It’s normal to have a little fat under your arms. However, having excess (just like back fat) is unhealthy. Your underarms or underarm area will look “chubby” or with rolls, like a bulge of fat around your bra area (between your underarms and chest) that many times is annoying and uncomfortable. Learn the best and safest ways to burn fat in your underarms including exercises, weight loss, as well as some ways to hide those bra rolls.
That chubby bulge that appears under our arms that most people don’t care for does have a solution, but before that, you should determine if what your underarms contain is really excess fat or if some other cause is making your underarm look bigger.
Causes of bulging underarms
Those little rolls of bulging flesh that form around our underarms when wearing certain clothing or with a bra, are sometimes showing signs of something other than fat in the area. We invite you to keep reading to rule out these causes, and once you have ruled them out, get to work to reduce that extra fat under your arms now that you have some practical solutions.
Underarm mammary accessory tissue
While most people imagine that the underarm bulge they have is fat, it could be underarm mammary accessory tissue (also known as polymastia, multiple breast syndrome or supernumerary breasts). This is above all a congenital condition in which the person has an additional breast –that lacks areola and nipples- along the embryological mammary crest and especially on the thoracic wall, the vulva, the knee, the side muscles, gluteus, face, neck, ears or underarm.
When you have it on the chest wall or the underarm area, it can be easily mistaken for underarm fat. It is found in 2-6% of women and in 1-3% of men. It can be corrected with a surgical incision or mainly liposuction.
Underarm fat that is a lipoma
A fat tumor in the underarm or lipoma is a benign, noncancerous condition. If they are small, you can leave them alone. Lipomas can also be found on the shoulders, the neck, arms, back, butt or thighs. If they are painful, feel hard or get bigger, they can be surgically removed.
Prominent lymphatic ganglion
Before assuming that what you have on your underarms is fat, you need to be sure that they aren’t prominent lymphatic ganglions. This requires an expert to diagnose properly.
Why fat accumulates in the underarms
Fat is important for the body since it helps transport the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, it is a buffer (protects internal organs), is a source of stored energy, and insulates your body from heat loss, among other important functions.
The human body has a tendency to store excess fat in the stomach, hips, gluteus, thighs, calves, back, chest and underarms. In general, women tend to have slightly higher levels of essential fats compared to men. Having excess fat in the body is unhealthy.
Part of the reason your body stores excess fat includes poor dietary habits and food choices, excessive stress, toxins present in foods, frequent and excessive consumption of alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, some medications, certain hormones, and other reasons.
Another possible cause or reason for underarm fat in women is the size of their breasts. Large breasts tend to increase the fat around them. When the underarms push against the arms, the underarms may seem to have a large amount of fat, when they really don’t. Other factors such as pregnancy (which makes breasts larger), lactation, etc. can also create the appearance of underarms with a lot of fat.
How to get rid of underarm fat with exercise
There are many exercises with weights and without that you can do to eliminate underarm fat; there are even exercises that can be done at home. Combo routines of cardio and some fat burning exercises work to strengthen the muscles around the underarm to help reduce the appearance of underarm fat. The exercises will help build and tone the muscles, which will reduce the fat around this area.
In general, these exercises don’t just help tone the muscles, they also increase your metabolic rate, body mass, base strength, reduce the risk of different diseases like breast cancer, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, plus help you lose weight and improve your mood.
If you burn 500 calories more than you eat every day for one week, you should lose about one pound. This should be accompanied by good dietary choices and other healthy habits.
The following exercises are not the only ones that are good for underarm fat. There are many others, including dumbbell pushups, bench press, resistance bands, cords, hanging from your arms, triceps exercises, and many more.
Side to side hand walking in plank
This exercise targets the arms, chest, abs and shoulders and is one of the most effective exercises for underarm fat. Make sure your pelvis is aligned and your stomach muscles are pushing in towards your back. Before starting, review the image below.
Pushups with twist
The list of the best exercises for underarm fat is long. This is another great exercise that you should give a shot. It will strengthen your arms, chest, shoulders, lower back, abs and core. It is an exercise that removes extra underarm fat fast. Review the image above which consists of getting in plank position with straight arms, slowly lower yourself like you’re doing a pushup, and push yourself up while twisting to the side and lifting one arm. Repeat on the other side doing 8 repetitions on each side.
Bent over lateral arm raises
Another exercise to get rid of underarm fat is to bend forward slightly at the hips in a fly position and lift your arms while holding dumbbells. It can help you tone your shoulders, underarms and chest muscles. You will need two weights to do this exercise and you can do it at the gym or at home. Do 10 reps.
Chest fly with dumbbells
The chest fly with dumbbells is another good exercise to help eliminate underarm fat and can be done at home if you have hand weights. This will benefit the front muscles of the shoulders, the upper back muscles, the serratus anterior (the muscle that runs along the sides of your ribcage), biceps and chest muscles. You can do it lying on the floor or use an exercise ball.
Pushups to get rid of underarm fat
Pushups strengthen the chest, shoulders and arms, creating toned muscles in the entire underarm area. Make sure you do around 15 to 20 reps. There are many variations of pushups that you can do, and all of these variations will help to get rid of fat under the arms. However, as a beginner it is possible you won’t be able to do 15 to 20 pushups. Start with what you can and increase the number little by little.
Cardio training (aerobics) and strength training exercises help to lose weight not just in the underarm area, but the entire body, giving the body balance and muscle tone.
It is recommended that you do 2 and a half hours (150 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic activity (for example, walking at a brisk pace) each week and train with weights 2 or more days per week working all of the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).
Eat a healthy diet to eliminate underarm fat
Besides the cardio and strength training exercises (including all of the exercises to lose underarm fat) that we have discussed, diet also plays a role in your effort to reduce the fat in your underarms. Eating lots of vegetables, protein and good fats; eating while sitting down with a single plate; controlling calories; drinking lots of water; keeping tempting foods out of sight, and eating low carbohydrate foods. Avoid refined sugars and starches.
How to hide underarm fat
Choosing the correct bra can make a big difference in making underarm fat less obvious. Avoid bras with small cups, since they cause breast tissue to bulge out under the arms. Opt for bras that offer extra side coverage, that is, bras with a more complete cup, along with wider straps.
Aside from using a bra that hides underarm fat, it’s necessary to make sure you choose flattering dresses and tops that hide underarm fat.