If you’re a lady, there is nothing worse than dreaded underarm fat. Sometimes it seems like it doesn’t matter how many hours you’re logging in at the gym there’s always an extra (and very unwanted) fold that pops up when you wear your favorite tank or even that strapless dress.
While we all know that there is really no such thing as “spot reduction”, practicing upper body (as well as lower body) strength movements are imperative in creating lean muscle – giving the appearance of a much coveted “toned” physique.
Take a look at the exercises below to keep your arms svelte and enviable. Banish under arm fat for good!
1. Renegade Rows
If you’re a beginner, opt for 8 – 10 lb. weights. For more advanced weight lifters, feel free to go as heavy as you can while maintaining the integrity of your form for at least 8 reps. Holding a plank position, lift one dumbbell as if performing a row. Make sure to brush your elbow against your ribs to activate not only your back, but chest as well. Perform 8 reps on each side minimum for 3 circuits.
2. Dumbell Push Ups
This one is really tricky if you have yet to master the push up in and of itself. While holding onto weights, move your body down in a plank steadily. For an advanced take, include push ups in between your renegade rows.
3. Wide Push Ups
Wider push ups are easier than tricep push ups, but target your chest and front body (where the dreaded underarm fat is).
4. External Rotations
Curls are important, but if you want to work different fibers in your upper arm muscles, try external rotations. Holding your dumbbells as seen above, move your forearms horizontally to the opposite sides while keeping your upper arms and torso steady.
5. Bent Over Row
A wide grip, bent-over barbell row will target your chest and upper arms. Make sure you maintain a flat back. Bend your knees if necessary to maintain form.
6. Tricep Push Back
While this move primarily works the tricep, focusing on stability through your upper arm will also reap benefits for your upper underarms.
7. Overhead Tricep Extension
The key to the tricep overhead extension is a steady, strong core, maintaining your arms by your ears and directly parallel to each other. Bend your arms back as pictured above, and raise the dumbbell overhead.
8. One Arm Side Overhead Tricep Extension
A variation on the overhead, the side overhead tricep extension targets the lateral and underarm muscles. Starting in the position as seen above, move the weight up and to the side. Ban bra and underarm fat forever!
9. Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are a great and easy-to-perform option as well. Use a bench, chair or any ledge will do. Make sure you are keeping your lower body steady for greater results and emphasis on your arm muscles.
10. Bench Press
A great chest exercise, the bench press can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells. Either way, make sure your wrists are over your chest and not too far forward or back for safety and stability reasons. In addition, if you’re thinking about going heavy don’t be afraid to ask for a spot!
11. Resistance Band Lateral Raise
No gym, no problem. All you need is a resistance band to perform this move. No idea where to purchase one of these handy tools? You’ve got plenty of choices, but one of the cheapest and most effective happens to be from Target. Perform upright and bent-over lateral raises for effective and efficient targeting.
12. Dumbbell Upright Row
An upright row is simple and straight-forward. While it mainly targets the deltoid muscles (shoulders), it is a great move for the upper arms in general.
13. Dumbbell Flyes
While lying down on a bench (either flat or at an incline) hold your dumbbells directly in front of you with your palms facing each other. Move your dumbbells out and bend your elbows slightly, if necessary. Make sure you are targeting your chest and front body while keeping your lower spine on the bench.
14. Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise
This upright exercise can be a great workout but more difficult than expected when performed correctly. (That’s a good thing!) Standing tall with your knees bent, start with your dumbbells down either by your sides or in front of you. With only slightly bent elbows and a sturdy torso, lift the dumbbells to the sides while activating your shoulder blades and delts.
15. Front Dumbbell Raise
The key to the front raise is to make sure you are not swinging your arms for momentum. Choose a challenging weight, make sure your shoulders are back and your knees slightly bent. Using your chest and delts, lift the weights directly in front of you and lower down slowly.
16. Resistance Band Punches
There’s a reason why boxing gives you such great arms! Perform punches with resistance thanks to those handy bands we mentioned before. Make sure your fists are facing the floor in order to activate your chest and upper arm muscles the most.
17. Concentration Curls
While concentration curls are typically beneficial for your biceps, the concentration curl allows you to focus on the upper arm as a whole. Include these on your back & biceps (or upper body) training days.
Another tip? Make sure you are performing your cardio at least three times a week in order to uncover all that hard-earned muscle!