Can arm wraps make your arms more toned? We get asked all the time, so let’s break down the purpose of arm sleeves and wraps, the best ones to choose and what you should definitely be using them for.
What arm wraps look like
It’s worth clarifying exactly what an arm wrap is since there are so many varieties out there. Arm wraps can look like long sleeves that extend from the armpit to the wrist, or they can cover the upper back too (which are called shoulder wraps).
Some arm wraps are promoted as fat toners, some as compression sleeves and others as sun protection and a tool for athletes.
For maximum sun protection, arm sleeves and wraps are designed to be worn under regular clothing. A good quality fabric will be tested and certified as UPF50+, which means it can protect skin from at least 98% of the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Arm sleeves and wraps as slimming tools
Do arm sleeves help target arm fat? Unfortunately, no scientific correlation has been found between wearing a wrap and fat loss results. Companies that claim their arm sleeves tone your arms typically have a caveat that you’ll also need to adhere to a fitness routine and healthy diet – which is where the fat loss actually comes from! Arm sleeves may be able to firm up sagginess while you’re wearing them – maybe. Don’t hold your breath on that, though.
Instead, arm sleeves and wraps have a much bigger purpose. They’re designed to keep you safe from harm, cool on hot days and boost your athletic performance. Let’s look at how they work.
How to use arm sleeves and wraps for fitness
If you’re into outdoor sports (which can include anything from lawn bowls to rock climbing), you’re exposed to three things: sun, heat and sweat. Quality arm sleeves and shoulder wraps are made from materials that block the sun and keep you cool and dry.
For instance, our SParms wraps and sleeves are made from 90% soft microfibre and 10% spandex, making them comfortable to wear and with the right amount of elasticity to stay on and up. We use patented technology in our fabric to cool your skin by up to 5 degrees Celsius, which makes a big difference when you’re playing golf or cycling on a 30-degree day, for instance.
Our fabrics are super light and breathable, and wick away moisture to keep you feeling fresher.
Many professional athletes have attested that our sleeves and wraps help them perform better and improve endurance, simply because of their cooling and sweat-wicking abilities.
Arm sleeves and wraps for a better life
Although arm sleeves and wraps may not be the magic cure for arm fat, they are a bit of magic against sun damage that causes skin cancer and melanoma in thousands of Australians every year.
Most people don’t realise their cotton t-shirt does very little in keeping the rays at bay; in fact, regular fabrics have a UPF rating as low as 5, compared to sun protective clothing’s 50+ rating.
Arm sleeves that go to your wrist or hand (some have a thumbhole to keep it in place) can be worn under a UV-protectant shirt or uniform. A wrap is designed to protect your arms, shoulders and upper back, which are highly susceptible to harmful sunburn and can be worn under a shirt. Its lightweight fabric stops it from feeling bulky and the sleeves keep it in place even during rigorous exercise.
UV protective clothing is suitable for anyone, not just sports enthusiasts. Kids playing outside, gardeners and those who like a stroll down the local park run can all slip on sleeves that protect from sun damage, and the hot discomfort of a nasty sunburn.
Which arm sleeve should you choose?
Your choice of sleeve or wrap depends on the activities you’ll use it for. If your uniform has low UV protection, you could opt for a wrap to cover your shoulders. If you’re gardening and plan to wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and gloves, then arm sleeves might be enough.
We always advise following the Cancer Council’s advice to slip, slop, slap and seek shade in conjunction with protective clothing like arm sleeves, wraps, leg sleeves and neck gaiters. We have a range of non-toxic sunscreens to suit almost all ages, even babies, so you and your family get better all-over sun protection.