Fat is an equal opportunity squatter. He camps just about anywhere:
- on the stomach and lower back
- on the hips, buttocks and thighs
- on arms and face
- even on the upper back and armpits
Armpits ? Oh good?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Here are your top three strategies for burning armpit fat.
1. Eat (a little) less
There’s no getting around this one: to burn body fat – anywhere on your body – you need to burn more calories than you consume.
One way to do this is to follow a structured diet.
To research shows that when it comes to losing weight, it doesn’t matter which diet you follow – as long as it requires you to reduce your calorie intake.
To that end, eating fewer calories than you expend doesn’t have to be complicated:
- For some people, cutting out soft drinks might do the trick.
- Others might eliminate desserts and sweets.
- Still, others might have luck with intermittent fasting or cutting carbs or eating more produce or a combination of different strategies.
Whatever approach you choose, make it enjoyable, moderate, and long-lasting.
Fighting through an overly restrictive “crash” diet is a recipe for failure. Sustainable, long-term weight loss is a gradual process.
Try to reduce your daily intake by around 300-500 calories per day and watch the fit of your clothes, your appearance in photos and, if you wish, your weight on the scale.
But keep in mind that the latter won’t be a good indication of changes in body composition if you’re on a strength training program, which can cause you to bend over without seeing much difference on the scale.
The reason: muscle weighs more than fat by volume.
The fat-burning effects of repetitive, low-to-moderate intensity, steady-state exercise (think: easy jogging or bicycling) level off fairly quickly.
That’s why you should regularly change your routine and maintain a high intensity.
Over weeks, months, and years, intense exercise gradually transforms you into an increasingly better fat burner, able to access and burn more fat cells more efficiently than you ever could as a person. sedentary.
At the cellular level, everything from your metabolism to your muscle fibers becomes better, faster and more efficient at burning fat from your body.
Focus your exercise efforts primarily on fast strength workouts using compound movements like squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows performed with little rest between sets.
You’ll build muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness — and burn fat — all at the same time.
3. Build Upper Body Muscles
Granted, you won’t reduce that underarm fat, but you just might achieve something much more important.
“Hyper-focus on one area of the body is a symptom of feeling helpless,” says Kobrinksy. “So for someone concerned about underarm fat, I would give them a skill that would not only change that person’s body, but make them proud of something they can do with it.”
For people concerned about the look of their upper body, Kobrinsky recommends pull-ups, though other moves — such as push-ups, planks, and reverse rows — can work just as well for a novice trainer.
Will these moves turn you into a super lean athletic guy if you don’t have the genetics to pull it off? Doubtful.
But they will build, shape and tone the muscles in and around your armpits, while giving you more confidence and a greater sense of physical independence.
Why do I have armpit fat?
Where you store excess fat is primarily determined by your genetics. So if your parents tend to store fat under their arms, chances are that’s where you store it, too.
Some well-meaning trainers might recommend exercises for the muscles in this area in the mistaken belief that such moves can “locally reduce” armpit fat.
But your body doesn’t burn fat that way.
“I haven’t seen evidence of point reduction in my practice,” says Jolie Kobrinsky, NASM, owner of Electricity in Seaside, California. “It just doesn’t seem to be happening.”
What exercises are good for the upper body?
The following moves are great for new users looking for an intense upper body challenge:
1. Reverse row
- Secure a barbell in a waist-high Smith machine or power rack and lie down on the floor below.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly beyond shoulder-width apart and hang with arms fully extended, body straight from head to heels. Your shoulders should be directly under your hands and your heels should be hip-width apart. This is the starting position.
- Keeping your core engaged, pull your chest toward the bar while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
- Get on all fours with your feet together, your body straight from head to heels, and your hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders.
- Keeping your elbows bent and your core braced, lower your body until your chest is a few inches off the floor.
- Pause, then return to the starting position as quickly as possible.
- Grasp a pull-up bar with an overhand grip slightly beyond shoulder-width. Hang at arm’s length with your arms straight (a position known as a dead hang).
- Without swinging or kipping (using momentum to propel yourself upward), squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull your chest toward the bar so that at least your chin clears it.
- Pause, then lower yourself to a deadlock. If you find the classic pull-up too hard, start with the band-assisted pull-up.
4. Lying triceps extensions
- Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor, holding a pair of dumbbells above your chest, arms straight and palms facing each other.
- Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells down the sides of your head until your forearms dip parallel to the floor.
- Pause, then return to the starting position.
5. Alternating shoulder press with rotation
- Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing each other.
- Rotate to the right, pressing the weight in your left hand directly above your left shoulder.
- Return to the starting position, then rotate to the left, pressing the weight in your right hand directly above your right shoulder.
- Return to the starting position. Continue to alternate sides.