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December 04, 2022 10 min read

Underarm fat is a curse that most women fall victim to at some time in their lives. Although men can also develop armpit fat, women are more susceptible, regardless of how dedicated they are to healthy diets and physical activity.

What makes it worse is that fat in the underarm area is stubborn, and hard to get rid of.

That being said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Arm fat accumulation can be limited or reduced by maintaining a nutritious lifestyle and an effective weight-training workout routine.

The most important point when it comes to fat accumulation, whether belly fat or underarm fat, there is no way to target it exclusively.

A full-body workout routine is the best way to go because attempts to “spot reduce” just one area will not bring the desired results. Unfortunately, you can’t decide exactly where your body will lose fat fast.

However, paying special attention to the muscles located in the targeted area can certainly help tone this area while you are working on reducing overall body fat percentage. In this case, the armpit area, which contains several main muscles: the triceps, teres major, teres minor, and latissimus dorsi.

How to Get Rid of Underarm Fat Fast (7 Exercises)

The triceps consists of 3 parts: the medial, lateral, and long head, located at the back of the upper arm. It is the arm muscle principally responsible for the extension of the elbow joint when you straighten your arm. The teres major is located right under your shoulder, covering the smaller teres minor muscle.

The latissimus dorsi extends from your back to your chest, wrapping around the underarm area. Working resistance training and bodyweight training into your arm workout can be used to target these muscles. It can help you achieve tight, toned underarm areas, as long as you keep to a healthy diet as well.

What Causes Armpit Fat?

Below are some known causes of underarm flabs.

  1. Obesity: Being overweight increases the probability of fat deposition in the armpit area. Remember, your body will store fat if you are inactive after consuming calories because any unused calories are converted to fat for storage.

  2. Genetics: Unfortunately, you have no control over genetics, and if your genes determine that your body construction includes underarm fat depositions, you’ll have to make your peace and follow the steps we describe in this article to change what you can about your body.

  3. Lymphedema:Infection or injury of the lymph nodes could cause swelling in the underarm area, which could also be a cause of armpit fat.

  4. Hormonal Changes: Armpit fat can also result from a hormonal disbalance. If progesterone and estrogen levels in your body are not balanced, chances are good you’ll experience breast swelling, a known cause of excess underarm fat.

  5. Axillary Breast Tissue: In rare cases, breast tissue develops outside the breast area, causing armpit fat.

The Importance of Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy diet throughout is as important as a regular workout routine. A significant part of fat reduction and weight management depends on how well you feed your body.

Here are a few pointers to help you stay on track:

Plan your meals in advance, to avoid grabbing processed or fast foods at the last moment. You don’t need a complicated diet plan to stay healthy. Balanced meals are key, requiring one serving of lean protein, healthy fat, and unprocessed whole carbohydrates with every meal.

You don’t even have to bother with precisely measured portions.

Keep portions sensible and teach yourself to push the plate away the moment you feel full. Taking one more, and then another one more bite if you are already full is where the problem starts. (Even if your mom insisted you always empty your plate when you were small).

Make sure you have enough time to sit down and eat slowly. Spending a lot of time chewing your food helps you to recognize the full feeling as it happens. Rushing through meals typically has us focused on clearing the plate as quickly as possible and then rushing to the next appointment. The realization that you had too much only happens when you’re halfway there, by which time the damage is done.

Armpit Fat - Image from Shutterstock

Load up on fresh, whole foods like lean proteins and fresh veggies. Avoid eating processed foods.

Drink a glass of water before you sit down to have a meal, or drink water while you eat. That helps to make you feel full sooner.

Limit your sugar intake, and also avoid energy drinks loaded with sugar.

What is the Relation Between Muscle and Fat?

Strength training, weightlifting, resistance training, and body weight training are all muscle-building activities. Your body provides most of the available energy to the body areas where muscle activity is highest, and the more energy those muscles use, the more calories they burn.

