How To Get Rid Of Armpit Fat: 5 Exercises & Advice To Lose It In 2024

how to lose armpit fat
Transform your look with expert armpit fat loss techniques. Photo: Doucefleur/Shutterstock

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Embarking on the journey of how to get rid of armpit fat can be a path filled with discoveries about your body and health. This stubborn area often resists even the most determined efforts, yet with a tailored approach, progress is indeed possible.

Not only does reducing armpit fat improve your appearance, but it also has the potential to enhance your overall comfort and mobility. This detailed guide delves into targeted armpit fat exercises, diet tips, and lifestyle changes that aim to streamline and tone the underarm fat area.

How To Lose Armpit Fat: 5 Exercises For Armpit Fat

For effective armpit fat reduction, include these exercises in your routine:

  • Push-Ups: Strengthen upper body and tone armpits.
  • Chest Press: Build pectoral muscles, aiding fat loss.
  • Arm Circles: Improve shoulder and arm definition.
  • Planks: Engage multiple muscles for overall toning.
  • Tricep Dips: Focus on triceps to reduce underarm sag.

How To Get Rid Of Armpit Fat: 5 Best Exercises

While specific spot reduction isn’t possible, incorporating these exercises can help tone armpit muscles, leading to a more defined appearance.

Push-Ups: Toning The Upper Body

Push-Ups Guide. Photo: Team Design

Push-ups are a classic yet powerful exercise for targeting stubborn armpit fat. When done consistently, they strengthen the core and arms and help ton the armpit area. The versatility of push-ups allows for various modifications that can increase their intensity, focusing on the upper body muscles[1] that frame the armpits.

By incorporating incline push-ups, you place more emphasis on the upper chest and can further engage the muscles around the armpits. When you are trying to understand how to lose fat on your arms, the compound movement of push-ups involves a large muscle group that aids in overall fat loss, which indirectly affects the armpit area.

How to do:

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
  3. Use your abs, or core muscles, to maintain your balance and maintain a correct posture.
  4. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
  5. Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body for maximum efficiency.


  • Engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to maintain proper body alignment and stability.
  • Focus on controlled movements and a full range of motion, ensuring your chest goes down close to the ground without letting your hips sag.
  • As you progress, you can increase the challenge by elevating your feet or using a weighted vest, but prioritize maintaining good form to prevent injury.

Optimal Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Chest Press: Strengthening Pectoral Muscles

Embarking on exercises like the chest press can significantly impact your quest to figure out how to get rid of underarm fat. This exercise is pivotal in building up the pectoral muscles, which lie underneath the armpit fat.

An increase in muscle mass enhances metabolism[2] and reshapes the contours of your upper body, contributing to a reduction in the appearance of armpit fat. By targeting these specific muscles, the chest press can help create a firmer foundation, reducing the overall ‘jiggle’ and providing a more toned look in the armpit area.

How to do:

  1. Begin by positioning yourself by lying on a bench. 
  2. Hold a dumbbell securely in each hand.
  3. Extend your arms upward, aligning the dumbbells with your chest.
  4. Gently lower the dumbbells to either side of your chest, maintaining control.
  5. Then, with a steady movement, press the weights upwards, returning to your initial position.


  • The weight of the dumbbells should be the same on each side.
  • Focus on fluid motion throughout to maintain consistent pressure on your chest muscles.
  • Ensure that your wrists are aligned with your forearms to reduce strain on your wrists and maintain proper joint alignment.

Optimal Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Arm Circles: A Gentle Path To Defined Upper Arms

Arm Circles
Arm Circles Guide. Photo: Team Design

Arm circles might be understated, but they pack a punch for toning. This exercise works wonders for sculpting their upper arms and reducing armpit fat. By engaging your shoulders and the surrounding muscles, arm circles can help firm the underarm area. 

They’re a favorite for their simplicity and effectiveness. They are easily slotted into your day without the need for equipment and are a great option when trying to figure out how to reduce armpit fat at home. 

