Why Are My Arms So Skinny? Common Reasons And Mistakes

Why Are My Arms So Skinny

Your overall appearance depends on the amalgam of your body structures and your style.

Many people don’t feel confident about their body image and often complain about the dimensions of different body parts.

Skinny arms are a point of concern for many, as it is one prominent area if we talk about aesthetics. Do you also wonder why my arms are so skinny?

There are possible reasons and mistakes behind skinny arms. In this article, we’ll highlight the potential mistakes regarding your diet and fitness routine.

Also, how can you get rid of your mistakes and make your arms look bigger?

Why Are My Arms So Skinny?

Skinny arms don’t always mean weak, sometimes, it is all about your physique and body fat percentage.

Skinny people find it hard to put on lean muscle compared to other body types despite training hard in the gym.

But there are possible factors leading to skinny arms; it might be due to poor nutrition, inadequate or insufficient resistance training, and improper recovery.

Mainly, dealing with mentioned factors can help you achieve better-looking arms.

What Body Type Are You?

body types

Before getting into the mistakes and solutions, first you need to understand your body type.

There are some body types, but for convenience in the world of fitness, we categorize them into 3 main types, which are mentioned below.

Fat On Fat

By the name, you can assume this body type. Such people are born with a more significant fat percentage due to their genetics and tend to plump faster than the people around them.

Being fat doesn’t mean you are going to have bigger arms; possibly, you will have skinny arms, and on the rest of the body part, fat is deposited. Fat on fat body type under many health issues, most significantly cardiac problems.

Skinny On Skinny

You just have an overall skinny body due to a significantly less percentage of body fat. The body appearance is not attractive, and you find it hard to bulk up.

Skinny Fat or Dad Bod

Out of all the types, it is the worst body type. Dad’s bod usually has thin legs with thin arms but an enlarged belly.

The bigger belly makes bending and training difficult, as it hinders your flow to perform efficiently in the gym.

Different body types require different handling and treatment, and you can set a routine according to your body type to achieve the required results.

Common Problems Behind Skinny Arms

We have enlisted some possible reasons why your arms are so skinny. For further clarity, let us discuss these problems in detail.

Common Problems Behind Skinny Arms

1. Not Getting The Right Amount of Exercise

One apparent reason is that your arm muscles are not involved as per the requirement to get bigger arms.

Not exercising enough doesn’t mean you should start doing exercises daily that target your arms.

Getting the right frequency plays a role in training and bulking. Fitness trainers recommend a minimum of 2 days of training per week to get the results, i.e. muscle gain.

The capacity of your body to work out is dependent on your fitness and resistance training. With the help of a trainer, you can build a proper plan with an exercise breakdown and detailed reps and sets.

2. Not Giving The Body Time To Recovery

Trainers often quote that you gain the most muscle out of your gym during the recovery time. So, ensure that you aren’t training too much; it will only tire you out.

You should plan specific muscle training twice or thrice a week, as muscles require almost 2 days to recover. If you exceed this limit, assuming that it will give you quicker results, you are wrong.

Give your muscles time to relax and recover; otherwise, you will experience fatigue and tender muscle earlier than expected.

3. Inadequate Weight Lifting

To get bigger arms, you have to increase loads with time; it will help your muscle grow consistently. In case you keep your weight constant, no progress will be seen. Increase weight and sets of 8 to 12 reps to get better results.

4. Following The Wrong Exercise Regime

Beginners often have the wrong approach; they focus on isolated exercises targeting specific muscles but on the other hand, it is better to perform compound exercises.

Muscle-specific exercises and compound strength training will improve efficiency and give faster, long-lived results.

5. Lack of Calories

Your skinny arms can be due to poor nutrition. You need to consume a calorie-rich diet if you are looking for muscle growth.

Body appearance and general health are dependent on your eating habits. For muscle growth, you have to consume surplus calories around, 15%.

Make sure that you eat good quality and nutrient-dense items.

6. Wrong Selection of Foods

Getting calories from the right food group matters the most when aiming for muscle growth. You have to increase protein intake for muscle building and shortening recovery.

For skinny arms, your protein intake should be 1.6 to 2.1g per kg of body weight.

The best sources of protein are meat sources, eggs, beans, and lentils.

7. Inconsistency

One common problem due to which no notable results are seen. Specifically, to build muscle, you have to work out without gaps.

Suppose you are looking for long-staying results, you need to perform resistance strength training and weight lifting consistently.

Keep a check on your progress. Checking every day will demotivate and frustrate you.

8. Lifestyle Factors

Results are somewhat dependent on mindfulness; if you attentively perform in the gym, you will get better after feel, which can impact your gains.

