So, you want to target that so-called “armpit fat” yet none of the workouts you’ve tried have done the job?
Spot reducing is not enough to get rid of your trouble spots and if you want to get serious about getting rid of armpit fat, then you need do more than just a few chest exercises.
If you want to actually break the code and losing armpit fat, then stick with me because all the chest exercises in the world aren’t enough to tackle trouble spots.
I see it all too often.
People slaving away doing hundreds of reps with five pound dumbbells trying to tone their trouble spots only to be left frustrated and defeated because it just won’t seem to budge.
Can you relate?
But how do we get rid of it?
Let’s dive in and I’ll break down exactly how to in order to target this trouble are.
In this workout, we are going to combine the metabolism boosting effects of strength training and the fat burning effects of High Intensity Interval Training for an overall fat burning, armpit fat toning workout in only 20 minutes.
Let’s get started!
What Causes Armpit Fat?
Body fat, anywhere on our bodies, is the result of excess stored energy from consuming more calories than our body burns.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to pick and choose where our bodies decide to store fat.
Just like we can’t pick where we lose fat. Also known as “spot reducing”.
The combination of lack of upper body strength and an increased overall body fat percentage leads to so called “trouble spots” such as armpit fat.
Other common causes of armpit fat include:
- Loss of elasticity in the skin (AKA, aging)
- breast size
- unfit bra
Ultimately, genetics play the largest part in body fat storage, including in your armpits.
However, there are things you can do to decrease fat storage.
Thank goodness, right?
Can I get Rid of Armpit Fat?
Truth be told, spot reducing is just not possible.
Yes, you can reduce overall body fat to see more toned, defined muscles.
However, you cannot specifically tell your body where to lose fat from.
This common training myth leads many people to feeling frustrated and discouraged when they can’t get the results they are hoping for.
I break this down further in my program Tone-in 10 about how to lose more weight in less time.
But in the meantime, know that if your end goal is to get rid of your trouble spots, including armpit fat” you need to focus on reducing your overall body fat through diet, exercise and specific exercises to strengthen the muscles in the area you are targeting.
While we may not be able to spot reduce per-say, we can do specific exercises and workouts to strengthen areas we are less than pleased with.
With those exercises comes an overall reduction in body fat which WILL help get rid of armpit fat.
The Best Ways To Reduce Armpit Fat
If toning your chest is your goal, all the exercises in the world won’t’ do the trick unless you have an overall reduction in body fat.
The best way to do this is through a combination of strength training, HIIT workouts (because let’s face it, no one wants to spend an hour doing arm exercises), and diet.
Yes, you read that correctly. Your diet plays a roll in fat storage in your armpits.
How To Tone Your Chest Without Exercise
If you hate exercising, I have good news for you.
You cannot rely on exercise alone to target your trouble spots.
As a matter of fact, you can do all the exercises in the world to target trouble areas but you will never get the results you want if you are consuming too many calories.
This is because you need an overall reduction in body fat in order to “Tone Up.”
Simply put, you cannot out exercise a poor diet.
You need to take a multidirectional approach through the combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle.
That means you still need to incorporate strength training exercises but you don’t need to kill yourself in the process.
What are The Best Exercises To Target Pesky Armpit Fat?
The best exercises and workouts to burn body fat is the combination of strength training and, in my professional opinion, HIIT training.
The best part about this workout is you don’t even need equipment!
This workout combines the heart pumping benefits of cardio with the muscle building benefits of bodyweight training.
Fun Fact: Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. This means building muscle through strength training will help you to increase your metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day. The more calories your body burns, the less fat your body stores.
20 Minute HIIT Workout To Banish Armpit Fat
These exercises work your chest, shoulders, arms and core.
- Determine your workout intervals based on your fitness level.
- Using an interval timer app on your mobile device, set your intervals based on your fitness level.
- Complete each exercise for the specified work interval followed by the rest interval.
- Complete each exercise in order for 20-30 minutes, resting one minute in between rounds.
- The goal is to complete the same number of reps for each round or do more. As you fatigue, you will naturally want to slow down during each interval. Push yourself to keep the same number of reps as you fatigue!
- Beginner: 20 seconds Work, 20 seconds rest
- Intermediate: 30 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
- Advanced: 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest
Note on feeling pain
A burning sensation in your muscles is normal and an indication that your muscles are working correctly for the exercise.
