How to get rid of armpit fat

How to Get Rid of Armpit Fat? Exercises for Sculpted Underarms

Explore effective exercises to eliminate armpit fat and sculpt toned underarms. Start your journey to firmer arms today with our expert tips and workouts.
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If "armpit jiggle" or “loose triceps” has ever stopped you from rocking a tank top, then you are not alone! Males or Females, We've all been there.

But what if the answer to feeling confident in sleeveless styles wasn't hiding under layers, but a few simple exercises you can do anywhere?

Here's the deal: spot reduction is a myth, so if you think you can just remove the armpit fat, you might be disappointed. But sculpting and strengthening the muscles around your underarms can seriously transform your upper body definition.

So ditch the dress shame and get ready to unleash your inner tank top queen (or king)! Let's dive into some easy-to-do exercises that will have you flaunting those sculpted underarms with newfound confidence. 

Know Your Target Muscles

The armpit, also known as the axilla, is a much-maligned area. While it plays a vital role in sweat regulation and lymph node drainage, its aesthetics can sometimes cause self-consciousness.

Often, the focus falls on reducing "armpit fat," but a deeper understanding of the underlying structures can help us approach this concern more effectively.

There's actually very little musculature directly in the armpit itself. The key players reside just beside it:

  • Latissimus dorsi: This broad, powerful muscle on your back plays a starring role. It originates from your spine and lower back, wraps around your ribcage, and inserts into your upper arm bone (humerus). It's responsible for pulling your arm down and across your body, movements crucial for activities like rowing, pull-ups, and hugging.
  • Pectoralis major: This fan-shaped chest muscle helps with arm movements like pushing and adduction (bringing your arm towards your body). Strong pecs contribute to good posture and a balanced upper body.
  • Serratus anterior: Often called the "boxer's muscle," this sawtooth-shaped muscle sits on the side of your ribcage and wraps around your shoulder blade. It helps stabilize your shoulder joint, assists with breathing, and contributes to good posture.

These muscles work in concert to move your arm and maintain upper body stability. Strengthening them can indirectly improve the appearance of your underarms by creating a more defined upper body silhouette. 

Can You Really Reduce Armpit Fat with Exercise?

Now, let's address the "armpit fat." This is simply subcutaneous fat, the layer of fat stored just beneath the skin. Fat distribution is largely determined by genetics and hormones. While overall weight loss can reduce fat stores everywhere, including the underarms, spot reduction – targeting fat loss in a specific area – is a myth. Exercises that claim to "burn armpit fat" are simply strengthening the muscles around the area.

So, what can you do if you're concerned about the appearance of your underarms? Here's a two-pronged approach: 

1. Embrace Overall Fitness

A healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the key to managing your weight and improving your overall health. Focus on activities that engage your major muscle groups, including cardio for calorie burning and strength training to build muscle mass. This will lead to a more toned and sculpted physique, potentially minimizing the appearance of underarm fat. 

Also Read: Chair Yoga for Weight Loss

2. Target Upper Body Muscles

Exercises that target your back, chest, and shoulders will indirectly improve the definition of your underarms. Think push-ups, rows, pull-ups, chest presses, and overhead presses. Remember, consistency is key!

Here's the good news: the armpit is a flexible area. By strengthening the muscles around it, you'll improve your range of motion, posture, and overall upper body strength. You might even find yourself throwing a punch with more power or finally mastering that pull-up.

Here are 10 exercises that target your upper body and underarms, helping you achieve a more sculpted appearance: 

1. Push-ups (Modifications included)

  • This classic exercise hits multiple muscle groups, including your chest, shoulders, and upper arms.
  • Start in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Lower your chest towards the floor, bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Modification: Can't do a full push-up yet? Modify by kneeling instead of using your toes or perform push-ups against a wall. 

2. Cat-cow (Yoga pose)

  • This gentle yoga move lengthens your spine and targets your back and chest.
  • Get on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Inhale and arch your back upwards (cat position), looking slightly forward.
  • Exhale and round your back inwards towards the ceiling (cow position), tucking your chin to your chest.
  • Flow smoothly between cat and cow with each breath. 