Moreover, there are some factors like sleep, stress, and drug abuse that can hinder your muscle growth.

Stress is a limiting factor for your health. Stress can bring hormonal changes which can give a negative response. Also, stress has a negative impact on muscle tissue.

Best Exercises For Bigger Arms

You must be worried about the aesthetics of your body because of skinny-looking arms.

But you also have a hold over your body; with consistency and some effort, you can get the desired changes.

Here are some exercises that can help you get bigger Arms

Cross-body Dumbbell Curl

Keep your arms relaxed and palms supinated in the standing position. Hold the dumbbell and lift it to the midline height of your body. Rotate the wrists outwards and squeeze the bicep muscle. Repeat the same on the other side.

Cross-body dumbbell curl targets both heads of the biceps, i.e. short and long heads of the biceps. This exercise works best for building muscle. If you are a beginner, start with a lighter weight to prevent injury.

Skull crushers

For skull crushers, you will need a flat bench and dumbbells. Lie flat on the bench, and keep your arms vertically in the air with dumbbells in your hands.

Start moving the arms downwards towards your head. Make sure your arms are at an angle of 90 degrees, then return to a normal relaxed state and repeat.

There is a list of exercises mentioned below in the 3 arm day workout plan, the primary purpose of switching exercises is to get muscle tones and develop resistance.

3 Day Workout Plan To Get Rid of Skinny Arms

Get Rid Of Skinny Arms

There are some exercises that you can perform to bulk your arm muscles. For the best results, you require a proper routine and guide.

Preferably you should have 2 or 3 dedicated days for arm workouts, as your muscles need time for recovery.

We have planned heavy, light, and medium arm day routines. With the little amendment, you can follow this plan to get rid of skinny arms.

DAY 1 (Heavy arm day)

Every 4 sets of 5 to 8 reps

  • Weighted dip
  • Preacher curl
  • Seated dumbbell hammer curl
  • Close grip bench press

DAY 2 (Medium arm day)

Every 4 sets of a minimum of 5 reps, keep on increasing reps with time

  • Machine Preacher curl
  • Cable straight bar bicep curl
  • Skull crusher
  • Cable triceps pushdown

DAY 3 (Light arm day)

Each for sets of 15 to 20 reps

  • Reverse grip cable pushdown
  • Triceps cable kickback
  • Machine preacher curl
  • Reverse curl

Frequently asked questions

why are my arms skinny

Are there any exercises that make your arms skinny?

There are no specific exercises that can cause muscle loss, but training inconsistently and not performing exercises correctly can result in no or negligible results. Perform exercises focusing on your arms to gain muscle.

How can I fix my skinny arms?

Nothing is impossible!!! You can fix your arms by training for both biceps and triceps simultaneously for 2 to 3 times a week. Weight lifting and high intensity training can work well.

Alongside training, you have to eat right to get better results. When you are planning to gain muscle, add extra proteins then your daily requirement.

Can poor sleep make your arms look skinny?

Yes, recovery time is crucial when building lean muscle mass. If you are not getting the right amount of sleep or rest, your body will likely get fatigued the rest of the day.

Instead of getting results, you still will have skinny-looking arms despite resistance and strength training.

How long does it take to get bigger arms?

Bulking capacity varies from person to person depending upon the body type and its ability to gain muscle mass.

But the average time required to get bigger arms is around 6 to 8 weeks and you’ll see the difference in your measurement after 12 weeks.

What is the role of protein in gaining muscle?

Protein has an essential role in recovery and muscle building when you are performing some sport or training.

If you have skinny arms, possibly you are not consuming the correct percentage of protein in your daily diet.

Your diet should have 10 to 35% of protein when you planning to gain muscle. In case you are not able to fulfill the protein needs with your meals, you need to add protein shakes, bars, and other supplements.

Is the cardio point of concern for skinny arms?

Cardio is a type of aerobic exercise that can help you get lean. So, it can hinder your muscle growth simultaneously.

When you perform cardio for a shorter duration with high intensity, it will improve and support muscle growth. But if you extend cardio sessions, it can negatively impact muscle building.

What is the right frequency of training to get rid of skinny arms?

Doing too much or not doing enough both can lead to no positive results. Training volume and frequency are both important for bulking.

To get rid of skinny arms, you should train about two to three times a week. Or you can also add one day, especially for arms, and focus on the areas which need improvement.


Skinny arms are a point of concern for many people, and there are some underlying factors contributing to skinny arms.

The main aim is to locate your problem areas and mistakes and then look for possible solutions to get better-looking arms.

Resistance training with dedicated arm workout days twice a week with a high protein diet can give good results.

Plan out your weekly workout routine with the help of a trainer and stay consistent with obtaining long-term results.

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