Bingo wings (the unfortunate appearance of flabbiness under the upper arms) can be very difficult to get rid of. What most people don’t realise is that targeted exercises or even surgery are not the only options! Understanding what causes bingo wings is the first step to banishing them for good as we can then go on to tackle these causes.
If you are overweight, or have gained weight recently, this is a likely cause of your bingo wings. In this case you will often notice that when your arms are held out to the sides there is a smooth curve underneath where gravity is pulling excess fat downwards.
Lack of Muscle
We ladies often don’t like the idea of things like weight training as we don’t want to be bulky and manly. However, if we do not work on our muscles at all they can shrink and provide inadequate support for skin and fat which rests on top of it, causing it to hang away from the muscle.
A good test to see if this is part of your problem is to stand in front of a mirror with your arms by your sides. Make a fist with each hand and turn your arms in towards your body so that the tops of your hands are facing your legs and watch your upper arms as you do this.
This test is to tense your triceps muscle so if you noticed very little or no changes in the top of your arms then it is very likely that this muscle (which lies directly below the bingo wings and is therefore very important) is not developed enough to support the tissue on top.
Excessive Weight Loss
Drastic fluctuations in weight can really take their toll on our skin. If we suddenly gain a lot of weight we can get stretch marks where the skin has not been able to adapt to our new shape quickly enough. It follows, then, that if we lose a lot of weight in a short space of time (e.g. after gastric bypass surgery) our skin will often appear loose and saggy where it has not been able to shrink as quickly as our waist lines.
If this is a cause of your bingo wings you will notice that, when you hold your arms out to the sides, the skin underneath the upper arms has a wrinkled, deflated balloon quality to it and it does not form a smooth curve.
Lack of Skin Elasticity
Our skin is delicate so in order to keep it in good shape we need to take care of it from the inside and the outside. Factors such as poor diet, dehydration, smoking and sun exposure can all cause the skin to lose elasticity over time, meaning that it is more likely to wrinkle and sag.
A good indicator of poor skin elasticity is if you pinch your upper arm and watch to see how long it takes to shrink back to its original position. If it does not settle instantly this could be part of your problem. Wrinkles are also a sign of low elasticity.
Finally, poor diet is a big culprit as it is involved with most of the other causes of bingo wings. Eating too many calories and not burning enough off leads to being overweight, not eating enough protein and vitamins can prevent our bodies from being able to build muscle and a lack of minerals, fats and oils can cause the skin to lose elasticity.