However, if you feel and pinching, pulling or aching in your joints, back, or neck, this is nothing to necessarily fear but it is a sign to take a little break, readjust your form and try again.
Detailed exercise instructions are below the videos.
1. Lateral Plank Walks
- Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your core strongly engaged to keep your body in a straight line.
- Keeping your arms straight and core engaged, initiate the exercise by picking up your right hand and right foot place it out wider than your starting position.
- Now lift your left arm and left leg at the same time to bring them toward your right side and back into the starting plank position.
- Complete 5 reps moving right, then 5 reps moving left.
- Continue back and forth for the duration of the interval.
Notes on form:
- Focus on preventing your hips from shifting as your step your hands and feet out by keeping your core firmly engaged.
- Don’t let your shoulders creep up toward your ears by drawing your shoulder blades down your back.
- Begin by standing with your feet together and hands by your side.
- Bend down into a forward fold and place your hands on the ground in front of you.
- Engage your core and slowly walk your hands out in front of you until you reach a pushup position.
- Slowly bend your elbows and lower into a pushup
- As you press back up into a plank position, using your core for stability, walk your hands back toward your feet and return to a standing position.
- Repeat for the duration of the interval
Note on Form
- If you lack flexibility in your hamstrings, you can slightly bend your knees to lower your hands to the floor.
- If you have trouble standing back up, bend your knees before standing.
- Focus on preventing your hips from shifting side to side as you walk your hands out by keeping your core strong.
3. Mountain climbers with Shoulder Taps
- Starting in a plank position with your shoulders down away from your ears and core strong, bring your right knee up toward your chest.
- Step it back and quickly bring your left knee up toward your chest.
- Continue this back and forth running motion for the duration of the interval, resting if you feel abnormal pain.
Note on Form
- Focus on keeping your core strong by bring your pelvis to ribcage to prevent an arch in your lower back.
- Keep your body weight shifted over your hands, arms straight and pull your shoulder blades down your back to prevent your shoulders from scrunching up in your ears.
4. Up-down plan to Push-up Twist
- Starting strong in a plank position again with your feet shoulder width apart, exhale and lower into a push-up.
- Press through your hands to return to the plank position and as you reach the top, lift your right arm toward the sky and in a fluid motion slowly rotate your hips into a side plank position with your weight on the outside of your bottom foot and hand stacked directly under your shoulder.
- Hold for one breath then slowly return to the plank position.
- Repeat the pushup then follow the same instructions on the left side.
- Continue alternating back and forth for the duration of the interval.
- Don’t forget the pushup in between twists!
Notes on Form
- You can modify the pushups on your knees if needed but be sure to return to the plank position before rotating.
- Keep those shoulders down and away from your ears.
5. Jumping Jack To Burpee
- Start by standing with feet shoulder width apart, hands by your side.
- Bend your knees to lower your hands on the floor in front of you.
- With your hands firmly on the ground, jump both feet back behind you into a plank position. Avoid arching your back and allowing your hips to sag.
- Drop to do a push-up or modified push-up on your knees.
- Return to the plank position and jump or step your feet forward toward your hands and explosively jump straight up into a jumping jack.
- After bringing your hands and feet back together, quickly lower back down into the plank position and repeat for the duration of the interval.
Note on Form
- As you lower into the plank position and jump your feet back, make sure you keep your core strong to prevent any arching or sagging in your lower back.
Final Notes On Exercising to Get Rid Armpit Fat
The best exercises to get rid of armpit fat or tone any other body part are those that you are going to stick with the longest!
Consistency always trumps the latest and greatest workouts.
Don’t just do this workout once.
Try it multiple times to see your body get strong over time.
As a result, you will notice changes in the areas your are trying to improve!
There is nothing wrong with having a little extra tissue on your body.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you are unhealthy or overweight.
On the flip side, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get stronger and feel more confident through strength training.
You can download this workout here along with 5 other fat blasting workouts to jumpstart your weight loss goals.
Brooke is a certified Prenatal and Postnatal Exercise Specialist with a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science. She is also a mom of 3 girls with more than 15 years of experience in health and fitness. Brooke’s goal at Struggles of a Fit Mom is to help motivate, educate and inspire other busy mamas who struggle with finding time, energy and motivation to take care of themselves in the chaos of motherhood.