As a fitness consultant, I have been asked many times how to get rid of armpit fat. My answer to this question is one that spews several minutes of advice, as there really isn’t a quick fix type of solution.
However, what I do guarantee is that if you follow the advice given closely, you will not only get rid of armpit fat but will also lose a lot of fat from other areas too.
No longer will you have to feel embarrassed about wearing clothing that is close-fitting.
But first, you need to understand a few things about this fat.
What Causes Armpit Fat?
People from both genders deal with excessive underarm fat.
However, this balance is skewed significantly to the side of women, as most men are unbothered about fat in this area.
It could also be since men don’t have to wear a bra and women do, that it becomes an obvious pain point for them.
Here are the most common causes:
1) Wearing Clothing That Is Too Tight
If your bra or another top you wear is too tight, the presence of excess fat in this area looks exaggerated.
This is because the fat doesn’t just disappear if you wear a piece of clothing that looks good but is too tight, but instead it will protrude where the density is greatest, especially since a bra tends to push fat upwards.
2) Your Weight
It goes without saying that being classified as overweight or obese tends to correlate strongly with more fat distribution in this area.
Given that, smaller individuals also grapple with this, as is especially true when it comes to women who possess a naturally higher level of body fat.
You can’t outrun your genetics.
A strong family lineage of obesity or fat distribution in this area means that you will have an uphill task getting it under control.
Not impossible with diligent work, but it might be harder to burn fat than someone with different genes.
Slouching and general hunching over at the shoulders tend to make the fat deposits under the arm look worse.
Maintaining an upright posture is a simple way you can help minimize the look of this, especially if you know that you tend to slouch a lot.
5) Hormonal Levels
Hormones play an important role in body fat and body weight, but in women, this can be a more pressing issue.
For instance, higher levels of estrogen or prolactin tend to increase breast tissue size.
And, since breasts are largely fat, you can see how this might add to the problem.
New mothers experience this the most, but other hormones such as insulin also enhance fat storage.
How to Lose Underarm Flab: 9 Effective Exercises to Tone it Down
With the most common causes now understood, let’s check out the approaches to help get rid of excess fat in this area, not merely hide armpit fat, starting with excellent exercise choices.
1) Chest Press
Chest presses are an easy-to-do, yet effective exercise that will help you lose armpit fat in a jiffy.
You can do these exercises at home and anytime, and they’ll help you get rid of your unwanted armpit fat and reduce the appearance of cellulite in this area too.
The best part about doing these presses is the fact that you are not tied into one version only, as you can do them with dumbbells, barbells, bands, or even freehanded.
However, it is strongly advised to use resistance in order to enhance the process of fat loss.
- To start, lay on your back on the floor or on an exercise bench.
- Place your feet flat on the floor if using a bench, or bend your knees on the ground with your arms at your side.
- Extend your arms to push up with your chest muscles, extending your arms so they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Slowly lower back down to the starting position, and perform 20 repetitions for a total of 3 sets.
2) Triceps Press
Triceps presses are an isolation exercise that primarily targets the triceps muscles.
This makes it ideal for targeting the tie-in areas between the triceps and shoulder joint, helping to reduce fat or the appearance of that troublesome sagging.
The triceps are the largest muscles of the upper arms so you need to dedicate some movements to them.
There is an almost endless number of ways to vary this exercise, though the most common ones are done while standing or sitting on a bench with arms extended overhead.
Other variations include the lying tricep press (also known as a skull crusher), or even the tricep press down.
We will focus primarily on the overhead press variety although you are free to modify if you wish.
- Either standing or seated, grasp two dumbbells in each arm, extended in a neutral position.
- Slowly, bend at the elbow while keeping the upper arm perpendicular to the ground until the elbow forms a ninety-degree angle with the lower arm. At this position, the dumbbells should be just behind your head.
- Contract your tricep to return the dumbbells to the start position extended overhead.
- Repeat for 10-15 repetitions and 3 working sets.
Feel like you’ve mastered this and need additional intensity?
Grab a single heavier dumbbell in both hands extended overhead with fingers in a sort of star-alignment grip. This allows you to use more weight than one side only can handle.
3) Laying Dumbbells Pullovers
The laying dumbbell pullover is an exercise that stimulates both the chest muscles and upper lats.
It offers an excellent alternative to a lat pulldown machine when such is not practical.
It is one of just a few exercises that are specifically suited for that troublesome fat in the underarm region.
The exercise is performed by lying supine on a bench and grasping a dumbbell hanging over the bench at arm’s length (picture your arms overhead but in a laying position and over the edge of a bench).
- Laying on a bench flat on your back, or even better, with only your upper back muscles supported while laying horizontal on the bench and your lower back and beneath off the bench, supported by your legs, grasp a dumbbell with both arms and extend over your chest.
- Inhale, and lower the dumbbells over your head with arms extended and elbows slightly bent. At this position, the dumbbell will usually be below your head.
- In one smooth arc, contract your chest and back muscles to forcefully return the dumbbells to the start position.
