (triceps) toned, you can look good there.

    • Might I suggest that your ebbing testosterone is better equipped than our disappearing estrogen to make muscle. I’ve always had muscle and have worked hard for it, but age has played a trick on me and it’s not that easy any more. The name of the game now is staying fit and flexible.

  6. WOW! What a breath of fresh air, TRUTH! Thank You and keep up the wonderful work. I sure would love to hear from you once a week.

  7. So happy to read this article! I have always been a tall, slim person due to genetics I guess. I NEVER thought I would have “jiggly” upper arms…too thin I thought. What a disappointment. I now am happy to just be alive after a life threatening fall and fracture of my femur with rod placement. I am recovering well but now my arms don’t seem to concern me as much!! Thanks for your lovely article.

  8. So, why don’t clothing designers help us more? More light weight tops that cover our upper arms….pretty, not too fufu, not too hot!! In colors that winter skin toned people can wear. Every top I find that fits that category is bold prints in orange, pink, etc. That works for some but not for me. Taupe is still a great color. Some collar that masks our slumped shoulders, not too deep cleavage. I want to wear my clothes, not have my clothes wear me!

  9. Fit, lift weights, love healthy food and I still have another flabby arm swinging in the breeze under my muscles! I am so self conscious when I wave and I’m a very Expressive person. I do believe I could slap somebody silly while waving if they are standing next to me. Next step… practicing new waves that are low and or hugs

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