Therefore, working to build muscle in the targeted area will assist in firming up the underarm areas. So, even though you can’t spot reduce armpit fat, you can work to tone those areas by targeting specific muscles.

More Muscle Burns More Calories

The denser your muscles the more effective your metabolism will be, which will directly impact the number of calories your body burns. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with more muscle burn more calories, even when they are at rest.

If you burn more calories than you consume you will create a caloric deficit, which is crucial in weight loss. This is also why weight training and muscle building are the right approaches to torching your armpit fat.

Burning Calories - Image from Shuttterstock

Bodyweight training and resistance training, in all of their various forms, are absolutely essential in your quest to become leaner with more toned muscles. Cardiovascular exercises are also great for burning calories and resulting weight loss.

High-intensity interval training takes it even further. HIIT does not only burn calories during your workouts but it burns increased numbers of calories even in the hours after the exercise session, bringing about extra fat shedding. Maintaining regular weight training routines can help you reach your goals sooner.

Important notes

Never disregard the need to warm up before proceeding with your workout.

Dynamic stretches are crucial if you want to reduce the risks of injuries when you get into the demanding part of your exercise routine.

Here are some movements to prepare your muscles and joints for the hard work that will follow.

  • Shoulder rotations

  • Wrist rotation – Make small circles in both directions.

  • Arm circles

  • Forearm Flexing – Flex the elbow up and down

  • End with a nice long stretch

Breathe through all movements — Inhale deeply while doing the easy parts of exercises, and exhale while you do the difficult part of each exercise.

7 Exercises to Get Rid of Underarm Fat Fast

Below are seven exercises that work multiple muscle groups along with the triceps, teres major, teres minor, and latissimus dorsi.

1. Pushups

Pushups are compound exercises that target all the primary muscle groups in the body – including those of the upper- and under-arm, shoulder, chest, abdominal area, legs, hips, and upper back.

Pushups are simple but tried and tested exercise movements that you can do just about anywhere.

Equipment required: None

Starting position: Start with your body horizontally, facing down in a plank position, and held off the floor by your palms and toes.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Exhale as you bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the floor in a controlled motion until your chest just touches the floor.

  2. Inhale while you drive your weight down through your hands to push your body back up into the starting plank position to complete the first repetition.

  3. Aim to perform 3 sets of 10 pushups each.

  4. If you are unfit and find it difficult to do the traditional form of the pushup, you can make it less challenging by doing it from your knees.

  5. If you find the traditional pushup too easy, you can take it up to the next difficulty level by doing a decline pushup.

  6. Start in a plank position, but place your feet on an elevated object like a bench or something similar.

  7. Perform the pushup the same as previously described, not forgetting the proper breathing technique.

Do 3 sets of 5 decline pushups each.

2. Bench Tricep Dips

This exercise targets your triceps or the muscles located at the back of your upper arms. You can prevent flabby armpits by working to tone these muscles.

Equipment required: A sturdy chair, bench, or sofa.

Starting Position:Sit on the edge of a sofa or a bench, with flexed knees and your legs close together. Your legs must be close together and your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms behind you with slightly bent elbows and place your palms flat with your fingers pointing toward your body.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Inhale and lift your butt off the bench while balancing your body on your arms, and taking your feet two steps forward.

  2. Exhale while slowly lowering your hips toward the floor, balancing your weight on your arms all the time.

  3. Stop just before your butt touches the floor. Inhale while extending your arms to lift your hips back up to the starting position to complete one repetition.

  4. Bend your elbows again and exhale while going into the second rep.

Aim for 3 sets of 10 reps each.

3. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks can help you work the muscles located in your underarms, legs, glutes, thighs, hips, and belly to lose weight in a fun and playful way.

Equipment required: None

Starting position: Stand up straight with your knees and spine straight and your arms by your sides.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Raise your arms while you jump with your legs shoulder-width apart and bring your hands together above your head.

  2. Drop your arms to your sides while jumping to land with your feet together as in the starting position, completing one rep.

