For many of us, the underarms are one of those pesky places where your body seems to hold on to fat no matter what you do. That’s because “spot reduction” isn’t a thing when it comes to fat loss. However, by adopting certain healthy lifestyle habits that promote fat burning all over, you can begin to shed unwanted flab from those stubborn places that store fat the most. Healthy lifestyle habits that are prerequisites for fat melting include regular cardio exercise, strength training, and eating a nutritious diet while in a calorie deficit. If you consistently uphold these three pillars of fat-burning, you’ll soon get rid of underarm fat for good.
Kate Meier, CPTa certified personal trainer with Gym Garage Reviews, tells Eat This, Not That!“Although it isn’t possible to specifically target the fat that covers one muscle versus another, weight training is one of the best ways to get lean for the long run. That’s because the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns.” at rest.The following exercises are focused on the upper body and arms, which can help you build strength and definition in these muscle groups, including the underarm area.”
If you’re looking to turn your flabby arms into toned, muscular ones, read on for Meier’s recommended upper-body workout to help you eradicate stubborn underarm fat. Then, check out Get Rid of Armpit Fat With This 10-Minute Daily Workout, Trainer Says.
“This combination exercise works the shoulders and arms while taxing the lower body,” Meier explains. “It delivers a full-body burn to help you burn more calories in the long run. Plus, it will tone your arms and surrounding muscles.” Here’s how to perform the movement below.
Stand holding two light to medium weight dumbbells racked on your shoulders. Keep your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Lower your body slowly as you sit your hips back, keeping your spine straight and shoulders back. Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Stand back up, then move directly into the overhead press. Press the dumbbells overhead, and pause just before your arms reach full extension. Lower the weight back down slowly, then move into the next squat. Complete three to four sets of 12 reps.
“Front and lateral raises target your shoulders, but front raises also require input from the serratus anterior muscles, which run along the sides of your ribcage and underneath your armpits,” says Meier. For front-to-lateral raises, follow the instructions below.
Sit or stand with light dumbbells at your sides, palms facing your body. Lift the dumbbells out and upward until they reach your shoulder height roughly, keeping your arms straight as you complete the movement. Lower the dumbbells down, and place them on the front of your thighs with your palms facing your thighs to set up for the front raise. Keep your arms straight or slightly bent as you raise the dumbbells forward and up to shoulder height. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps.
The lateral and front raise combo counts as a single rep. Meier recommends paying close attention to your form to avoid using momentum to lift the weights to give your shoulders a solid burn.
While the dumbbell fly is a chest-isolation exercise, it requires engagement of your arms, shoulders, and surrounding stabilizing muscles, making it an excellent movement for a stronger, fuller upper body.
To perform this exercise, lie on a flat bench with two light or medium weight dumbbells in your hand, keeping the weights close to your chest. Push the dumbbells straight above your chest with your palms facing each other and the dumbbells held close together. Lower the dumbbells out and down until you feel the stretch in your chest, ideally down to align with your chest or slightly lower. Raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position. Remember to focus on proper form and technique. Don’t be afraid to use light weights for this one. Repeat for three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps.
“This classic back exercise works your shoulders, upper back, and arms, as well as demands stability in the muscles surrounding them,” says Meier. “You can perform several row variations with a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, or even cable machine, making it a super versatile move that can be done in most settings.”
For the barbell variation, Meier instructs you to use a barbell that’s on the lighter side first to nail the form. Hold the barbell in front of you, letting it hang down with your arms extended and gripping it with your palms facing your body. Lift the barbell straight up, keeping your back straight and your shoulders back. As you raise it to about chin height, lead with your elbows, meaning they should be pointed upward and will be above the barbell as you approach the top of the movement. Pause at the top for one to two seconds before lowering the barbell back down slowly and repeating the movement. Do three to four sets of eight to 10 reps at a moderate weight.