How to Get Rid of Underarm Fat

How to Get Rid of Underarm Fat banner

Fat can rear its ugly head anywhere in the body. While most people see it accumulate in their abdominal area, some people are unlucky enough to get some deposits under their arms. Fat in any part of the body is never preferred, but it can be especially frustrating in this area specifically.

Underarm fat is usually the result of weight gain or even hereditary causes. Not only can it make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, but it can also cause chafing under your arms or discomfort when wearing certain clothing items, like sports bras.

Many people choose to undergo a liposuction procedure to shed away their underarm fat, but not everybody needs a surgical treatment to feel some relief. In fact, there are plenty of alternatives that never even require a single incision.

Underarms causing you a little bit of stress? Have no fear! We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you achieve more toned and muscular looking arms without needing to go under the knife.

Get Movin’

It might not come as a surprise, but one of the best ways you can shed fat under your arms is by engaging in an active lifestyle. It’s impossible to isolate just a single area to burn fat without getting cosmetic surgery. Instead, you’ll want to engage in full body cardio activities to burn stubborn deposits all over.


Cardio workouts help get you into a calorie deficit, meaning you’re exerting more calories than you’re consuming. This forces your body to dip into fat stores in your body to get more energy, and can then lessen their appearance under your arms.

The Department of Homeland Security recommends that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. That’s only thirty minutes every weekday. Moderate cardio includes things like walking, swimming, mowing the lawn, doing yard work, or taking the dogs for a walk.

Vigorous cardio activities will burn fat a little faster, so you only need to get 75 minutes of that per week. These are things like HIIT classes, biking, running, or rowing. 

The thing about doing a ton of cardio is that while it will burn fat, it can also shed muscle mass. And having fat-free arms isn’t enough. You don’t want them to look scrawny and fragile — you definitely want some bulging, toned arms that you feel comfortable showing off.

Arm Strength Exercises

Don’t wait to shed off your arm fat before supplementing cardio with strength training. You can incorporate both kinds of exercise within the same day.

There are many different muscles in your arm, but the three that you’ll want to focus on are your biceps (front of upper arm), triceps (back of upper arm), and deltoid (shoulder). There are some great exercises you can do right from home — some of which don’t even require equipment!

Bicep curls are one of the best moves to bulk up the front portion of your upper arm. Sit or stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keeping your arms at your sides, bend your elbows and lift the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Don’t move your upper arms.

Push-ups are a compound exercise, meaning they workout multiple muscles at one time. These are great because you get some activation in your triceps and biceps as well as your shoulders and chest.

Tricep press requires a dumbbell. Sit or stand and hold it behind your head, keeping your elbows bent. Then, lift your arms above your head without moving your upper arms: just bend your elbow. This is a deceptively challenging move that has major benefits for your tricep muscle.

Your best bet is to create a regimen that incorporates a healthy mix of exercises that work all three main parts of your upper arm. This will give you a more toned, and desirable, physique overall.

Get Eatin’

Exercise is only half the battle when it comes to shedding fat and building muscle. In fact, you can easily reverse all of your hard work if you don’t eat properly.

Excess calories are stored in your body as fat. If your calorie intake is exceeding that which you burn, you might gain fat deposits in unwanted areas such as your underarms. Being mindful of what you’re eating is important to try to prevent high calorie content from bringing those underarm bulges back.

Processed foods and refined grains such as chips, white rice, bread, or candy might taste good, but they aren’t helping you lose any weight. These are high in carbohydrates, which can quickly lead to fat build-up.

With that said, carbs are necessary for survival. You should look for complex carbohydrates that are high in good things like fiber or protein to offset the difference and make your meals more nutritious. Complex carbs include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts.

You can make small changes to your diet like swapping out white rice for brown or getting carrot sticks in favor of pretzel sticks. Mindful eating doesn’t require you to completely upend your life.

Not to mention, go for some “healthy fats” rather than trans fats found in processed foods. Trans fats raise your “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol, leaving you more prone to things like heart disease.

Olive oils, canola oils, and avocados are excellent sources of monounsaturated fats that won’t have the same effect. Try swapping out butter or margarine for vegetable oil or olive oil the next time you cook a meal.

Non Surgical Fat Reduction

Sometimes, diet and exercise isn’t enough to get your arms looking exactly as you’d wish. The good news is that there are other options that don’t require you to get surgery.


One of the hottest new methods is known as radiofrequency lipolysis, or Thermi. Thermi uses radiofrequency waves to heat subdermal fat to a point beyond repair. Then, your body’s lymphatic system will help remove the fat through urination or perspiration (emphasizing the importance of hydrating and exercising)!

Thermi only takes about a half hour from start to finish and there is virtually no recovery period. After your treatment, you’ll be able to get back to doing your normal daily activities right away.

Natural Liposuction

Traditional liposuction is a classic plastic surgery procedure that has allowed people to look their very best. However, any surgery that requires incisions can come with its own set of risks, such as infection or scarring. Not to mention, there’s a recovery period following liposuction where you really need to limit your activity.

Natural liposuction addresses some of those concerns by eliminating the incision in favor of ultrasonic technology. A technician will put ultrasound gel under your arms (the same gel they use on pregnant mothers). Then, a device will administer ultrasound waves to the affected areas, bursting your fat cells so that your lymphatic system can yet again take over.

It’s painless and there’s no recovery period. So you can ride a bike, run a marathon, or do anything else from the moment you leave the office.


Cryolipolysis, or CoolSculpting, is sort of the opposite of radiofrequency lipolysis. Instead of burning fat cells, the fat is cooled to an extremely low temperature. Fat cells are particularly susceptible to cold, so this method helps to break down fat without breaking the skin.

Essentially, this procedure involves taking some rolls of fat and placing them between two panels, exposing them to very cold temperatures. It’s another one that has a very minimal recovery time and is extremely effective for more mild cases of stubborn underarm fat.

In Conclusion

Underarm fat is subtle enough to go unnoticed but frustrating enough to completely ruin your confidence. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to try to shed it.

Exercise, both cardio and strength, are important factors when shedding arm fat and improving your overall physique. Complete cardio activities like running or biking to shed fat, and then do exercises like bicep curls or push-ups to strengthen your arms and give them a better contour.

Supplement your hard work with proper nutrition. That means making some small changes to your diet such as swapping out refined grains for whole grains and using vegetable oils as opposed to butter.

Finally, you can get non-surgical procedures such as Thermi, CoolSculpting, or natural liposuction to help you cross the finish line if diet and exercise aren’t enough. None of these procedures require an incision and have virtually no recovery time.

Ready to achieve your best body? PH-1 Miami understands how important a healthy lifestyle in combination with cosmetic surgery can be to help you gain the confidence you deserve. If you’re interested in a non-surgical procedure to remove some of your stubborn underarm fat, click here!


About Cardio Exercise | U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Why people become overweight | Harvard Health Publishing

Trans fat is double trouble for your heart health | The Mayo Clinic

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