Also Read: 10 Superfoods for Weight Loss

3. Downward-facing dog (Yoga pose)

  • This powerful yoga pose strengthens your arms, back, legs, and core.
  • Start on your hands and knees (cat-cow position).
  • Push your hips back and upwards, straightening your legs as much as possible.
  • Form an inverted "V" shape with your body, heels reaching towards the floor (modification: keep knees slightly bent if needed).
  • Lengthen your neck and spine, keeping your gaze between your legs. 

4. Triceps press (Bodyweight or weights)

  • Targets your triceps, the muscle on the backside of your upper arm.
  • Option 1 (Bodyweight): Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms extended overhead.
  • Bend at your elbows to lower your hands behind your head as far as you comfortably can.
  • Press back up to the starting position.
  • Option 2 (Weights): Hold a weight in each hand and perform the same movement. 

5. Triceps extension (Weights)

  • Another variation targeting your triceps.
  • Lie flat on your back with a weight in one hand extended straight up towards the ceiling.
  • Bend your elbow to lower the weight behind your head until your forearm touches your upper arm.
  • Extend your arm back up to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm. 

6. Chest press (Weights)

  • Works your chest, shoulders, and arms.
  • Requires a workout bench and free weights.
  • Lie on your back on the bench with a weight in each hand.
  • Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle with your upper arms parallel to the floor.
  • Press the weights straight up until your arms are almost straight (don't lock your elbows).
  • Lower the weights back down to the starting position. 

7. Bicep curl (Weights)

  • This classic exercise builds your biceps, the muscle on the front of your upper arm.
  • Stand or sit with a weight in each hand, arms extended downwards.
  • Curl the weights towards your shoulders, squeezing your biceps.
  • Slowly lower the weights back down and repeat. 

Also Read: How to Lose Weight After 40?

8. Bench dip (Bodyweight)

  • Strengthens your triceps and chest.
  • Sit on a bench or chair with your hands gripping the edge beside your hips.
  • Extend your legs and lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Push yourself back up to the starting position using your triceps. 

9. Triceps pressdown (Cable machine or resistance band)

  • Targets your triceps with machine or band resistance.
  • Stand facing the cable machine or a secured resistance band.
  • Grab the handle with arms extended overhead.
  • Pull the handle down towards your thighs, keeping your elbows tucked in.
  • Extend your arms back up to the starting position and repeat. 

10. Seated row (Cable machine)

  • Strengthens your back and arms.
  • Sit facing a cable machine and grab the handle with extended arms.
  • Row the handle towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades back.
  • Slowly release the handle back to the starting position and repeat.


  • Start with lighter weights or bodyweight exercises if you're new and gradually increase intensity as you get stronger.
  • Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions for each exercise.

Here's the truth: while exercise plays a role, genetics, hormones, weight, and even posture can all influence the appearance of our underarms. Swollen lymph nodes or excess breast tissue can also be factors.

The key is a holistic approach that addresses both diet and lifestyle changes.

Also Read: How to Start Lifting Weights?

Fueling Your Body for Fat Loss

  • Calorie Consciousness: It's true, creating a calorie deficit is crucial. Your body stores excess calories as fat, so consuming fewer than you burn forces it to tap into those stores.
  • Ditch the Fads: Forget crash diets and fad restrictions. Aim for a balanced diet that reduces cravings and keeps you energized.
  • Smart Swaps: Cut back on sugary drinks and processed carbohydrates. These are calorie-dense and offer little nutritional value.
  • Power Up with Protein: Include lean protein sources like chicken, fish, or beans in your meals. Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, reducing calorie intake throughout the day.
  • Veggie Power: Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and fiber, both crucial for a healthy diet. Fill your plate with colorful veggies to boost your nutrient intake and feel satisfied.
  • Stay Hydrated: Water is essential for overall health and can even help curb cravings. Aim for eight glasses of water daily. 

Lifestyle Tweaks for Lasting Change

  • Move Your Body: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. This boosts calorie burning and contributes to overall fat loss.
  • Strength is Key: Don't neglect strength training! Building muscle, especially in your chest and back, helps burn more calories at rest, further promoting fat loss. Exercises like push-ups, rows, and chest presses are your friends.
  • Sleep Well, Feel Well: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation disrupts hormones that regulate appetite, making you more susceptible to overeating.
  • Stress Less, Live More: Chronic stress contributes to weight gain. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. 

Ultimately, a healthy approach to fitness and a good dose of body positivity are the best tools for addressing concerns about underarm appearance. Embrace the amazing things your body can do, and focus on feeling strong and confident from the inside out. 

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