5 Healthy Ways Exercise Can Help You Lose Armpit Fat

Medically reviewed by Peggy Pletcher, MS, RD, LD, CDE on February 4, 2016Written by Jesica Salyer on February 4, 2016
armpit fat exercises

If you have armpit fat, it is likely a dreaded aspect of your overall physique.

Even some of the most active, nutritionally dedicated individuals experience fat in this region, which is stubborn and seemingly everlasting. Women, especially, can have a hard time with this area due to breast tissue in this region.

That being said, it’s possible to minimize the amount of body fat that accumulates in that area by using an effective weight training routine and a balanced nutritional approach.

In regards to training and exercise, remember that there is no way to “spot reduce” just one area. However, working the muscles in the area you would like to target, your shoulders and chest in this instance, can help tone this area while you work on reducing overall body fat.

1. Mind and Body Link

Taking this approach to losing armpit fat can help you in both your physical goals and in improving your overall well-being.

The steps you take to make your body leaner and healthier will positively impact the pride you have in yourself, your body image, your mindset, and your zest for life. Remember, your mind and your body are very tightly linked.

2. Muscle Burns More Fat

The reasoning behind weightlifting to lose armpit fat is simple: When there is more muscle, more energy is used and more calories are burned.

Thus, increasing your muscle mass will help you achieve your fitness goals if you look to increase the density — not size — of the muscles in that area. You can’t choose where your body loses fat, but you can encourage your body to appear more toned in a given area through resistance training.

As your body changes, you will likely notice that while lean mass burns more energy, it takes up less space. If you are doing heavy lifting to increase total mass, your dress and pant sizes may shrink, while the scale may go up.

Don’t allow yourself to get fixated on what the scale reads, for this reason. Pay attention to the energy you gain and how rejuvenated you feel as you shed the fat pounds. That feeling alone will make your commitment to the process worth it.

3. Nutrition Is Key

It’s also crucial not to neglect your diet along the way. An overwhelmingly large portion of weight management and body fat reduction is determined by how you feed your body. As far as diet approach goes, keep these pointers in mind to maintain a clean, balanced diet:

  • Keep your meals balanced. That means, make sure you eat a serving of unprocessed, whole carbohydrates, healthy fat, and lean protein with every meal.
  • No precise measuring is necessary. Just keep portions sensible and pay attention to when you’re full. Eating more slowly, and not cleaning your plate if you’re not hungry will help your mind get more in tune with your stomach.
  • Drink water with your meals. It will make you feel fuller with less food in your stomach.
  • Limit sugar.
  • Eat minimally processed foods. Load up on fresh, whole foods like vegetables and lean proteins.

4. Dense Muscle Mass = Higher Metabolism

According to the Mayo Clinic, the bodies of people that have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.

Since creating a caloric deficit (burning more energy than you put in) is key in weight loss, this is important. This is also why weight training is the right approach to scorching your armpit fat.

Resistance training, in all of its various forms, is absolutely essential if you’re looking to become a leaner version of yourself. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories, which can also help with weight loss. High-intensity interval training goes a step further, increasing the number of calories you burn even after exercise, ramping up your body’s fat burning ability so that you shed excess fat. This training approach will get you the results you want. It will allow you to tone up and let your musculature become the main event.

5. Exercises to Focus on

Finding a set of exercises that can help you accomplish your goals doesn’t have to be a complicated algorithm of percentages and heart rate printouts. Try these exercises at home or in the office for a tone-up in no time.

Pushups

Pushups are an excellent, simple, tried-and-true exercise that can be done pretty much anywhere.

Equipment needed: none

Muscles worked: Pushups will work your shoulders, chest, and upper back.

  1. Start in a plank position, with your body horizontal, being held up with your toes and palms.
  2. In a controlled motion, bend your elbows and lower yourself down to the ground so that your chest touches.
  3. Promptly drive your weight down through your hands to push your body back up into a plank position.
  4. This completes 1 repetition.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 pushups.
  6. This move can be done from your knees to decrease the difficulty.

Take It to the Next Level 

If you can do 10 pushups on your toes easily, consider increasing the challenge.

  1. Start in a plank position, but with your feet elevated on an object like a bench.
  2. Perform the pushup the same as previously described.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 5.

Plank Shoulder Taps

Plank shoulder taps are an excellent exercise to tone the armpit area while you work on your core stability and balance.

Equipment needed: none

Muscles worked: Plank shoulder taps target your shoulders, chest, and abdominals.

  1. Start in a plank position (similar to beginning a pushup). Hold your body up with your toes and your palms, keeping your body parallel to the ground.
  2. While keeping a strong core, pick up your right hand and tap your left shoulder with your fingertips.
  3. Bring your right palm back to the ground, and perform the same motion with your left arm.
  4. Alternate tapping each shoulder while maintaining the plank position.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 30 taps (15 on each arm).

The Takeaway

Tackling your stubborn armpit fat is a seemingly daunting task. However, with your mind full of the knowledge you need to move forward, you’ll be more than prepared to accomplish your goals.

Implementing these strategies is something individuals of all ages can do, and it can be done in a very affordable way. With no equipment required, the only real monetary commitment to this will be your healthy grocery shopping list.

To maximize your results in the quickest period of time, look to perform these exercises at least five days a week. It’s important, though, to stay committed to your diet seven days a week. You may allow yourself a few meals in which you splurge, but make sure to drink a lot of water and eat sensibly as much as possible.

Nutrition is just as important to fat loss as exercise is.

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