How to do:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended at shoulder height.
  2. Rotate your arms in small circles, and with each rotation, imagine carving away the unwanted underarm fat.
  3. Increase the size of the circles gradually, then switch to large, deliberate rotations to intensify the burn.
  4. In each round, repeat the movement until you feel close to failure and have a recovery period of 30-60 seconds before starting the next round.


  • Focus on maintaining proper posture and a straight spine throughout the exercise to maximize the benefits for your shoulders and upper body.
  • Start with smaller circles and gradually increase the size as your shoulder muscles warm up to avoid strain or discomfort.
  • Experiment with variations, such as alternating between forward and backward circles or incorporating arm circles into your warm-up routine before other exercises.

Optimal Sets and Reps: Aim for 3 sets of 20-30 seconds of continuous arm circles in both forward and backward directions.

Planks: The Cornerstone Of Arm Toning

Planks Guide. Photo: Team Design

The plank may be a staple in core training, but its benefits extend far beyond. As you hold a plank, your arms are actively working, stabilizing your entire body, which in turn helps to tone the underarm area.

It’s a foundational move that supports your weight loss journey and enhances the strength of your arms. The focused tension required to maintain a plank engages multiple muscle groups,[3] reinforcing your upper body and reducing armpit fat.

How to do:

  1. Assume the classic plank position, forearms on the ground, body in a straight line.
  2. As you engage your core, feel the strength in your arms that’s essential in supporting a successful weight loss journey.
  3. Maintain this pose while breathing deeply.


  • Proper breathing is important to maximize its toning effects on your arms, particularly the arm fat that can be so persistent.
  • If you want to increase the impact on your arms, you can try different plank variations, such as high-plank or active plank.

Optimal Sets and Reps: Aim for 3 sets, holding each plank for 30-60 seconds.

Tricep Dips: Targeting Triceps For Armpit Fat Reduction

Tricep Dips
Tricep Dips Guide. Photo: Team Design

When it comes to shedding armpit fat, tricep dips are a real game-changer. This exercise zeroes in on the triceps, and the muscles at the back of the upper arms, which can help significantly in reducing the appearance of softness around the armpit area.

Every dip engages the triceps intensely, encouraging muscle growth and overall fat. As these muscles become firmer, they support the skin above more effectively, leading to a more toned look. It’s a straightforward move with profound results.

Picture each lift as a step towards reducing that stubborn arm fat, sculpting a stronger and more defined you.

How to do:

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair or bench, placing your hands next to your thighs.
  2. Move your feet out and slide your buttocks off the bench, supporting your weight with your arms.
  3. Lower your body by bending your elbows, then press back up, focusing on using your triceps.


  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears throughout the exercise to prevent unnecessary tension.
  • Focus on controlling the movement, lowering and raising your body slowly and deliberately, to maximize muscle engagement.
  • To intensify the exercise, you can place your feet on an elevated surface or use a bench for added resistance, gradually increasing the challenge as you progress.

Optimal Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

What Causes Armpit Fat?

What Causes Armpit Fat
DNA is one of many reasons you have armpit fat. Photo: onstockphoto/Shutterstock

Understanding the causes of armpit fat requires a multi-faceted approach, considering both biological and lifestyle factors. Here, we break down the specifics:

Genetic Predisposition: Your DNA’s Influence 

Just like other areas of body fat, the accumulation of fat cells in the armpit region can often be traced back to genetics. If your family members tend to store excess fat in certain areas, you might be predisposed[4] to the same pattern. 

Genetics dictate body shape and fat distribution, so some individuals may find it more challenging to lose arm fat even with a targeted fitness and diet plan.

Body Composition: Muscle Vs. Fat

Lean muscle mass can greatly influence the appearance of armpit fat. Individuals with lower muscle mass might notice excess fat deposits more clearly due to a lack of underlying muscle tone.

Engaging in regular strength training can help increase muscle mass, which in turn may help in creating a more toned appearance and aid in the quest to lose weight.

Frequent changes in your body weight can affect your skin’s natural elasticity. That’s why strength training is also important to maintain the form and elasticity of your skin during the weight loss process.