- Repeat this for 10-20 repetitions, and 3 sets.
4) Upright Rows
The upright row is an excellent upper body exercise that targets many of the muscles on the back of the body, including the traps, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, and biceps.
This exercise can be performed with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or cables.
We shall limit our discussion to the use of barbells.
- This exercise is performed by taking a grip on a barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing you), holding extended arms in front of your thighs.
- The elbows are then pulled up to the ribs, with the head up and eyes looking forward. Squeeze at the top position before slowly returning to the start.
- This is one repetition. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions for 3 sets.
5) Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell rows are an excellent multijoint exercise (one that incorporates movement through several joints, and hence more muscle groups) that recruit the muscles of the upper back such as the traps, rear delts, rhomboids, lats, and of course, bicep and forearm muscles.
With such an impressive slew of muscles recruited, it should come as no surprise just how good it is for helping to lose fat from that troublesome upper torso region.
Rows can be performed using several different tools, including barbells, cables, kettlebells and more.
Dumbbells, however, offer versatility and are done one side at a time (unilaterally) meaning that you can get a lot done with just a single dumbbell (if budget is tight).
- If you have a bench, you can start by resting one knee, while the other foot is firmly on the ground.
- Lean over at the waist to place the corresponding sidearm as the knee on the bench for stability.
- In your next arm, lift a dumbbell off the ground, and with a neutral but flat back, pull your elbows up and back so it is parallel to your back.
- Slowly return the dumbbell to the starting position being sure to feel the stretch in your lats as you do so.
- Perform 15-20 repetitions and aim for 2-3 working sets.
6) Inverted Rows
Truly, a brutal exercise with a misleading name, inverted rows test all your mettle (literally).
If you’ve never done inverted rows before, you might want to build up some core muscles and upper body strength first, as you will basically be pulling most of your body weight to get one rep done.
The difficult nature of this exercise will get your fat screaming for sure- just don’t say we didn’t warn you!
- Using a barbell or squat rack (or anywhere else with a bar that is STABLE), grip the bar at a distance slightly greater than shoulder width.
- Lower yourself below the bar as you slowly walk your legs forward.
- At the starting position, you should be grasping the bar while under it and your legs extended and supported on your heels.
- Pull yourself up to the bar so that your upper chest touches it at the top position. This is one repetition. Slowly lower yourself back to the start position.
- Perform one set for as many reps as you can do. Due to the difficulty of this movement, you wont initially be able to get many reps or sets done. Slowly increase as your strength improves.
7) Alternate Rotating Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The dumbbells shoulder press targets all aspects of the deltoid muscle groups; the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear).
Strengthening and widening the shoulder muscles is a great way to minimize the appearance of fat under the arms while helping to sculpt a more visually aesthetic body contour (for both men and women).
- To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a pair of dumbbells your to sides.
- Raise the dumbbells to shoulder level with palms having a neutral position (facing each other)
- Press each arm upwards, and slowly rotate the dumbbell to the opposite direction as you go. The right arm, for instance, will rotate to the left, and vice versa.
- Try to perform 10 repetitions per side for 3 sets.
8) Bicep Curls
Bicep curls are the quintessential exercise for sculpting the bicep muscles- the typical show muscles at the front of the arms.
What many people don’t realize is the fact that excess fat from the bicep area is a common occurrence, and inevitably has a spillover effect on the armpit area.
Bicep curls can be done using dumbbells, barbells, or cables.
They are very effective for burning fat regardless of which you prefer so be sure to add to your exercise program.
- Grasp a loaded barbell, dumbbell, or cable extension with palms facing forward, knees bent slightly to take off joint pressure. You should also keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Raise the weight upward, while keeping elbows fairly stationary (curling motion)
- Slowly return to the initial position and repeat for 15 reps. Perform 3 working sets.
If you’re serious about reducing armpit fat, you must incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your workout.
Resistance or strength training exercises are what you need to resculpt the muscles and give that aesthetic appearance, but you need cardio to utilize a large number of calories quickly and lose entire body fat.
By recruiting the large leg muscles overall body fat is utilized to bring about drastic changes to body composition.
You need to be performing cardio a minimum of 3 times weekly in addition to another 3 days set out for resistance exercise, and that’s if you have only a moderate amount of weight to lose.
If you need to lose weight- and a lot of it, you will be better served by performing cardio as many as 6 days weekly.
Your fat cells are exceptionally well-versed in preserving fat.
Aim to perform 30-60 minutes daily, at a low to moderate intensity.
The goal is not to thoroughly fatigue yourself while doing cardio as this is counterproductive and will have a negative effect on weightlifting sessions.
Good examples of cardiovascular activity include jogging, swimming, using stationary cycles, treadmills, or elliptical trainers.
Getting rid of that underarm fat will feel so satisfying when accomplished.
Imagine being able to wear your favorite outfit again without shame.
Be sure to try the exercises mentioned above to finally banish the fat, and combine it with a healthy diet for excellent results.