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I'm Over 50 and These Are My Top Tips For Toned Arms

A 50-something trainer reveals her hack to tone arms.
FACT CHECKED BY Christopher Roback

Are you in your fifties and struggling to stay in shape? Ann Barrante (@annbarrante) is a 50-something nutritionist, trainer, and social media influencer who strives to help other women stay in shape as they age. In a recent viral video, she offers a few easy tips for toning arm muscles. "This is a fit tip. If you're not seeing changes in your arms and you're working hard in the gyms," she says. "Ladies, you can build muscle in your fifties." Body Network's Resident RDN, The Diet Diva Tara Collingwood, also weighs in.

First, Fuel Your Body for Fitness

@annbarrante Fitness Tips arm exercises. #tonearns #fitover50 #menopause #muscle #proteinpacing #wellnesstips #fitnesstips #womensfitness #womensupportingwomen #personaltrainer #nutritionist #fitover50women ♬ original sound – annbarrante

"The things that make a difference are fueling your body a little differently," she says at the start of the clip. "None of that fasted cardio bs, none of those fasted workouts."

She Recommends Protein Spacing

Roasted or seared chicken breast sliced on a cutting board with herbs and spices

What is a good way to fuel your body? According to "I love protein spacing," she continues. "Spacing protein out throughout the day instead of having too much all at one time" is a great strategy, says Body Network's Resident RDN, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. "I typically try to encourage getting 30 grams at the same time three times each day."

Use Light Weights and Do Lots of Reps

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Ann's strategy is to use lightweights and do lots of reps. To "recreate resistance with lighter weights, more reps, slower tempo" after your regular workout. "Next time you're in the gym, grab some light weights. After you do something for your shoulders, I'm gonna say you're working on your deltoids, you're working on the shoulder cap. So I speak, you're gonna come here, and you're gonna do lateral lifts with lightweights," she says.

Do Arm Extensions "Until Fatigue"

@annbarrante Arms exercise for triceps. Helpful for those with elbow pain. #fitnesstips #tenniselbow #armsworkout #womensfitness #batwings #loopband #beginnerworkout #fitover50 #fitover60 #homeexercise #womensupportingwomen ♬ original sound – annbarrante

"You're gonna do slow lifts with these lightweights until fatigue. You could do 20, you could do 30. Okay? And then, if you wanna make it a little harder, pulse two and down. Pulse two and down. This is your finish. Remove pulse two and down." Then, do arm extensions. "You would take the weights, and you would do these until fatigue. Yep, until fatigue. You got it," she says.

Choose a Weight That Isn't Too Heavy But Not Too Light


She suggests finding a weight that doesn't hurt at first but starts feeling harder quickly. "I could probably do these for 24 hours, so this would be a little too light of a weight, five pounds, but maybe I would do eight pounds, and I would hold it a little different and just really finish it off. Lighter weight, really feeling the muscle tightening into it, holding it, changing the tempo and firing it up a little differently," she says.

Also, Use Exercise Bands

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"The other thing I've talked about that I love to do is another finisher are these bands," she says, holding up exercise bands with handles. She demonstrates doing upright rows."

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Body Network's Expert Weighs In

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"Using lighter weight and more reps can be good for maintaining muscle mass," agrees Collingwood. However, if you want to actually "build" mass, "you need to pick up medium to heavier weights so that you can barely get 12 reps and do 2 sets so you can exhaust the muscle you are working," she says.

If You Want to Build Strength, You Need Heavier Weights


You want to make sure to do your heavier lifting as well. "Lighter weights may help to tone and can help with muscular endurance if you do lighter weights and more reps, but if you want to build actual strength and mass, you need heavier weights," Collingwood adds.

Have a Snack and Hydrate Prior to Working Out


Collingwood also suggests fueling up prior to your workout. "I recommend exercising with a small snack before the workout so you have energy in your body to fuel the workout," she says. "Also, make sure you stay hydrated and fuel up after the workout."

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Diet Is Key to Toning Up

Beautiful mature senior woman at home, domestic life and leisure moments - 50-60 years old pretty female adult wearing sportswear eating healthy food after fitness workout

Diet is a key part of toning up, Collingwood reminds. "Remember that if you want the tone to be visible, you may need to reduce body fat over the top of the muscle if you have excess body fat to lose," Collingwood says. And if you enjoyed this article, don't miss 20 Incredible Ozempic Success Stories of All Time.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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