Diet And Lifestyle: Caloric Intake And Activity Levels 

Your daily caloric intake and expenditure are crucial in body fat accumulation. Consuming more calories[5] than you burn can increase fat storage, including in the armpit area. Adopting a balanced diet with a proper calorie deficit can help manage overall body fat distribution. Consulting a registered dietitian can be a game-changer in your wellness routine if you struggle to establish healthy dietary habits, especially if you are considering adding supplements.

More Proven Ways To Tone The Armpit Area

More Proven Ways To Tone The Armpit Area
Drinking lots of water is crucial. Photo: fizkes/Shutterstock

Looking to give your armpit area a little extra attention? Here’s a rundown of tactics you can weave into your daily routine for that extra toning edge:

  • Balance Your Macros: Keep an eye on your intake of proteins, fats, and carbs per day to lose weight. A balanced diet fuels muscle growth and fat loss.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is crucial. It helps maintain your metabolism[6] and can reduce the bloated appearance that sometimes accompanies water retention.
  • Incorporate Compound Movements: Exercises like swimming or rowing engage multiple muscle groups and can help burn fat around the armpits by improving overall body composition.
  • Consistent Cardio: Regular aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, supports fat burning. Cardiovascular exercises increase heart rate and calorie burn, which can help reduce overall body fat, including in the armpit area.


Tackling how to get rid of armpit fat can be a challenge, but it’s well worth the effort. You can tone this tricky area with the right combination of targeted exercises, balanced nutrition, and lifestyle changes.

Your journey to achieve a toned body is personal and unique, so be patient and consistent with your efforts. Remember, you’re not just working towards a more toned appearance but also enhancing your overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have underarm fat?

A combination of genetics, overall body fat, and hormone levels can contribute to underarm fat.

How can I lose armpit fat without surgery?

Regular exercise, particularly upper body strength training, and a balanced diet can help reduce the appearance of armpit fat.

How long does it take to reduce armpit fat?

The time it takes can vary based on individual circumstances, but consistency in exercise and diet can lead to gradual improvements over time.

Does armpit fat go away with age?

Aging can affect body composition and distribution, but armpit fat may not go away without targeted efforts.

+ 6 Sources

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  1. Sebastien Borreani, Calatayud, J., Colado, J.C., Moya-Nájera, D., N. Travis Triplett and Martín-Rivera, F. (2015). Muscle activation during push-ups performed under stable and unstable conditions. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, [online] 13(2), pp.94–98. doi:
  2. Hargreaves, M. and Spriet, L.L. (2017). Exercise Metabolism: Fuels for the Fire. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine, [online] 8(8), pp.a029744–a029744. doi:
  3. Oliva-Lozano, J.M. and Muyor, J.M. (2020). Core Muscle Activity during Physical Fitness Exercises: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, [online] 17(12), pp.4306–4306. doi:
  4. Williams, R.R. and Muthu Periasamy (2020). Genetic and Environmental Factors Contributing to Visceral Adiposity in Asian Populations. Endocrinology and Metabolism, [online] 35(4), pp.681–695. doi:
  5. Romieu, I., Dossus, L., BarqueraS., Blottière, H.M., Franks, P.W., Gunter, M.J., Nahla Hwalla, Hursting, S.D., Leitzmann, M.F., Margetts, B., Nishida, C., Potischman, N., Seidell, J.C., Stępień, M., Wang, Y., Westerterp, K.R., Pattanee Winichagoon, Wiseman, M. and Willett, W.C. (2017). Energy balance and obesity: what are the main drivers? Cancer Causes & Control, [online] 28(3), pp.247–258. doi:
  6. Thornton, S.N. (2016). Increased Hydration Can Be Associated with Weight Loss. Frontiers in Nutrition, [online] 3. doi:


My Bachelor’s is in Psychology, and I have been a professional writer for over 17 years. I’ve been married for 15 years and have four amazing kids. We reside in Punta Gorda, Florida. I am passionate… See More