Repeat the process for 10 to 20 reps and aim for 3 sets.

4. Superman Stretch

In this exercise, you will mimic superman flying to target your arm and leg muscles, along with your back muscles, and your core. If you do this as a static exercise in which you hold the stretch for a period of time you can burn excess fat in the armpit area.

Equipment required: None

Starting position: Lie face-down on the floor or on a yoga mat with your knees and your toes pointed. Stretch your arms out overhead.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Exhale while you curve your torso and lift your arms, upper body, and head, and your hips, and legs off the floor.

  2. Hold the stretched position for 10 seconds.

  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your stretched arms and legs to the starting position.

  4. Stay in this position for ten seconds.

  5. Slowly exhale and come back into the starting position.

As you progress, and it becomes easier to hold the 10 seconds count you can increase holding the pose to 20 seconds or more. The longer you can hold the stretch the more effective the exercise will be.

5. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are great cardio movements that activate your legs, arms, and shoulders to work your whole body. It will also improve your core strength and get your heart rate up.

Equipment required: None

Starting Position: Start this exercise in the high plank position with only your toes and your palms on the floor. Your back should be neutral and your head down to form a line between the back of your head and your hips.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and bring it in towards your chest.

  2. Extend your left leg and return to the starting position.

  3. Then, with your left foot on the floor, bend your right knee as you bring it up to your chest.

  4. Extend your right leg to return to the starting position.

  5. Try speeding it up a bit to form a fluid climbing motion — inhaling for four climbers and exhaling for the next four.

  6. Continue alternating between right and left for the specified number of repetitions.

Do this rapidly for a minute, increasing the time as you progress.

6. Downward dog to upward dog

This exercise will strengthen your triceps, chest, upper back, and lower back.

Equipment required: None

Starting Position: Get into a high plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands directly underneath your shoulders.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Bend at the hips and lift your butt up toward the roof while keeping your knees and elbows locked out.

  2. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds before slowly returning your hips back to the starting position.

  3. As you get back to the starting position, continue lowering your hips toward the ground, keeping your elbows locked out.

  4. Drop your hips until your upper thighs touch the ground while keeping your upper back arched up, supported by your extended arms.

  5. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds and continue repeating this cycle.

Do 8 to 10 repetitions per set.

7. Plank to Side plank Rotations

This exercise will strengthen your upper arms, shoulders, chest, core, and upper back muscles all at once.

Equipment required: None

Starting Position: Get into a high plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands directly underneath your shoulders.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Brace your core and engage your glutes, and hold the position for 2 seconds.

  2. Rotate onto your left side by shifting your weight onto that arm, stacking your feet together.

  3. Rotate your right arm up toward the roof, while maintaining a tight core and engaged glutes.

  4. Hold this position for 2 seconds.

  5. Return to the high plank starting position.

  6. Hold for 2 seconds and rotate to load your weight on your right arm, lifting your left arm, and holding it for 2 seconds, before returning to the starting position.

  7. Continue alternating from side to side.

Repeat the exercise 6 to 8 times on each side.

If you find this exercise too challenging, you can do it from your knees.

Again, spot reduction is a myth. The only way to burn fat in a specific area is to work out the whole body, and a particular focus on the muscles in the troubling area to strengthen, tone, and sculpt them.

You don’t have to do all these exercises; you’ll get positive results even if you choose the best exercises for you.

The exercises suggested above are for beginners, and so are the reps to aim for. You should adjust the rep sets according to your experience, stamina, and fitness level. Keep all the moves progressive, both time limits, and reps.

The Bottom line

Performing these exercises at least five days per week can help you to get optimal results and reach your fat loss goal reasonably quickly.

However, it’s important to remain committed to your diet throughout the week. Don’t let it feel like a punishment — allow yourself a few meals in which you splurge, but even then, you should make sure to drink a lot of water and stop eating as soon as you feel full. Never let your discomfort with something like flabby arms cause you to disregard your overall health and wellness — it’s not worth it.