When we think of fat, we often think of areas around the abdomen or hips. But fat can grow anywhere, and certain places can be more difficult to get rid of than others. Your underarms are prone to excess fat despite being one of the more stubborn locations to dilute it.
While cosmetic surgeries like liposuction are effective ways of removing underarm fat, that type of procedure isn’t for everyone. If you want to shed some of that unwanted fat beneath your arms without going under the knife, here are many different ways that you can achieve your best body without invasive surgery.
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again. Exercise is one of the most important factors in achieving, and maintaining, a healthy body. Even after getting a cosmetic surgery such as liposuction, it’s important to continue healthy habits to keep your procedure from fading.
While you can move your arms all you want, there is really no such thing as reducing fat in a single area at a time (unless you get a cosmetic surgery). This is a concept called “spot reduction,” and it’s a complete myth. Fat must be broken down by glycerol and free fatty acids, and this can occur in any area of the body — not just the part that you’re working out the most.
With that in mind, the best way to cut out underarm fat is with holistic fitness that incorporates your whole body. Cardio will help you burn fat, and then strength training will help you tone your arms for a more desirable physique.
To reduce the appearance of fat under your arms, the most effective way is to literally burn it away. And you can accomplish this with cardio exercises that get your heart rate up and your sweat dripping.
To lose fat, you need to get your body into a calorie deficit. Essentially, this means you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming. If you’re able to cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your typical diet, you’ll lose about a pound a week.
You can help accomplish this with exercises that get your heart pumping.
Classics are things like running or biking, but you can even try walking on an incline, swimming, dancing, or playing a round of tennis. HIIT workouts are also immensely popular, as these incorporate a diverse set of different exercises to keep everything feeling fresh.
While only doing cardio will surely burn fat, it will also burn some muscle in the process. This is the tricky thing about losing weight, but you can keep your arms toned while losing fat mass if you combine your cardio regimen with strength training.
It’s one thing to lose your underarm fat, but it’s another thing to tone and contour your arms. This will help you look more lean and in-shape as opposed to doing just cardio by itself.
There are two main muscles that you’re going to want to work to improve your underarm appearance: the triceps and the biceps. Your biceps are on the front of your arm (the one you see when you flex) and your triceps are on the opposite side of your upper arm. Here are some exercises to enhance their look.
Tricep extensions are great exercises for isolating the tricep. All you need is a dumbbell:
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbell above your head with both hands grasping it. Keep your arms straight.
Without moving your shoulders, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbell behind your head so your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Hold for a second.
Lift the weight back up to your starting position. Repeat.
Reverse grip bent-over rows are a great exercise for activating your biceps while also working your back:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge your hips back as far as you can so that your spine is almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang towards the floor, palms facing away from you.
Pull the weights up and to the sides of your abdomen. Squeeze your shoulder blades as if trying to grab a pencil in between them. Hold for a second.
Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat.
Chest presses activate your chest, as the name implies, but they also force you to work with your triceps and shoulders as well:
Lay down on a workout bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, elbows bent 90 degrees.
Slowly push the weights up towards the sky, contracting your chest muscles at the top. Hold for a second.
Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat.
These are just a few examples of great arm exercises to help shape your body as you see fit. To tone your muscles, you’ll want to use lower weights with higher repetitions. And to build strength, you’ll want to decrease those repetitions while hiking up the weight.
Exercise is only half the battle when it comes to achieving your best body. You need to combine exercise with a balanced diet to ensure that all of your work isn’t for nothing.
Especially if you’re focusing on a cardio-heavy exercise regimen, you want to make sure you are eating properly. Remember that burning calories doesn’t just mean you burn fat — you also burn muscle mass. Eating a proper diet can help you maintain muscle mass and ensure that you’re getting the results you want.
But eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to completely change your whole life around. For instance, you can still enjoy your pastas and breads — just try choosing whole grain which is higher in fiber and complex carbs.
Also, try to go for “healthy” fats. Your body actually does need fat, and monounsaturated fats such as those found in olive oil, canola oil, and avocados are healthy choices. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, are good too. You want to avoid trans fats which are found in processed foods and chips.
You also want to pack in the protein. This is going to help your muscles recover more quickly from your intense exercise regimen to keep your arms toned and sleek.
And of course, you want to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy.
Non-Surgical Body Contouring
If you try dieting and you try exercise but you still can’t nab those stubborn underarm fat deposits, you can still get some extra help without the need for a surgery. There are plenty of minimally invasive procedures that can let you get closer to the results you want.
Thermi is a relatively novel procedure that is completely non-invasive. It’s a form of radiofrequency lipolysis that heats subdermal fat to a point beyond repair. Then, your body’s lymphatic system will remove it as normal.
It’s a mild treatment that can reduce stubborn pockets of fat while also helping to contour certain areas. And the best part? There’s basically no recovery time. For sagging arms, it might be exactly what you need.
There’s also cryolipolysis, such as CoolSculpting. This uses cold temperatures to break down fat cells, as these types of cells are particularly susceptible to cold. Essentially, the procedure involves placing rolls of fat between two panels, where they are then exposed to cold temperatures.
Both of these techniques don’t actually break the skin, as opposed to liposuction, so they may be something you’re more comfortable with if liposuction feels a little too intense.
Getting rid of underarm fat is a whole body process, but you can do it! First, start by creating a new exercise regimen that combines intense cardio (running, biking) with strength conditioning workouts (tricep extensions, chest press, bent over rows).
Then, couple your exercises with a nutritious diet that incorporates healthy fats, high protein, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. This is essential so that your body maintains some of its muscles while still losing fat.
If none of that works, cosmetic procedures are always an option. And there are plenty that don’t ever break your skin, such as Thermi or CoolSculpting, making them much better alternatives if liposuction is something you’re not comfortable with.
Regardless, PH-1 Miami knows that achieving your best body is a lifetime effort. We’re proud to offer both surgical and non-surgical fat reduction procedures as well as tips and tricks for leading the most active lifestyle possible. Want us to help you get there? Click here to fill out our inquiry form.