How to Reduce Armpit Fat

Armpit fat is an aesthetic issue that can affect both men and women but seems much more prevalent in the female population. Although the idea of fat gathering in a condensed area like the armpit may seem a bit funny, it can be a plague to people, especially for those who wear a lot of strapless or sleeveless tops. In reality, what most of us consider to be “armpit fat” isn’t a massive concentration of jiggly fat, but more like a little pooch of skin that protrudes out from each side of the chest when one’s arms are resting at the sides. For some of us this pooch of fat is minor but for others it can be quite significant, especially in those that are overweight when the skin can take on a soft and dimpled appearance, especially if stretch marks are present.

What Causes Armpit Fat?

There are a lot of different factors that can contribute to the development of armpit fat. For some people it could very well be a genetic trait, i.e., Jane’s mother and her grandmother both battled with fat concentration near the armpit, therefore Jane is not surprised that she has the same problem. Those of us who do very little with our upper bodies, such as strength training or working with our arms, typically have a higher chance of developing fat near the shoulders and upper torso because there is little muscle tone to tighten up this area. Women with a naturally large bust are also more likely to have this issue because they already have a higher fat content on the chest. Hormone changes and imbalance as well as being overweight are other factors known to contribute to armpit fat.

Exercise and Muscle Toning

It can be difficult to target a specific site on the body to lose actual fat, although we can target muscle growth in specific areas which can burn fat at a quicker rate in those regions. If the armpit area is truly carrying excess fat then the solution will likely be to start an exercise routine which will cause fat loss all over the body—including the underarm and chest areas. One of the best exercises you can include in your routine that will not only jump start your weight loss but promote good heart health is cardio. Running, jogging, biking, swimming, and sports like tennis and soccer are excellent forms of cardio and will go a long way in helping you to trim off excess fat in the lower and upper body.  Yoga and Pilates are other forms of exercise that will help to strengthen the muscles all over the body and are particularly effective at building strength in the upper back, shoulders, and core (abdomen).

If you don’t have a problem with excess fat stores in the rest of your body and are in a good weight range for your age and height, then the best course of action to help you remove armpit fat is probably going to be strength building in your upper body. It is very common for individuals with low muscle tone in the shoulders, biceps, and pectoral areas to appear softer in the armpit area. Muscle toning and building exercises like pushups and chin-ups are a great way to firm up the muscles in the armpit area without the need for weights. If you do have access to weights then a few good exercises to try would be the shoulder press, chest press, and chest fly. These exercises specifically target the muscles of the shoulders and the chest. Try a few practice reps and allow yourself to concentrate on what the muscles around the armpits feel like. You should feel them tighten and relax as you work out. After a few reps you may even feel these muscles start to burn, which is a good sign that you’re working this muscle group properly.

Dietary Changes

Making changes in your diet is an important factor in losing weight all over the body which will ultimately take care of the fat around your armpits and in your chest. If you are attempting to build muscle then your diet should contain plenty of healthy sources of protein as this nutrient is vital to creating and sustaining muscle cells. Also try eat plenty fruits and vegetables as they will add healthy fiber and vitamins and minerals that are necessary for maintaining overall good health and for satisfying your hunger. Avoid foods that are high in fat, such as high-fat beef, duck, and full-fat dairy products.


Some circumstances may leave surgery as the only option to reduce armpit fat. This is usually meant to be a last resort when exercise, muscle toning, and dieting have proven unsuccessful in getting rid of excess fat. Surgery is often the option chosen by people who have lost a significant amount of weight which has left excess skin in the chest and upper arms. Liposuction, a surgery in which excess fat is removed by a vacuum-like suction tube, is an option for people who have not be able to successfully tone the armpit area, particularly those who have a family history of this condition which makes them predisposed to retaining fat in that area. Some people might jump at the chance of the surgery option but it is very important to try to lose the excess fat on your own before resorting to surgery.